And just like that, we find ourselves almost halfway through the year, which probably means you’re starting to itch for a vacation. Though we’ve had sprinkles of long weekends here and there in the first half of the year, the mid-year period calls for a break from the busyness of life.

We’ve got a delicious list of places to lodge and frolic, and its local eats that will woo your bae — whether they be your soulmate or your best mate!


We’re kicking it off with a place known for crystal clear blue waters and its white sandy beaches. Tanjung Rhu is one of Langkawi Island’s most beautiful beaches. High-end properties and luxury hotels keep most of the beach private and secluded, making it perfect for a quiet and relaxing getaway for two.

Where To Stay

Chic Cottage, Tanjung Rhu

Chic Cottage, Tanjung Rhu
Image from Airbnb.

An Airbnb rental facing the forest reserve hill of Gunung Raya, this cosy cottage houses two guests — perfect for an intimate time away. Friday night markets and small cafes around the area serve both local and western food.

Address: Exact location provided upon booking

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Tanjung Rhu Resort

A 5-star resort next to the Kilim Geoforest Park. The beach in front of the property is exclusive to guests and is surrounded by the best of nature all year round.

Address: Mukim Ayer Hangat 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +6016 609 1033

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Where To Eat

A short drive from the resort and cottage will lead you to Scarborough Fish & Chips, a popular beach cafe amongst tourists and locals alike. If you’re looking for local flavours, Pia’s The Padi will be your choice.

Scarborough Fish & Chips

Address: Lot 1388, Jalan Tanjung Rhu, Mukim Air Hangat, 07100 Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +604 959 4667

Pia’s The Padi

Address: Jalan Ulu Melaka, Kampung Padang Gaong, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +6012 493 3713

What To Do

Go Paddle Boarding with H2Ocean

Stand up paddleboard (SUP) or kayak around the beautiful limestone caves and mangroves of Tanjung Rhu on a guided tour. You can make your booking online here.

Address: Jalan Tanjung Rhu, Padang Lalang, 07000 Ayer Hangat, Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +6017 403 7193

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Book the Raja And Ratu Spa Treatment at The Four Seasons

This spa treatment at The Four Seasons will have you feeling like royalty. Rest, relax and reconnect with your partner in a session that will have you falling in love all over again.

Address: Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +604 950 8888

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Next on our list is Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage coastal state rich in history, vibrant culture, and delicious food. It is a hub for tourists and locals alike, and though locals don’t enjoy the crowds, they can’t help but keep returning for everything this place has to offer.

Where To Stay

Rosa Malacca

Industrial-chic interiors are still in style, and this boutique hotel proves it. Polished concrete and wooden floors make up 60 guest rooms that are comfortably large and reminiscent of New York-style lofts.

Address: 212 Jalan Parameswara 75000 Melaka City, Melaka
Contact: +606 281 9888

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The Majestic Malacca

History, architecture, and lifestyle are brilliantly displayed in this 1920 Straits Settlement mansion that has been restored while maintaining the building’s original porcelain tiled floors and teak wood fittings. The hotel is now one of the finest accommodations in Melaka.

Address: 188, Jalan Bunga Raya, 75100 Melaka City, Melaka
Contact: +606 289 8000

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Where To Eat

For a quintessentially Melakan experience, stop by the Cottage Spices Nyonya Restaurant to taste Peranakan cuisine. If you prefer grazing, Makan Avenue is an open bazaar with 20 different stalls to choose from.

Cottage Spices Nyonya Restaurant

Address: 171, Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka
Contact: +6019 667 9797

Makan Avenue

Address: 26, Jalan Kampung Hulu, 75200 Melaka
Contact: +6017 202 5848

What To Do

Take a clay making workshop at The Clay House

Try your hand at clay making in this quaint workshop near Jonker Street. Get your hands dirty and make something pretty!

Address: 18, Jalan Tukang Emas, 75200 Melaka
Contact: +606 292 6916

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Get tickets to a show at Encore Theatre or visit the stunning architecture

A trip to the Encore Theatre will leave you delighted. A stunningly built performing arts theatre facing the ocean is Melaka’s crown jewel and worth visiting. Stay till the sun goes down, as this building’s exterior, a fluid-structure, turns into a display of art with LED panels lighting up the top of the building to appear as water.

Address: Impression City, No 3, Jalan KSB – Impression 8, Kota Syahbandar, 75200 Melaka
Contact: +606-270 7777

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If Johor hasn’t been on your radar, we suggest giving this coastal town a go. Facing the South China Sea and home to many of Malaysia’s luxury resorts, Desaru Coast is both beautiful and a choice alternative to many other Malaysian seaside holiday destinations. It’s situated in the small town of Bandar Penawar and is a perfect hideaway for peace and quiet.

Where To Stay

Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas

The Anantara is all about celebrating Southeast Asian hospitality in the finest ways. From the design of the rooms to the impeccable service and hospitality of this place, it was made with a luxury retreat in mind.

Address: Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor
Contact: +607 828 0888

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One & Only Desaru Coast

Expect to feel extremely spoiled at this beachfront property. Good food, exemplary service, and a world-class wellness spa will have you dreaming about your next trip back.

Address: Persiaran Damai, Desaru Coast Bandar Penawar, 81930 Darul Ta’zim, Johor
Contact: +607 878 3400

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Where To Eat

Desaru Coast Riverside is a waterfront retail and lifestyle outlet, home to retail outlets, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a perfect midday jaunt if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat. Alternatively, the resorts offer several restaurants and bars to dine at.

Desaru Coast Riverside

Address: No 10 & 12, Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Darul Ta’zim, Johor
Contact: +603 2203 9696

What To Do

Spend an afternoon golfing at The ELS Club

A perfectly manicured golf course along the Desaru Coast, The ELS Club is a stunning course. It comprises three nine-hole courses – Ocean, Ridge, and Lake, with each playing to a Par 36.

Address: 4 Jalan Danau, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor
Contact: +607 878 0000

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Book a spa treatment with Chenot Spa

One & Only’s Chenot Spa is a wellness spa made of nine treatments, a relaxation pavilion, and a cold plunge pool. Contact the resort for more details on their three-day Chenot Relax Programme or the three-day Chenot Fitness Programme to decide which suits you best.

Address: Persiaran Damai, Desaru Coast Bandar Penawar, 81930 Darul Ta’zim, Johor
Contact: +607 878 3400

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Capital to the state of Penang and home to colonial buildings, street art, and some of the best street food in the country, George Town is a diverse city with plenty to explore.

Where To Stay

Macalister Mansion

The Macalister Mansion is a picture-perfect boutique hotel consisting of eight roomy suites, each equipped with a living room, free-standing tub, and a minibar – and that’s just the start.

Address: 228 Jalan Macalister 10400 George Town, Penang
Contact: +604 228 3888

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You Le Yuen

For a unique lodging experience, stay at You Le Yuen. This bed and breakfast is built in an old two-storey pre-war shophouse. Everything from the interior design to the food here is a true ode to Penang’s vibrant heritage.

Address: 7, Love Lane, George Town 10200, Penang
Contact: +6012 433 3019

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Where To Eat

A haven of good food, there’s no corner of George Town where you won’t find a good plate of food. For delicious and affordable dim sum, head to Fu Er Dai. Drinks and cocktails call for a night at Backdoor Bodega, an award-winning speakeasy serving up some of the best-handcrafted mixes in town. Make reservations here.

Fu Er Dai Dim Sum

Address: 7, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 George Town, Penang
Contact: +604 251 9289

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Backdoor Bodega

Address: 37, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Penang

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What To Do

Book a bike tour with Matahari Cycle Tours

There’s no better way to see the island than by bike. Book a tour in the countryside of Balik Pulau or opt for a heritage tour right in George Town.

Address: 3000D, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Century Garden, 11700 Gelugor, Penang
Contact: +6019 448 0440

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Learn to cook Penang Cuisine at Pearly Kee’s Cooking School

What’s better than learning to cook good food with your better half? Especially when you’re being taught by an expert in their craft, Pearly Kee. She’ll teach you how to prepare and cook authentic Penang cuisine.

Address: 85 Taman Berjaya, Pulau Tikus, 10350 Penang
Contact: +6016 437 4380

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