Tanjong Jara Resort
Furnished in local timber and rich fabrics, every room commands a view of either the South China Sea or gardens. The Anjung room comes with an outdoor bath set in its own private courtyard while the Serambi and Bumbung rooms look out to either the sea or gardens.
Tanjong Jara Resort is situated on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, between Kuala Terengganu in the North and Kuantan in the South. The Resort is built on a 17-hectare site facing the South China Sea. The riverine town of Dungun lies west of Tanjong Jara and is eight kilometres away.
Catch the Malaysian Airlines domestic flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu or Kuantan, or fly from Singapore to Kuantan. Kuala Terengganu is about 1 hour 15 minutes by car to the resort and Kuantan is about 2 hours by car to the resort. Limousine transfer arrangements can be made with the resort at time of reservation.
Di Atas Sungei Restaurant literally sits above a river that flows into the South China Sea. Surrounded by lush tropical greenery, and shaded by a huge Ketapang tree, the restaurant opens for breakfast and dinner, and serves authentic Malaysian and international cuisine. This restaurant does not have a fixed menu as its menu master "Chef Ann" is your host.
Teratai Terrace - Tender meat, fresh fish, seafood and a variety of garden fresh vegetables are steeped in a savoury simmering broth providing an authentic taste of the region. Enjoy pre-dinner or after-dinner drinks to the soothing sounds of Gamelan music and the cool breeze from the sea.
The Nelayan - Seafood is the speciality of this outlet. Situated by the sea, the atmosphere at The Nelayan is relaxed and informal. Weather permitting, guests have the option of enjoying a delightful alfresco dining experience on the terrace by the beach.
Snorkelling or Diving in Tenggol Island. Pulau Tenggol is a small island in the South China Sea off Tanjong Jara Resort, perfect for snorkeling and diving. The island forms part of the Terengganu Marine Park. (March to end of October). Tanjong Jara has its own PADI Dive school and dive master.
Golf - The Resort is able to make arrangements for guests to play at one of the three golf courses situated within an hours drive of the Resort - Tasik Puteri Golf Course, well known for its outstanding scenery, Ibai Golf Club, set on a luscious green and the 18-hole Desa Golf Club, Dungun, the nearest to the Resort, only a 15-minute drive away. Jara Walk with the Resort Naturalist Chemerung Waterfall Excursion with Picnic Lunch Bicycle Tour / Chef's cooking experience / River cruise / Tennis
Spa Village Tanjong Jara is an all Malay treatment Spa with a complimentary floral bath prior to your treatment.
Weddings at Tanjong Jara take on the authenticity and integrity of the beautiful natural surroundings of the Resort. The beauty of this East Coast location with its miles of white beaches melding turquoise waters and verdant jungle, makes it the perfect location to enjoy a ceremony that will be remembered as one of life's high points. The Romantic Interlude package at Tanjong Jara dwells on the cusp of a dream, bringing you all the romance and charm of the world of ancient Malay royals.
The Golf Club, Datai Bay
This exquisite course will blow you away. The course is closed at the moment and in the process of being re-designed by Ernie Els and is due for completion in 2013.
The Golf Club Datai Bay, routinely voted most scenic course in Malaysia and rated as the best in the country by Asian Golf Monthly in 2009, is the course that put Langkawi on the golfing map. Hewn out of 8,000 acres of rain forest reserve, it is a truly spectacular course which feels like an adventure and where every hole has its own personality. The huge range of flora and fauna is matched by the immense variety of challenges on offer.
You'll be treated like royalty upon arrival, as befitting a course that forms part of a 5 star resort, with exemplary service, free drinks on hand and helpful marshalls. The course itself is likewise fit for a king. However, said monarch better be good at golf or he is gonna lose quite a few balls around here. This is a deceptively long jungle course where missing the narrow fairways can have catastrophic consequences for your scorecard. Even shots that you catch flush can be cruelly diverted into oblivion by a rogue branch.
The fairways are a delight, the ball sitting up invitingly on the Bermuda grass; the natural undulations make a shot from a completely flat lie something of a rarity though, meaning you have to take care that a perfect drive isn't followed by a shank into the woods to join the onlooking monkeys. Sometimes a draw or a fade is required as the dog-legs are generally impossible to cut, and the numerous blind shots require some careful planning. The rough is tough to escape from, and the meandering stream that runs through the course greedily gobbles up balls that you'd expect to be safe.
Although the greens aren't quite on a par with the fairways, this is only a relative complaint as compared to most greens they are excellent, running fast and true. Either way, you may not even notice given how spectacular the course is. The fantastic scenery is enlivened by the aforementioned monkeys (no leaving food in the golf buggy) and massive lizards that call the course home, and each hole is so lovingly crafted around the contours of the jungle that they each have their own distinct character.
The par-3s are particularly memorable, especially the elevated tee shot on the 15th to a small green far below that is fronted by lakes, and the famed 19th hole. While not technically part of the course (although you can play it as the 17th), it's the best hole. Your tee shot must carry 185 yards of the Andaman Sea to a small green framed by the mountains in the distance - it's a mind-blowing sight, amongst the most exhilarating golfing moments it's possible to experience. If there's nobody behind you, it's hard to resist donating a few extra balls to the azure waters.
After changing in the sumptuous changing rooms and relaxing with a refreshing drink in the cook clubhouse, it's hard to imagine how a round of golf could have been more satisfying short of playing Augusta or Pebble Beach. Datai Bay Golf Club is golf at its best.
99 East Golf Club
A new course with lofty ambition that presents a wide variety of challenges from undulating forests to open links-style holes. Only 9 holes open at the moment but due for completion at the end of 2013.
On the oceanfront between Pantai Centang and Kuah Town lies the brand new 99 East Golf Club, the first Malaysian course to be managed by the US-based Troon Golf. Unexpectedly for a club that required the movement of millions of tonnes of earth and the planting of hundreds of new plants and trees, this championship course doesn't feel contrived and somehow compliments a surrounding natural environment made up of native forests, wetlands and orchard valleys.
The opening holes play uphill to the highest point, from where you can enjoy some spectacular views across the entire island. From there, the epic par-5 6th which satisfyingly sweeps down through the forest towards the valleys below. The holes along the ocean have a distinct scottish links feel, with wild native grasses and reeds framing the open holes instead of trees. Less reminiscent of the UK are the rice terraces that skirt the course.
It's a tough course with a variety of challenges, from the undulating forests to the flat, windswept oceanfront holes, and it's easy to imagine that the course was named after the average score round here. But with its combination of well-designed holes, memorable views, and sea breezes, somehow the score you get at 99 East Golf Club doesn't seem that important.
Gunung Raya Golf Resort
It won't win any awards but it's a decent open course which is perfect for high handicappers. Take plenty of water and sunscreen.
In the foothills of the majestic mountain from which it takes its name you'll find Gunung Raya Golf Resort set in 300 acres of what used to be a rubber plantation. Designed by American Max Wexler, it's a useful addition to the limited options for golf in Langkawi.
From the elevated tee on the 1st, a slight dog-leg right, you get a great view of the distant mountains and a pretty good idea of what the course is going to throw at you. The Bermuda fairways are generously wide and inviting, with plenty of leeway for those of us who are less than reliable with a driver. There is almost no OB and not too many hazards so there's not that much to lose by going for it off the tee, certainly on the front nine. Having said that, the 225 yard par-3 7th features a tricky two tier green flanked by bunkers and exposed to some stiff breezes, so don't think you'll have a straightforward time of it on every tee.
After the turn there is more in the way of foliage and you start to encounter water - the 10th is a beauty, a long par-5 dog-leg right with water all the way down the left and a fairway peppered with bunkers. One slight complaint is that certain sections of rough are just too thick, and it's easy to lose a ball that you would never expect to lose. Part of the problem is that the drainage doesn't seem to be perfect, so you can end up plugging your ball in a soggy patch of rough, even in the baking sun that is the norm. On that note, remember to take a hat and sunblock as it really is hot in Langkawi, and given this is a fairly new course the trees are yet to reach maturity and so offer little in the way of shade.
Overall, this is a decent course that won't be winning any awards but nonetheless provides enough to satisfy those who need to scratch that golfing itch and can't get on the course at Datai Bay; probably best played on cooler days as the heat can really get oppressive at Gunung Raya Golf Resort.