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Terengganu may be uptight in its customs and traditions, but the intimate connection amongst the locals is an insight. The hospitality is top-notch from the moment you arrive after a 1-hour and 20-minutes drive from the airport. Tanjong Jara has its own distinct character with impressive woodwork, proudly built around Malay architecture. It’s no wonder they’re the victor of the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Situated far from the maddening Kuala Lumpur, the private beach is even great for wedding bells and perhaps an extension to honeymoon.
The Rooms: Designed to face the beach or tropical gardens, waking up in snug beds with picturesque view is far from ordinary. Having the spacious Serambi Sea View room at the top floor to our own is pretty enjoyable – did we mention guests get to drink cocktails and chill in the cabana on their own private verandah? And the huge bathroom with a separate bathtub and a dressing table scores big time to get ready for a night out. The room even comes in a daybed – great for families bringing their kids along.
What to do:
- Hush – the Spa Village is no library but it sure is a place of peace and pure relaxation. Enjoy an invigorating 3-hour pamper sesh under the hands of skilled Malay healers; Dandan Puteri Tujuh for the ladies and Panji Alam for gents.
- Did somebody say food? – Literally embedded on top a river (and translated), Di Atas Sungei has chefs personalising your meals using the freshest produce while Nelayan (fishermen) will have you in a romantic atmosphere by the shore with western and local dishes.
- Survive extinction. Collaborating with the non-profit organisation, Lang Tengah Turtle Watch, be a part of the experience protecting turtle eggs and releasing newly hatched baby turtles into the sea when the time is right.
- The local scene. Endless exciting activities rounded up such as batik-making classes, morning jungle walks, and snorkelling or diving in Tenggol Island. Plenty to do for a memorable localized experience.
- Calisthenics freaks. Bring your sneakers along and hit the tennis court or the fully-equipped gym. Or the outdoors, have a game of gasing (top spinning game) and sepak takraw (like volleyball, but feet only) with the locals.
Most memorable: Releasing turtle hatchlings into the sea.
We’d recommend it to: Family and couples who want to tune out the city buzz.