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  • The 12 Best Things To Do In Penang Once It Is Safe To Travel

    Penang is a beautiful destination in Malaysia that continues to attract tourists from all over the world. This beautiful gem will satisfy you with its rich culture and history as well as the many Muslim-friendly services it offers. There are historical places, epic views, a myriad of shopping spots, and even famous Halal food spots that will leave you coming back for me.  As Malaysia eases travel restrictions, you can expect to travel to Penang really soon! We highly recommend Penang as your next destination as there are just so many things that you can do and explore here.  Here are the 12 best things to do in Penang once it is safe to travel!  via GIPHY Also Read: Here Are 10 Best Family Road Trips In Malaysia   1. Visit the Ancient Fort Cornwallis Image Credit: Fort Cornwallis by George Town World Heritage Incorporated History should not be forgotten and visiting old ancient ruins and historical sites can be a good way to learn and remember the past. Take a trip to the largest standing Fort Cornwallis in Penang that will bring you back in time.  The Fort Cornwallis was built in 1786 as a defensive structure against pirates. Located in Georgetown Area, it is reachable via bus, taxi, or any other public transportation provided in Penang. You can visit around 9 am to 6.30 pm. There are so many things to do in Fort Cornwallis! You can request a fort tour with the guide, take photos of the unique interior of Fort Cornwallis, taking photos with a Bronze statue of Captain Francis Light at the main entrance, exploring prison cells, storage areas and barracks. Make sure not to leave the fort if you haven't taken enough photos of the numerous bronze cannons available! Bring a camera or smartphone to capture wonderful memories here.  2. Famous Local Halal Cuisine Spots in Penang Image Credit: RestoranDeen on Facebook Here is a list of mouthwatering local halal food spots that you can enjoy in Penang. Meal for Breakfast: For breakfast, we recommend you to get the famous local delicacy, Roti Canai at Roti Canai Transfer Road. With the special curry poured over the roti canai, you are sure to enjoy this local delight. Order some Teh Tarik too which is the best companion for this dish.  Lunch to Recharge: After walking around the beautiful Penang, you may find yourself hungry and feel the need to recharge with a filling lunch. Restaurant Nasi Kandar Deen in Jelutong should be placed at the top of your list! This restaurant is regarded as one of the best restaurants serving Nasi Kandar in Penang. Nasi Kandar is a popular northern Malaysian dish that originated in Penang. You can choose from a wide variety of dishes freshly cooked in the restaurant.  Dinner to call it a day: For dinner, you can step into Restaurant Kapitan which is famous for having the best tandoori chicken in Penang! The tandoori chicken could be served with a fresh piece of naan or clay pot biryani. Beware! This savory meal might leave you wanting for more, and you might end up ordering a second serving. 3. Street Art at Georgetown for Instagram Feed Image Credit: Steve Douglas on Unsplash Want to make your Instagram feed more lively and aesthetically-pleasing? If you are walking through the Mural Street of Penang, there are plenty of cute paintings on the wall and buildings that feature the antics and innocent kids at Georgetown! Those paintings were the masterpiece of an artist who came from Lithuania named Ernest Zacharevic which had existed since 2012. This tourist hotspot has an abundance of high-quality spots to have your photos taken. If you are keen to visit the street art at Georgetown, you can walk along the following streets: Penang Street, Muntri Street, Weld Quay, and many more! This should definitely be at the top of your list!  4. Visit Mosques in Penang Image Credit: Siti Rahmanah Mat Daud on Unsplash As one of the Muslim-majority countries in the world, visiting mosques could easily be included in your itinerary. You could go mosque-hopping in Penang since the city is made up of many beautiful and remarkable mosques. I recommend visiting two mosques that I feel are the two most outstanding mosques in Penang.   Firstly, you could visit Masjid Negeri which was built in 1980 and designed by the Filipino architect, Efren Brindez Paz. It is the largest Mosque in Penang that is able to accommodate up to 5,000 visitors. You could also visit the Penang Floating Mosque. This is one of the popular mosques in Penang. It’s called “Floating Mosque” as it appears to be floating, anchored by concrete pillars over the sea. Mosque-hopping is definitely one of the best things that you could do in Penang!  Also Read: 5 Mosques to Visit in Penang 5. Escape Theme Park Penang Image Credit: Escape For those of you craving for some adventure, this tourist spot will boost your adrenaline. Bring your most loved one to experience an adventure at Escape Theme Park. I believe your friends or family will love this theme park, especially kids! Escape Theme Park Penang includes Adventure Play, Water Play, and Gravity Play. The best thing is, it is awarded as the No.1 Theme Park in Malaysia! Good news for you guys, there’s no age limit for all rides and games!  6. Back to Nature at Tropical Spice Garden Image Credit: Tropical Spice Garden on Facebook Tropical Spice Garden offers you the chance to get closer to nature! This garden divided into three areas; the Spice Trail for the spice plants, the Ornamental Trail which includes a variety of exotic plants, and the last but not least, which is the Jungle Trail where you can see the various ferns, palms, and also different kinds of wild orchid here. You can either go around the area on your own or with a tour guide. For more information, visit their website here. 7. Visit Kek Lok Si Temple Image Credit: Geraldine Ng on Unsplash Explore the unique Buddhist heritage in this city, only at Kek Lok Si Temple, which is the largest Buddhist Temple in Penang. The temple offers a unique heritage where Mahayana Buddhism and traditional Chinese rituals come together to blend into a harmonious whole, as seen through its temple architecture and daily activities of worshippers. This temple is definitely a must-visit as you get to appreciate and learn more about the rich culture and heritage that Penang offers. 8. Trishaw Ride Around Georgetown Image Credit: Yaopey Yong on Unsplash Getting around in a trishaw is a brilliant idea! The trishaw is a 70-year traditional public transportation in Penang. These rides are easy to find around Georgetown city. The trishaw drivers decorate their trishaw with flowers, in order to attract tourists. In addition, they also put an umbrella on the trishaw to protect passengers from the sun as the weather can get really hot in Penang. A trishaw can carry up to two persons and the driver can bring you around to some spots in Georgetown area such as Fort Cornwallis, Clan Jetty, or the Kloo Clan Association. Feel the breeze of Penang and get the experience of a lifetime by taking a ride on the trishaw! 9. Penang Peranakan Mansion Image Credit: Penang Peranakan Mansion on Facebook  The Penang Peranakan Mansion introduces tourists to the culture and heritage of the Peranakans in Penang. Visiting this mansion is a good opportunity to learn about the lifestyle of the Peranakans during the colonial period in Southeast Asia. This historical spot is impressive with unique interiors and furniture that allows you to catch a glimpse of the past. Visit the website for more information here. Also Read: Word Of Mouth - Penang Locals Tips 10. Entopia Butterfly Farm Image Credit: Entopia Butterfly Farm on Facebook Entopia Butterfly Farm is a natural learning center that would totally fit into your itinerary with your family, as you will be get to explore and learn about butterflies and their habitat. Everyone can enjoy a visit to this farm which is divided into two main areas, The Natureland and The Cocoon. The Natureland is the largest butterfly park in Malaysia, with 15,000 free-flying butterflies at any time while The Cocoon is a center of exploration for visitors to get involved in enjoyable learning activities. Don't miss out the chance to visit the Entopia Butterfly Farm with your family and friends!  11. Enjoying Batu Ferringhi Beach Image Credit: Kelvin Yup on Unsplash Another most visited destination in Penang is Batu Ferringhi Beach. This beach provides a serene and relaxing atmosphere. You can walk along the white sand beaches which stretches along the coast and the incredibly blue seawater. There are many other activities that you could experience at this beach too! You can try some of their water sport activities like banana boat, parasailing, jet ski and many more. Or simply take a dip into the clean seawater with your loved ones!  12. Window Shopping at Batu Ferringhi Night Market Image Credit: Batu Ferringhi Night Market on TimeOut Your trip is never complete if you don't bring back some souvenirs as memories of the wonderful time you have spent in Penang! You can find some affordable and locally hand-made goods like bags, cheap decorations, accessories of Penang, and even bargain to get these goods at a lower price. After buying some souvenirs, you can also spend some time snacking at the food stalls to enjoy some Thai-Malay cuisine. Be sure not to miss this night market which should definitely be included as in your list of some of the best things that you could in Penang!  Make sure you have jotted down all of the above 12 best things to do in Penang! Don't forget to download the HalalTrip App for more information on Halal food, Qibla Direction, Duas, and many more, here.  via GIPHY  ...

  • 5 Honeymoon Destinations in Malaysia Perfect For Your Getaway!

    Great food, a bustling city, idyllic villages, little island paradises, beautiful beaches, and amazing hilly rainforests, Malaysia has it all! If you are starting to plan for your honeymoon, Malaysia should be number one on your list! There are many ideal honeymoon destinations in Malaysia, and you definitely won’t be disappointed with what the country has to offer. Whether you love adventure or calm peaceful getaways, Malaysia has just the right place for you. via GIPHY Surrounded by luxury resorts, this country houses resorts that offer 5-star quality service right at your doorstep. While these may sound expensive, some high-end hotels and resorts have great honeymoon packages to offer which are affordable and are within anyone’s price range. So put away your travel blues and read our list of 5 must-visit honeymoon destinations in Malaysia! 1. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Where the old meets new — Kota Kinabalu is a mix of modern malls and expensive apartments surrounding old markets selling fresh seafood by the fishermen themselves. It is an exciting culinary scene which spans street stalls to high-end cuisine, along with burgeoning art and music culture! All while fiery sunsets watch over this exciting bustling seaside city. Activities and attractions If you are a couple who’s up for an adventure - exploring new cultures, trying out new things - then Kota Kinabalu will not disappoint! Yes, the beach is great but what if you want to try something different? Visit the Mount Kinabalu, a World UNESCO heritage site valued for its biodiversity. Along the way visit the Mountain Garden to gain insight of its many flora and fauna and then head on to the Canopy Walkway for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding rainforest. You can even enjoy a warm local lunch before taking a dip in the Poring natural hot springs. (Disclaimer: If you're feeling extra pumped up, trek the 13,435 ft Mount Kinabalu. Just note that it is not a few hour's hikes. Most trekkers have been trained beforehand prior to the hike. It definitely takes a lot of mental and physical strength.) Head over to Sepilok to pay a visit to the Wild Man, commonly referred to as the Orangutan, these great reddish-brown haired apes are peaceful and shy, living mostly in the treetops and are sadly critically endangered due to mass deforestation. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre offers a close-up view of the Orangutans in their natural habitat. Credit: Sabah Tourism Interested in exploring new cultures? Mari-Mari Cultural Village is the place to go. Mari Mari showcases the cultures and lifestyles of the various indigenous peoples of the Borneo region – the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus, and Dusun. You will witness their traditional handicrafts such as blowpipe making and tattooing, their different types of homes, and their culture as a tribe. You might even enjoy some tasty local nibbles along the way! Accommodation Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa Credit: Shangri-la's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa What better way to experience Kota Kinabalu than to stay at a nature resort, one of the best in the area is the luxurious Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa. Set amidst a nature reserve and overlooking the South China Sea, the resort offers the best of both sea and rainforest. Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa’s relaxing rooms are furnished with earthy toned elegant furniture inclusive of all the standard amenities such as a flat-screen TV, minibar and tea/coffee making facilities as well as bathroom toiletries and bathrobes. Guests can choose between the rainforest view, garden view or sea view rooms, with private balconies, offering you a private calm and relaxing view to enjoy with your partner. The hotel also offers a secluded beach area as well as an outdoor pool area which offers stunning views of the sea and hotel. With a calm and relaxed atmosphere surrounding the hotel, it is the ideal resort for a couple’s retreat. You can approach their 24-hour front desk to inquire about activities such as horse riding and jungle trekking. Address: Pantai Dalit, PO Box 600, Tuaran, Sabah, 89208 MalaysiaContact No.: (60 88) 797 888 Website | Email | Facebook Borneo Beach Villas Credit: Borneo Beach Villas If you are looking for a budget-friendly vacation, Borneo Beach Villas is definitely a great option. Offering all the basic hotel facilities such as WiFi at the lobby and cafe, pool as well as a beach area with white sands, the hotel is ideal to accommodate you for your honeymoon in Malaysia. Their Spa Suites include a private steam bath and hot tub, whilst the villas include a private lap pool, all guest rooms and villas include satellite TV along with a DVD player, inbuilt bathrooms with toiletries. The room furnishings are minimal and comfy and provide sea views. The hotel gardens are well kept and lead you towards the white beach with lazy waves lapping against the sand. All the suites and villas include a fully equipped kitchen which would be ideal if you're thinking of whipping up a meal with your partner. The hotel is surrounded by seafood restaurants and groceries, this is a great option if you are trying to stick to a budget or you could order a la carte from the hotel cafe. Address: 163, Pool Villa & Locked Bag 100, Karambunai, 88993 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, MalaysiaContact number: +60 16-832 9302 / +60 16 832 9340 Website | Email 2. Penang Penang is where all Eastern cultures converge to create one big melting pot of thrills. A cosmopolitan city dappled with old world charm, Penang is a perfect romantic setting for a couple looking for adventure! Activities and attractions This city has much to offer with a thriving art scene and culinary delights at almost every street corner this island has an adventure at every turn! Make your way to George Town to witness the amazing and interactive murals and wire art. Be sure to find the legendary Bruce Lee mural and snap a few badass pics with your partner! Most of the artworks can be found along Armenian Street and Acheh Street. George Town as a whole is going to be a memorable experience, with colonial buildings and old houses as well as a myriad of hawker stalls. Some of the must-try dishes are Penang Assam Laksa, Nasi Kandar and Penang Teochew Chendul which is a sweet treat! Another popular destination is the Penang Hill which is 2733 feet above sea level, and has the steepest tunnel track in the world! Take the funicular train ride to the top of the hill and enjoy the panoramic view of George Town, the day and evening views are equally stunning, however, when dusk sets in and George Town begins to light up, it adds a sense of romance – enjoy the spectacular view of Penang at night and if you want to stay longer the last train leaves the top of the hill at 11 pm! Also, be sure to explore the 1.6km nature trail of Penang Hill. It features suspended walkways amongst the canopies and, viewing platforms as well as pocket gardens. With its exquisite flora, you and your partner will not get bored. Accommodation Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion Buildings and houses in Penang have uniquely styled architecture, so where can you get the full experience of living in the colonial times? At none other than Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion! Credit: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion on Facebook A beautiful 1880s mansion known for its iconic blue-hued walls which are a result of an indigo-based limewash was which common in George Town at the time. The boutique hotel has 18 personalized rooms divided into four categories – the Liang Collection, Ming Collection, Tang Suites, and Han Suites. Credit: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion on Facebook The staff are friendly and will take you through all the amenities included in the rooms, the rooms themselves are beautiful with intricate detailing and colonial era style furniture you can experience the true essence of a time gone by. All the rooms include the basic amenities such as cable TV, attached bathroom with a bathtub, air-conditioning etc. The Tang and Han suites include direct pool access. The hotel has two restaurants, the main restaurant being Indigo, which offers a west meets the east cuisine, while the Courtyard offers anything from Nutella crepes to Nasi Lemak. Spend the day lounging with a cup of coffee at the Courtyard and make a surprise dinner reservation at the Indigo restaurant for a romantic candlelit dinner with your loved one. Address: 14, Leith Street, 10200 Penang, MalaysiaContact number: +604 262 0006 Website | Email | Facebook | Instagram Hotel Jen Credit: Hotel Jen By Shangri-La If you want a more contemporary stay at Penang head over to Hotel Jen, located at the bustling center of George Town, close to the commercial area of the city. Their rooms include all the basic amenities, the hotel also offers a 24-hour gym and a free shuttle service to the beach. The hotel is located close to Penang’s markets and commercial shopping centers. Address: Magazine Road, George Town, Penang, 10300, MalaysiaContact number: (60 4) 262 2622 Website | Facebook | Instagram 3. Langkawi An archipelago of 99 islands, Langkawi is surrounded by turquoise waters with white sandy beaches lined with swaying coconut trees. The inland landscape is made up of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills. Activities and attractions Have your perfect romantic getaway in one of the three famous beaches in Langkawi – Pantai Cenang, if you are looking to try water sports, Tengah, Tanjung Rhu which is more secluded beach and great to take a walk along with your partner. Looking for something more thrilling? Why not go for a walk on the 124 meters long, 700 m above sea level Sky Bridge? It offers spectacular views of some of Langkawi’s main attractions, the only way to get there is by cable car! A little fun fact: a scene from the 2006 Bollywood movie ‘Don: The Chase Begins Again’ was filmed on this bridge. If you truly want to experience nature, hike Gunung Raya, the highest peak in Langkawi. Standing at 881m the hill offers panoramic views of the island; the legend behind the island is that it is the cursed form of the giant Mat Raya who once inhabited the mountain. The hill forest houses some of Malaysia’s exotic wildlife like the flying foxes, great hornbills, leaf monkey, and macaques as well as other forest dwellers. Once you have covered the land sky why not go for an underwater walk, and no, it does not involve diving. Head over to Underwater World, and take the 15m underwater tunnel where you can get a close-up view of sharks, turtles and other sea life. Why not have a fairytale ending to your stay at Langkawi? Visit Taman Lagenda, a folk-lore themed park which is an open-air garden museum that is sure to whisk you away from reality and would make a perfect setting for a nice romantic walk. Accommodation Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa Credit: Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa To truly experience tropical tranquillity choose to stay at the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa in Langkawi. Their 355 rooms are clustered into wooden chalets all including private balconies which open to stunning views of the property and island. All rooms include the basic amenities that are expected at a five-star hotel. The hotel has two restaurants; Spice Market which is the main restaurant is inspired by the ancient spice route – combining the East with the West. The second restaurant called CBA will offer you the perfect tropical dining experience. The hotel grounds are beautiful and are great for an early morning walk after breakfast, before heading to the secluded beach. Address: Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, MalaysiaContact number: +60 4 952 8888 Website | Email  Holiday Villa Beach Resort and Spa Credit: Holiday Villa Beach Resort and Spa  If you are looking for a more pocket-friendly place check in at the four-star Holiday Villa Beach Resort and Spa located only 15mins away from Langkawi international airport. The hotel is a vast property, offering great views of the beach and surrounding islands. All the rooms include the basic hotel room amenities. Be sure to check their romantic getaway offers on their website. Address: Lot 1698, Pantai Tengah, Mukim Kedawang, Daerah Langkawi, 07000 Kedah Darulaman, MalaysiaContact number: +60 4 952 9999  Website | Email 4. Tioman The biggest and most popular island in the Eastern Peninsula of Malaysia, Tioman Island is a thrill seekers paradise! Activities and attractions Famous for Diving and snorkeling, Tioman offers the best underwater experience to tourists. Most resorts on the island have a house reef, where you can snorkel right in front of your cabana, also snorkeling is a great option for non-divers! Tioman Island almost has no roads so you’ll have to do a light trek through the jungle to get from place to another, if you are a nature lover this definitely the right spot for you. The two most popular treks are the Tekek to Juara which is two hours and the trek from Tekek all the way to Monkey Bay. For activities like kayaking, jet skiing and other water sports Tekek beach, slang beach and genting beach are your best options. Tioman also has some beautiful waterfalls and these can be accessed by a light trek or a short boat ride, one the most famous waterfalls is the Mukut Waterfall, the largest waterfall on the Island is the Asah waterfall which is a 45 minute trek away from Mukut village, if trekking isn’t your thing opt for the boat ride. Accommodation Tunamaya Beach Resort and Spa Credit: Tunamaya Beach Resort and Spa on Facebook Make your Tioman Island, Malaysia, dreams come true! Choose to stay at the Tunamaya Beach Resort and Spa for a luxurious tropical island experience. They also promise a great honeymoon experience so do check their honeymoon offers! They have a total of 54 villas which are built to offer the utmost privacy to their guests; you have the choice of choosing between the garden view, rainforest view and the sea view villas. The villas come equipped with all the basic hotel room amenities ensuring that you are comfortable and at home during your stay. Address: Lot 20 & 21, Sarang Burung, Kg. Mukut, 26800 Pulau Tioman, Pahang, MalaysiaContact number: +607-7668886/ 8887/8888 Website | Email | Facebook | Instagram Paya Beach Resort Credit: Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort on Facebook Looking for a place that offers great service for affordable prices? Opt for the Paya Beach Resort, which also offers a great romantic getaway offer for couples. The resort offers villas and chalets as well as lodges as accommodation for guests, the villas are recommended for a romantic getaway. Address: Kampong Paya, Pulau Tioman, MalaysiaContact number: +65 6733 4333 (Overseas) Website | Email | Facebook | Instagram 5. Pangkor Pangkor translates to ‘beautiful island’ in Thai, and it definitely lives up to its name. The island is mostly mountainous and has rocky history due it being a center for piracy in the past! However, these days it’s just an idyllic tropical island where the main livelihood is fishing. Activities and attractions If you are interested in water sports, head over to Bogak or Nipah beach, you can try out banana-boat rides, and jet skiing. Pangkor town is the place to go if you want to try some authentic Pangkor cuisine as many local restaurants serving the most delectable dishes can be found. Go for a jungle trek to burn off the calories after eating all that food, the best hike is the Pangkor Hill hike. If you want to do something a little more Zen pay visit to Fu Lin Kung, a Taoist temple built at the foot of Pangkor hill. You can also pay a visit to the Kali Amman temple, which is the only Hindu temple on the island. Don’t forget to check out the Dutch Fort as well, built in the 17th century to regulate tin trade form foreign ships. Another interesting historical spot is the Batu Bersurat (Tiger Rock), the large boulder has historical inscriptions referring to a child and tiger with the initials of the Dutch East India Company engraved into it as well. Book a boat ride to Pulau Jarak, a secluded island with great Marine life, and it would be a great activity to experience with your partner. You can even rent a boat for the day and explore the surrounding scenery of the island if you are more adventurous hire a canoe! Accommodation Pangkor Laut Resort Credit: Pangkor Laut Resort One of the most famous resorts in Pangkor and possibly Malaysia is the Pangkor Laut Resort, named after the island itself and ranked number 1 in the World by Condé Nast Traveller and referred to as a paradise by the late Pavarotti! Offering comfort, warmth and contemporary elegance the villas are situated amongst the hills, lush gardens and on wooden stilts over the tropical sea. The villas are fully equipped with the usual amenities found in guest rooms assuring you have all the comforts you need during your stay. They have a great honeymoon offer so be sure to check it out! Address: Pangkor Laut Island, 32200 Lumut, Perak, MalaysiaContact number: +60 3 2783 1000 Website | Email | Facebook | Instagram Sandy Beach Resort Credit: Pangkor Sandy Beach Resort on Facebook If you want to go for a more budget-friendly option the Sandy Beach Resort will be ideal for your stay on Pangkor Island. Nestled on the golden sands of the beach you can choose between rooms or chalets, the chalets are ideal if you are looking for privacy and they face the Pasir Bogak beach, who doesn’t want to wake up to the blue waters of the sea lapping against the sandy beach? Address: 30, Jalan Pasir Bogak, 32300 Pulau Pangkor, Negeri PerakContact number: +605 6853027, +605 6853037 Website | Email | Facebook | Instagram Hopefully, this list gave you some insight for planning your Malaysia honeymoon itinerary. Are you excited for your Malaysia honeymoon?!...

  • Traveling In A Big Group? 10 Huge Villas in Malaysia That Are Worth Every Penny

    In the past, the idea of staying in a villa was a far-fetched dream but as times change staying in a villa has never been so simple, affordable and sensational. So whether you're looking for a palatial home for your Malaysian holiday, a change of air on your mini weekend getaway or even a villa for your event, we've got you covered! via GIPHY This article will list you 10 Villas in Malaysia that'll accommodate families or group of friends and making your luxurious getaway a dream come true. Feeling like Royalty 1. The Villas At Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa Credit: Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa StyleOpulence in the midst of nature. These villa styled rooms, feature greenery and private swimming pools a few steps away from the private balconies. The furniture is a mixture of wooden features with cotton and rich deep colours to create the effect of pure indulgence. AmenitiesPrivate swimming pools, outdoor pool, spa and fitness centre, balcony. 24hr Front desk and rapid bus transit to take you to Kuala Lumpur city center or to nearby shopping and entertainment mall or even the Sunway Lagoon theme park. BudgetOn a higher end at $400 a night for two people but considering the unique experience and 24hr service available this resort is giving you a royal experience as well as beautiful accommodation. LocationPesiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia Review: 8.8Website 2. The Bird of Paradise Villa at Genting Sempah Credit: Karla Cheah on Airbnb StyleMulti-story home with extraordinary architecture. Open spaces with colors and comforts of being inside. Art plastered all around the house, pool table and relaxing spaces. Jacuzzi and swimming pools. So grand that huge functions can be held here. AmenitiesVarious balconies. Swimming pools, games room, (additional options such as bbq foods). Caretaker within distance, big car porch, steamboats. Hotel amenities such as 24hr building staff and basics available. Budget$700 for 22 people, a slightly more expensive split. OverallOne way to find villas in Malaysia is to look at villas in resort complexes. This offers much more than a grand home experience as you will have access to restaurants and other entertainment facilities, especially useful for longer stays and bonding experiences. In addition to this room services and every-day cleaning will make you feel like royalty. Review: 4.5/5Website Cheaper Villa options Having a tighter budget does not necessarily mean having a lower standard of a villa. 1. Villa 23 @ Cyberjaya Credit: Dream Scape Management on Booking.com StyleA combination of rustic and modern, this beautiful home incorporates wood with darker tones. Clever use of lighting and space allows lighting to be adjusted for mood and ambiance. AmenitiesFeaturing a hot tub and Jacuzzi, air conditioning, WIFI, fully equipped kitchen, towels, sound-proof rooms. Top- notch security with electric passwords. Daily housekeeping and laundry. BudgetThis house can be rented by room or in its entirety. The prices start as low as $10 for one room and only go up to $80 for the whole complex. LocationJalan Fauna 1, 63000 Cyberjaya, Malaysia Reviews: 8.4/10Website 2. Villa @ Elevia Residence Credit: Villa @ Elevia Residence on Booking.com StyleA grand place using sleek decor with straight lines and geometric designs pops of color are splattered around the house which brightens the space but still keeps a running theme. AmenitiesPool, fitness center, BBQ facilities, terrace, garden. Air conditioning, Free parking, Free wifi. Budget$120 for a place that can sleep, 6 guests. More beds can be added for additional fees. LocationJalan Puchong Utama 7, 47150 Puchong, Malaysia Reviews: New villa so unreviewedWebsite 3. Vista Rio Melaka Credit: Victor on Airbnb StyleThis home incorporates culture with timeless elegance. The staple red laid around the house really brings this home to life with a taste of Malaysian culture. The home gives a high-class decor with dark mahogany dating to historic elegance as well as being paired with sleek white furniture and marble tiles to incorporate a modern touch. AmenitiesAll essentials are offered for a hotel experience, air conditioning, heating, patio or balcony with a beautiful view. Completely verified by Airbnb. Budget$66 dollars a night for 7 guests. OverallBeing on the cheaper side, the amenities and ambiance are perfect for parties, corporate events, and personal experiences. The point of this villa-esque experience is to feel removed from your everyday life and these unique villas and units styled as villas enable you to experience a new home dream. Website Affordable Villas 1. Twin Villa Homestay Credit: Twin Villa Homestay on Booking.com StyleMore on the opulent, luxurious side this villa is furnished with draperies and Victorian-inspired furniture. A villa is a grand place that fills all the senses with its beauty and elegance. AmenitiesA 4- bedroom Villa with flat-screens, fully equipped kitchen, free toiletries, outdoor pools and relaxing outdoor furnished spaces including in the dining area, balconies and terraces. BudgetJust under $300 for up to 14 guests. A steal! Location6 Jalan Badik 11/4, 40100 Shah Alam, Malaysia Review: 9.8Website 2. Cyberjaya Cristal Villa25 Credit: Cyberjaya Cristal Villa25 on Booking.com StyleA uniform style runs throughout the whole villa with the colors blue, black and white. This really ties the whole house together and creates the impression of an even more palatial villa. The sleekness extends from the exterior to the interior. Tile and marble floors with splashes of interesting portraits, landscapes create a sleek and expensive experience. AmenitiesFitness center with a spa extension including a jacuzzi and spa. Variety of pools including a fenced pool for privacy, infinity pool, City and landmark view as well as mountain views, giving you a versatile home. Budget$360 for up to 20 people, making it $18 each. Location25 Villa Diamond, Jalan CSR 2, Cristal serin residence Jalan Fauna 1, Cyber 9, 63000 Cyberjaya, Malaysia OverallThese grand spaces are slightly higher in the price range but are still affordable when considering the amount of space offered. They are perfect for big groups of friends or family which allow the price to be divided into great prices that please all the guests. Review: UnreviewedWebsite Lofts as a means to a Villa 1. The Panorama @ Georgetown Credit: Ben on Airbnb StyleThis beautiful loft will change your meaning of loft, the panoramic windows open out onto a view of wide expanding water and the view of the Penang Bridge. The white theme allows light to rebound and the beautiful touches of glass and white is an exceptional way to highlight the uniqueness of the villa-esque accommodation. Amenitiesspectacular view, pool, gym in the building, fully equipped house, elevator. BudgetLess than $60 for a night for up to 7 people, it is honestly a bargain. LocationGeorgetown Reviews: 4.5/5Website 2. Templar Park Rainforest Retreat Villa Credit: Saw on Airbnb StyleA wooden retreat in the midst of lush green, sliding doors leading directly into the wilderness. Open spaces with stairs leading up into private cabins as well as gazebos with furniture molded from nature. An eco- friendly home with roof solar panels. Perfectly designed home to feel in the midst of nature but not be deprived of modern luxury. AmenitiesView of Anak Bukit takun, verandah, gazebo, double-decker beds, trampoline, hammocks, swings, open parking. Swimming pool and terrace, green open spaces, golf course as well as a sauna. A waterfall 5 minutes away. Budget$240 a night for up to 16 guests LocationRawang, Selangor, Malaysia Review: 4.5/5Website 3. Rimba Hang Kasturi, Melaka Heritage Residence Credit: Rachel on Airbnb StyleNot the usual luxury, sleek design a more edgy design incorporating unfinished walls with wood and greenery. The clash of urban in nature creates a clashing unison of decor. It manages to transport you away from what you think you know in design. AmenitiesPool with open green courtyard to allow nature to enter. 3 bedrooms with 7 beds, a smaller place for a big group. Budget$310 dollars for 14 guests. LocationUNESCO World Heritage Site of Jonker Street, Melaka. Review: 5/5Website So, here are 10 different options to give you a taste of different villa-esque experiences available to you in Malaysia. Whether you a group of friends, or a want to have a family reunion or a couple retreat, so many options are out there to suit your criteria. No more excuses now, you may go fulfill your villa dream....

  • You'll Never Go Hungry With These 11 Halal Eateries in Washington, DC

    Vibrant and youthful Washington offers a fantastic blend of world-class museums, top-rated restaurants, and endless entertainment options. It is home to iconic monuments like Capitol, White, and Supreme court. Take a tour of the white house, stand on the steps of Lincoln Memorial and explore the sites of Capitol Hill. One can spend a day in historic Georgetown and explore the free museums of the Smithsonian Institute. Keep in mind National Cherry Blossom festival is not to be missed if traveling during Spring. Washington DC is fully packed with so many diverse cultures and cuisines intersecting in one awesome city. Being home to one of the largest Muslim populated countries, the halal food turns out to be an essential part of Americans restaurant options. Washington DC has the highest number of Muslim-friendly food and restaurants in the USA. There are so many Halal food places in Washington options that you’ll probably have a hard time deciding what to eat. 1. Afghan Grill Afghan Grill serves the finest Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. Afghan Grill uses the family recipes that have been in the family for generations. The menu is full of Afghan dishes made with ingredients from local farmers. The menu includes favorites like lamb chops, baba ganush, kabobs, falafel and much more. Afghan Grill offers a variety of dishes including many Vegan and Vegetarian dishes. They serve only halal meats. Finally treat yourself to Firnee, chilled custard with sprinkled pistachios and a cup of cardamom tea.​  Cuisine: AfghanHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 10PM (Mondays to Sundays)Address: 2309 Calvert St NW, Washington, D.C. 20008Phone: +1(202) 234-5095Website: www.afghangrill.com 2. Sakina Halal Grill The perfect blend of imported Pakistani – Indian spices of the highest quality. Sakinah Grill always uses freshly cut meat which makes Kabab Chicken Curry, chicken tikka one of the most loved dishes in DC. These dishes together with hot, baked naan or paratha will give you a taste of heaven itself! They have the best in town sweet dessert like Gulab jamun, Rasmalai, Kulfi etc. Sakinah Grill confirmed they don’t serve alcohol and it’s 100% halal food.​ Cuisine: Pakistani-Indian foodHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 10PM (Mondays to Sundays)Address: 1108 K St NW Washington, DC 20005.Phone: 1 (202)637-9770, +1 (202)347-0256Website: www.sakinahalalgrill.com 3. Aladdin’s Kitchen Aladdin’s grill serves pizza, buffalo wings, gyros, fresh salads, and kebabs. Vegans can enjoy having falafel platter. Although great for late-night dining, Aladdin’s does not serve any alcohol and offers halal food. It does offer online ordering for delivery or carry out. Not to be forgotten that they cater to varieties of desserts like cheesecake, tiramisu, Carrot cake, and baklava.​ Cuisine: Pizzeria and MediterraneanHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 2AM (Mondays to Wednesdays)                               11AM to 3AM (Thursdays & Sundays)​                               11AM to 4 AM (Fridays & Saturdays)Address: 1782 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009Phone: +1 202-986-8900Website: www.aladdinskitchenwashington.com 4. The Halal Guys Picture Credit: Facebook, The Halal Guys The Halal Guys are the pioneers of American Halal Food. This famous New-York based chain has started in Washington a year before. They serve the original gyro sandwiches, falafel, chicken and rice plates and, of course, the acclaimed garlic white sauce. Signature red and yellow decor complete the simple, counter-serve space. The great eye catch over here is Create your own platter style. If you are looking for an inexpensive restaurant to devour your soul, then you are in the right place. The white sauce is said to be legendary too.​ Cuisine: Middle EasternHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 11PM (Sundays to Wednesdays)                          11AM to 2AM (Thursdays)                          11AM to 4AM (Fridays to Sundays)Address: 1331 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036Phone: +1 202-558-9584Website: thehalalguys.com 5. Lebanese Taverna Lebanese Taverna chain is a go-to for the classic Mediterranean fare. A contemporary feeling with subtle touches of Lebanon food. They offer halal chicken, beef, and lamb presented in a variety of dishes. Featured offerings include meat-filled fritters, assorted shawarma, seasonal stews, grilled kebabs, and a specialty burger, among others. Dig into the hummus bar — with varieties from spicy to shawarma-topped — or dine on lamb and artichoke stew or grilled salmon. Cuisine: LebaneseHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11.30AM to 9.30PM (Mondays to Thursdays)11.30AM to 10PM (Fridays)12PM to 10PM (Saturdays)12PM to 9PM (Sundays)Address: 2641 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20008Phone: +1(202)265-8681Website: lebanesetaverna.com 6. SKWR SKWR offers a refreshing take on this tradition established in 2015, drawing inspiration from the ingredients that define the ancient eastern art of kabob to cultivate a unique cuisine in a new American niche. SKWR is essentially a Mediterranean Chipotle. A great grab-and-go meal for dinner, or a chill place to get a decent lunch with coworkers in a short amount of time. This downtown fast-casual spot offers customised kebabs in bowls or wraps with innovative toppings. Pick from different proteins, spreads, toppings ( such as pickled veggies, hummus, chutney, and yogurt aïoli) and sauces to create perfect kabob meal along with brown rice.​ Cuisine: Middle EasternHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 9PM (Mondays to Thursdays)11AM to 4AM (Fridays to Saturdays)Closed on SundaysAddress: 1400 K Street Washington, DC 20005Phone: +1(202) 682-1717Website: skwr.com 7. Salt & Pepper Grill Get ready to lick your plate clean at Salt & Pepper Grill in Washington, creating healthy meals that are enticing to anyone's taste buds. Salt & Pepper have two branches in Washington DC. They serve healthy and delicious Indian and Pakistani dishes. Offering halal meats, you’ll find seafood and chicken dishes like the vandal or korma. This spot offers wraps, various biryani and lamb specials and also kabob and tandoori specials. The fresh bread includes the traditional naan and aloo paratha, but also whole wheat roti and bahtoora, which is a crispy, deep-fried bread.​ Cuisine: Indian & PakistaniHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 11PMAddress: 2309 Calvert St Washington, D.C. 20008Phone: +1(202) 588-0666Website: saltandpeppergrill.com 8. DCG - District Chicken & Gyro DCG -District Chicken and Gyro is the newest halal fast-casual restaurant in Georgetown, Washington DC. Home to DC’s most flavoursome and unparalleled street food.DCG is clearly more of a take-out place, but they have a small counter with 4-5 seats if you want to enjoy your food there. They serve halal offerings covered with white sauce or hot sauce, along with rice or salad. Chicken or lamb gyro combo served with rice, salad and seasonings are a must try.​ Cuisine: Fast foodHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 10PM (Mondays to Thursdays)11AM to 3AM (Fridays to Saturdays)11AM to 10PM (Sundays)Address: 3147 Dumbarton Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20007Phone: +1(202) 629-2090Website: dcg-district-chicken-gyro.business.site 9. Moby Dick House of Kebab Often known as the best kabob in DC, this restaurant has been here for years, is consistently good and has gotten larger over time. Everything on the menu is great, but the assorted Persian-style chicken kabobs are extraordinary because they are flavorful and not dry. The lamb kabobs are excellent as well. They also offer stews, fresh pita, sandwiches, salads, and rice dishes. The Persian rice is very tasty and a must try. Management says its lamb offerings are always halal. Prices are very reasonable, and portions are pretty hearty. Do not forget to end up with a Persian sweet delight bamiyeh and saffron ice cream.​ Cuisine: PersianHalal Summary: Partially halal menuOpening Hours: 11.00 AM-10.00 AM Mondays-SundaysAddress: 1070 31st St NW, Washington DC, DC 20007-4405Phone: +1 202-333-4400Website: www.mobyskabob.com 10. Naan & Beyond Naan & Beyond is an Indian Fast Food restaurant fulfilling the appetite of taste lovers in Washington DC. Their authentic Indian spices blended with the culinary art of west makes a perfect combo of taste, convenience, and health. You will start enjoying our Tikkas as soon as you inhale its aroma and will not be ready to stop eating even after fulfilling your stomach. The most popular items include Tikka sandwiches-chicken, lamb, shrimp and veggie varieties. The same tikka fillings are also available on an over-dressed Caesar salad. Cuisine: Indian Fast FoodHalal Summary: Full halal menuOpening Hours: 11AM to 10PM (Mondays to Sundays)Address: 1710 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20036Phone: +1(202) 466-6404Website: naan-and-beyond.com 11. Busboys and Poets Busboys and Poets is a unique fusion restaurant, bookstore and gathering place where people can discuss issues of social justice and peace. Slam poetry and great music filled the air with young hipster vibes and an open space for all. Each busboy and Poets location should enhance the community -- allowing us to bring together a diverse clientele reflective of the surrounding neighbourhoods. The owner confirmed that starting November 2010 all Busboys and Poets locations use Halal chicken and the fried chicken and nachos is the most popular on the menu. The amazing food is met with equally talented performers. Cuisine: AmericanHalal Summary: Partial halal menuOpening Hours: 8AM to 2AMAddress: 2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009Phone: +1 202 789 2227Website: www.busboysandpoets.com Download the HalalTrip app and simply locate the your next Halal Restaurant wherever you may be! ...

  • 10 Things to Know Before your Trip to Malaysia

    Malaysia is a magical destination unlike any other. A melting pot of cultures and religions, the country is home to some architectural marvels, breathtaking natural landscapes, fantastic shopping venues, and its rich culture and cuisine, amongst a number of other things. It's also fast becoming a must-visit destination for Muslims across the globe due to its Muslim-friendliness, combined with all the exciting things it has to offer. via GIPHY From must-try dishes to the top sightseeing spots in the country, to things not to do in Malaysia, here’s our list of 9 things to keep in mind while traveling to Malaysia, for the most memorable trip of a lifetime! (Psst! You Need A Break! Check Out These 5 Honeymoon Destinations in Malaysia Perfect For Your Getaway!) 1. Eating Halal Will Be A Breeze Malaysia topped the Mastercard-Crescentrating Global Muslim Travel Index for the year 2019, which means that based on certain criteria, it was declared the most Muslim-friendly destination across the world! Although you will find a number of religions being practiced here - from Buddhism to Christianity to Islam, Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country. This means that Halal food can be found, no matter where you go! You best believe Malaysia is home to hundreds of cuisines with most of them Halal Certified. These restaurants range from the local street food stalls to independent restaurants and even fine-dining restaurants. When in Malaysia, you cannot miss trying out the nasi lemak with sambal, roti canai, satay, and kaya - a jam made from coconut milk, sugar, and eggs. Follow up your meal with other local specialities like a warm teh tarik or cold ais kacang, or a Milo Dinosaur! Be sure to hit the streets and sample a variety of snacks being sold off food carts, and pay a visit to the night markets for a culinary experience that will likely make Malaysia your favorite destination of all time! Street food in Malaysia is all Halal unless stated otherwise, so eat away! *If pork is being served at an outlet, you will see a banner or sign board stating this clearly. (TRY EVERYTHING! 5 Must-Try Spots In Kuala Lumpur For Malaysian Street Food) 2. Exploring Won’t Break The Bank via GIPHY Thanks to budget airlines like Air Asia and Malindo Air, exploring the country is not only easy but affordable too! These airlines offer a number of domestic flights to destinations across the nation, so you could be taking a selfie with the iconic Petronas Towers in the background in Kuala Lumpur one day, and then swimming in the turquoise waters of Langkawi the next! If flying is not your thing, you could even take an affordable train ride to destinations like Ipoh, or hop on a bus and head to Singapore! 3. You Won’t Get Lost In Translation via GIPHY Malaysia is very culturally and linguistically diverse. Home to Malays, Chinese, Indians, and expats, you will find that although Bahasa Malaysia is the country’s official language, English is widely spoken and understood in all major cities. If you’re, however, visiting towns that are slightly off the beaten track, you may have a bit of a language barrier issue, otherwise, you don’t have to worry about being misunderstood, or not understood at all! 4. Taxis Are Known To Be The Worst via GIPHY Here’s one thing not to do in Malaysia - hailing a regular taxi on the road unless you really have to, is a no-no. Shrewd Malaysian taxi drivers know exactly who to take advantage of. Just a whiff of you being a tourist, and they double or triple your fare! Although most cabs state that they are ‘metered’, once you’re in, most drivers won’t switch the meter on, or many will say they’re broken and will refuse to bargain. Avoid putting yourself in such a situation by instead, downloading a taxi booking app beforehand. Apps like Uber, MyCar and Grab are widely used in Malaysia and are very dependable, except during peak hours. If you find yourself at a mall with no cabs showing up on your app, your best bet to finding a taxi would be for you to head to the taxi generally found at most major malls. 5. Always Have Enough Cash Even though Malaysia is a developed country, not all stalls in Malaysia accept cashless payment. Be sure to always have cash ready in your wallet just in case cashless payments are not applicable. You would also want to prepare enough cash for the numerous night markets in this country! But don't worry! We're pretty sure you can still use your cards in the malls. 5. Malaysia Is All About Nature and Wildlife Nature and wildlife lovers are flocking to Malaysia, and we’re not surprised! The country is home to some of the most diverse wildlife on earth, and with lush-green rainforests found everywhere, Malaysia is absolutely beautiful! From the Taman Negara National Park and the Penang National Park to the Kinabalu Park, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, the Turtle Sanctuary Beach, Cameron Highlands, and the Kilim Geoforest Park, Malaysia offers so much flora and fauna to be discovered! 6. Shop to your Heart's Content without Hurting your Wallet Home to countless large shopping malls that feature stores by well-known brands, and markets selling bits and bobs and anything you can think of, Malaysia is a shopper’s paradise! Malaysia’s shopping scene is definitely on point. From clothes and shoes to electronics, souvenirs, and food items, you'll be able to find it all! If you’re on the lookout for the latest in luxury items, Kuala Lumpur’s Pavilion Mall and Suria KLCC are go-tos! Other malls like Berjaya Times Square, Sunway Pyramid and Mid Valley Mega Mall house a variety of stores, those that are high-end as well as more affordable ones. When in Malaysia it's also a must to explore as many markets as you can because you never know what you will find! You may need to bargain a bit here, but the gems you discover will be worth it. (Hey! We LOVE making your lives easy so here are the Top 5 Places To Shop In Kuala Lumpur) 7. There are World Heritage Sites to Discover Did you know that Malaysia is home to a number of UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites? Here, we highly recommend paying the Gunung Mulu National Park, Kinabalu Park, the Lenggong Valley, and the historic cities of Malacca and George Town a visit! How cool would it be to go back home and tell your friends you visited a World Heritage Site? So cool! 8. You won’t miss your prayers If you’re wondering if you'll be able to find Mosques and prayer facilities in Malaysia, the answer is a big fat Y-E-S! No matter where you go, you will be able to find a mosque, or at the least a small prayer room (musollah) with all the facilities, you require to offer your prayers, including prayer garbs and an area for ablution. You can find them in the malls, R&Rs and many more! This means that you won't have to compromise at all on your religious beliefs while having fun! 9. Always be prepared for changes in the weather As with most tropical countries, the weather in Malaysia is mostly warm and humid throughout the year, with unexpected downpours even during the ‘dry season’. While it depends on where in Malaysia you are planning on visiting, it's always best to avoid planning hikes and other outdoor activities during the hot season, and carrying around a water bottle to stay hydrated at all times is an absolute must. The rainy season is generally between April and October, so if you are visiting Malaysia during this period, it's best to come prepared with an umbrella and some indoor plans too! So come on guys! If you haven't been to Malaysia, time to pack your bags and planning your itinerary! Have fun in Malaysia!...



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