It’s no secret that we Malaysians love to travel.
However, one of the problems with travelling abroad is the high cost of travelling. Fret not, we have a list for you to trick your friends and family into thinking that you are on a vacation in Europe.
Kellie’s Castle | Perak
Named in 1909 by a Scottish planter named William Kellie Smith, the story behind Kellie’s Castle is one that’s endearing as it is a poignant tale. Built as a home, the castle was never completed because many workers died from the Spanish flu. Finally, Smith himself passed away from pneumonia in 1915.
In the day, the castle is hauntingly beautiful, and it’s not hard to see why this location was used as a setting to film 1999 movie Anna and The King. In the evening, this site shrouds on a more eerie atmosphere, with visitors claiming to have seen spirits of a man and car that was apparently stashed away in a secret hidden underground tunnel Smith built.
Address: 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 9 am – 6 pm
Admission Fee: RM5
Melaka River | Melaka
Mirroring the wide river canals of Venice, revel in the laidback romance of Melaka River. In its heyday, the river was a prominent trading port especially for European merchants; and their influences are reflected by the colonial architecture that still lines the streets by the river.
If it’s a quiet day you’re after, stroll along the path and explore the different shophouses selling local specialities. But if it were up to us, the best way to bask in the allure is by signing up for a boat tour. Either way, be sure to marvel the Melaka River Street Art Project outside Jonker Street – a vibrant graffiti collective done by the country’s most creative artists.
Colmar Tropicale | Pahang
Paris may be known as a City of Love, but Alsace, France is made of dreams and children’s fairytales. Named as one of the most beautiful places on earth, we’re glad that we don’t have to go far to experience a slice of the lush life.
Modelled after the said city, Colmar Tropicale is a French-themed resort near Genting Highlands. Offering 12 rooming options from cosy twin rooms to giant suits for the entire clan, complete the facade with the crowd of French restaurants and spas.
The Lakehouse Cameron | Pahang
Steeped in colonial charm, The Lakehouse Cameron is refuge for those who often feel like they’ve an old soul.
Furbished to reminisce old school England -think vintage rotary dial phone, grandfather clocks and four-poster beds- this Tudor-styled resort even provides guests with five in-house dining choices including a bar and reading lounge. All that’s left is a horses’ stable, and we’ll stay here for good.
Address: 30th Mile Ringlet, Habu, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia 39200
The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort | Pahang
The constraints of the modern-day detox consist of a day of digital devices and a power shake. It is atrocious to call such limited detox measures, but it also detoxes a real bad rep. At The Chateau, pamper yourself with a proper detox at the world’s first organic spa and wellness resort.
With an emphasis on body wellness, The Chateau presents one of the largest varieties of spa treatments we’ve seen – facials; detox; haircare; yoga; you name it! With a wide range of spa packages, including meals and accommodation, pick one that suits and begin your mind, body and soul detox for real.
Address: KM 48 Persimpangan Bertingkat Lebuhraya Karak, Bukit Tinggi, Berjaya Hills, Bentong, Malaysia 28750
Macalister Mansion | Penang
Combining the cosy ethos of staying at a local’s apartment with round-the-clock room service, we’d imagine the Macalister Mansion to be the result if hotels and Airbnb had a baby. It may not seem like it, but this mansion is entirely self-sufficient, with two dining halls, a lounge and bar – of which they refer to the living room, dining room, the cellar and the den.
On the rooming end, luxe comfort is consistent in the eight rooms provided, each accented with contemporary designs in collaboration with the region’s most talented artists. Adding on the luxe, the asleep menu is in place to ensure a peaceful night of rest.
Desa Dairy Farm | Sabah
Sitting on green pastures overlooking vast skies and mountains, the milk from these cattle has found their way into many locals’ homes.
When you arrive, hop on tour to walk in the milkmaids’ clogs and see how milk is prepared as they go from the udder to boxed cartons. But if you’re like the most of us who prefer to savour the end product, the in-house cafe offers treats like ice cream, yoghurt, and cheese. Any fresher, you have got to milk it yourself.
Address: 89308 Kundasang, Sabah
Admission Fee: RM5
Opening Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily
Time Capsule Retreat | Pahang
A dead ringer for Germany’s Tube hotel, repurposing industrial concrete cylinders into functioning rooms, Time Capsule Retreat is an excellent alternative if cookie-cutter hotels start you wear you out. Though the rooms here don’t come with 900-thread count sheets, cooing yourself to sleep amid lush forestry should be a piece of cake.
Their parallel room can accommodate up to 4 guests for bigger groups, and we particularly love the two-way mirror walls, totally reminiscent of Sweden’s Mirrorcube Treehotel.
Address: 26200 Sungai Lembing, Pahang, Malaysia