Re­ju­ve­nat­ing re­treats

The Asean re­gion is pep­pered with places to en­joy pure, bliss­ful re­lax­ation.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRAVEL -

A HOL­I­DAY is an op­por­tu­nity to kick back, re­lax and shoot the breeze. This could mean veg­e­tat­ing in your room and get­ting pam­pered. Or per­haps ly­ing on the beach watch­ing the sun­set or read­ing a good book.

Re­lax­ation comes in many forms. Here’s a look at some tran­quil es­capades.

There is per­haps nowhere bet­ter for a weary soul to rest than on the beau­ti­ful is­land of Bali. With its sun- soaked beaches, sa­cred sites and ma­jes­tic moun­tains, its land­scape is a feast for the eyes and the per­fect place to re- en­er­gise the soul.

Bali is also a fan­tas­tic desti­na­tion for a yoga re­treat. You can re­lax mind and body to the sooth­ing sound of ocean waves along the coast. Candi Dasa, on the east coast, is one such place. Guests can have their re­treat at Ashram Gandhi Chandi, which houses sim­ple guest cot­tages and of­fers daily yoga work­shops.

In the peace­ful vil­lage of Canggu on the south coast, guests at Desa Seni can stay at a beau­ti­ful lux­ury ho­tel, con­verted from tra­di­tional wooden homes, while at­tend­ing daily yoga classes to feed their soul.

Those who wish to es­cape deeper into the heart of this beau­ti­ful is­land will feel at home in the cen­tral prov­ince of Ubud. Here, amidst the moun­tains and lush green padi fields, the jour­ney to­wards tran­quil­lity can be found at lo­ca­tions such as The Yoga Barn, In­tu­itive Flow and the smaller and more in­ti­mate Taksu Yoga.

The Bali Spirit Fes­ti­val – an an­nual fes­ti­val of dance, mu­sic and yoga – seeks to nour­ish minds and souls. Check out the hap­pen­ings at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Ubud from March 29 to April 3.

In­done­sia is blessed with abun­dant hot springs fed nat­u­rally by the geo­ther­mal ac­tiv­ity found through­out the coun­try. Mount Batur, also in Ubud prov­ince, hosts sev­eral such lo­ca­tions. Why not re­lax with the whole fam­ily, and en­joy the sa­cred hot springs at Ban­jar, Singaraja, north­ern Bali.

If your idea of re­lax­ation is some­thing more pri­vate, then a per­sonal re­treat might be the choice for you. Malaysia is home to lush jun­gles, awe­some moun­tains and beau­ti­ful golden beaches. Re­treat to any of those to es­cape the hus­tle and bus­tle of daily life.

Just an hour from Kuala Lumpur, nes­tled in the green­ery of Jelebu in Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan is the pri­vate re­treat of Awan­mu­lan.

Al­ter­na­tively, why not take in some stun­ning, sweep­ing views of Pe­nang from the Mal­i­hom Pri­vate Es­tate. The lux­u­ri­ous hill­top re­treat near Ba­lik Pu­lau, on the south­west of the is­land, is also con­ve­niently lo­cated for a trip to the calm­ing wa­ters of Titi Ker­awang Wa­ter­fall.

Then there’s Terra’s Tree House, in Cameron High­lands. This charm­ing es­cape of­fers a more ba­sic re­treat, re­mov­ing guests far from the mod­ern world and putting them in touch with na­ture.

Try­ing to de­cide on the best re­treat can be a tir­ing af­fair. You can soak in an in­vig­o­rat­ing hot spring to warm your body and soul. Ban­jaran Hot­springs Re­treat is a well­ness and spa cen­tre near Ipoh, Perak. With a range of re­lax­ation treat­ments be­side the hot springs, you’re sure to find some­thing to suit you.

Mud brings a whole new di­men­sion to tran­quil­lity. At Pun­ing Hot Spring, at the base of Mount Pi­natubo, near An­ge­les City in the Philip­pines, vis­i­tors can en­joy get­ting a lit­tle dirty, with a cleans­ing mud and hot sand treat­ment. One might feel a bit claus­tro­pho­bic, though!

If you want to dive deeper into the tran­quil­lity of re­lax­ing mud treat­ments, head on to I- Re­sort, Thap Ba Hot Springs or any of the hot spring re­sorts of Nha Trang, Viet­nam. The warm wa­ter pools can get crowded on week­ends as vis­i­tors vie for the hot mud baths that can be so very re­lax­ing.

this ar­ti­cle is cour­tesy of GOASEAN, the first multi- plat­form chan­nel on all things Asean. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www. goasean. com, Astro chan­nel 737 and theS­tartV. com.

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