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Enjoying Nature’s Sweet Escape

Destinations
Writer
Izzat Haziq
Tiara Jacquelina striking a pose at Côte d'Azur, France.

Malaysia's queen of theatre, Tiara Jacquelina shares with us about her love for the outdoors.

Tiara Jacquelina needs no further introduction to the performing world. The self-taught actress landed her first acting gig during college breaks while studying business. After leaving school, she started making serious waves in the industry by starting a dance troupe, the Kit Kat Klub Revue which she then transformed into Kit Kat Klub Events, a powerhouse for events and creative product launches. Some might even remember her for producing one of Malaysia’s most beloved TV sitcom, Spanar Jaya. However, the vivacious auteur truly ascended into peak stardom for her portrayal of Puteri Gunung Ledang in the 2004 eponymous movie, which bagged numerous accolades and was even in the running for the Academy Awards for that year. Tiara then built Enfiniti Group, best known for creating many memorable productions such as Puteri Gunung Ledang the Musical, P. Ramlee the Musical and The Secret Life of Nora. Under the same brand name, she also established a performing arts academy for young talents.

Meanwhile, a musical restaging of Puteri Gunung Ledang was set to return later this month but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the show is now postponed to 2021. She aims to surpass everyone’s imagination of Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical when the time comes and promises fans that it will be worth the wait. Now, Tiara has pivoted into the world of digital media as she announced her soon- to-be launched project, EnfinitiV.Asia, where theatergoers can catch the group’s award-winning shows in the comfort of their home.
(Photo : www.tiarasaescapes.com)

Being one with nature in Tiarasa Escapes, Glamping Resort, Janda Baik
Being one with nature in Tiarasa Escapes, Glamping Resort, Janda Baik
Tiara traipsing around in Morrocco.
Tiara traipsing around in Morrocco.

When she’s not busy taking it to the stage, the creative entrepreneur indulges herself in globetrotting. Travelling is a big part of her life and it inspired her to venture into the tourism and hospitality industry. In fact, the idea to set up her own luxury glamping resort, Tiarasa Escapes, was conceived during her trip to Marrakech. She fondly recalled staying at Kasbah Tamadot, in one of the Berber tents and falling in love with the idea of being so close to nature. She is excited that the glamping resort is welcoming guests once again now that domestic tourism is permitted as of recently, and shares with us some of her fondest memories of her travels.

What is your idea of THE perfect vacation?

I am a nature girl. I enjoy being outdoors. My favourite activity is skiing. I love speed and I love feeling the breeze in my hair. My go-to skiing spot used to be in Switzerland but now I’d say it's in Niseko, Japan. The other thing that gives me the same thrill minus the cold weather is horseback riding. In any country that I’m travelling to, I will definitely book a horse riding session. That’s one way to discover nature. I also love going for long walks.

Showing her love for skiing at Banff National Park in Canada.
Showing her love for skiing at Banff National Park in Canada.
Where is your favourite local destination, and why?

Janda Baik. You get the cool breeze, and here I am surrounded by nature, which I just simply adore. I can also go for my long walks here. It’s only 45 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur, and suddenly I’m away from the city and all the bustle.

What are the top 3 destinations on your Bucket List, and why?

I definitely would love to go to Russia. I can see that there is so much of the continent that has not changed. I also haven’t gotten the chance to discover Eastern Europe enough. Other than that, I’m very curious about Kazakhstan because it's still fairly undiscovered. Finally, South America. I really want to see the Aztec ruins with my own eyes. I haven’t been to that side of the world. In short, I want to go to all the other destinations that are not typical.

If you were to open another glamping resort similar to Tiarasa Escapes anywhere in Malaysia, where would it be?
Pretty behind pink wheels in Cuba.
Pretty behind pink wheels in Cuba.

We have had a lot of requests to open something by the sea. So, I think I might look for something in Langkawi because that’s another favourite local destination for me. The place is so magical it feels like a different world all by itself. I would love to open Tiarasa By The Sea.

Before you board the plane or send off a friend, for example, where do you usually stop by for snacks when at KLIA or klia2?
Whenever I have to send someone off, I love going to Family Mart at klia2. If I have time, I’ll be on the lookout

Tiara with her husband in Bern, Switzerland
Tiara with her husband in Bern, Switzerland

for all the Japanese snacks there. The adorable onigiri and soft-serve ice cream sold there are to die for! The meals at Old Town White Coffee are nice too.

How do you keep yourself occupied on long layovers or when there’s a flight delay?
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who plan ahead for their travels mainly because I’m always occupied with work. I’m super busy up until the very moment I need to catch my flight! So, I do my research for what to see or what to do when I get to my destination during my layovers or onboard my flight.

Share with us ONE memorable episode during any of your holiday experiences ... something you still talk about to this day.

One of my best and most unforgettable road trips was to Central Europe. You have to do a road trip there! Our family went on a big road trip in a manual van, which was crazy. My poor husband had to drive across Prague, Vienna and Budapest. The architecture there makes you feel like you’re in the old world as if you’re travelling back in time. There's still so much history, especially Prague and Budapest. Vienna is a little more modern and I love the place because of the art, the museums, the overall vibe and all the beautiful restaurants. Central Europe is where I recommend everyone must visit once if they have the opportunity.

Taking time off by going on vacations is one way she spends quality time with her family. Pictured here at Universal Studios Osaka, Japan (L), and in Cappadocia, Turkey (R).
Taking time off by going on vacations is one way she spends quality time with her family. Pictured here at Universal Studios Osaka, Japan (L), and in Cappadocia, Turkey (R).

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