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Langkawi and the West Coast

Malaysia as a beach destination was etched onto the luxury map by the island of Langkawi, or more accurately the Datai and Four Seasons. Today these 99 magical islets off the western coast remain a favourite for travellers seeking beach-bliss, remote adventure and five-star trimmings. Emerald-green jungle tumbles down to sugar-white sand, mangroves bridge sea and land, huge limestone caves swallow you up, secluded coves lie in wait and a technicolour underwater world thrives beneath.

Venture off on a mangrove safari and spot everything from fiddler crabs to dancing dolphins; trek into the ancient jungle and see flying squirrels, rare butterflies and perhaps a mountain fairy (according to legend they live at Telaga Tujuh waterfall); hop on a bike and pedal the paddy fields and rubber plantations before stopping off for a roadside banana fritter.

If not Langkawi-bound, let the whispering serenity of Pangkor Laut work its magic. Only a fraction of this privately-owned 300-acre island has been developed, the rest is wilderness where time stands as still as the ancient land. What better way to experience Malaysia than in a beautiful water bungalow, overlooking turquoise waters and nearby islands?

The West Coast has its monsoon season between May and October although showers during this time can be restricted to the afternoon only.

Hotel of the month: Six Senses Con Dao

This rustic yet luxurious tropical retreat is surrounded by nature and fronted by wide, gleaming-white sands on the unspoilt island of Con Dao, a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City – the perfect beach ending to a top-to-toe journey through Vietnam.

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Hotel of the month: Six Senses Con Dao

This rustic yet luxurious tropical retreat is surrounded by nature and fronted by wide, gleaming-white sands on the unspoilt island of Con Dao, a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City – the perfect beach ending to a top-to-toe journey through Vietnam.