Tanjong Jara Resort, Malaysia

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Located on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia is a resort patterned after “the elegance and grandeur of 17th-century Malay palaces.” Tanjong Jara Resort’s 99 rooms are splendidly furnished, with details reflecting tender loving care for you as a guest, as well as your surroundings. And what surroundings they are — the China Sea, glittering in the sun or twinkling in moonlight…palm trees swaying above…a secluded outdoor bath, with a deep sunken tub and flower petals…and a private balcony from which to enjoy it all. Tanjong Jara’s philosophy is based on “Sucimurni,” which entails an emphasis on purity of spirit, health, and well-being; it invites you to step away from the pressures and pace of everyday life into an oasis of serenity and beauty. From the moment you are greeted with the resort’s specialty, a “Roselle” drink made with the essence of hibiscus flowers, you’ll feel like royalty.

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And the accommodations are only the beginning: swim in the resort’s two pools, both of which offer refreshments served at the deck. Explore the jungle, bicycle down village paths, or dive at the reefs off Tenggol Island, which the resort calls one of the best-kept diving secrets in all of Asia. Finally, one not-to-be-missed experience is the resort’s cooking school, which helps you learn how to prepare Malay, Chinese, and Indian delicacies from the master chefs at Tanjong Jara. Take the time for this learning experience, and you’ll have more than just a souvenir to carry home — you’ll have an idea of food that also employs the concept of “Sucimurni,” a lingering remembrance of a trip well-spent.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).