Welcome

Welcome to my wonderland! I write about beauty, shopping & lifestyle topics in Malaysia. I would love to visit Japan & Korea one day, take photographs and immerse myself in life.
  • Top 10 Female Bloggers Msia 2014
  • Founder of The Butterfly Project Malaysia
  • Winner of Cleo's Next Top Blogger Msia 2011
  • X-Head Of Editorial, LivingSocial Malaysia

Recent Posts

Unforgettable Moments - The Center Piece

7.25.2015

got a new charm today *yay*

Today marks the one month anniversary of me dating Mr. G from Ireland . I'll share the story next time on how we meet, if he allows me to tell-it-all. Like all love stories, our paths crossed in the most unexpected way possible. In short, Mr.G was an Irish backpacker touring around Oceania. On his way to Bangkok from Australia, where he worked for 2.5 years, he made a stopover in Kuala Lumpur. His 2-day visit became a month after meeting me. His initial plans were to backpack from Australia - NZ - Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) - Thailand - Cambodia - Vietnam - Thailand (Bangkok) - Amsterdam - Ireland. We spent almost everyday together, in each other's company, gaining weight thanks to the fabulous food Malaysia has to offer. There's no tourism like foodie-ism he says.

It seemed like we have known each other for years. Talking to him was so natural. We could talk day and night about our lives. Not an awkward moment passed by. Then suddenly, it was time for him to fly to Bangkok so he can catch his plane to Amsterdam. 

While rushing to the bus station in 1 Utama, he turn to me and said "baby, I want to buy you a gift". I was like "oh no, you need money for Amsterdam". "I've got money baby" as his eyes pierced into mine. I got a feeling he's going to give me Pandora since a few days ago. My intuition is kinda on the high meter. I can sense, feel or know what a person is going to do and I was right. He brought me to Pandora @ Tangs, and said he has been looking at a couple of charms for the past few days.

He knew I loved Pandora so my heart melted like hot butter when he bought me a love charm to add to my charm bracelet collection. It was the Asia exclusive "You Complete My Heart" sweet sterling silver jigsaw charm finished with hand-applied pink enamel and engraved with an affectionate message behind.

You Complete My Heart - Pandora Asia Exclusive

I made it the center piece of my charm bracelet

At the bus station, it was almost time for him to board the bus. I said to myself "Be a man! don't cry. If you cry, he will cry". We looked at each other knowing this may be the last time we see each other. He hugged me close, I can still smell the Hugo Boss Bottled fragrance on him. Then he said "I love you" and smothered me with kisses. I said, "I love you too baby" and kissed back.

I watched him go up the bus, get seated at the end (he says that's the best seats) and waved at him. He's on his way to KLIA2 and by now he's probably eating dinner at Khao San Road, Bangkok. Tears in my eyes as I lose sight of him. Thank you for the unforgettable moments, I hope we meet again baby.

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Althea: How To Track Your Parcel

7.24.2015

anxious to get your Althea parcel?

Today I am going to share about how you can track your parcel after shopping on Althea Korea after receiving reader's inquiries via Facebook. If you need a guide on how to shop on Althea, click here. The top 3 questions I get are:

1. When can I get my parcel?
Althea says it takes 10 - 15 working days for shipping and delivery to take place. This means public holidays and weekends are not included. Your late night shopping does not count as day 1, it will be processed the next day.

2. How does it work from Korea to Malaysia?
Althea ships your package from Korea to Malaysia and it will be handled by a local courier company, currently managed by Ta-Q-Bin (some areas are handled by Skynet).

3. How do I track my parcel?
Althea has upgraded their e-tracking system to include your local delivery tracking number which can be found under "REMARKS" section. I made a simple guide for you to follow. Please refer below.

How To Track Your Althea Shipping / Order:
1. Login to your Althea account on www.althea.kr
2. Under your account, find "My Orders"
3. Click "View Order" on the order you want to track
4. You will be directed to your order page. You can see:
  • your order number e.g ORDER #100001191
  • your invoices and shipment
  • your billing & shipping addresses
  • your order list (products purchased)
5. Click "Shipment"
6. Scroll below, find your Shipment Order e.g Shipment #100001191
7. You will see your shipment tracking number below, copy it e.g EC1005434401
8. Click the shipment number
9. Your E-Cargo Tracking System window pops out
10. Paste your shipment number in it & click "Query" button
11. It will show you the history & details of your parcel



KOREA - SHIPMENT -  MSIA - LOCAL COURIER - U
(overview of how this works)



viewing your orders in your Althea account

checking your shipment on Althea account


getting your e-cargo shipment number
(different from your parcel courier tracking number)

the E-Cargo Tracking History
(top right contains your local courier company's
hotline number & tracking no.)

You will only get to see your local delivery tracking number when it reaches the local courier company, who will update the tracking number on this history list. If you do not see it, it means it's not updated yet and you will need to wait.

If you have waited long enough (past the 15 working days for delivery) you are advised by Althea to e-mail in to help@althea.kr to report. The help team will investigate and assist you on this matter. You may, to speed up things contact the local courier company directly to inquire on the status of your parcel.

Leave me comments if you need to ask any questions or if I missed out anything here. This version will be updated from time to time.

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How To Shop on Althea Korea

7.21.2015

introducing the how to shop on Althea guide

So I have decided to blog about how to shop on Althea Korea. I may improve this version from time to time depending on reader's needs. For now this is version 0.1 of shopping on one of the best Korean Beauty online website in Malaysia. It's real easy, visit www.althea.kr and decide on what products you want to buy. Click on the product image and it will lead you to the product page where details of the product can be found, along with price. Fancy the product? Just add to cart.

click continue shopping or go to shopping cart if you're done shopping

you can also check out via the top right of your "my cart" tab

which brings you to your shopping cart
(Paypal has been replaced by Molpay now)

At the shopping cart (check out page) you'll see your order details under order review. Make sure it's correct along with the quantity before you place your order (button found below). The payment options available at the moment are Paypal but don't worry! Even if you don't have a Paypal account, you can still make payment by credit or debit card option at Paypal's payment page. You might be charged a USD1 which is the normal procedure by payment gateways now (even UBER charge RM1 for adding a new credit card to account). What I know is this USD1 by Paypal is refundable after a month. More payment options will be available and I heard it's this week!. Molpay has been implemented on 23/7/2015 with payment options such as bank transfers, credit and debit card payment. 


For shipping rates, currently Althea Korea is offering free international shipping upon purchases above RM100 in conjunction with their grand opening launch (July). After this, it will be RM150 in order to get free international shipping. Quite a standard free shipping perk by international shopping websites. If you don't want free shipping, just input your shipping address on the right side of your shopping cart to see shipping rates at your grand total calculation (on bottom right). For parcels below 500grms @ RM28 and above 500grms @ RM34 depending on weight and location. I pretty much think Althea has miscalculated this so please take advantage of their affordable shipping and courier charges for now. I would advise to just purchase enough for free shipping. You're not losing out on that extra $$ to replace shipping charges.

P.S: I know because I shop on Lush Singapore, Luxola, Etc and comparing Althea, hell it's OKAY!.



Yes it's shipped directly from Korea to Malaysia (West & East) and then Ta-Q-Bin the local courier will take over and courier the parcels to customers. I've made two purchases and at both times, Ta-Q-Bin has called me to check if I am home (which I wasn't) and was kind enough to meet me nearby at a cafe where I leech on wifi to work. For East Malaysia, shipping and delivery will take longer than West Malaysia - a few more days. I also heard that for rural or more urban areas, it might take longer as well. For any reasons, a tracking number is provided in your account and you will also receive an e-mail from Althea on your order being confirmed and tracking number given.





The tracking number is for the shipping, and can be converted to Ta-Q-Bin's tracking (local courier) by calling Ta-Q-Bin up and checking with them. You can also check with Althea's customer service team at help@althea.kr and they will assist you. I suggest you call Ta-Q-Bin up which is immediate rather than waiting for emails to be replied.

once you're done checking, click place order
use ATA150 to get RM20 discount off RM150 purchase (July Only)


MOLPAY HAS REPLACE PAYPAL
BANK TRANSFERS / CREDIT & DEBIT CARD
PAYMENT OPTION NOW AVAILABLE


After making payment, you will receive payment confirmation sms / e-mail from Althea Korea. Your order will be processed and you can check the status on your Althea account. Once the order has been processed and ship, you will receive an e-mail with tracking number by Althea which can also be seen on your Althea account. Delivery takes up to 10 - 15 working days (not including public holidays and weekends). Again e-mail help@althea.kr should you need to find out what's going on with your shipment (only like after 15 working days, don't go e-mailing everyday asking when is it arriving).

I hope my simple guide on how to shop helps :O just leave comments for me so I can update this page from time to time depending on what info I left out. On how to track your shipment / order from Althea Korea, please click here.

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Pocket Wifi - Traveller's Must Have

7.20.2015

My Travel Must Haves

Upon touching down the Inchon, Seoul Airport, I turned on my pocket wifi, enter the login and password and by the grace of Internet fairies, I am online yay!. I updated my Facebook page, and what's app my family and friends, telling them I have arrived in Korea safely. Compared 10 years ago, communication has since evolved and become accessible around the world. It is now a must have especially when you're travelling because you'd want to share updates, pictures and experiences being abroad to your social circles.

at Korea for the first time! *excited*

my first wefie picture with friends

Why I Got The Pocket Wifi For Korea Trip

I ordered the Samurai Wifi a week before I fly. I got to know about it from a friend who told me how easy it was for her to be online without going through the %^&*@ hassle of looking for a sim card in a foreign country. I could relate to that because I remembered being scammed at Bangkok DM airport where I was sold a sim card that didn't work in the end. I had to travel to shops to ask what's going on until I stumble onto a mall and asked from the provider. Long story how that ended, I spent more money to fix what happened instead of saving.

In March, I travelled to Bangkok again and this time avoided the airport shops. Instead I went to the 7-11 to look for simcards to which they were all in Thai and I couldn't understand a word. Neither did the 7-11 workers know what I am talking about. About more than ten 7-11s stores, I gave up and decided to order Maxis's data roaming which costs me a freaking RM200 for 3 days 2 nights usage (long freaking story how a RM38 daily roaming upgrade turned into a RM200++ bill). The thought of going through that again makes me want to pull my hair out.

The stress, the time and the language barrier travelling to another country and wanting to stay connected can be difficult.

SO THIS TIME I SWEAR I'm going to try out the pocket wifi everyone's talking about. I ordered a pocket wifi from www.kl-samurai.com. There's a few countries available - Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Global (check for country here). A pocket wifi for Korea costs RM25 for device rental and data rates are based on how many days you're staying.

forget all the stress & hassle, just get a pocket wifi

this is the pocket wifi device
(rental RM25 for Korea)

rent it based on the days you need it
(delivery is free to office or pick up from airports / KL Sentral)

switch it on at the airport just like a portable modem

enjoy your trip with unlimited data at hand

my Korea updates XD I enjoy sharing & reading
comments by my friends when they see my pics!

So I rented it for 10days @ RM225 for my first trip to Korea and then for 4 Days @ RM75 for my second trip to Korea again. On both occasions, the device was delivered to me free of charge since I stayed in the Klang Valley. My device was easy to use, just switch it on by holding the button for 3secs and then connect to it via wifi on my phone. Find the device name and enter the password. It's unlimited data everyday and can share up to 10 devices. Very useful when you're travelling in a group or for work. The connection was fast and you need to charge it daily. I put it in my backpack and just bring it everywhere I go in Korea. I google for places to visit, maps, waze, and share photographs on Instagram and Facebook.

The Advantages of Using Samurai Pocket Wifi:
1. Convenient (switch on & connect, no sim card needed)
2. Battery lasts nearly 5 hours
3. Unlimited data
4. Share up to 10 devices (laptop, handphone, ipad, etc)
5. Free Delivery & Pick up of device(s)
6. Cheaper than using your own provider (e.g Maxis Daily Roaming)
7. Small,  lightweight, travel friendly, pocket size device
8. No deposit needed when renting
9. Fast - uses 4G LTE
10. Easy to use (no configuration needed!)

The costs of Maxis Daily Roaming is RM38 a day, but using Samurai Wifi I only paid RM18++ a day for a 4 days rental. For 10days, it costs RM22.50 a day. Just order it on the website and have it deliver to your office or pick up at the airport or KL Sentral. After coming back to Kuala Lumpur, I just arrange for a pick up at my home. They send GEDEX to pick up from me!. For more information about how to order, how to make payment, delivery and rates calculation click here.

Pick Up / Drop Off Stations:
1. KLIA Booth (24 hours daily)
You can pick up and drop at KLIA (KLIA2 soon to open)

2. FOC Delivery and Pick Up service
(Only applicable to office address during office hour. Time & Date will not be specified)

3. KL Sentral HQ
 Pick up or drop at their HQ at KL Sentral.

* Delivery is FREE OF CHARGE for Klang Valley address (All PJ and Selangor). For other states customer, if your sales amount achieved RM180 and above, Delivery to your doorstep is also FREE OF CHARGE. Check states covered here.

Korea Pocket Wifi specs:

Network Carrier: LG U+
Battery Life: 4.5 Hrs (Chargeable with own Power Bank)
Data: 4G LTE (Unlimited)
Speed: Download 75Mbps, Upload 25Mbps
Hotspot Sharing Up To TEN(10) Devices
Instant Establishment of Wifi Connection with Device
No Configuration Setting Needed
No SIM Change Needed
Portable Pocketed Size

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Cooking with Corelle's Rosabelle Collection

7.19.2015

cooked my first nasi lemak curry chicken

On top of my new single life #wishlist was to be able to cook again in a fully equipped kitchen which Arpita my dear Singaporean friend would say "every auntie's dream come true". You see, once you get married like her, you transformed into an "auntie" automatically. Every pot, every pan, every kitchen thingamajig becomes the very thing that makes your heart jump. Even more so when they come in complete sets to wow your unsuspecting guests during dinner.

P.S: If you're not married and is obsessed with kitchen stuffs, then you are a "pre-mature auntie-culation"

So when World Kitchen (American kitchenware) contacted me to have me review their products, I said "OH YES" like an auntie in heat. I know Corelle's line of products, my ex-colleague Zaninah gushes over Corelle's dinnerware like a school girl. Her favourite was to stalk Corelle & Corningware's sales to get collections inspired by floral motifs, which World Kitchen says it's a Malaysian favourite. I think she would be ecstatic to know that Corelle's celebrating it's 45th birthday now and a new floral motif collection called Rosabelle was introduced.

The Rosabelle collection, available in both dinnerware and cookware is adorned with beautiful soft Apricot Candy roses in pink petals and green leaves. The dinnerware is light-weight, chip-resistant, stain-free, durable, easy to clean and quaint. The same goes to the cookware, which is my absolute favourite, a classic Corningware casserole dish that's microwave, oven, stove and dishwasher safe. 

It's perfect for the single me, I can cook and serve in it. From the stove to the table to the fridge and the next day? out from the fridge onto the stove again with ease. Both dinnerware and cookware cleans easily much to my surprise! It's thanks to the durable and yet lightweight material Vitrelle® a remarkable three-layer sandwich of thermally laminated glass. Be it the conventional, convection or microwave ovens, you can pop it in to bake, cook, heat your asian or western creations away.

introducing the new Corelle collection - Rosabelle

something you didn't know about me - I was born into a family of cooks

the Corelle's Rosabelle collection saves spaces
(designed to snuggle on top one another with no space wastage)

the Corningware's Rosabelle put to the test
(my first curry chicken cooked in a Corningware)

preparation time 0.5 hours| cooking time 1.5 hours
serves 8 pax

the versatility of cooking with Corelle & Corningware

from the stove to the dining table - cook & serve!

serve on the beautiful Rosabelle dinnerware

As messy as my cooking (no pics will be shown to protect the sanity of readers), I find cleaning up after - washing the dinnerware - super easy! Like wiping a baby's butt. It was effortless, another brownie point from this single girl who would rather have everything made easy. Comparing them to my former Ikea plates, I give Corelle's dinnerware a A+ in my books.

The Corelle Rosabelle 16-piece set is priced at RM729 and the Corningware Rosabelle 6-piece Casserole Set (1L, 1.5L & 3L) is priced at RM629. Both are available in leading departmental stores such as AEON, Parkson, Isetan and Metrojaya. For more information and the advantages of using Corelle and Corningware products click here. They sometimes do giveaways and recipe sharing at their facebook page!.

THE SINGLE GIRL'S NASI LEMAK RECIPE

Rice:
- Jasmine Brown Rice
- Pandan Leaves (tie a bunch together)
- Indian red onions (chopped)
*prepare rice as usual in rice cooker, topped with Pandan leaves & the onions.

Sambal:
- Sambal
Udang (prawns deveined, peeled)
Fried Ikan Bilis (anchovies)
*stir-fry the prawns with a bit of oil, add ikan bilis and sambal and stir fried it all. Ready when prawns are cooked.

Garnishing:
Boiled Egg
Peanuts (kacang)
Fried onions
*boil eggs for 3 mins in boiling water. Get peanuts from market.

Curry Chicken:
Liza's Curry Chicken Mix (curry powder, onions, garlic)
1 kilo coconut milk (santan)
1 whole kampung chicken (chopped into small parts)
Potatoes (I used 8 potatoes & cut them into smaller pieces)
2 tomatoes (chopped into smaller pieces)
seasonings (salt / pepper/ etc up to you to throw in to better the taste).
*Please refer to my curry chicken recipe here on how to cook with pictures.


Click here to see pictures of my Pot Luck Dinner
I cooked Kimchi Fried Rice served on Corelle's Rosabelle Collection
(it includes a easy to do recipe)

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Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Review

7.13.2015

this is my 4th time here! still love this lil' heaven

Did you know there's this heavenly hotsprings retreat 2 hours away from Kuala Lumpur called The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat? Yes I'm not kidding and I have been to this sanctuary to escape my city life 4 times since I saw the advertisement in The Star Newspaper back in 2010. It is an ideal place to come to relax and switch off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A sanctuary that creates the stress free environment to forget about all of life's worries. If you need to get away from everything and treat yourself for a few days or a weekend then I recommend Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat as the perfect choice of destination for you. I felt as if I was in a little slice of paradise only a couple of hours from my doorstep - ask yourself how many other places do you know that can offer this?

A lil' bit introduction about Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat who recently won the TripAdvisor 2015 Traveller's Choice Award. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is nestled in a 16.19-acre valley, cradled by 260 million-year old towering Paleozoic limestone hills, verdant rainforest, rejuvenating geothermal hot springs, natural caves and cascading waterfalls. Your getaway to regain balance and rediscover your sense of true self, this unique hideaway is designed to luxuriate in, with therapeutic value in mind.

Housing 25 Garden and Water villas, a pampering Spa and Wellness Centre and a host of retreat experiences combined for ultimate seclusion and bliss. Restore what life takes from your body and soul as you dip into the Geothermal Hot Springs Dipping Pools, or stare and be overwhelmed by the near-vertical rock formations around the retreat. Perhaps take a relaxing stroll through the jungle to breathe in the sights of rarity. Otherwise, simply immerse in a state of enlightenment and inner peace in the Meditation Cave.

Interesting facts about The Banjaran:
  • Electric buggies as a mode of transport for guests
  • Use of geothermal hot springs water for private villa Jacuzzi, Geothermal Hot Springs Dipping Pools, Garra Rufa Doctor Fish Pool, swimming pool and manual irrigation system for the landscape
  • Recycled wood, deadwood and driftwood as decorative items
  • Local vegetation and fruit trees for the freshest servings of healthy delights
  • Locally-made natural skincare range used in spas (free from artificial perfume, colouring, preservatives or harmful chemicals)
  • Use of ceramic containers instead of plastic for personal care amenities
  • Eco-labelled printing paper and recycled paper
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is an exclusive haven who only welcome adults and guests above 12 years of age.


    me sounding the gong before entering, it's a tradition here

welcome to the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

the hotsprings amongst the lush limestone hills

the steam cave above the hotsprings
(natural hot steam to awaken your senses)

the geothermal hotsprings dipping pods

surrounded by aged old limestone hills

the swimming pool, the natural hotsprings

you can hear soothing music around the swimming pool

the perfect place to read a book & enjoy the scenery

I felt like I was a million miles away from home when I was relaxing in the tranquil isolated surroundings of the geothermal hot springs dipping pools and the meditation cave. Any aches or pains that my body had before seemed to disappear pretty quickly when I set foot in the jacuzzi-style dipping pools and I felt my mind feeling a little lighter and carefree when I entered the meditation cave. As you can see from my pictures, the view from within the meditation cave when it is all lit up is truly breathtaking - I'm sure you guys will all agree that it wouldn't be hard to get motivated to meditate or participate in a yoga class in such a dramatic and inspirational environment, right?  

If you feel a little energetic you can go for a 30 min jungle walk through the forests of the lost world of Tambun where you can find flora and fauna, waterfalls and mysterious caves...sounds adventurous and exciting right? For all the gym rats out there don't worry there is a modern design fitness centre with a full range of quality fitness and training equipment to work off all the delicious tasty healthy food on offer at the retreat's all day restaurant, Pomelo. If you are brave and daring enough like me to plunge into the freezing ice bath, you will be rewarded with increased circulation throughout your body and a reduction in blood pressure. Overlooking the crystal clear geothermal hot springs water, lies the Thermal steam cave (Steam Cave Spa), which has a soothing, relaxing and detoxifying natural sauna.

A lover of rocks and caves? Go on a cave exploration in Banjaran as you discover the many years of beauty inside and out of these wonderful mysterious secrets of the Tambun. I would recommend taking a stroll down Jeff's Cellar with a glass of wine in your hands. Enjoy the amphitheater music surrounding the cave, echoing throughout every inch of the magnificent curvatures of one of the treasures of Tambun.

So, as you can see, there are so many health benefits in choosing to stay at Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. The facilities are awesome you want for nothing because every one of your needs are taken care of. I felt like a VIP with the way the staff and managers treated me during my stay I can't speak highly enough of the friendly, professional and courteous service. They made me feel like I was in a home away from home.


10 THINGS TO DO IN BANJARAN


1. GEOTHERMAL HOT SPRINGS DIPPING POOLS
Relieve stressed muscles and tired joints. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the natural Jacuzzi-style dipping pools containing fresh hot water from the three million litres that billows up daily from the ground below.
2. THERMAL STEAM CAVE (Steam Cave Spa)
Seek solace in this cave with a platform overlooking a body of crystal clear geothermal hot springs water. Indulge in its natural sauna for a restorative therapy to soothe, relax and detoxify.

3. ICE BATH (Ice Bath Spa Treatment)
Elevate your state of health by plunging into the freezing ice bath which helps improve blood circulation, reduce blood pressure and strengthen the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.

4. MEDITATION CAVE
With calming temperatures and the absence of external sounds and interruptions, focus your mind in silence for complete relaxation and contemplation in the natural granite and limestone Meditation Cave.

5. CRYSTAL CAVE
Restore and balance your natural life force energy in a crystal cave with amethyst and quartz crystals that facilitate metaphysical healing. This cave is perfect for a session of Reiki.

6. GARRA RUFA DOCTOR FISH POOL
Dip your legs and feel the tingling yet relaxing sensation of exotic Garra Rufa fish. This therapy is a natural form of exfoliation and relaxation, eliminating dead skin cells and rejuvenating the skin.
 Explore Malaysia Jungle Walk

7. JUNGLE WALK
Explore and appreciate unique flora and fauna, cascading waterfalls and mysterious caves as you embark on a leisurely half-hour jungle-trek through the deep limestone hill forest of the Lost World of Tambun.

8. FITNESS CENTRE
Spacious with a relaxed atmosphere, you will enjoy a satisfying workout in the modern fitness centre which accommodates the latest movements with a full range of quality fitness and training machines.
 The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat Facilities Malaysia

9. FREEFORM SWIMMING POOL
Created over the natural hot springs bed, the outdoor mineral-rich geothermal-heated swimming pool invites you to simply relax in its healing waters, or swim up to the pool bar to sip on refreshing beverages.

10. SPA & WELLNESS
Restore life and soul into your exhausted self with a choice of over 40 Asian holistic treatments and therapies offered for the full relaxation of the body and rejuvenation of the mind.

my Garden Villa *screams*


the plunging pool is a sight to behold

could just laze around whole day relaxing next to my pool

the hot tub with hotspring water at the backyard

his & hers wash basins
(you know you're in heaven when you have your own basins)

the beautifully crafted fan, reminds me of Bali

luxury comfort for a good night's sleep

    study desk overlooking the garden



everything put into place, perfect pieces of the surroundings

There are 2 types of villa - Garden (set within secluded tropical gardens overlooking the lush rainforest) and Water villas (which rest on the banks of a water canal and feature an indoor plunge pool). I stayed in one of the Garden villas which was very spacious and came with a luxurious master suite equipped with a 40" LCD TV that included a 7' king sized bed for an extra comfy good nights sleep. There is also free WI-FI throughout the villa and the added bonus of a private butler service. I particularly liked the layout of the villa which included an outdoor terrace with a plunge pool and a natural geothermal hot springs water filled Jacuzzi all to myself.

taking a stroll along the river banks

admiring the beautiful flora around the retreat

calm serenity, perfect weather, lush grenery

     a great place for photography

    the water villas at the river bank


the all-day organic restaurant, Pomelo

                                           has outdoor verandas above the river bank

truly romantic at night for a candle light dinner

the indoor dining area, fresh air, plenty of sunlight

carefully put together menu by Chef Felix Eppisser (Culinary Director)

upon being seated, you're presented with cool towels, cold drinks
and hearty freshly baked organic bread

Udang Galah Panggang Kuah Percik RM60
(grilled local fresh water lobster, sweet & spicy
coconut cream, seasonal vegetables)

served with steam fragrant rice

The Banjaran Treasure Garden Salad RM28
(with chef's choice dressing)

Prawn with Kaffir Lime & Green Mango RM32
(green mango salad, carrot strips, chilli, ginger, lime)

Warm Chocolate Fondant
with mix berries & white coffee ice-cream

Pomelo Dessert RM28
(caramelised lemon parfait with pomelo & kaffir lime leaves)

This is the retreat's all-day health restaurant "Pomelo", named after Ipoh's famous fruit - Pomelo. The restaurant's menu is creatively crafted by Culinary Director Felix Eppisser whom I personally had the pleasure of meeting during my stay at Banjaran. He introduces a colourful palette of inventive dishes avoiding the typical classic tastes with a combination of senses that awakens your tongue. I was pleasantly surprise by the use of fruits, flowers from Banjaran in his dishes. His cooking style is inspired by Malaysia, South-East-Asia with a touch of European cooking.


waterfall yoga in Banjaran


nature trail around Banjaran


the Meditation Cave
(daily yoga sessions available upon request)

Banjaran is essentially a health & wellness retreat


sundown in Banjaran


serenity sets and the beauty of the night emerges

Dinner at The Pomelo, 3-course meal RM120

Amuse-Bouche

Tuna Carparccio
(honey and lime dressing, mandarin, capers berry & micro green)

Angus beef with truffelsauce
(Mashed potatoes & vegetables from Cameron Highlands)

Pomelo Dessert
(caramelised lemon parfait with pomelo & kaffir lime leaves)

Warm Chocolate Fondant
with mix berries & white coffee ice-cream

Friandises & mignardises

Having been to Banjaran in the past, I was surprised to the new change in menu, it's food presentation and creative use of ingredients in its dishes. The introduction of Amuse-bouche and Friandises & mignardises into it's dining menu, was exciting. Amuse-bouche "mouth amuser" is a single, bite size hors d'oeuvre created by the chef and cannot be found in the menu. It is often accompanied by or to compliment wine, offering guests a glimpse of the chef's approach to the art of cuisine.

I particularly love the dessert creations at Pomelo. They were fun, interesting and deliciously refreshing. The warm chocolate fondant was my favourite, with oozing chocolate from the core and homemade Ipoh white coffee ice-cream. The combination of bitter, sweet and a taste of Ipoh made this dessert sinfully captivating. Just when I thought my dinner course was over, the waiter presented one dish, called the Friandises and Mignardises. Mignardises are small sweet meats / savouries accompanying coffee after a meal while Friandises are large bites of sweets. Definitely a perfect end to my dinner. I adjourned to Jeff's Cellar to admire the splendid wonder of Tambun before going back to my villa.


Jeff's Cellar

 
     dawn in Banjaran

daily breakfast buffet at Pomelo





a hearty breakfast in the morning in Banjaran

The epitome of a luxury private getaway can be said of the Banjaran. It's one of the lil' pleasures in life I partake in every year just to indulge myself. I tell my friends, once you go into Banjaran, you'll never come out. With so many relaxing health and wellness activities and if you're interested in wellness programs cater to your long stay you can find it on www.thebanjaran.com. I'll update my review on the Balinese massage at their Spa & Wellness centre. My first few visits here left me with lil impression of their massages but this trip, changed it all. Impressed by the change, I'll update my review soon here again.

Kudos to the Culinary Director Felix Eppisser and his partner in crime, wife and also the Director of Banjaran Luccia Eppiser for this remarkable lift of the Banjaran. I have the pleasure of meeting the power couple during dinner and have shared to them  about my thoughts on Banjaran from my first visit in 2011 and recently now. I hope to see Banjaran win yet another award for being the best health and wellness getaway in Malaysia.

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
1 Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3,
31500 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
contact: +6 05 210 7777

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