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The road less traveled is the road to adventure, and what every great adventure has in common is someone with a passion to discover something new in this vast a beautiful world we share.
These articles are your personal guide to a whole new bucket list of exploration and a lifetime of new adventures.
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An evening at Jonker Street Night Market

Jonker Street Night Market 1

The perfect end to a day-long city tour of Malacca is shopping and dinner at Jonker Street. With the setting sun, the street starts bustling with life. The square lights up filling the air with mouthwatering smells as hawkers start shouting to sell their wares. It goes from being a quiet street in the day to resembling a party at night. 

Things to do at Jonker Street

The night market at Jonker Street on the weekend proves to be the perfect setting for the locals and tourists to mingle. So, enough varieties in the food will help you eat like a local. Sample and nibble at the multiple hawker stalls and restaurants around.

The night market at Jonker Street
The night market

The quirky presentation and aromatic smell of the food will make you want to taste everything that catches the eye. The entire street turns into a stage with live performances and music events set up. The setting seems magical and will truly make you feel like a local.

Among locals, Chicken rice balls, Satay Celup, Nyonya Laksa and Gula Melaka cendol stay on the top of the list.

Shop till you drop

On your walk along the street ensure to keep an eye out on the merchandise available for sale. You can buy anything and everything during the night market. The street is lined with antique shops, shops selling handicrafts, local art pieces, jewellery and a lot more. The night market offers a whole variety of street shopping so haggle for the best prices.

Opt for a local travel guide if the chaos and the bargaining overwhelm you. Connect with a local tour guide from Locaguide before planning a trip to Malacca. Make sure to take suggestions and tips from your guide while purchasing stuff on the Jonker street. An evening at Jonker Street takes you on a completely different note because of its infectious energy.

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The Malay-style Melaka Sultanate Palace

Melaka Sultanate Palace 1

The Sultanate Palace built at the base of St Paul’s Hill in Malacca forms an identical replica of the original 15th-century palace. It is a cultural museum, home to the Malay side of Malacca’s history and a prominent cultural icon in this part of Malaysia.

Exploring the Sultanate Palace

As you walk in, the sultanate palace requires you to remove your footwear outside and enter the building bare feet. Moreover, the palace gives you a glimpse into the rich past of the region. Relive the curiosity the locals felt upon seeing the immigrants and traders in their costumes. Along your way, you will the mannequins dressed as traders from across the seas.

The sultanate palace
The sultanate palace

The museum also displays the local tools used for daily activities and recreational purposes. As you walk through the palace note if you can spot any nails used for building the palace. You won’t find because the whole place employs the traditional method of ingeniously carved wood that fits together! Furthermore, you can check out the grand throne room and learn about the life of the Malay heroes. Once outside the palace building, you can cherish the gorgeous gardens built around it. Known as the “forbidden garden”, the Sultan built the museum for his harem.

A Guided Experience

Not sure how to make sense of all this history? Opt for a guided tour with a local travel guide from Locaguide. He/She will share the tales associated with the kings, royals and the palace. Moreover, the artefacts and architecture on display at the palace allow you to sense the grand lives of the royals. Also, shows how they spent their time all those years back.

At the end of this tour find yourself witnessing and reliving all the grandeur and royalty of Malacca Sultanate Palace. Unwind and shop for souvenirs or gorge on some local food at the end of your city tour.

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The Iconic St. Paul’s Church of Malacca

St. Paul's Church 2

St. Paul’s Church makes up for one of the most interesting attractions because of its ruins. So, make sure that you do not miss it on your tour to Malacca. Built some 500 years ago it sits peacefully on top of the St. Paul’s Hill. The St. Paul’s Church church ranks as one of the first churches built in Malaysia because its past remains deeply rooted in history.

Ruins of St. Paul's church
Ruins of the St. Paul’s church

Discovering the St. Paul’s Church

With locals setting up food and souvenir stalls on the way uphill may seem a bit crowded. The St. Paul’s Church’s sight forms a popular spot for photography, gorging on some mouth-watering street food and buying souvenirs. Walk past the crowd so that you can relish the grandeur of the church and learn more about its history.

St. Paul's Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front
St. Paul’s Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front

Take your time to explore and absorb the vibe of the spiritual antiquity of the place. Despite being in ruins, the St. Paul’s Church still holds the majestic vibe of the Dutch era. Discover the Church’s history right from the Dutch to the British period to the Sultanate’s gain and loss of power. Walk around the church and look for signs which give you the proof of stories from the past. The sight of St Francis Xavier statue and it’s lost arm adds to the ancient history of the place. Not only does the stained glass enhance the mystic appeal of the church but also shows the recent additions to the place.

Given the rich and extensive history of the church, hiring a local travel guide would seem a good idea. Build a customised itinerary and find a local guide from Locaguide to show you around the St. Paul’s Church. While the church takes you back in time, the view from St. Paul’s Hill shows the modern beauty of the city. So, your extra walk uphill does not go in vain because the view that it offers is worth it!

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Langkawi Cable Car: experience the steepest cable car ride in the world

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If you want to feel on top of the world, then riding the Langkawi Cable Car is a must! Also known as the Langkawi SkyCabs, the cable car ride offers a panoramic view of entire Langkawi and its surroundings. High enough to get a direct view of the waterfalls and flora, the cable cars also allow you to spot the wildlife on the island.

Langkawi Cable Car
Cable Car

The enthralling Langkawi Cable Car ride

Starting at the foot of Mt. Machincang, the cable car rides to the top of the mountain. It goes about 708 meters above sea level. The entire ride is split into two halves and you have the option of getting down at the middle stop.

The middle station allows you to walk till the viewing deck and get a closer look at the flora and birds around. And luckily, you can also see some wildlife catching up on their daily nap. If you want to try other activities then take the Sky trail and trek up from the middle station. The rewarding view at the end motivates enough to ensure that you complete the trek.

The Sky Bridge at Langkawi
The Sky Bridge in Langkawi

Further up, an unparalleled view of lush tropical forests and the surrounding ocean and islands will welcome you. You can see the bigger picture with multiple sites and monuments all visible in the same frame. Once at the top, walk along the Sky Bridge if you want a diverse view of the mountains. Later, indulge in a meal 700 meters above sea level. A perfect reason to just cherish the view for a bit longer, before you begin the ride down

A Guided Experience

When planning your Langkawi itinerary, add a pit stop at the Langkawi Cable Car for a thrilling experience. Build a personalised itinerary with Locaguide and talk to your designated local travel expert to make time for this activity. Ask your local guide to plan your day such that you do not miss the mountain view.

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Explore the protected Pulau Payar Marine Park

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The Pulau Payar Marine Park forms a protected area comprising of 4 uninhabited islands. The many opportunities that it offers to explore the marine world make it the best marine park. Located a short ferry ride from Langkawi, the park makes up for an ideal first underwater experience. Here, you can find the only coral reef garden near to Malaysia.  

You can either explore the sandy beaches of the Andaman sea or snorkel in the calm shallow waters. The water here is clean and pristine thus forming a perfect place to spot a whole bunch of underwater life. Swim with the black tipped baby sharks that stay near the seabed or spot the great barracuda, a resident to the area.

Pulau Payar Marine Park  diving center

Pulau Payar Marine Park diving center

Things to do and see at Pulau Payar Marine Park

A boat ride from Pulau Payar Marine Park’s jetty leads you to the island. The boat ride offers spectacular glimpses of the horizon and the sea. The best place to spot most of the marine life remains right under the jetty. And with the clear waters, you can spot several as you snorkel in the sea. Furthermore, the park has numerous diving spots where you can find specific kinds of marine life. So, pick a spot which shows you the life underwater that you haven’t seen before.

The barbecue pits on the shore come to your rescue if water does not please you. Cook your own scrumptious grilled food and savour at it while enjoying the setting sun and the beautiful sea waves. 

Blacktip shark
Blacktip shark

Places like these are best visited along with a local guide because they know the ins and outs of it. A local travel guide from Locaguide will help you plan and book a trip to the marine park. He/ She will also help you to get the underwater gear from reliable vendors. Make your visit to the Pulau Payar National Park a memorable one and keep it hassle-free with the help of a local expert. 

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Detox at the natural springs in Ayer Hangat Village

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A short drive away from Langkawi’s Kuah town lies a scenic little village called Ayer Hangat. Ayer Hangat means Hot Water. Known for its naturally found saltwater hot spring, a dip in these waters results into multiple health benefits. The village denotes a complex built around the hot spring wells. It includes a hot water Jacuzzi, pond and spa and beautifully landscaped gardens.


Hot springs at Ayer Hangat

The various offerings at Ayer Hangat

The Ayer Hangat Village does not find a place on people’s must-visit list because it remains highly underrated. The hot springs offer the perfect setting for unwinding and letting go of any physical or mental stress. So, spending a whole day here almost equals to a spa getaway. Start off by soaking your feet in the hot spring wells and then take a dip in the Jacuzzi. Rich in mineral content, the spring water is known to heal skin irritations and joint aches naturally.

Gazebos to relax at Ayer Hnagat
Gazebos at Ayer Hangat

If you prefer foot reflexology instead of the Jacuzzi, then Ayer Hangat offers a variety of foot massage services — you also get to select one as per your liking. The gorgeous landscaped gardens also possess a reflexology pathway. Here you can take a walk and enjoy the relaxation that a foot massage would provide. Made of river stones of multiple sizes, the pathway contains a dry and wet section which seems quite relaxing to walk on.

Plan a trip to this unique attraction in Langkawi with Locaguide‘s customised itinerary planning feature. Discuss with your designated local travel guide on how to make the most of this visit. Opt to visit Ayer Hangat Village instead of a typical day at the spa and let nature spill its beans for you.

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Get acquainted with local culture at Mari Mari Cultural Village

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A short trip from Kota Kinabalu, Mari Mari constitutes a village where the ethnic culture of the Borneo tribes is kept alive. The village houses five of the indigenous Borneo tribes, who continue to live in their old ways. Every tribe’s lifestyle, culture and history tell a different yet fascinating story.

The tribes of Borneo in their traditional costumes
The tribes of Borneo

You get a first-hand view of their way of life, work, customs, traditions and their clothing. Also, know what sets them apart from each other. Everyone who visits the village learns about the tribe’s rich past and ancient customs of the tribes. You can partake in each of the custom and activity to experience them personally. Every tribe showcases their hunting and survival skills to the tourists. Thus, altogether making it a fun excursion.

Things to do at Mari Mari Cultural Village

You can taste their traditional food, see how the dish is prepared and perhaps even try your hand at it. Moreover, while dining, each tribe will share with you how their tribe name came about and what it stands for. The experience of eating in an antiquated village will stay with you forever.

A traditional Rungus house
Traditional Rungus house

Spending half a day at the cultural village lets you explore activities each belonging to one of the five tribes. You can also sit back and enjoy the cultural performances or take part in them alongside the locals. The village surrounding remains a natural habitat of rainforest trees thus keeping you away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

A group of tourists observing traditional cooking
Group of tourists observing traditional cooking

Gain hands-on experience in traditional bamboo cooking, fire starting or play a game of Congkak(Malay game).

Furthermore, the experience of visiting the Mari Mari Cultural Village gets even better with a local travel guide accompanying you. Someone who can help you translate and understand the stories of the tribes and help you grasp the true essence. Find yourself a suitable local guide from Locaguide and plan a personalized itinerary with their help. Visit this cultural village with your guide and get a glimpse of tribal life in the Borneo islands.

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Marvel at the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque 1

Built to give the impression of floating structure, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is a must-see sight in Kota Kinabalu. Four minarets, a blue dome and a golden dome remain the striking features of the mosque. The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque closely resembles the Medina’s Nawabi Mosque and thus forms an architectural marvel in itself!

 

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at dusk
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at dusk

Things to do at the Kta Kinabalu City Mosque

A walk through the mosque lets you explore the intricately designed Arabic influenced architecture. Locally known as the floating Mosque, the true beauty of the mosque strikes when paddle boating on the man-made lagoon. 

The mosque hopes to incorporate the local community’s religious, social and economic aspects. A joint project of a fish farm stands incorporated within its grounds. It also houses four madrassas and a healthcare clinic for the community’s welfare.

Being a place of worship of the Islamic community you need to dress modestly with your head covered. It’s considered respectable if you remove your footwear at the entrance. Once you remove your footwear, wash your hands and feet before you enter the inner parts of the mosque. A non-muslim cannot enter during prayer hours, but the call to prayer is something you should stop and listen.

An aerial view of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Aerial view of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

The locals may help you with the mosque’s history and also help you understand certain rituals carried out in the mosque. Especially a local travel guide can help you in this regard. You can find yourself a suitable travel guide from a portal like Locaguide. The guide will help you understand the cultural, historical and social significance of these beautiful structures.

Upon having your fill of the inside of the mosque, head out to watch the sunset over the city of Kota Kinabalu and the man-made lake. Just sitting around in the shade can calm you, allow you to deeply introspect and find some peace within yourself.

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Take a ride on the North Borneo Railway

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The Experience on North Borneo Railway

The North Borneo Railway takes you back into the history of Malaysia! Previously employed to transport tobacco from the centre of Malaysia to the coastal places. However, now, the railway serves as a means of transportation to the locals and tourists. But tourists who wish to spend time watching the countryside and enjoy a good bit of souvenir shopping take the train ride.

The North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway

Departing at 9:30 am from Kota Kinabalu to Kinarut town, the train offers you a choice of local breakfast options. With breakfast, you can watch the train pass through the open fields, across the coastline and the city. At Kinarut, disembark the train and get ready to explore the town. A popular place for shopping, the town owns a selection of souvenirs shops and many options you can select from.

Things to do and see 

From Kinarut, the train further goes to Papar, where you can interact with the locals before heading back to Kota Kinabalu. On your way back, the North Borneo Railway tour offers you a meal for lunch. Furthermore, you can even get an opportunity to chat with the railway engineer. So, learn about the old wood fire engine restoration and know how the railway works. 

A bridge through which the Railway passes
A bridge through which the Railway passes

Do not miss the enthralling experience the North Borneo Railway ride offers. Get a glimpse and soak into the rich history of Malaysia or simply just chose to relax. You can also take a long ride to watch the gorgeous landscapes of the surrounding. No trip to Kota Kinabalu is complete without spending a morning aboard the North Borneo Railway. Thus, when in Kota Kinabalu, look forward to experiencing the city from a different perspective.

Not sure how to go about booking a trip on this historic train? Let Locaguide’s local travel experts help you out. Build a personalised Kota Kinabalu itinerary of your choice and consult with your guide on including this attraction.

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Bask in the sun at Tanjung Aru beach

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Known for its spectacular sunset and laid-back vibes, the Tanjung Aru beach in Kota Kinabalu makes for a perfect getaway. You can spend your day sunbathing and swimming in the calm waters of the shallow sea. Named after the Casuarina trees that line the beach, Tanjung Aru beach is an urban oasis. Often flocked by the residents of Kota Kinabalu it calls for a quick escapade from the city.

The blue hues of Tanjung Aru beach
The blue hues of Tanjung Aru beach

Things to do at Tanjung Aru beach

Spend your day amidst the locals at Tanjung Aru beach and play a game of frisbee or football on the sandy beach. Or just sit down and observe the evening pass by. Said to own the best sunset spot in all of Malaysia, the beach forms a great place to sink your feet in the cool sand and soak up the warmth of the sun. Consequently, the calm waters of the beach make for perfect swimming and walking trails. You can also try walking on the reflexology track set in the path of the adjacent Prince Philip Park. Or work up an appetite at the exercise area. This park also acts as a perfect picnic spot if you happen to spend a day here.

The setting sun will leave you in awe of the multiple shades of orange and yellow melting into the horizon. You can enjoy the gorgeous sunset while munching on some local delicacies from the multiple food stalls. Relish the sea breeze which brings down the temperature as the day progresses. Moreover, the Tanjung Aru beach is well known for its food courts serving street-style satays, noodles and fresh seafood.

Sun setting over the calm waters
Sun setting over the calm waters

How to get there

Tanjung Aru is easily accessible from the city centre. Only about 15-20 minutes driving time away, you can hop on a bus or a cab to get there. However, if you run short of time then consult a local guide from Locaguide. The guide will help you plan a complete itinerary of Kota Kinabalu city and a quick visit to Tanjung Aru.

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