Maybe Bali should be on your bucketlist next

Langkawi’s popularity with visitors is unwaned, with a website showing it is still No.1 among destinations searched, writes Hanna Hussein

DATA from Hotels.com shows that Langkawi tops the list for the second year as the most popular beach destination searched among travellers from Malaysia.

The December school holiday season being one of the busiest travel periods of the year, fun in the sun ranks high, resulting in Phuket being the third-most searched destination on the website.

“There is also strong interest in overseas travel this year, leading to the surge in search volumes for beach destinations such as Bali and Krabi,” said Jessica Chuang, regional director (Greater China, Southeast Asia & India) for Hotels.com.

With 25 million guest reviews, she added, Hotels.com has the information needed to help travellers plan for their dream beach vacation.

CUTI-CUTI MALAYSIA

As mentioneed earlier, Langkawi retains its position as the most popular beach destination. Its duty-free shopping and rich history appeal to many as a family destination.

The island features several award-winning hotels, such as The Andaman, which is finely tucked between a 10 million-year-old rainforest and the coral-fringed Datai Bay.

Port Dickson is the second most popular year-end beach destination, according to Hotel.com. Just an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, it boasts a wide variety of resort-style accommodation and villas. For example, the floating villas and private pools of Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson offer an opulent beach getaway.

POPULAR BALI

The Indonesian island of Bali is known for its resort-style accommodation, vibrant nightlife and rich cultural offerings.

A total of 22 properties in Bali won Hotels.com’s Loved by Guests Gold awards 2017.

Thirteen of these hotels are located in Ubud, the epicentre of Balinese culture, with its temples and craft centres.

Tejaprana Resort & Spa, one of the award winners, features private villas nestled in lush tropical jungles, located just 4km from Ubud.

While the volcanic activities have affected tourism sentiment since last week, Bali’s Tourism Department have said the island is “safe except for areas around Mount Agung”. Popular areas like Ubud, Seminyak and Legian are not affected.

A LOVE FOR THAI

Travellers from Malaysia love nearby Thai beaches, such as those found in Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya and Koh Samui which are the top 10 year-end beach destinations this year.

These locales are just an hour to three hours from Kuala Lumpur, making them the perfect weekend getaway.

From the bright lights of Bangla Street to lively Patong Beach, Phuket is a popular party destination. The island has witnessed a boutique hotel boom, with chic properties such as BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel & Serviced Apartments attracting millennial travellers.

Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui are also popular halal destinations for travellers from Malaysia, with an abundance of halal restaurants and Muslim-friendly facilities and hotels.

Banyan Tree Samui, for instance, features halal dining options, female-only spa facilities and alcohol-free villas.

Top 10 searched year-end beach destinations among travellers from Malaysia

1 – Langkawi – 1

2 – Port Dickson – 2

3 – Phuket – 3

4 – Krabi – 5

5 – Bali – 9

6 – Pattaya – 6

7 – Pangkor – 4

8 – Koh Samui – 8

9 – Cherating – 7

10 – Borocay – 10

nhanna@nst.com.my

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