If you’ve never been so relaxed you don’t even know what time of day it is, you’ve obviously never been to Tioman Island off Malaysia’s south-east coast. Currently one of the few places unaffected by the monsoons that make the rest of South East Asia pretty miserable at this time of year, there’s still time to head over and enjoy the island’s unpretentious and intimate vibe before the rainy season starts in November – and even then, the resort’s location on the south-west corner of the island means it’s largely sheltered from the inclement weather.
JapaMala is a rustic beauty whose name is derived from the prayer beads used in mantra meditation. And it’s wonderfully apt – imagine near perfect solitude on a picture perfect castaway section of the island. Thriving with plants and animals, traditional Malay-kampung villas and chalets sit in secluded peace among 11 acres of lush tropical jungle and beach.
Mountain streams and waterfalls, white beaches, blue ocean and corals of all shapes and colours sustain an array of protected birds, mammals and sea creatures. The accommodation is a little basic, but we like to think of it as having an unpretentious charm. And with all that beauty outside your room, why would you choose to stay indoors anyway?
The resort is renowned for its warm hospitality and can only host 24 guests at a time, ensuring you enjoy unobtrusive but attentive service. Little treats provided include complimentary Asian snacks at sunset, a choice of aromatherapy aromatic turndown at dusk and for those on a lovers getaway, a private wine and dine can be set up any place that takes your fancy for a night of amour.
JapaMala is great for those who want to rest and feel rejuvenated in unpretentious and comfortable surroundings. The stunning views and invigorating colours, yummy food and friendly service will definitely boost your spirit. Make sure to stay here three or four days for maximum R&R.
Sea cliff chalets from MYR 890 (approximately HKD 2,200) based on two people sharing including breakfast in the high season (now until end of October) and MYR 480 (HKD 1,200) in the low season (November – January).
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