After a nerve-wracking parasailing experience, my stomach was very audibly grumbling for food. So laksa originated both in Malaysia and Singapore. Laksa is a coconut based rice noodle soup that is made using either chicken or fish stock. Tom Yum originated in Thailand and is a hot and sour soup cooked with shrimp. Well, I don’t think I should elaborate to you on what a burger and fries are. This is what we ordered for lunch along with the worlds best Caeser salad at Shangri-la Rasa Ria’s garden wing’s beachfront restaurant – the beautiful beautiful Tepi Laut!
Our day was a whole new level jampacked! We started with a hotel tour that morning that I absolutely loved! The colossal hotel comprising of two divisions – the garden wing and the ocean wing made me want to extend my stay. We went ahead and followed the schedule to have been invited to experience the water sports. The parasailing was what we did next and that was really something unforgettably marvelous.
We headed for a quick lunch soon after as what followed next was the kayaking along mengkabong river and a guided jungle trek. As we took a short walk to the nature reserve Centre at the garden wing of the hotel we smeared ourselves with enough sunscreen as the last thing we wanted before being chased by any wild animal was to be sunburnt by the ferocious sun. Shangri La’s Rasa Ria being Malaysia’s largest beach resort is a 400 acre property that which has a 64 acre protected nature reserve.
This UNESCO world heritage site is home to a lot of wild animals including the long tailed macaques, the adorable slow loris, bear cats, 60 species of birds and over 100 species of butterflies. I considered myself very fortunate to have been there away from the city hustle as that is something that everyone needs to do once in a lifetime to know how wonderful it all feels. Our guide- Leroy was very friendly, informative, knowledgeable and could speak with 5 different accents. Well, that’s something that you don’t see every day.
We started off just before sunset and were told that we’d be taking the smallest route up the hill and the same way back down. We were asked to wear comfortable hiking shoes as the hike was on muddy pathway and steps. Along the way, we walked through the canopy’s of the jungle and trust me it was as good as it looks. My feet were a little shaky before I got walking through the canopy but once I did I just wouldn’t have feared running up and down a couple of times. The mosquitos were ravenous and your choice of clothing would prove your savior from the nasty mosquito bites.
A few steep ascents should be prepared for however the view at the top of the reserve is totally worth it. How often do you get to see the sea, the river and the mountain all in one frame? It was indeed one of the most beautiful things that I had witnessed and I was completely awestruck at the beauty in front of me. I stood there gazing at the sea and at the river and the mountain and realized how they were silently soothing my mind and my aching legs. Just as I was imagining a house built up there and was planning a morning view to be this we were asked to head down before It turned dark as walking down would be a little harder then.
I walked down to realize that even though my legs hurt a little here and there the walk up the hill and the view after was detailed perfection in mother nature’s language.
Planning a little vacation? This is the perfect place to be. Where else if not the magnanimous Shangri La Rasa Ria for it offers watersports, an ocean view balcony with private bathtub and not to forget its own rain forest. Pack your bags right away and all you bird lovers head out to see the 60 species of birds that reside only in Sabah.