How I Learned To Chill, At The Taaras

Does anybody else understand what I mean when I say I have “no chill”?

I’m such an active guy, always looking for new things to do and friends to catch up with, that when I was invited to visit the 5-star Taaras Beach & Spa Resort on Redang Island in June, I wondered if I could take it. Could I actually chill? I mean, we’re talking about one of Malaysia’s finest resorts, a gem of a property tucked away in the furthest corner of an island that is already paradise, not just facing away from the real world but actually as far from KL as you can get without swimming into the open ocean. And on top of that, we were told that we would be receiving a spectacular room with floor-to-ceiling views of a picture perfect private bay, with nothing for company except the crashing waves and the sounds of the jungle behind us.

 

True tranquility, I hear you say. And it is really special, but then the question always comes up: “What should we do?”

Well…nothing I guess? Just sit down and wait for the day to end in paradise, perhaps? Hmm…that may be easy to say, but it certainly isn’t that easy to do. In any case, though, we figured that we were in the perfect place to try, so for two days straight Becca, myself and our friends Sandra and Jonathan made a conscious effort to just ‘chill’ and see where it takes us. Here’s how it went:

Day 1 (Morning) – Arriving by boat

You know that The Taaras is something special the minute you get into the airport at Kuala Terengganu. As you collect your bags and exit security, you notice that there is a special Taaras lounge (yes, like a business class lounge) awaiting you in the main area of the airport, fully stocked with snacks, drinks, games and reading material.

Taaras Lounge at Kuala Terengganu Airport

You need a boat to get to Redang, and the boat only leaves a couple of times every day, so we spent the next two hours hanging out in the lounge before making our way to the jetty for a 45-minute ride across to the island. Now the ride was fun – wind in the hair, salty spray from the ocean, (lifejackets firmly on) – if you live in KL then you’ll salivate at the idea of getting back to nature, and the boat ride certainly did the trick.

However, it was nothing when compared to the experience of arriving at the hotel. Tucked away in a private cove with completely transparent waters, set under a deep blue sky, this was everything we had wanted and feared expecting. Oh, and our suite? It was beautiful and airy, with beautiful windows, a massive bathroom area and….surprise, surprise…even its own private jacuzzi too! A truly plush room to spend the weekend in, and we later found out that the rooms were newly renovated too.

Chill Rating: 3/10. Still in city mode, to be honest. When I saw the jacuzzi, my first thought was what my friends would think, not how it would feel to get in.

 

Day 1 (Afternoon & Evening) – Lounging Around?

 

So, I’ve got a confession to make. As a blogger, I have a little bit more work to do than everyone else when visiting a destination. I can’t just kick off my shoes and do NOTHING. I have a duty to take a few photos and videos and generally get a feel for what the place has to offer. So, here’s my short recap on the facilities at The Taaras.

 

The Taaras has four F&B outlets in its little slice of heaven: an all-day dining restaurant which is super convenient as it’s open for all meals, a formal restaurant called The Beach Brasserie, and two bars (one on the beach and one in the main building). And, aside from downing cocktails and stuffing yourself with delicious Asian and Continental food, there is also a fully stocked watersports pavilion on-site with equipment of all sizes – from boogie boards to full-size catamarans – available for rent. So basically, this resort is great for both the lounging and the active types.

 

Fresh off the boat from KL, we naturally went for the watersports first in an effort to challenge our unfit, sorry selves, but it wasn’t as easy as we thought. Grabbing a paddleboat and a boogie board, we tried to navigate our way out to the end of the pier but the tide was very strong and we found it hard to stay afloat. Eventually, we got things under control though and ended up just messing around with the camera as we frolicked around in the sea. We were just mindlessly doing this and before we knew it we took a look at our phones. What time was it again? 7pm?

 

Time really flies when you’re having fun, and time also said it was high time to have a beer, so we obliged. Luckily for our weary bodies, the beach bar was just two minutes’ walk down the beach, so after we returned our gear and had a chat with the cool beach boys at the hut (all from Redang Island by the way, so these guys really know how to chill) we slowly made our way over, in time to capture the sunset dawning over the horizon.

 

In what was surely a good sign, it then took us another two hours to emerge for dinner. I guess we were tired from the day’s activities, or simply enjoying the jacuzzi too much, but it all meant one thing: the chill was starting to work!

 

Chill Rating: 6/10. It was really happening! I don’t know if its the natural environment or just the fact that this place is so beautiful, but we were actually starting to enjoy “doing nothing”!

 

Day 2 (Morning) – Now that we’re settled in….

 

“What should we do now?”

 

I knew the question would come eventually, but I just didn’t know it would come from me. It must have been conditioning from waking up with a plan every day, but I just couldn’t get through the morning without having my day all laid out before me.

 

So, after breakfast, we made our way to the watersports hut again where our curiosity was, in fact, rewarded. As it turned out, there are live turtles (TURTLES!) who live in the bay, and all we had to do was rent a small boat to go out and see them. If this sounds too good to be true to you, I can guarantee it isn’t. Jumping off from our boat, we were only inches away from the turtle – feeding them, stroking them and just admiring their amazing beauty. It was like we had stepped out of Malaysia and into the South Pacific.

You know what, cancel that. This wasn’t the South Pacific. This was a full-on dream, an exit to the world of movie magic, and a trip to the stars. We were swimming with real, live turtles in our own backyard. Who knew you could do that in Malaysia?

 

(Just a little side note here: the cove where we saw the turtles was the neighbouring cove to the Taaras’, and it was completely uninhabited. In fact, it looked like an excerpt from Gulliver’s Travels or Robinson Crusoe. Anybody who says Malaysia isn’t beautiful really needs to come here.)

 

Chill Rating: 8/10. I just swam with turtles, dude. Who cares about responsibilities now?

 

Day 2 (Afternoon & Evening) – Losing Track

 

I’m not ashamed to say that after the whole turtle incident my entire concept of having a plan for the day just went out of the window. As far as I was concerned, my holiday was already fulfilled, so anything else was just a bonus.

 

The funny thing is that this ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude was what made my holiday truly special, because from here on I was just doing what I really wanted to do, not what I thought I wanted to do. Things like sit on the balcony for an hour, looking at nothing but the swaying palm trees in front of me. Or lounging in the pool for. Or even playing board games in the comfort of my room. It was like losing my plan made me go back to what I really wanted to do in my heart, and boy did it feel good!

 

We had abandoned the plan so much that we even went out to see the turtle again! And this time, on the way back to the hotel, we said hi to an Australian couple who had given up their jobs and sold their house to sail around the world. They were in Redang for the weekend as part of the Malaysian leg of their journey, and they were super welcoming to us, even allowing us to climb aboard their boat from our to check out how they live (and its more spacious and luxurious than you can imagine).

 

Feeling super carefree by now, we slinked back to the hotel and emerged finally for a lovely dinner at the Beach Brasserie, dressed in our finest smart casual beachwear. Dining on freshly caught fish, we met the General Manager of The Taaras who explained that all the food served at the hotel was imported from the Malaysian mainland. Nothing is caught on site.

Why so, we asked? Well, many may not know that Redang is in fact a Marine Park. This means that fishing and any damage of the natural environment – including wildlife, corals and beaches – is strictly prohibited. It’s no wonder that they are strict when you consider that over 200,000 people visit Redang each year, and its commendable that The Taaras sets the right example by taking every measure possible to minimise its impact on the environment. So, while dinner may not have come from the bay outside our hotel, it was certainly delicious and tasted even better when you consider that it was ethically and responsibly sourced with consideration for the natural environment that had given us so much pleasure over the last two days.

 

Chill Rating: 9/10. After dinner, we found time to play some pool and foosball in the special games room, and then went back to our rooms to chill and relax on the balcony. See, I said the word “chill”!

 

Day 3 (Afternoon & Evening) – Back To Reality

 

It’s always sad when vacation time ends, but such was the bliss that had enveloped us over the past two days that we weren’t even able to feel ‘down’ about it. Being at The Taaras, though for little more than 48 hours, was like going to a different world – a world where responsibilities faded away, plans became pointless and time didn’t matter. All we cared about was what the sun said, and if “she” gave us light, we knew we could continue playing outside.

 

It may sound like a typical thing to say, but many of us city folk really don’t know how to properly chill. We talk about it all the time, but when the time comes are we really able to let go of everything and just “go with the flow”? The next time you have a weekend free, consider what a nice beach vacation at The Taaras could do for you. You could clear your mind, listen to your body for a while and really, honestly, kick back and relax in surroundings that you won’t find anywhere else in Malaysia. After all, you don’t know ‘chill’ until you actually feel it, and this is the best place to do it.

 

Thank me later 😉

 

Leonard

Does anybody else understand what I mean when I say I have “no chill”?

 

I’m such an active guy, always looking for new things to do and friends to catch up with, that when I was invited to visit the 5-star Taaras Beach & Spa Resort on Redang Island in June, I wondered if I could take it. Could I actually chill? I mean, we’re talking about one of Malaysia’s finest resorts, a gem of a property tucked away in the furthest corner of an island that is already paradise, not just facing away from the real world but actually as far from KL as you can get without swimming into the open ocean. And on top of that, we were told that we would be receiving a spectacular room with floor-to-ceiling views of a picture perfect private bay, with nothing for company except the crashing waves and the sounds of the jungle behind us.

 

True tranquility, I hear you say. And it is really special, but then the question always comes up: “What should we do?”

 

Well…nothing I guess? Just sit down and wait for the day to end in paradise, perhaps? Hmm…that may be easy to say, but it certainly isn’t that easy to do. In any case, though, we figured that we were in the perfect place to try, so for two days straight Becca, myself and our friends Sandra and Jonathan made a conscious effort to just ‘chill’ and see where it takes us. Here’s how it went:

 

Day 1 (Morning) – Arriving by boat

 

You know that The Taaras is something special the minute you get into the airport at Kuala Terengganu. As you collect your bags and exit security, you notice that there is a special Taaras lounge (yes, like a business class lounge) awaiting you in the main area of the airport, fully stocked with snacks, drinks, games and reading material.

 

You need a boat to get to Redang, and the boat only leaves a couple of times every day, so we spent the next two hours hanging out in the lounge before making our way to the jetty for a 45-minute ride across to the island. Now the ride was fun – wind in the hair, salty spray from the ocean, (lifejackets firmly on) – if you live in KL then you’ll salivate at the idea of getting back to nature, and the boar ride certainly did the trick.

 

However, it was nothing when compared to the experience of arriving at the hotel. Tucked away in a private cove with completely transparent waters, set under a deep blue sky, this was everything we had wanted and feared expecting. Oh, and our suite? It was beautiful and airy, with beautiful windows, a massive bathroom area and….surprise, surprise…even its own private jacuzzi too! A truly plush room to spend the weekend in, and we later found out that the rooms were newly renovated too.

 

Chill Rating: 3/10. Still in city mode, to be honest. When I saw the jacuzzi, my first thought was what my friends would think, not how it would feel to get in.

 

Day 1 (Afternoon & Evening) – Lounging Around?

 

So, I’ve got a confession to make. As a blogger, I have a little bit more work to do than everyone else when visiting a destination. I can’t just kick off my shoes and do NOTHING. I have a duty to take a few photos and videos and generally get a feel for what the place has to offer. So, here’s my short recap on the facilities at The Taaras.

 

The Taaras has four F&B outlets in its little slice of heaven: an all-day dining restaurant which is super convenient as it’s open for all meals, a formal restaurant called The Beach Brasserie, and two bars (one on the beach and one in the main building). And, aside from downing cocktails and stuffing yourself with delicious Asian and Continental food, there is also a fully stocked watersports pavilion on-site with equipment of all sizes – from boogie boards to full-size catamarans – available for rent. So basically, this resort is great for both the lounging and the active types.

 

Fresh off the boat from KL, we naturally went for the watersports first in an effort to challenge our unfit, sorry selves, but it wasn’t as easy as we thought. Grabbing a paddleboat and a boogie board, we tried to navigate our way out to the end of the pier but the tide was very strong and we found it hard to stay afloat. Eventually, we got things under control though and ended up just messing around with the camera as we frolicked around in the sea. We were just mindlessly doing this and before we knew it we took a look at our phones. What time was it again? 7pm?

 

Time really flies when you’re having fun, and time also said it was high time to have a beer, so we obliged. Luckily for our weary bodies, the beach bar was just two minutes’ walk down the beach, so after we returned our gear and had a chat with the cool beach boys at the hut (all from Redang Island by the way, so these guys really know how to chill) we slowly made our way over, in time to capture the sunset dawning over the horizon.

 

In what was surely a good sign, it then took us another two hours to emerge for dinner. I guess we were tired from the day’s activities, or simply enjoying the jacuzzi too much, but it all meant one thing: the chill was starting to work!

 

Chill Rating: 6/10. It was really happening! I don’t know if its the natural environment or just the fact that this place is so beautiful, but we were actually starting to enjoy “doing nothing”!

 

Day 2 (Morning) – Now that we’re settled in….

 

“What should we do now?”

 

I knew the question would come eventually, but I just didn’t know it would come from me. It must have been conditioning from waking up with a plan every day, but I just couldn’t get through the morning without having my day all laid out before me.

 

So, after breakfast, we made our way to the watersports hut again where our curiosity was, in fact, rewarded. As it turned out, there are live turtles (TURTLES!) who live in the bay, and all we had to do was rent a small boat to go out and see them. If this sounds too good to be true to you, I can guarantee it isn’t. Jumping off from our boat, we were only inches away from the turtle – feeding them, stroking them and just admiring their amazing beauty. It was like we had stepped out of Malaysia and into the South Pacific.

 

You know what, cancel that. This wasn’t the South Pacific. This was a full-on dream, an exit to the world of movie magic, and a trip to the stars. We were swimming with real, live turtles in our own backyard. Who knew you could do that in Malaysia?

 

(Just a little side note here: the cove where we saw the turtles was the neighbouring cove to the Taaras’, and it was completely uninhabited. In fact, it looked like an excerpt from Gulliver’s Travels or Robinson Crusoe. Anybody who says Malaysia isn’t beautiful really needs to come here.)

 

Chill Rating: 8/10. I just swam with turtles, dude. Who cares about responsibilities now?

 

Day 2 (Afternoon & Evening) – Losing Track

 

I’m not ashamed to say that after the whole turtle incident my entire concept of having a plan for the day just went out of the window. As far as I was concerned, my holiday was already fulfilled, so anything else was just a bonus.

 

The funny thing is that this ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude was what made my holiday truly special, because from here on I was just doing what I really wanted to do, not what I thought I wanted to do. Things like sit on the balcony for an hour, looking at nothing but the swaying palm trees in front of me. Or lounging in the pool for. Or even playing board games in the comfort of my room. It was like losing my plan made me go back to what I really wanted to do in my heart, and boy did it feel good!

 

We had abandoned the plan so much that we even went out to see the turtle again! And this time, on the way back to the hotel, we said hi to an Australian couple who had given up their jobs and sold their house to sail around the world. They were in Redang for the weekend as part of the Malaysian leg of their journey, and they were super welcoming to us, even allowing us to climb aboard their boat from our to check out how they live (and its more spacious and luxurious than you can imagine).

 

Feeling super carefree by now, we slinked back to the hotel and emerged finally for a lovely dinner at the Beach Brasserie, dressed in our finest smart casual beachwear. Dining on freshly caught fish, we met the General Manager of The Taaras who explained that all the food served at the hotel was imported from the Malaysian mainland. Nothing is caught on site.

Why so, we asked? Well, many may not know that Redang is in fact a Marine Park. This means that fishing and any damage of the natural environment – including wildlife, corals and beaches – is strictly prohibited. It’s no wonder that they are strict when you consider that over 200,000 people visit Redang each year, and its commendable that The Taaras sets the right example by taking every measure possible to minimise its impact on the environment. So, while dinner may not have come from the bay outside our hotel, it was certainly delicious and tasted even better when you consider that it was ethically and responsibly sourced with consideration for the natural environment that had given us so much pleasure over the last two days.

Chill Rating: 9/10. After dinner, we found time to play some pool and foosball in the special games room, and then went back to our rooms to chill and relax on the balcony. See, I said the word “chill”!

 

Day 3 (Afternoon & Evening) – Back To Reality

 

It’s always sad when vacation time ends, but such was the bliss that had enveloped us over the past two days that we weren’t even able to feel ‘down’ about it. Being at The Taaras, though for little more than 48 hours, was like going to a different world – a world where responsibilities faded away, plans became pointless and time didn’t matter. All we cared about was what the sun said, and if “she” gave us light, we knew we could continue playing outside.

 

It may sound like a typical thing to say, but many of us city folk really don’t know how to properly chill. We talk about it all the time, but when the time comes are we really able to let go of everything and just “go with the flow”? The next time you have a weekend free, consider what a nice beach vacation at The Taaras could do for you. You could clear your mind, listen to your body for a while and really, honestly, kick back and relax in surroundings that you won’t find anywhere else in Malaysia. After all, you don’t know ‘chill’ until you actually feel it, and this is the best place to do it.

Thank me later 😉

 

Leonard

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