When traveling means healthy living


People travel for different reasons. It’s like a constant itch that needs to be scratched and it will only go away until we find ourselves hauling a bag and waking up in wonderland.

In search for a remedy, not only that we haphazardly apply a soothing tiger balm or a generous amount of petroleum jelly on the area of discomfort but surprisingly finding ourselves liberated from the manacles of a scoliosis-causing office chair and rude telephone calls.

To make it short, it’s for that sentiment why I am now sitting in the train tracking north up the Malay Peninsula towards Thailand, with the north-south expressway as my reference point. The starved itching traveler in me badly wanting to get away from the chaotic cycle of everyday pressure is also excited to set foot to far off places for adventure and fun. At the end of the day, to welcome that change after the quest is truly worthwhile and become a memory that is always nice to reminisce about.

But whatever the reasons are and no matter how audacious or discriminating I can become, when it comes to traveling, only my heart can tell what my raison d’être is and it is up to my curious Roman feet where they would take me.

My travel experiences had revealed to me that it’s not all about fun under the sun; after all, travelling can also mean taking care of one’s whole being. To be well and always stay well is a choice. So I decided to give wellness a shot.

A 2-hour ride from Kuala Lumpur by train, I reached the city of Ipoh. Perak’s colonial northern capital offers old-world charming cityscapes and a unique theme park that is majestically nestled in the center of a lush tropical jungle; they call it “The Lost World”.

Trekking 15 minutes from the city, my foot led me to a retreat sanctuary tucked away on a 17 acre valley and is cosseted by mountain ridges made of limestone. Arising from the hidden valley is the Banjaran Resort and Spa that is rich with natural caves, pristine jungle, waterfalls and geothermal hot springs.

Winner of FIABCI Prix d’Excellence and Harper’s BAZAAR Spa Awards of 2012, this 5-star retreat haven features 25 luxury villas offering holistic wellness and superb spa experiences. Concealed from the maddening civilization, the wellness center is premeditated for both short and medium stays with a focus on improvement of health and balancing lifestyle. Each luxury villa has a private plunge pool and geothermal Jacuzzi. The befitting climate and environment helps to facilitates fitness, recovery, relaxation and renewal.

Like a child opening a birthday present, I was surprised and undeniably fell in love with the Banjaran’s eco-friendly & sustainable practices that includes Asian philosophy of wellness and Malay Ramuan with treatments from the ancient ethnic traditions of indigenous Malay, Chinese and Indian. One can also enjoy the geothermal hot springs dipping pools, outdoor rainforest shower, Garra Rufa Dr Fish Pool, therapeutic reflexology path and antioxidant restoration therapy. Meditation and thermal steam cave can also be found in this hidden sanctuary.

Recommended by Condé Nast Johansens as one of the top luxury spas in 2012, the Banjaran also prides itself in serving spa cuisine under the creative French-Algerian chef Abdelhak Bourenane and coupled with warm Filipino hospitality by the resort manager Lybanor Godio.

In my 2-day stay at the Banjaran, I felt renewed, rejuvenated, refreshed and ready for a kick start. I scratched the itch and said to myself “when traveling means healthy living!”

Jan Sevilla is a quixotic nomadic chick from the Philippines with some difficulty of having her subject agree to her verb. She is forever 25. Convinced herself that she is alive but half-asleep or half-noticing as the years fly, no matter how oxygenated the blood that flows in her brain. Catch more of her travel murmurs at : http://najsevilla.blogspot.com/