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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

World

Treat yourself to an eco-friendly vacation by the beach
Kiran Mehta, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 29, 2013
First Published: 16:03 IST(29/4/2013)
Last Updated: 16:07 IST(29/4/2013)
A Buddhist devotee lights oil lamps during Wesak Day, known as Buddha's birthday, at Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

The city can get maddeningly claustrophobic and most of us dream of escaping into nature while we slog away at our desks. Make your daydreams a reality and indulge in a green holiday in the midst of hectares of tropical forests that overlook the South China Sea. The Club Med Cherating Beach Resort in Malaysia, which is an eco-resort, is the perfect place for nature lovers to enjoy some
vacation time.


You can get just as close to nature as you want by opting for man-made, eco-friendly luxuries set in the wild. The first greeting came from a foot-long iguana lounging on the walkway between the lawns. Sensing my hesitation, the host assured me that it was harmless. I also encountered monkeys on my way to my villa, and later in the day, spotted tropical fish and multi-coloured turtles.

The villas are constructed right on the water’s edge and made out of eco-friendly materials. The cabins are held up by stilts of salvaged wood. The room included ozone-friendly bath products, linens made of natural fibres and other natural trappings.
There are many eco-friendly activities to take part in as well, like a treasure hunt, where we had to find a piece of paper declaring us the winners. Along the way, the hurdles included wading through tropical forests, zip-lining and hitting the bull’s eye at an archery range, among other tasks. All the while our hosts pointed out the different species of plants on the property and informed us about the endangered species that call the resort this home.

At the Mandura Spa, one can opt for massages and other natural services. You can choose from a range of services such
as stress-relieving massages, exfoliating scrubs and packs to soothe sun-burnt skin.

Reusing, refusing and recycling continues at the food and beverage department. In the kitchen, cans and containers are recycled, pre-heating is shunned, lists of rare foods are updated regularly and power points are unplugged every night. However, there is no compromise on the quality of food served in the restaurant — the buffet has eight different types of cuisines, from Chinese to French, on offer.

Also try out:
Lapa Ríos Ecolodge and Wildlife Reserve, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: Spread over 1,000 acres of private nature reserve  with pristine rainforest, it offers beautiful beaches, sporting activities, massages and yoga classes.
Chumbe Island Coral Park, Chumbe Island, Tanzania: Off the coast of Zanzibar, it is surrounded by stunning coral gardens. Guests can explore the coral-reef sanctuary, forest reserves, and even catch a glimpse of a few endangered species.
Adrere Amellal Oasis Ecolodge, Siwa, Egypt The unique experience  includes hand-built desert rooms, a real Egyptian oasis and organic cuisine.
Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort & Spa, Chiang Rai, Thailand: They do not allow alarm clocks and there are no TVs on the premise ensuring that visitors to this tropical mountain oasis have a relaxing time.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Chaa Creek, Belize: Enjoy a true rainforest experience at the foot of the Maya Mountains.


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