I am on the final day of my trip, on a cruise in Langkawi, watching the setting sun paint the sky in different hues—there’s the familiar golden orange and an astonishing blue, a colour that one doesn’t usually associate with sunsets. As I soak up the dreamy concoction of the gorgeous dusk, delectable food, and Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca, I realise my camaraderie with this magical land is a few hours from its culmination. And I invariably find myself looking back at my time in Malaysia.
It began in the city of towering skyscrapers: Kuala Lumpur. Any itinerary of the bustling capital city is incomplete without a visit to Batu Caves. A limestone hill in Selangor, this iconic tourist attraction has three main caves featuring temples and Hindu shrines. My fellow travellers and I scan the majestic statue of Lord Murugan that stands tall at the entrance and exchange surprised glances. An imposing facade embellished with statues of Hindu deities, against the picturesque backdrop of a limestone mountain, makes Batu Caves look like they’re right out of a postcard. A set of 272 rainbow-coloured steps, next to the Murugan statue, take you to the Sri Velayuthar Temple on top, where a similar facade, though humbler in size, greets you. Even if you’re not spiritual, the view of the cityscape from the temple is worth the climb. If you’re a vegetarian navigating Malaysia, you must grab a dosa at one of the many food stalls in the temple complex; vegetarian fare is not easy to find in the country. There are also many stalls selling coconut water, if you want to recharge after the climb.
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OVER HILL, OVER DALE
The wild, windswept landscapes and industrial-age towns of Yorkshire, in northeastern England, might seem like an unlikely setting for a cultural and culinary groundswell. But in fact, as JOSHUA LEVINE finds, this has always been a place that fosters proudly unexpected points of view.
THE KING AND I
Luxury realtor SUSH CLAYS takes us to a royal wedding in the Noor Mahal Palace, home to the nawab of Rampur. Nawab Kazim Ali Khan tells the tale of the dynasty, its magnificent Raza Library, and years of progressive thinking that expanded the region and its many enterprises.
RAISING THE BAR
Cognac, the corner of southwestern France best known for its brandy, has long held fast to tradition. But as young chefs, winegrowers, and distillers shake up the status quo, the region is learning to embrace innovation—without losing its old-fashioned spirit.
STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE
From an Instagram star who leads photo tours of secret spots to a herbalist who shows visitors how to cook what they forage, enterprising Bermudians are giving travellers an insider’s perspective of the island’s dynamic culture.
IN THE CITY OF SAINTS
On a journey to Ethiopia, SARAH KHAN wanders the ancient alleyways of Harar and finds a new link to her faith—one that makes even the most far-flung place feel familiar.
The Intelligent Traveller
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FROM THE ROYAL COOKBOOK
Rewa in Madhya Pradesh used to be a hunting ground for maharajas, but few were privy to its recipes involving game meat. As the royal cuisine adapts to the times, GEETIKA SACHDEV samples its flavourful offerings.
OLD STITCH, NEW THREAD
The cover girls of this issue are wearing a wonderful fusion of tradition and modernity, thanks to a vibrant collection from Raw Mango. AINDRILA MITRA speaks to the brand’s founder and textile designer, Sanjay Garg, about the collection, sustainable fashion, and measured innovation within traditional textile practices.
EXCLUSIVELY YOURS, SANTORINI
A couple travels to the famous Greek island in winter to find it completely bereft of tourists, an unlikely but ideal scenario for a honeymoon.
SPREADING HER WINGS
YOUTUBE, NETFLIX, AND THE BIG SCREEN—ACTOR MITHILA PALKAR HAS SHONE ON EVERY PLATFORM SHE HAS EXPLORED IN HER SHORT ACTING CAREER SO FAR. WHILE MOST ATTRIBUTE HER SUCCESS TO A GIRL NEXT-DOOR DEMEANOUR, WE SEE A VERSATILE ARTIST JUST STARTING TO UNLEASH HER FULL POTENTIAL.
UNPLUG ‘N' RECHARGE
Now more than ever, we have to take as much care of our mental health as our physical health. We’ve scoured the country to find the best wellness retreats for you to reenergise, be it meditation or simply to unwind in a serene (and new normal) setting.
Revisiting The Andaman Sea
Looking ahead to the traditional peak charter season in the Andaman Sea, Yacht Style revisits popular cruising options from Langkawi in northern Malaysia up through Thailand’s iconic hot spots and onto Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago, for those keen to cruise in true isolation.
Mangrove Forests of Langkawi, Malaysia
Langkawi, one of Malaysia’s most popular destinations, is a beautiful archipelago consisting of 99 islands, situated about 30 km off the coast of Northern Malaysia.
Jen Macapagal age 32 occupation programme manager at Alpha Development