Top 10 Tokyo travel tips
Tokyo is the model city of Asia. It’s modern in its outlook yet still steeped in traditional values. It’s highly efficient, super organised and so obsessively clean that you could probably eat off its bathroom floors (not that we recommend you do so). It’s a city that’s always hungry for something new, and its people are so passionate that everything has been refined into a speciality – sushi, ramen, anime, the concept of zen, the art of simultaneous multi-directional intersection crossing (see No. 1 on Shibuya crossing), etc. You can’t help but be smitten by all that enthusiasm and liveliness. Here are ten things you need to know about one of the world’s greatest cities.
Best of Melaka: Cafés, restaurants and bars
Rickety rickshaws and tourist traps are all fun and games during your first visit to Melaka, but you'll be looking for the real deal soon enough. Skip the first-timers' attractions with our guide to the best cafés, restaurants and bars in Melaka. Chicken rice balls still included.
The best boutique hotels in KL
Skip the fancy hotels (and even fancier prices) for a chic weekend getaway in these small, boutique hotels instead. From restored colonial houses to minimalistic bed and breakfast and decidedly Malaysian hotels paying tribute to local culture, these cool, stylish hotels will guarantee an unconventional stay you won't forget.
Hotel reviews and new openings
WEIL Hotel, Ipoh
More features Best weekend getaways: Two-day trips Looking for a short break? Here are five two-day trips that pack in everything from nature and adventure to food, shopping and a bit of resort stays 1 hour from KL… Slurp homemade ABC in the backstreets of Bentong (Pahang) Bentong residents live in a caffeinated moment and if they say Leong Yew kopitiam serves the best cham, you shouldn't doubt them. Fuel your morning with a glistening thick coffee that stains the cup. Then have Hooi Kee's wantan mee for lunch: The star is the springy, eggy noodles while char siew slices and pork dumplings make up the supporting cast. Shaved ice is Bentong's point of pride and there's a friendly rivalry between ice cream shops Kow Po and TAK. Kow Po is famous among tourists but regulars know that TAK's homemade ABC and pandan ice cream are unrivalled. Jalan Chui Yin is throttled by traffic at night as hawkers set up shop at this wai sek kai (literally 'glutton street'). The char kuey teow, yong tau foo and economy bee hoon are not to be missed. What else to do in Bentong? A visit to the morning wet market is a must. The locals make the best tau fu pok - dare we say it - in the country. These fried beancurd puffs are pillowy soft, with little pockets of air that make each of them so light and chewy. The Chamang waterfall is just 10km from town and it's a river that cascades down a gully that feeds into a nature park. Drive another 20 minutes down south and you'll find a public hot spri
Four Points by Sheraton Puchong
Four Points by Sheraton makes its debut in Klang Valley with the opening of a new branch in Puchong. An addition to the Puchong Financial Corporate Centre (PFCC) in Bandar Puteri Puchong, the hotel is a 20-minute drive from KL. Reflecting the vibrant, current vibe of the surrounding commercial hub, the 249 guest rooms and 12 executive suites it houses are designed for urbanites: a minimal yet stylish interior equipped with modern amenities such as a 40-inch LED television, mini bar, work desk and free high speed internet access. The Four Points signature beds with 250-threadcount linens spell out a restful sleep for every traveller. If you are not looking to leave the hotel compound, you can break the monotony by hitting the 24-hour fitness centre or taking a lazy dip in the outdoor pool. Your meals are settled at The Eatery, which serves a wide spread of local and international flavours. For light snacks and coffee, or a swig of beer, there is the Lobby Lounge. Sneak Peak promotional rate from RM220 per room, inclusive of one daily buffet breakfast at The Eatery, until Jun 15 (excluding Mar 25-31 during the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix).Book online
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The best cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo
The sakura, or cherry blossom, is revered in Japan not only for its elegance but also for its impermanence. As spring arrives, Tokyo is awash with the delicate pink and white blossoms for little more than a week before the ground is littered with the fallen petals. This fleeting existence is considered a metaphor for life, which should be cherished before it’s gone. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to swarm to Tokyo for the hanami (‘flower viewing’ in Japanese) season sometime towards the end of March or early April. Hunting down the perfect location to enjoy a peaceful, or wildly rambunctious, hanami experience can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve done it for you. For the romantics: Kiyosumi Garden This little-known spot is on the east side of the Sumida River. An artificial pond, hill and river were built during the Meiji period to entertain employees and guests of the Mitsubishi Corporation. Today, couples and small groups enjoy this tranquil park, which provides numerous benches beneath the cherry trees. 3-3-9 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo. Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station (Oedo, Hanzomon lines). For twilight lovers: Rikugien Gardens North of Tokyo in the Komagome area, Rikugien Gardens is a pleasant traditional Japanese garden that stays open until 9pm. The weeping cherry blossoms are illuminated with floodlights so visitors can enjoy yozakura (night sakura). The blossoms here bloom a few days earlier than most parks, so it’s worth stopping by before the crowds arrive.