My Top Dinning Spots In Pantai Cenang, Langkawi 

If you're anything like me food is a massive part of the day, I've been known to be planning my lunch and dinner while eating breakfast!

Finding places to eat and recommend is my favourite part of a trip and often is the first thing I start to research once I've booked flights, So here you have it, My recommendations for your trip to Langkawi.

 

The Kasbah - Lorong HJ Salleh Lot 1301, Kampung Bohor Tempoyak 

Located off the beach front and hidden within the houses of Pantai Cenang this awesome reggae shack is a great hideaway from the midday's sun. With a selected menu full of summer cravings, unusual salads and burgers with fresh juices, smoothies & milkshakes it is the kinda place you should take a pack of cards and spend the afternoon.

Prices are really decent with my meal coming to 30RM (Burger with chips and milkshake)

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Indian Palace -  2, Jalan Pantai Chenang, Kampung Lubok Buaya

Down on the main stretch this upstairs no frills Indian is a great showcase of the multitude of cuisines on offer in Malaysia. The menu has a wide range of choice with lots of curries I'd not heard of before, best kind of menu!

With reasonable prices we were able to order a medley of dishes to try out with an average meal price of 40RM (1 Curry, rice and nan)

 

Red Skys - No. 6, Casa Fina Avenue, Persiaran Panthai Cenang

Wanting different dining tonight we needed somewhere that had a mixture of choices, Western & Malay and redskys fitted the bill.

Hidden from the street by metal cladding, plants and twinkly lights it certainly met the Instagram requirements… With the western menu it did mean prices were slightly higher than we'd been used to but our dinner choices did not disappoint.

With freshly cooked pizzas and Nasi Gorang (My favourite Malay dish if I must chose) value for money was fair with my meal coming to approx 30RM

 

Kalut Cafe & Bar - Mali Mali Beach Resort, Cenang Beach

Located on the beach this place is hard to miss. With rent-able loungers during the day you can get a bed and a parasol for less than 20RM for 2. Although they have no food/drink service during the day once they switch up for the evening set up you'll be first in line for the bean bags and silk umbrellas they bring out.

With a prime spot for the sunset you can settle in with a few beers and a early dinner with the summer vibes year round!

 

Other places we dinned and enjoyed are Red Tomato, The Telaga Walk & Indian Palace be sure to check these out too! Has anyone been to Langkawi before? Any other places I've missed out?

 

Batu Caves, Malaysia 

Having missed out on the batu caves last time I visited Kuala Lumpur I knew I didn’t want to miss out this time round and spent some time studying the map and from talking to the locals I wanted to share the quickest and most cost effective way of visiting yourself.

Located approx 40 minutes by train from Kuala Lumpur central in the area of Gombak, the limestone cliffs are home to a series of caves and cave temples which are a must see while in the city.

The caves are the most popular Hindu shine outside of India and is dedicated to the Lord Murugan who guards the entrance to the entrance to the caves and the worlds tallest statute of the god.

Getting to Batu Caves

As I mentioned getting to the caves are pretty simple, once you’ve arrived at KL Sentral station you can hop onto the KTM Komuter line and head to the Batu Caves station. Tickets are simple to purchase and can be done from the ticket machines as they have an English option. For a return ticket you are looking at an approx cost of 7RM.

Tickets now come as plastic coins which you tap into the screen of the barriers and save to exit on the other side, heading to the platforms all are listed and have signage in English again and you can know you’re in the right place thanks to the signage above the tracks.

For ladies also travelling on their own you’ll be pleased to know there are women and children’s carriages only if you prefer this choice, just make sure you keep your eye out for the floor and door markings, and those travelling I a larger group beware you aren’t getting in the carriage unless you fit the criteria.

The station is the last on the line and all stops are announced in English and a handy lit map of the stops show where you are headed next. Once you’ve arrived and exited the station the caves will be rig in front of you and with free access there are no queues to join and you are then able to explore the area.

Arriving at the caves you will find yourself at the bottom of the towering staircase to take you to the cave system at the top, If you do want to see it for yourself you must climb all 272 steps. Be sure to stop along the way (foot traffic allowing) as you’ll be able to get some beautiful views and see just how far you’ve gone! The entrance to climb and into the cave is free of charge, however if you’d like to go into the dark cave with a guide this is an additional cost and must be booked on arrival for an allotted time.

Top tips

* Be careful of those pesky monkeys, they love they love to take ahold of anything your carrying. Hold onto phone and camera tightly and do not try to touch or feed them.

* Remember to be respectful of where you are visiting. Local cultures have different beliefs and arriving to the caves in short shorts or short skirts may be frowned upon and don’t be surprised when you are advised you must pay for a Sarong or cover up due to this. Smoking is not permitted within the grounds.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resorts Nature Reserve

As I’ve mentioned in my review of the hotel, I felt I needed more space to add how I felt about the hotels onsite nature reserve as I believe it is the main draw to the hotel 

With its own Orang-utan rehabilitation programme, the hotel plays a role in helping to converse numbers of the most iconic species in Sabah. Established in collaboration with the state wildlife department they also have programmes for the rehabilitation of endangered species of fauna endemic to Sabah.

My favourite part of the programme is the educational nature awareness for local students across Sabah and visitors from all over the world… Their aim is to help protect the wildlife and environment through education to keep these endangered species numbers growing. 

When I visited in Dec 2014 there were 3 young Orang-utans who you could visit and watch their feeding. We were made to watch a short film about the breding and conservation programme  before you are taken on a ten minute into the rainforest where the guide will place the food for them and call out, the excitement is unbareable while everyone’s looking in the treetops to see who can spot them first! 

They don’t allow you to interact with them as it is a rehabilitation site, where eventually they will be released back into the wild so they keep human interaction at a minimum. But standing there watching these beautiful creatures was a memory I’ll never forget!  

















A Review, Shangria-La Rasa Ria. Sabah – Borneo

I’ve dreamed of Borneo. Dreamed of lush green rainforest, white sandbeaches with the bluest of waters and hiding amongst the greenery my favourite land animal, the Orangutan. The sole purpose of my trip was to see an Orangutan, be it in the rehabilitation centres I knew I wanted to see this amazing mammal for myself and I chose my whole trip around this one desire.

Last year on my return from my year in Australia I had the opportunity thanks to Malaysia Airways to go! As I was traveling via Kuala Lumpur the airline offer discounted seats for internal flights, meaning at the time I would only be paying £60 for my return flight into Kota Kinabalu, How could I pass up a chance like that? 

My arrival in to Kota Kinabalu wasn’t the most spectacular as there was heavy rain, my luggage had been misplaced and I hadn’t slept 24 hours but driving into the grounds of the hotel I perked right up.

We were greeted upon exiting the taxi an offered a seat in the lush reception area while we were checked in. Everything was immaculate and the service impeccable. 



We were shown to our room and advised they would do everything they could to help with my luggage and offered to call as soon as they knew anything more.

Waking into the room was a breath of fresh air, it was stunning. With large twin beds and a day bed area there was room for us to spread ourselves out, and trust me when I say I’ve never slept in a bed so comfortable… I now need to know the down count in the pillows and duvet to purchase so I can try and replicate the same comfort in my own home! 😉 



We choose to use the coffee terrace for our breakfast each morning while staying and throughly enjoyed it. With heaps of choice ranging from local cuisine to a more westernised version of bacon and eggs with pancakes and pastries. There was always plenty of choice, with fresh juices and even a children’s area with low level serving areas for them to help themselves. 

We used the coffee terrace for most lunches and one of our evening meals and found the menu to have a wide varied choice with a mixture of Malay dishes, light meals and vegetarian options. Prices were fair and give you a chance to have a less expensive meal as there’s not much choice outside of the hotel for dining. 

 We dinned in Nann the Indian restaurant for one of our evening meals and were very impressed. Having booked a table through reservations a couple of hours prior we made our way downstairs. Service was very quick and friendly and with the options of set menus or a la carte we were spoilt for choice. The curry’s could come cooked to order with mild, medium or hot and could be ordered with all of your expected sides. Overall costs were not as expensive as I expected either, it was definitely my favourite meal during our stay. 



We also ate in the Tepi Laut Makan Street, Where on certain days staff will perform the traditional dances of Sabah . I liked the set up here with a food market vibe you were able to go around differnt ‘stalls’ to order dishes like stir fry, curries, western snacks and finger foods.

The main draw to the hotel though is the onsite nature reserve! With its own orangutan rehabilitation programme at the time there was 3 young who you can visit and watch their feeding. Ive wrote a whole other post of this to share some of pictures and explain a little more about how the Rasa Ria plays a part in the conservation in the local wildlife.

The hotel grounds were beautiful, as you would expect from a 5* resort and it was lovely takinga walk down the expanse of beach and gardens. Plenty of loungers for everyone without truly ever feeling like your amongst a crowd.



We also took advantage of the tours on offer from the hotel, before we arrived the hotel contacted me with a list of day trips and excursions we could pre book before our arrival. We booked on a bike tour into a local village for a spot of market shopping and we also participated in a few free activies  on offer in the hotel like weaving lessons and cooking classes.

The rasa ria was above my expectations and I’m thrilled to say I’ve stayed here finally! I highly recommend to anyone thinking of travelling to the area.

72 Hours In Kuala Lumpur

On my way to Australia I took advantage of a stop over in Kuala Lumpur by deferring my onwards flight by a few days to give me the change to explore the city.

Kuala Lumpur or often referred to as KL, is the federal capital and largest city in Malaysia. Having grown from a sleepy Chinese tin mining village to a metropolis it now is home to some 1.8 million city residents and is fast becoming a top destination for travellers.

I only had three days to see as much as I could of the city so I purchased a KL hop-on hop-off city bus ticket to get myself around. Here are my top tips of what to see and do while in the city!

KL Hop-on Hop-off Bus

With nine distinct districts to visit I knew it was going to be a busy few days, rather than walking which I normally prefer I knew I wouldn’t see as much as I could on the bus so I purchased a ticket for 48 hours allowing me to jump on and off as much as I liked within the operating times of 9am – 6pm everyday.

The bus takes in a loop of the inner and outer city and stops at the most popular tourist destinations as well as some lesser known.

I’ve included on each of the sights to see the stop number to make things easy to locate! You can book your ticket online at myhoponhopoff.com from 45MYR for 24 hours.
Ps they also have free wifi on board!

Petronas Twin Towers
Stop 22
The Petronas Towers, also known as the Twin Towers or Petronas Towers are the worlds tallest twin towers. Walk across the towers and admire the view at 170 meters above ground or head to the observation deck on level 86.

www.petronastwintowers.com.my

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Sky Bar
Stop 4
For top class cocktails with an intoxicating view head over to the Traders Hotel to the Sky Bar on level 33. Even non guests can dine and drink in the hotels famous bar overlooking the Petronas Twin Towers. With a great cocktail selection and dj pumping out the great tunes this is the place to be any night of the week!

www.skybar.com.my

Kuala Lumpur Tower
Stop 2
Standing 515 meters above sea level the KL tower is considered a main feature in the city’s skyline. Visit the observation deck or the revolving restaurant for 360 degree views of the beautiful city.

www.menarakl.com.my

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Merdeka Square And Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Stop 16
Situated at the centre of Jalandhar Raja the Sultan Abdul Samad Building was once the most recognised landmark for Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur until the Petronas Twin Towers. Designed by British architect A.C Norman in 1897 this building stands proudly in front of the Merdeka Square and it was here the union flag was lowered at midnight on the 31st August 1957 and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time.

KLCC Park
Stop 22
Located between the Petronas Towers and the Traders hotel this public park was designed to provide some greenery to the Towers and the areas surrounding it. I liked to spend lazy afternoons in the sunshine watching the world walk/jog by. With lake symphony’s fountains dancing everyday at noon and the ornamental water features it’s a

Bukit Bintang Plaza And Walk
Stop 6
Bukit Bintang Plaza is one of KL’s oldest shopping centres, and still attracts the crowds offering a range of stores and Bintang walk is a row of cafés, restaurants, and bars stretching from the shopping centre to the Marriott Hotel. At night the walkway comes alive with live performers and the street way is lit-up.

Berjaya Times Square
Stop 6
Another shopping centre with over 1000 units, but featuring an indoor theme park! Not only is it the largest of it’s kind but it also is home to the second longest indoor roller coaster!

www.berjayatimessquarekl.com

Chinatown
Stop 8
Where to go to bargain for all your souvenirs, and fake merchandise. Petaling Street is famous for it’s roadside markets and food stalls, where better to try the fantastic authentic tastes of the country with stalls not only serving the expected Chinese options, here you will find food from around the world. Also the best stop for market shopping! 😉

Central Market
Stop 9
This beautiful old building was constructed in 1928 and is located on the Chinatown border. It is another great shopping option to hunt for those souvenirs to take home with you… And also to get out of the high humidity (for an old building it comes with air con!)

www.centralmarket.com

KL Lake Garden
Established in 1888 the Lake Gardens cover 91.6 hectare of parks and gardens in the heart of the city. Within the grounds you will find the…
National Monument
Deer Park
Butterfly Park
Bird Park
Orchid Gardens
National Planetarium
A great way to see lots of sights without being to far away from each other! Perfect for a ‘lazy’ sightseeing day with a picnic.

Batu Caves
Unfortunately not served by the hop on hop off bus the Batu caves are located 13km north of Kuala Lumpur in the Gombak district. Batu is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples and is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. There is a train service that travels from the city to the site costing approx 2MYR and takes less than 45 minutes to arrive and drops you off within moments asking distance.

Please remember when visiting any religious sight to be considerate and to act and dress accordingly. It can be seen as offensive to be smoking within the grounds and for us ladies to have our legs, arms or chests out. Also it may be advisable to note any days of religious significance the site may not be open to the public.