Healthful Korean-style Spa Treatments

What do you do to maintain your health? You probably go to a doctor when you feel sick. And that’s always wise. But even greater wisdom is to do things to maintain your health so that you are far less likely to get sick in the first place.

Part of the appeal of travel in Asia is to find treatments that are little known in the West.

As I wrote previously on this blog about acupressure foot massage which I go to as upkeep for good health when I am at the Penang office, when in Langkawi, I go to a spa where I can get what I call a “3-in-1.” The Korean spa offers 3 treatments which have a multiplied effect for various health benefits.

They offer a ‘package’ that includes a unique form of acupuncture with needles going into one hand. The results are amazing!

The Master Puncturist from Korea, Mr. Lee Shim Sin Taik, who heals many in the island community here is a jewel. In Korea, his style of acupuncture is fairly usual but here it is certainly not. Look at this picture of my hand with 50 needles punctured into it.

He starts by feeling the pulse in your wrist and from there establishes his treatments. He can diagnose almost anything in the body that is not working properly, from bloodstream and gastric issues to back pain and headaches. He can tell you in about 30 seconds what his “judgment” is of your condition.

You hold out one hand and he begins to insert small sterile needles at pressure points. It can sting a tiny bit and then there is often a ‘buzzing’ sensation but it soon settles down and your hand will feel fine, even though there’s lots of needles sticking out of it! Then comes the ‘miracle’ – I’ve gone to him primarily for pains in my back and legs. After just a few treatments, the pain has almost disappeared. And it stays away for weeks at a time unless I re-injure myself accidentally.

Many island people as well as overseas tourists have told me their health has improved greatly because of these treatments. As for beauty (which is what this blog is about), any modality that stimulates the blood circulation in the body helps to give you beautiful radiant skin. The Korean treatments work wonderfully well!

Wherever you are in the world, there are natural “alternative” treatments that can help you get and stay healthy. If you’re on Langkawi, I urge you to try this treatment:

    LGK ASHI Spa & Massage, Email:
    PANTAI KOK, Kampung Batu Ara, Kuala Teriang, Langkawi, Kedah
    Tel: +604 955 3113 Operating Hours: daily 11am -10pm
    Free transfer anywhere on the island!


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Our Island Home – A Sparkling Star in the Night

When does a house becomes a home?

On a remote and beautiful island in the Andaman Sea proudly stands the Paul Penders home. Langkawi is Malaysia’s northernmost island in a chain of 99 small islands that are so special that UNESCO designated them a “Geopark.” Strong as a fort and with a warm spirit inside, the house overlooks the spectacular Kuah Harbor where superyachts and tiny fishing boats both shelter. At night, the house seems to sparkle like a star above the sea.

Whether under blue skies during sunny bright days or beneath glittering starry nights soothed by gentle tropical breezes, our home always looks wonderful and has such a warm, even a romantic feeling. Inspired by traditional Malay architecture, the house design reflects Malay Tropical style with the roof covered with natural grass from the island. Even during the enormous thunderstorms that suddenly can occur almost without notice that push gale-force winds over the roof, our home withstands the forces of nature and the salt of the ocean.

Since we have moved most of our offices to a new headquarters on Penang (another great but much busier island in Malaysia), we now have turned this beautiful building into a home for guests. It’s only about 3 hours by ferry boat or 30 minutes by air between Langkawi and Penang, so our family and staff can commute between the two islands. We would not want to give up either island.

How about inside the home?

It is the true soul of our home that arises at certain times, like the magnificent sunsets or when friends gather. There are memorable images when the lights inside and outside are turned on. The house seems to glow almost magically. And somehow this sparkling star seems to lead special people to visit – and then it really is much more than just a house, it becomes a home…a place of light, laughter and friendship.

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” — Kahlil Gibran

Thankful because of the friends we have all over the world.


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Langkawi Regatta: A ‘Mini-Vacation’

You’ve got to envy Paul Penders’ own staff chemist, Yvonne Nobel! She joined a sailing crew for 5 days at the races. If you are shivering away in winter snow or holed up in an air-conditioned office at a computer or just dreaming of a day at the beach, take a ‘mini-vacation’ and enjoy her pictures of sailing on the Andaman Sea at the border between Malaysia and Thailand.

Looking out in front of the Paul Penders offices to beautiful Kuah harbor, we could see 40 boats from 12 countries gathered for the annual Royal Langkawi International Regatta. With days with light breezes, gentle waves, and lots of sunshine, Yvonne and others got some great pictures – including several of a near collision with another yacht!

Yvonne reports:

    I had five wonderful days on the water. The wind was a bit too low for our sailboat. The boat is big so we went slowly and we managed to reach the finish line only 3 times (hahaha).

    The last day was great because the wind was better and we managed to start with the two other boats in our group. For a while we did great but then the wind went down and we lost speed and arrived again last at the finish.

    The committee boat had to wait for us every day because everybody was already home and we were still struggling to finish. But the spirit was good on board and we did not give up.

    I had a great time, learned a lot about sailing, and will join again next year.

Luring sailors from across Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand, and as far afield as Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and Norway, this small regatta brings important income to the remote north Malaysian island chain in the Andaman Sea.

One of the (many) reasons, Paul Penders chose to base the company and his home on the tropical island of Langkawi in Malaysia is that he loves the sea. A former boat owner himself, he still dreams of sailing the world’s oceans. Too busy with the company to sail much, instead he and his family maintain their interest in the regattas and events that bring people from around the world to Langkawi.

    As a community-minded company, we see the value of attracting people to the island who will care about its unique qualities and provide new sources of income to its residents.

Awarded a UNESCO ‘Geopark’ status, the 99 islands are renowned for their unique geology and tropical flora and fauna. For centuries, sailors have anchored their boats here, sailing in from the famed (and infamous) Malacca Straits. There are even stories of pirates leaving buried treasures in island caves!

Our own Katja Penders presents a prize package of PP products to the
skipper of the yacht “Fantasia” at the Langkawi Regatta in January.

After the first day’s sailing, our own Katja Penders was invited to be a presenter to give prizes to the winning crews. She brought along ‘pamper packs’ of Paul Penders products – and sailors told us they were delighted to have moisturizers, sun protection, shampoo and other products to help combat the effects of sun, wind and salt spray at sea!

Take a mini-vacation. Enjoy this video slideshow with scenes from the regatta!

By Teviot Fairservis.


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Ten Wonderful Days with Concert Pianist Gary Goldschneider

“Because beauty is more than skin deep…”

Why would a company that makes beauty products sponsor music? Or donate to a charity or a good cause? Here at Paul Penders, we believe deeply that every business has a responsibility (CSR) to be a positive force for good in its home community and so we support programs like the vegetarian restaurant that provides free meals to the poor and the local charity that serves underprivileged families. But sometimes we do even more…

Our island home is a place of real beauty – a place so filled with Nature’s gifts that UNESCO has established Langkawi, Malaysia as a “Geopark.” Being on an island, we live a bit isolated from the worlds of arts and high culture. That’s why when we had the opportunity to bring the beauty of Western classical music performed by a master artist to our shores for the first time, it seemed to be a heavenly marriage: beautiful Nature meets beautiful Art – chaperoned by a beauty company!

“You could have heard a pin drop.”

Concert pianist Gary Goldschneider performed Beethoven, Chopin,
and Schubert on a 21st Century digital piano on Langkawi.

So said one of Penang’s leading producers of music events who arranged for concert pianist Gary Goldschneider to appear at the prestigious Penang Club in an intimate evening for their members. Transfixed by the beauty pouring forth from the baby grand, the audience sat very still throughout as Gary performed perhaps the longest piece in the piano repertoire, Franz Schubert’s “Sonata in B flat major, op. posth., D. 960.” The applause afterwards was thunderous!

For 10 wonderful days, Paul Penders and his family and the staff of Paul Penders International played host to the noted concert pianist, composer, and best-selling author. This gracious gentleman shared his gifts for music, the written and spoken word, and a unique understanding of people during a 10-day whirlwind visit to Malaysia.

Time to relax – Some great Malay-style meals and a lovely sunset cruise around
Langkawi added to our happy memories of Gary Goldschneider’s visit.

“Gary” — as he asks everyone he meets to call him – flew from his home in Amsterdam to Langkawi for a week’s visit including a benefit concert for the island’s leading charity at the Westin Langkawi Resort, then on to Penang for appearances at the delightful China House and the Penang Club. One of the happiest moments of his Malaysia tour was an afternoon master class with young piano students. When everyone trouped outside for a photograph at sunset, an unusual rainbow appeared above Langkawi’s ‘Container House’ – a sure sign that this was ‘meant to be…’

A rainbow appeared above Langkawi’s Container House and Kuah Harbor
Just as ‘Gary’ gave a master class to island piano students.

Paul first encountered Gary’s work some twenty years ago browsing through a San Francisco bookshop. Gary’s best-selling Secret Language of Birthdays had taken the publishing world by storm (to date, it has sold some 1.3 million copies). Paul bought and kept a copy through the years. When he heard that Gary was performing a piano concert in Amsterdam in 2010, Paul got on a plane from Malaysia to hear him. They were introduced and Gary invited Paul and his family home for dinner with his wife, Berthe, Amsterdam’s leading food reviewer.

“Blown away” by Gary’s mastery of classical music as well as his understanding of “personology” as seen in his “Secret Language” books, Paul dreamed of organizing a visit to Malaysia. He especially wanted to bring Gary to the small Geopark island of Langkawi where it would be the first time that a concert of classical music had ever been performed by a master artist.

A highlight of the visit was the chance for island piano students to take a master class with a world class artist.

It took several years to organize but just this past month, October 2012, Paul’s dream did come true!

And it’s just the beginning. Paul and Gary are cooking up an extraordinary project to take place in January 2014 at the “Container House” on Langkawi that Paul recently completed and has dedicated as a center for charitable activities. Tentatively titled the “Langkawi Chamber Music Festival” (LCMF), plans include several days of master classes and performances with leading violin, cello, and piano performers, and other artists as well. With Gary Goldschneider as Artistic Director, the LCMF promises to bring the highest calibre of talent to this growing tourist resort island.

Planning strategy — Gary Goldschneider and Paul Penders plan more visits to Malaysia by world class artists.

“When is your birthday?” Gary often asked during his stay. His visit also included several lecture / demonstrations on his system of ‘personology,’ developed over years of study of the birthdays of celebrities. His “Secret Language” series of books on birthdays, relationships, and destiny look at the traits shared between those born on the same day, week, and month. In the future, we can happily celebrate this past month as the birthday of a classical music festival on Langkawi!

Many people were involved in making Gary’s visit such a success and all deserve warmest thanks!

A team formed of local professionals worked hard to make the concert a great success!

* Top Photo: Concert pianist Gary Goldschneider performed at a sold-out benefit for The Charity Club Langkawi at the Westin Resort – the first concert of classical music ever performed on our island home. Photo by Alif Emmes Abdullah.

By Teviot Fairservis.


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People We Admire: Gary Goldschneider comes to Malaysia

A Dream Comes True — World Renowned Classical Pianist
GARY GOLDSCHNEIDER visits Langkawi in October

    Dinner and Music – Hosts Berthe and Gary Goldschneider invited Paul Penders, his daughter Katja (center), and wife Salina Abdullah for a very special and memorable evening in the Netherlands. Note the music scores behind them.
    There is a magical essence in the way that Gary plays. Sometimes he brought tears in my eyes, because the emotion he put in the music brought out so much…
    – Katja Penders

Would you fly across the world to go to a piano recital? Paul Penders did. Gary Goldschneider will. After hearing his music, maybe you will too.

Paul’s long-time dream is coming true. After hearing world class pianist Gary Goldschneider perform in Amsterdam, Paul dreamt of inviting him to Langkawi island in Malaysia. Bringing the beauty of Western classical music to meet this exceptionally beautiful place in Asia seems like a perfect marriage.

This small rainforest island in the Andaman Sea near the border with Thailand provides many treats for its approx. 70,000 residents and several million visitors. But so far as anyone can tell, this is the very first time that there has been a recital of Western classical music.

Another first among several – it will be the first time that this much-traveled concert pianist has ever visited Asia. It is our hope that this is just the first of many visits!

Should you be in Langkawi, Malaysia on October 19th, please let us know. Gary Goldschneider will perform Friday evening at the Westin Langkawi Resort. The program will be a benefit for the Charity Club Langkawi and proceeds will go to support underprivileged youth who could not otherwise continue tertiary education.

And if you would just like to relax and dream yourself, please visit Gary’s website at to listen to some truly lovely classical music. For further information about Professor Goldschneider’s visit to Malaysia, visit or write

By Teviot Fairservis.


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