While it’s not a subject that you’d bring up on a night out with the girls or on a first date, the talk around peace and World Peace Day itself should be brought to light. Honestly, the subject is daunting and, for some, pretty exhausting to talk and think about. After the year (two years, really) we’ve had, most of us are grateful if we get to wake up in the morning and go to work or to have a job at all.
This is why the concept of having peace of mind is more important now than ever. Peace comes with nurturing our minds, challenging our fears and prejudices, realigning our values, and holding ourselves accountable to living them out. And that takes time. This World Peace Day, we encourage you to take the time to work on regaining your peace. To that end, here are a few of Malaysia’s most peaceful and sustainable destinations that might help you get started on your journey to serenity.
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
Built around a natural geothermal hot spring and surrounded by 260 million-year-old limestone caves, this resort and wellness spa was made for those looking for the ultimate relaxation experience. Immerse yourself in some luxurious TLC services provided by the friendly staff, and melt all your worries away as you get lost in the beauty and wonder of this destination that displays nature at its best.
The best-kept secret by a Penang-ite is this private retreat surrounded by trees, nestled on the hills of sunny Penang. What started as a family vacation estate is now a staycation destination for many. Whether you choose to stay at their Foothill homes that are made to accommodate large groups of people, or the Hilltop Barns that offer more secluded accommodations in traditional rice barns, Malihom is the perfect choice for anyone looking to slow down for a few days.
Nature lovers will be impressed with knowing the water you bathe, swim in, and drink from is all sourced from the natural spring situated near the site.
Happi Village, Janda Baik
This recent build considers gorgeous architecture, simple ways of relaxations, and thoughtfulness in its environmental impact. And just a short drive from Kuala Lumpur will lead you to this private resort.
You won’t have to leave the property to nip out for food because they offer farm-to-table style dining — fuss-free meals that will keep you at ease for the entirety of your stay. This hidden gem is worth boasting about to those in need of a peaceful little escape.
Bunga Raya Island Resort, Sabah
Spend a few nights on Gaya Island at this resort up on the hillsides of Polish Bay. This award-winning destination has traditional Bornean villas that overlook white sandy beaches and crystal clear seas. Reconnect with nature as you’re surrounded by some of the most treasured Malaysian wildlife and plant species. It’s a great way to get out of your own head and fall back in love with the simple things in life.
Spring Garden, Kundasang
If you like a room with a view, book a couple nights at this bucket list destination and be greeted by an unobstructed view of Mount Kinabalu while still in bed. There isn’t much that compares to an experience like that.
The property is surrounded by vast green fields, plenty of open space, and various flora species. Suffice to say, it’s a choice destination for escaping the daily grind to rejuvenate your mind and body. This private cabin accommodates up to four guests.
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Located in Santubong, Kuching, this tube-style resort is perfect for those looking for a peaceful getaway on a budget. Whether you’re looking for an adventure, a romantic escape, or just a few days off from your everyday life, this is the place to go. The Culvert tucks you away in the cool temperatures of the forest tropics and comforts you with soothing sounds of the rainforest — a mini sanctuary for those in need of rest.
Batu Batu, Johor
This tourist honeypot is described on their website as, “An unspoilt island retreat with an ecological ethos and conviction that tourism can support biodiversity and local communities.” Now, this is the kind of tourism we can all get on board with!
You can find the resort on the uninhabited island of Pulau Tengah, part of the Johor Marine Park. With its rich history and the staff’s devotion to creating an experience that is both unique and informative, you can expect to come home with a fresh take on life and the possibility of a better world ahead.
Who says you can’t get serenity in the city? At Alila Bangsar, you’ll get that and then some! You can start your getaway in the city by opting to jump on an LRT instead of a motor vehicle. This property promotes sustainability through its practices.
For example, during off-peak hours, the operation of lifts is reduced. Alila Bangsar also opts for recyclable glass bottles instead of single-use plastic ones, while their swimming pool uses natural chlorine produced from salt. Need we go on?
Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
A personal favourite, Shangri-La Rasa Sayang earned the honour of being the ‘Best Sustainable Hotel in Malaysia’ years ago, but its Green Committee was founded way before that. Since then, they’ve made small, but consistent practices promoting sustainability. From bio-degradable, starch-based toiletries to beach clean-ups and even turtle conservation activities, this tropical retreat is as sublime as it is purposeful.
Temple Tree Resort Langkawi
Looking for an escape from the bustle with a touch of heritage beauty? Temple Tree Resort on sunny Langkawi is one of the best choices you can make to do just that. Boasting colourful character, gorgeous grounds, and plenty of history, this resort has travellers flocking from all over the country.
Surrounded by the lush greenery of Langkawi’s forest, Temple Tree Resort offers the kind of serene quietness rarely found. Clock in some serious relaxation time by lounging by the pool or taking a stroll on the beach.
History provides us with undeniable evidence that we can bring about meaningful change in the world when there is an unrelenting commitment to the value of love, peace, and oneness. As we transition into a new season of life, let us remember that though it may be good to survive the rough climates in life, it is even better to thrive. And if you can do so, in the words of Maya Angelou, do it with, “some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.”
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 17 November 2021 and has been updated to include more locations.