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What’s up Johor?

Head south for a little time together

 

The stress of being in a continuous hurry, the hustle and bustle of the city definitely takes its toll on a person. With the current economic climate taking a vacation abroad does not seem like a financially wise decision. Yet we all need to unwind at a leisurely pace as that is one of life’s beautiful gifts. The mind and body gets to wind down from the rush for deadlines it usually is accustomed to. Most Malaysians choose Melaka or Penang as their choice for a weekend gateway; they do not usually associate Johor as place for a weekend gateway unless it is a stopover to Singapore but numerous changes have taken place as result of the Iskandar Malaysia development. One of the most prominent changes which has taken place is the transformation of the Straits of Johor. It has quickly transformed into a southern gem, intending to create world-class waterfront living in Malaysia.
Tucked away at the most narrow point along The Straits of Johor, lies hidden, Puteri Harbour, a 688-acre integrated urban waterfront development featuring waterfront properties. Puteri Harbour can be reached by various modes of transportation whether by land, air or sea. The idea of Johor as a staycation destination would never have crossed the minds of many Malaysians. I’m no different despite being a Johorean myself. But upon arriving at Puteri Harbour Marina the setting of the beautiful boulevard garden coupled with the marina in the background certainly shed a new light to a perception that I have had about Johor. The setting seemed unique and different compared to other staycation destinations one would take in Malaysia.he stress of being in a continuous hurry, the hustle and bustle of the city definitely takes its toll on a person. With the current economic climate taking a vacation abroad does not seem like a financially wise decision. Yet we all need to unwind at a leisurely pace as that is one of life’s beautiful gifts. The mind and body gets to wind down from the rush for deadlines it usually is accustomed to. Most Malaysians choose Melaka or Penang as their choice for a weekend gateway; they do not usually associate Johor as place for a weekend gateway unless it is a stopover to Singapore but numerous changes have taken place as result of the Iskandar Malaysia development. One of the most prominent changes which has taken place is the transformation of the Straits of Johor. It has quickly transformed into a southern gem, intending to create world-class waterfront living in Malaysia.

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On the 18th of January 2016 Puteri Harbour launched “time.together”, an initiative aimed at encouraging the public to come to Puteri Harbour. It offers family-friendly activities such as Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town which, as we know, are adored by many here. Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia graced the launch event together with Yang Mulia Tunku Dato’ Ahmad Burhanuddin, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn. Bhd. It was announced that Themed Attractions Resorts and Hotels would produce exclusively designed Hello Kitty themed hotel rooms for families and fans of the beloved icon. The rooms will be open to public later this year.

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Staycationers and vacationers are able to pamper themselves at the four star Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour which offers numerous amenities such as an all day dining restaurant, a lobby lounge, a sky lounge and a bar. I was instantly attracted to the sky gym, rooftop infinity swimming pool and garden. The tranquil ambience allows one to be more grounded, reflective, and aware. Catching the sunrise by the rooftop infinity pool was a moment in time where I honestly felt time stood still. One can take the time to think clearly about life, a little self reflection can go a long way in rediscovering passion and igniting the spirit within to take that leap of faith.

 

There is something for everyone of all ages, families can share good times and grow closer by enjoying the themed attraction parks, couples can enjoy a romantic candle lit dinner by the marina and youngsters can take the opportunity to rent the available yachts and watch the sunset. For fitness enthusiasts, you could choose to cycle and jog around the beautiful landscape surrounding Puteri Harbour. There are a wide range of dining options from Japanese, local Chinese, exotic Indian and Western food; overlooking the marina with the nightlight reflection on the bay. What a bonus! Though a word of caution, during weekdays most dining outlets are closed by 9pm and the nearest restaurants are 10-15minutes away from Iskandar Puteri. This is likely to change once residential and commercial development takes place within the region.

 

 

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Furthermore Puteri Harbour Marina is one of the few marinas in Malaysia; due to its proximity with Singapore, their clientele is proven to be diverse. Boats and yachts can be rented for any special functions; so if you are feeling the need to have a celebrity styled party overlooking a beautiful sunset and party through the night, this is your perfect choice. Puteri Harbour Marina, is recognised within the global sailing community as one of the “must sail destinations” in the world. It is the first in Malaysia to be recognised and awarded with the 5 Gold Anchor Award by The Yacht Harbour Association (“TYHA”), United Kingdom in February 2014. It also houses The Puteri Harbour International Ferry Terminal, but currently it only offers ferry services to Tanjung Balai and Batam, Indonesia. If you ask me, once consensus is reached by both the governments of Singapore and Malaysia on providing services to and from Singapore to Puteri Harbour, more international tourists would be interested to visit.

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The Group Chief Marketing Officer for Themed Attractions Resort and Hotels Philip Whittaker revealed that there are 16 events lined up at Puteri Harbour this year. For the second consecutive year Johor will host the Monsoon Cup; the event takes place from the 26th to 30th January. He further added “our activities are divided to sports, lifestyle-fashion and arts-culture; it appeals to everyone who has a different agenda or interest”. He advised Malaysians to capitalize their off time by taking a staycation at Puteri Harbour, he said “Legoland is 15 minutes away; visitors should pace their travels by stopping and staying over at Puteri Harbour”.

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Holidays are meant to be spent doing whatever you want without a fixed itinerary. With an array of activities available; Puteri Harbour promises a good time for anyone looking for a quick getaway over the weekend. Immerse yourself in a Miami styled vacation down south in Johor. In tough economic times, we have got to be a little more creative with how we spend our vacation time.

 

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