Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Laid Back Langkawi

Langkawi is a laid back island in the north eastern part of Malaysia. Next to Penang, it is perhaps the most visited island in the Islamic state. It is a well-known island destination in the region, where you can find a lot of high end resorts. The Datai, one of the top resorts in the world is located exclusively on Datai Bay north of the island.


Upon arrival, we immediately hired a Proton Sedan for us to get around. We were surprised at the price we bargained for! Imagine, just 2,000 pesos for 3 days! Of course, without the gas, but that was one of the best car rental deals I have had.


The Langkawi Lagoon Resort was our home for 2 nights. It was a beautiful resort and was affordable. We stayed at the hotel part of the resort that cost us roughly P3,500 a night. It had a nice view of the ocean and the swimming pool. The room was huge and even had a kitchen facility. You can't find anything like that here in the Philippines I think.



Langkawi doesn't know time. It is such an idyllic island that it's so easy to relax and spend a real vacation here. The island is also duty free, so shopping is supposedly cheap. There are two malls in Kuah Town, the center, and a very nice port that looks like an airport as well. Food was excellent, especially the seafood. The most notable restaurants can be found along the beach road of Pantai Cenang, the most popular beach.



Pantai Cenang is a wide beach with silky white sand. There are a lot of beach resorts and seaside cafes here. The water was not as clear as those in our country and Thailand. However, it was so peaceful here, that you didn't mind if the shore wasn't the best. There are watersports available as well.


We then visited the Oriental Village, which was the location of the Cable Car as well. The Oriental Village was an Asian village, divided into clusters. There were Thai, Japanase, Balinese and of course Malaysian sections (no Filipino). Shops and restaurants formed the tourist village.


But the reason why most people go to the Oriental Village is to take the Cable Car going up the mountain to the Suspension Bridge that gives a breathtaking view of Langkawi. You could see almost the entire island from this viewpoint. It was amazing.


There is another beach that I had to go to, which is secluded and a jump off point for the Mangrove Tours in the island. The beach is called Tangung Rhu. It is supposed have to have the best sunsets in Langkawi, and is the home of the high end resorts. The beach was also wide and the sand was softer than in Cenang.


Finally, the Mangrove Tour. We bargained our way and got a boat tour for around 3 hours at P1,500. We maneuvered our speedboat through great views of the river.



We witnessed the feeding of eagles which were abound in Langkawi, making it their symbol.

After a scenic boat ride, we glanced upon sail boats and fishing boats near a small village by the river. We had a stopover in Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurant, where we were given the chance to feed stingrays!



The mangrove tour was excellent, very peaceful and inspiring. You really appreciate nature with this tour. At the end of the tour, we were treated to a nice sunset by Tangung Rhu.


Langkawi is truly an island getaway. Its natural beauty is well preserved and the tourist development is worth commending. I would go back to Langkawi just to escape and let time take a step back.

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