We get it, getting a good gift is tough. At some point, you might find yourself frantically wandering around shopping malls or scrolling through websites, without a clue of what to get in your gift hunt.
Nowadays, the trend is to give a gift of experience, an alternative to material gifts. Contrary to popular belief, experience gifts don’t necessarily have to be a whirlwind holiday, circus tickets, or a round of extreme sports. It is all about that heart-warming gesture of spending quality time or having shared memories.
If you are still not sure what to get, here are some gift ideas to put your mind at ease this holiday.
Makan & Meals
1. Sri Lankan Private Dining
Why not treat your family or friends to a home-cooked meal – without having to do the cooking or cleaning? Private dining experiences are taking Malaysia by storm, and Chef Dyllon’s healthy and delicious twist on Sri Lankan cuisine is worth a bite.
Held in his home in Mont Kiara, he switches up the menu each time, so you might try dishes like fish ambutiyal, spicy fish or chicken curry, chicken devil, Maldives fish sambal, fish cutlets and coconut rotti. A Sri Lankan dinner comes up to RM40 per person, with a maximum of 6 people each time.
2. Dapur Mekwa Kelantanese Supper Club
Take your friend down the fine dining route with a 4-course meal by Dapur Mekwa. Run by dynamic duo CJ and Hashim, the popular supper club in Kuala Lumpur has attracted lots of attention for its traditional Kelantanese dishes, each telling a story.
Acting as a Tok Selampit (or Kelantanese storyteller), Hashim takes his guests down a journey through his heritage, with the excellent cuisine at centre stage. This dining experience costs RM139.20 per guest.
3. Healthy Indian Delights Cooking Class
Indian food always makes a satisfying meal, and it can also make an awesome gift. Chef Ruth teaches her guests to cook traditional Indian dishes that are both nutritious and packed with those familiar flavours.
Some of the dishes on her menu includes chicken sukka, golden fish curry, naan bread, and lassi. After the cooking session, you can have lunch and bring home the recipe afterwards. The class costs RM116 per person.
Christmas Special: Chef Ruth is running several festive workshops this December from RM150 per participant.
Indian Christmas Desserts Workshop with Ruth | 7 Dec 2018
Traditional Christmas Cakes Workshop with Ruth | 8 Dec 2018
Learn to make Biryani for Christmas | 21 Dec 2018
4. Christmas Yule Log Cake Workshop
There’s nothing quite as Christmassy as a Christmas Yule Log Cake. If your friend has a knack for baking, join a class together to learn how to make this indulgent chocolate buttercream roulade cake. There’s a class happening on 16 December 2018 at MyTown Shopping Centre in KL for RM185 per person.
5. Nasi Lemak Workshop
Don’t be quick to judge the humble Nasi Lemak – it is our Malaysian pride and heritage. You and your friend can learn to cook the nasi lemak and fold them up into hand-carry packets the way Malaysians have done for ages. It goes well with spiced fried chicken, which is another dish you get to try. The class is RM180 per person.
Craft & Creativity
6. Floral Hoop Watercolour Workshop
Artistic friends would appreciate a watercolour workshop to hone their painting skills. Run by Black Milk Project, the class gives you step-by-step lessons on how to mix colours, paint in gradients, and creative techniques to make your floral hoop pop.
The studio is also comforting and cozy, plus there are tea and cakes to snack on! It runs from RM211.12 per person.
7. Kokedama Workshop
Bring a friend with a green thumb to a kokedama workshop. This Japanese hanging garden it is a contemporary bonsai style in which the ornamental plant is grown on a moss-covered ball of soil.
The workshop runs in Georgetown, Penang from RM80 per participant, which includes growing, shaping and caring techniques, along with a high tea set.
8. Jewellery Making Workshop
Instead of buying jewellery, make them in a way that lets you and your friend’s personality shine and shimmer through. The necklace, bracelet and earrings would be great as individual gifts or kept for yourself. Classes are held in the morning or afternoon at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, and costs RM208.80 per person.
9. Shibori Class
Give your friend a “surprise within a surprise” by making a Shibori class. The Japanese tie-dye art involves folding, plaiting, crumpling, twisting and plucking to get different patterns. The fun of it is that you won’t know what you’ll get until it is opened!
The fabric can be turned into things like journal, scarf, clutch or pareo – something to remember it by! The Shibori class is run by Batik Boutique and costs RM110.20 per person, the proceeds of which goes towards helping underprivileged female artisans.
10. E-waste Jewellery Workshop with Refugee Students
How about a gift that gives back? This experience isn’t just about making jewellery from electrical waste, it’s also a chance to interact with students at a refugee learning centre. At RM92.80 per person, it contributes towards the centre, which in turn helps the student become self-sustainable through education.
Out & About
11. Stand up paddling in Putrajaya
For an outdoor activity that is more relaxing than action-based, share the skyline of Putrajaya from the middle of the lake. Stand up paddling is pretty easy to master; 120 minutes of it gives you and your friend enough time to take in the lakeside scenery (and strike some cool poses while you’re at it). Each session costs about RM140 per person.
12. Segway Ride in KL Lake Gardens
Who needs to stroll when you can ride against the wind? Bring your friend on a Segway ride of a lifetime in KL’s iconic park. Feeling the thrill of riding the electric transporters is an added bonus while you explore the attractions of the KL Lake Gardens.
13. Fun Caving at the back of Batu Caves
If your friend is an exercise junkie, go on a fun caving experience at Gua Damai. Located at the back of Batu Caves hill, there are also other activities available including rock climbing, hiking, abseiling and spelunking, with various levels of difficulty. Caving takes only 2 hours and is fairly easy to do – it starts at RM69.60.
14. See Melaka on Bike
Take your friend off the beaten track by cycling in the less touristy places of Melaka. The trail is mostly off-road and stretches for some 20km through a scenic countryside and villages. Don’t worry, the terrain is not too difficult and you can cycle at your own pace. The bike tour is around RM116.
Luxury & Comfort
15. The Art of Modern Tea Brewing
Get a lesson in the fine art of tea and tea brewing together. For RM 150 per pax, you and your friend can learn about the different types of Chinese tea, followed by a hands-on lesson in brewing two selected teas.
16. Fly across Klang Valley for 30 minutes
Soar across the sky in a private plane and catch the most majestic views of Klang Valley. Lasting for 30 minutes, the route takes you to Petaling Jaya, the City Area, Bukit Lanjan and Subang. It costs RM638 for up to 3 people.
17. Hot Air Balloon Adventure in Putrajaya
If you feel like splurging for that special someone, take them sky-high in a hot air balloon. The magical ride above the breathtaking Putrajaya lasts for 45 mins to 1 hour, followed by a buffet breakfast at a five-star hotel. It costs RM1972 for two people, and includes the flight, refreshments, post-flight ceremony, insurance, buffet breakfast, and certificate.
18. Tandem Paragliding at Bukit Jugra or Chemor, Perak
A leap of fate is as good a gift as any! Tandem paragliding makes you feel like a superhero soaring through the sky, but with a safety instructor with you. It costs about RM255.20 per person, for the 15 minute ride.