Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

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judyp
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Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by judyp » Sun, 22 Nov 2015 10:11 am

Hi,

We are planning to take a week long holiday, during Chinese New Year. Looking for suggestions for a quiet luxury resort, as far away from city noise and lights as possible.
Definitely don't want to stay in a regular boring hotel. Preferably low-rise, close to nature. We are not fussed on activities etc, peace quiet and relaxation is what we are looking for.

Long nature walks, star gazing, eating good food is what interests us.

Please help.

Thank You!
Judy

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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by BoroBoy » Sun, 22 Nov 2015 12:55 pm

I stayed here about 8 years ago and was very nice and peaceful but you need to fly to Kuching then drive for 4 or 5 hours. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... .html#PAGE

Alternatively Rowa island is also very relaxing.

However, I would be surprised if you found peace and quiet anywhere during Chinese New Year!


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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by JR8 » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 1:47 am

Japamala Resort on Tioman Island
http://www.japamalaresorts.com/
Ticks your boxes except not being up a mountain. Though it is at the foot of one.

The peninsular Malay hill-stations are dire IME. So the above is my only suggestion per your MY/TH criteria...
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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by judyp » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:08 am

Thank You for your responses! I took a look at your recommendations.

Boroboy, I am assuming you meant Rawa island, right?
JR8, the resort looks fabulous but I read that the boat services are suspended until end Feb. I am assuming that is because of the weather conditions at that time of the year.
And Yes, we have been to Cameron Highlands and to Genting and I agree with your assessment.

The reason I mentioned a mountain holiday, is that we spent our last holiday in the Maldives. That was Paradise and for now, I cannot see anything comparing favourably with that.

My husband likes the beach, I like the mountains. Strangely enough, 30 years ago, it was the other way around.

Thanks again,
Judy

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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by JR8 » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 3:46 pm

judyp wrote:JR8, the resort looks fabulous but I read that the boat services are suspended until end Feb.
Ah I see that CNY is Feb 8th next year, that's quite early versus the monsoon on the east side of peninsular Malaysia. When Berjaya Air used to fly from SIN<>TOD [i.e. Tioman], the schedule ran for about 9 months a year, i.e.not during monsoon. Those flights were suspended in 2013 IIRC as Berjaya intended to redevelop their Berjaya Hotel on the island; if they got around to that I don't know, it's been rather on/off. The latter, the only large'ish hotel on the island also has transfer info on their website.

Regular ferries ex-Mersing run year round. If the sea is very lumpy (monsoon) then they might delay or cancel one. But it's very unusual for there to be no crossings for a whole day, and I don't recall when that last happened.

Japamala being what they are do things differently. They have their own boat over from Mersing. A 'speedboat' ... for a 35 mile crossing... one might ponder, hmmm? I don't recall exactly but it's got something like 700-900HP of outboards on it and goes more like a power-boat, or rocket. I imagine that works best with calmer seas. Guests might not favour doing half the crossing air-borne :)

The parent group of the hotel, Samadhi Group, also have some form of charter airline. So they fly regular flights ex: KL (Subang airport). But that'd all be quite a fiddle connecting ex-SIN.

Japamala is pretty isolated. There is no road there. No regular ferries stop there. There's plenty you can do there but I think it'd be much more enjoyable outside of monsoon season. Here's some pix of the place during monsoon Feb-2012. Same week as you have in mind, and you can see how these people were unlucky to hit the monsoon square-on... https://frank.itlab.us/photo_essays/wra ... ioman.html [the boat shown in these pix is their smaller one for around the island, not the one <> the mainland].

So if the east coast of MY is out for next CNY...
Are you limiting it to TH/MY? Or have you time to go a bit further?
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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by judyp » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 6:41 pm

Thanks for the help JR8, I really appreciate it. I looked at the Photo Essay, and the place is gorgeous. Definitely on my list of places to visit, but probably in better weather.

No limitation on the country, those were just the first two that came to mind. We have from the 6th to the 13th of February. And its just for the two of us, our children have grown up and moved away.

To be honest, we now enjoy quieter resorts, with not too much activity, as that definitely brings the noise level down.

We've done our fair share of resorts filled with screaming kids(ours included!), and activities planned down to every second. Ready for peace now.

Thanks,
Judy

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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by JR8 » Mon, 23 Nov 2015 8:15 pm

A week all-in, so you want least hassle getting somewhere, but still probably off the main-stream track. If so, that's similar to our usual goals.

How about Lombok? Considering how close it is to Bali, it feels like a world away. It has direct flights, and hotels are efficient at organising land transfers. It has the mountain Mount Rinjani https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rinjani 3726M high, and often sending up small plumes of volcanic smoke. [Wiki says it just started erupting again 3 weeks ago :-o]

I don't think we've stayed on Lombok itself, but there are three small islands a few miles off-shore called the Gili Islands. Each has it's own flavour. Gili Trawangan/Meno/Air. They are flat as a pancake and sandy, but on a clear day you can see Rinjani from them, 20 miles away. You can also do day-trips to Rinjani from the Gili's.
I'd suggest avoiding G.Trawangan it's the largest one and popular with the young 'Bali crowd' of tourists.

Wiki: 'Continued investment in tourism is seeing these islands develop very quickly and each year sees new resorts and accommodation on the islands while attempting to retain their individual character. Proximity to Gili Meno, the smallest and most secluded of the islands and to Gili Trawangan the largest island, known for its many restaurants and parties, makes Gili Air a happy Medium of seclusion with adequate services. Both other Islands are a quick boat ride away.'

I've been to all three (for the great diving!). We actually spent a night on Trawangan by accident (long story - the place I stayed has a hotel on both Trawangan and Air - and I accidently booked the Trawangan one in error :oops:). Trawangan has a young crowd, overall still really pretty undeveloped, and yet bass-beats booming out until 1am etc. What a relief it was to get to the right place on Air the next day. Air has no cars, just a sandy beach-side lane and pony+trap taxis trotting to and fro. There are some *veeery* good restaurants there too! I've also dropped in on Gili Meno a mile away. It's very unspoilt and quiet indeed, almost too quiet perhaps.

How about looking at Tripadvisor for hotels? I'd tend to avoid Trawangan completely. Compare the hotels for Air and Meno and see what you think. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotels-g19 ... otels.html

I (and again later 'we') stayed at Manta Dive on Gili Air. British/EU owners/management. Absolutely brilliant menu including things like a divine home-made steak and ale pie under puff-pastry crust etc. Plus of course plenty of authentic local offerings. And some other *really* great dining spots within a 10-minute stroll. It's really unusual being that remote, yet having so very high quality not-too$ food offerings. Now, I went for the A1 diving, but there's plenty of other stuff to do if you wish.

Manta Dive [MD] is a blend of divers and non-divers (that's me and my wife hehe). I went diving every other day, and on non-dive days went snorkelling with my wife right off the beach in front of MD. My wife likes nothing but chilling out on/by a beach with a book, and she got plenty of that and loved the place.

I'm not sure I'd call MD high-end boutique, more mid-range/+ boutique perhaps, rather than luxury. I suppose it depends how you define it. But if you have a look at the TA link above, you will see there are also some very classy boutique operations there...

Obviously you're also going to have to check the seasons. One time I was there during monsoon but it wasn't a problem at all; nothing like those pix of Tioman. The well written MD website will give you a head's up on this matter. If Gili doesn't work for this CNY, maybe another one for the list? :)
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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 24 Nov 2015 8:46 am

Ye Old Smokehouse in the Cameron Highlands.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
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Re: Mountain holiday in Malaysia/Thailand

Post by judyp » Thu, 26 Nov 2015 9:18 pm

Thanks again.

One thing I did not mention is that we were badly affected by the 2004 tsunami. So although we are no longer uncomfortable at the beach, one of our daughters is still terrified while we are at sea level. This we only realised when we were in the Maldives.
In fact when we rented a sea-facing apartment (very high floor) in Singapore (facing Batam) she was really upset. So, Indonesia and a beach holiday will not work for us.

We were looking at the Eastern Oriental Express, but decided to do this when our children can join us.

PNGMK, we have been to Cameron Highlands, but there was too much construction going on. Do not want to revisit.

We will definitely do the Tioman trip at another time.

Thanks for your time and all the help offered.

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