Since my parents were here for three weeks we decided that we had more than enough time to take a little side trip and show them more of this breathtakingly beautiful country that we are living in. We decided that since we had not been to Langkawi ourselves yet it was the perfect weekend trip.
Langkawi is officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah. It is an island off the northwestern coast of Malaysia in the state of Kedah. It truly is a jewel of an island, pictures really don’t do justice to how beautiful it is. It receives millions of tourists a year as it is a vacation spot for Malaysians as well as international travelers. I was quite surprised by how undeveloped it was outside the main tourist areas. It was a nice breath of fresh air.
It is a quick 45 minute flight from Penang, and the flights are cheap. It takes as long to fly to Langkawi as it does to drive to the airport from our condo. B has gotten to the point now that he loves planes, and now that he is 2 he doesn’t have to sit on my lap for take off and landing anymore. This is very much a good thing.
There are several areas on the island that have places to stay. We chose to stay on the East side of the island between the Langkawi Cable Cars and Pantai Cenang.
We stayed at the Langkawi Lagoon Resort, which is built on a really nice calm lagoon. It is a really quite and beautiful spot. I would not necessarily recommend staying there again though, especially if you have never traveled in Malaysia. It is under new management and not doing so well with it. There really doesn’t seem to be much of that new management present which causes some issues. I am not going to go into all the problems we had there, but there were some disappointing service issues, which is unfortunate because the location is amazing.
The rooms were villas sitting out over the water in a little village. They were pretty charming, even if they deserved some sprucing up.
One of the first things we did was visit the Atma Alam Batik Art Village. Batik is a fabric design process that uses wax and special dye to create beautiful unique fabrics. Real batik is always hand done is found predominately in Southeast Asian Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Atma Alam is both a workshop and showroom of batik products. They take you on a little tour of one of their studios, then you can browse around their show room. You can take a batik making class there too, which really would like to do the next time we are in the area. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to show you of this because they don’t allow photos to be taken. Here is their website if you would like to check it out.
We stayed near Pantai Cenang which is one of the main beach areas on the island. This is where you will find restaurants, shops and duty free shops. Langkawi is a duty free island. Taxes on alcohol in Malaysia are very high, often when we eat out when we decide to have a cocktail or glass of wine, our liquor bill is more expensive than our food. It can be expensive to drink here. You can take 2 bottles of alcohol per person back with you on the plane when you depart Langkawi. So we did that. Cosmetics and chocolate are duty free as well, its kind of like being in an airport. There is just as much duty free chocolate on sale as there is alcohol. We found Reeces Cups, this was a big deal for us, as they are not easily found in stores here. You have no idea how much you miss a peanut butter cup until you can’t find one.
The restaurant we ate at our first night was really good and gave B a scoop of ice cream for dessert. It is then and there I realized that because we don’t feed him much sugar he had never actually had ice cream before. I had to convince him to eat it, once he did he did not regret it. I have been depriving my child!!
One of the main reasons we stayed on the part of the island we did was it’s close proximity to the Langkawi Cable Car and Sky Bridge. The Cable Car takes you on a 1.4 mile journey from it’s base in The Oriental Village to the top peak of a mountain called Gunung Machinchang. The cable car is a 6 person gondola that goes up the mountain on a cable system. It has no motor on the car, so it is a very quite kind of eerie ride up. There is a station in the middle you can stop at, I recommend to skip this and just keep on riding up to the top station. The top station there is a little cafe and gift shop and multiple observation decks.
One of the attractions at the Cable Care is the Sky Bridge. It’s a bridge that was build between 2 peaks of the mountain that you can walk out onto. You have to go back down the hill a little once you reach the top station to reach it. You can either take a trail back down the mountain or a little train car that shuttles people up and down. Mom and B stayed at the top station while Nathan and I went back down the hill to the Sky Bridge. The train was taking a really long time so we hiked down the trail to the entrance to the bridge. It was terrifying and I will not be doing that again. We waited for the tram to take us back up. Do not attempt to do the trail in Birkenstocks is all I can say.
The Bridge is really neat, I am glad we did it.
The Oriental Village where the Cable Car leaves from is a nice little shopping area.
While Mom and I went to the fish spa for a little pedi. B got to play on the small playground at the Oriental Village. He met some local friends to play with.
We had a really great time in Langkawi. We had activities to keep us busy in the morning and a great pool to cool off in the afternoon. It is an island that I want to get to know even better while we live in Malaysia. It is easy to get to, affordable, and really relaxing. The Malaysian people that live there are as always kind and welcoming. The natural beauty of the island is all around. I cannot wait to go back and experience other parts of the island.