WITH restrictions being eased in May as the nation enters the endemic phase of Covid-19, excitement levels among Malaysians is bound to reach peak levels, as we are finally able to plan for and enjoy our long-awaited vacations — whether individually, or with family and friends.
As such, there is no better time than the present to once again dust off our travel planners and our luggage bags, as we prepare ourselves for the adventure of travel.
It has certainly been a lengthy period where we have been forced to stay home as much as possible, all the while practising the necessary Covid-19 standard operating procedures to keep not only ourselves, but also our loved ones, safe.
This is not to mention the fact that for those with children, the school holidays are almost upon us.
But where to plan a trip? Therein lies the dilemma. While international locations may be undeniably attractive, there are still many uncertainties and changes when it comes to the various different regulations and procedures implemented by different countries to combat the spread of Covid-19.
To do away with that worry, why not travel locally and enjoy Cuti-Cuti Malaysia?
After all, for most people, movement restrictions may have led to even the most familiar places to us appearing new and changed.
Adding to that, even though the economy is increasingly opening up, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) — especially those in the retail, services, hospitality and tourism sectors, among others — are still struggling to survive.
With all the available options out there, Malaysians are spoilt for choice, but to help with that, #JomSapot BeliLokal initiative aims to support local brands to help them to reach a wider market and grow their businesses.
RHB’s #JomSapot platform features great deals from local merchants, be it a classic day out at the movies at GSC Cinemas, taking pleasure in watching the latest cinematic marvels on the big screen, complete with popcorn and soft drinks, or even going for a more adventurous slant.
Malaysia's first and only ski and snowboard training centre First Traxx, for example, offers a quick respite for those dreaming of wintry holidays and snowsports. Its facility provides the opportunity to enjoy the snowsports experience without leaving our shores, for a fun, healthy and great way to spend time together with family or friends.
Holidaymakers looking to take longer trips, however, would need to seek a “base of operations” of sorts, where we can stay in, while exploring attractions and seeing the sights in various states across the nation.
Here are some recommendations on which locations to consider:
> Selangor: Enjoy a staycation with the warmth of Malaysian hospitality in the heart of Shah Alam at Mardhiyyah Hotel & Suites, which is just minutes away from the city’s tourist attractions, main shopping malls and popular parks — such as the Blue Mosque, the i-City Theme Park and the Wet Water Work Park, as well as the Shah Alam National Botanical Park.
> Putrajaya: For a slightly different experience, discover the hidden treasures within Malaysia’s administrative and judicial capital. Not only does it boast a number of beautiful gardens such as the impressive Putrajaya Botanical Garden, it is also home to wildlife sanctuary Putrajaya Wetlands Park and the rose-tinted Putra Mosque. To experience Putrajaya, try the upscale The Zenith Hotel, which is just off Putrajaya Lake.
> Pahang: An ideal spot from which to explore Kuantan, Mega View Hotel offers travellers easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. For those who want to venture out, Mahkota Square, Laman Teruntum, Kuantan Parade are just some of the attractions available to visitors.
> Penang: A famous tourist destination, Penang needs no introduction. Kick back at the 1st steel high-rise building on Penang Island, the M Summit 191 Executive Hotel Suites in Georgetown, which offers sweeping views of George Town’s bustling cityscape, after a hectic day visiting the sights and sounds of the food and travel haven.
> Johor: For a relaxing retreat, check out the Pulai Springs Resort. A recreational resort nestled amongst glorious Malaysian flora and fauna, it is located at the foothills of Mount Pulai in Johor. Staying there also offers access to fantastic dining options such as the multi award-winning Qing Palace Chinese restaurant famed for its authentic Szechuan cuisine and the Cinta Terrace Restaurant that serves delightful breakfast and lunch.
> Sabah: Looking for the right combination of shopping, visiting the beach and enjoying local culture? Then check-in to the Klagan Regency for direct access to 1Borneo Hypermall, which houses a selection of over 300 shopping, leisure and dining outlets. Amongst the most popular attractions to visit include a breathtaking view of Kota Kinabalu during sunset on the Kokol Hill Elf, the Monsopiad Heritage Village, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and Tanjung Aru Beach.
> Sarawak: Dive further into the biodiverse beauty of nature in Sarawak with the Roxy Hotel or Cove 55. An ecotourism champion in Sarawak, Roxy Hotel is strategically located throughout Sarawak, while Cove 55 is a private boutique hotel hideaway located near the seaside. From these locations, visit attractions such as the Sarawak Cultural Village or the Semenggoh Nature Reserve, hike up Mount Santubong or immerse in the wonder of the Sarawak Orchid Garden, amongst others.
#JomSapot Belilokal with your RHB Credit Card, Debit Card or DuitNow QR to earn up to 10 million loyalty points to redeem over 8,000 gifts and vouchers when you spend at #JomSapot merchants. To show your solidarity to local businesses, visit www.rhbjomsapot.my.