Needles my darling albino hedgehog has reason to celebrate. His sweet and pretty wife Pins just gave birth to six pink hoglets. Although a first time father, Needles instinctively knew that Pins needed private time to nurture her babies.
( Photo above : Pins and her hoglets on the day of their birth. Jam bottle has been placed there for the purpose of size comparison )
And so, Needles suggested that we take the opportunity to leave the city for a nice year end holiday. As LiL has always raved about how she enjoyed herself at Pangkor Laut Resort before, Needles insisted that we visit this much talked about place. So off we went and we made the 3 hour drive northwest of Kuala Lumpur to Lumut jetty. We arrived half an hour before our scheduled boat transfer and were treated like kings from the start. Needles was impressed with the comfy deco and LiL enjoyed a cuppa whilst catching up on the days news.
LiL also checked her favourite website at the computer provided for the resorts guest.
Soon it was time to board the speedboat
Needles was apprehensive at first but managed to relax when his Daddy give him a pat of reassurance.
Twenty five minutes later, we caught our first glimpse of Pangkor Laut Resort. Pangkor Laut Resort is built on a 300 acre island just 10-15 minutes away by speedboat from the main Pangkor island.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that we were given a room upgrade to the Spa Villa which is reserved for adults only. Since Needles has fathered six hoglets, we will assume that he is an adult in hedgie years although he is only 8 months old in human years.
The villa is tastefully decorated and the style can be described as contemporary elegance
And the view to die for
Needles the curious hedgehog decided to poke his nose in every nook and cranny in order to get a feel of the villa
And then he decided he wanted a bubble bath
The bath tub is so spacious, it is big enough for not one
But two human sized beings
Needles the camwhore
He wanted a shot from every angle of our villa
He has added these shots to his Facebook page
We then decided to explore the resort. Since the Spa Villas are at a secluded end of the resort, we decided not to exert ourselves and hopped onto the Shuttle Van which is provided for the convenience of the guests
First thing we noticed is that the resort is spanking clean. The cleaning staff are up and about first thing in the morning.
We felt at home everywhere we went. Nothing like a Welcome Drink to get you in the holiday mood
We were told that Pangkor Laut employs 415 staff to serve the guests of their 142 villas. Service is definitely one of the plus points of this resort. At present the sea villas are closed for renovation but they should be opened again for the enjoyment of guests by mid 2011.
Pangkor Laut has its own Dining concierge. Impressive !
Needles decided to take a nap and left to her own devices, LiL took a short walk to the Spa Village.
The first thing one will notice at the reception of the Spa Village is the number of international Awards it has won for its service and setup.
In my opinion, the complimentary 45 minute Bath House ritual which precludes each ( non complimentary ) therapy is the reason why Spa Village won these awards.
The ritual begins with a Chinese-inspired treatment that dates back to feudal times. In the evenings when concubines in the Imperial Court unwrapped their bound feet, they had to pound them with wooden mallets to ensure that the blood was still circulating. Somewhat less drastic, but invigorating and vitalizing nonetheless, the guest's feet are softened in a floral foot bath, then given a brisk tapping with such a mallet. Reflex points on the soles are conditioned and meridian channels are opened within.
The client then enters either the male or female bath house ( no you cannot choose the one meant for the opposite sex ) and dons a traditional batik sarong.
A wish is made at the wishing well and then the client enters the cool circulating Malay bath, a recreation of traditional Village Bathing beneath waterfalls. Standing beneath powerful water jets that pound aqua pressure on tired neck muscles is refreshing and tension relieving.
Inhalation therapy is the next step. Guests are invited to breathe deeply from one of four steam boxes that contain different combinations of herbs wrapped in pandan leaves. Inhaling the scents deep into the lungs to calm, uplift, detoxify or destress is an experience not to be missed.
A sojourn in a stylish Japanese bath house, complete with shoji screens and slate tiles ensues. Japanese style exfoliating and cleansing with a hard/soft goshi goshi cloth gets the blood circulation up. This is followed by a dip in a warm natural rock pool called rotenburu. Guests are offered cool green tea to quench their thirst
The finale to this unique ritual is the Shanghai scrub. Here the therapist gently exfoliates the skin as the guest lies on a marble bed in a private scrub house. In China this procedure was reserved for male clients only but at this spa the scrub is offered to one and all.
The therapist then leads the client to the waiting area to relax. I was recommended the 3 hour Ayurvedic treatment where the in house doctor who hails from Kerala prescribe certain herbs after diagnosing my ailments.
The Ayurvedic treatment offered here comprises relaxation and rejuvenation treatment through oil therapy. This begins with brushing teeth with medicated powder and gargling with medicated oil. Then followed by a gently stroking facial massage, the administering of medicated oil drops in nose, ears and eyes, and a head and body massage before proceeding with an application of steamed herbal pouches on the body. I also enjoyed a Ayurvedic facial which refines the skin externally through the application of herbal pastes. My hair was cleansed and wrapped with powder to strengthen hair follicles.
What indulgence !
Dinner that night was not exactly mouth watering. The doctor informed me that I have too much "air" and "water" in my body constitution and his dietary advice was to avoid spicy, oily, icy and shellfish food. He ordered the "Vatta" vegetarian meal for me and had I not pecked at my dining companions' food or I would have gone hungry that night. Well, no pain no gain.
Well, it was a enjoyable experience for me and next time I will try the Chinese and Malay treatments at Spa Village Pangkor Laut
Or it would be nice to have a massage by the beach or indulge in the complimentary neck and shoulder massage in the library if my pockets are shallow
Other than the Spa Village, my second favourite activity in Pangkor Laut resort is the jungle walk which is led by their resident naturalist Uncle Yip. I was not surprised to see that he looks exactly the same as he did 2 years ago when I last saw him despite the fact that he is well into his seventies. I guess the daily 2 hour walk and working in a field that one is passionate about does wonders for one's health and happiness. For many guests, Uncle Yip's walks have become both a highlight and the hallmark of their stay at Pangkor Laut Resort. His amiable nature and good sense of humor have led guests to dub him as "The Ambassador of Pangkor Laut". Pictured here is Uncle Yip standing under a Keruing tree and explaining the characteristics of a haliconia plant
Guests get an opportunity to see and learn about the flora and fauna native to the resort such as giant ants, fruit bats and cicadas
Naughty little monkeys who are not afraid to visit guests in their villas
A funny thing happened when I was enjoying my bubble bath. I closed my eyes, listening to the gentle sounds of the waves. Suddenly I felt a presence and I opened my eyes. Right in front of me stood a scary looking monkey. I started screaming, and sensing that he will get into trouble, he stole a bottle of cashewnuts before making his grand escape.
You may chance upon the permanent residents of the island during the jungle walk such as the peacock, hornbills, sand crab, schools of anchovies and the monitor lizard
Uncle Yip showing leaves of cycas plant which is an ancient tree and bread fruit from South Pacific Tahiti . Sorry I had to show you a picture of my fat cellulite thigh but I just wanted to warn you to be careful of the blood thirsty mosquitoes. Avoid wearing dark colors in the jungle.
If you need more exercise than just walking, you can do laps in one of the two pools of the resort
Yoga sessions in the morning
Hang out by the beach
Perhaps a game of tennis, kayaking or take a ten minute boat ride to the main Pangkor Island. From my villa I saw 2 boats of guests laughing and having fun whilst enjoying team building activities
The island is well equipped to handle conferences. Perhaps we can host the next International Purists Get-together here ? It is the ideal place to discuss the latest happenings in the world of horology.
( Please note that some of the photos were taken on a previous trip to Pangkor Laut Resort and that some of the text has been lifted off other articles on the Internet. The opinions expressed here are based on my personal experience and no hedgehogs were harmed in the writing of this photoessay )