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Langkawi. Known to many as the jewel of Kedah, is an archipelago of 99 islands, 30km off the north-western mainland of Malaysia. Primeval nature, luscious trees and breath-taking views beckon the visitor. Take a journey with me and explore beauty beyond your imagination.
Through Airbnb, we resided far away up north and away from the hustle and bustle. Langkawi’s traditional stilt houses complement their natural settings. Such architecture is associated with the culture of the indigenous people of Malaysia, also known as the Malay people.
Despite the lacking number of activities in the area, we are able to witness the authentic beauty of Lankgawi.
Upon checking into Langkawi Lagoon, we realised we were the only guests around the area which only added to our peace. (eerie)
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Additionally, the rooms were undeniably clean and cosy with a balcony by the calm sea. However, the surrounding area is practically dead, with little or zero nightlife accompanying it. There are local shops and houses up the bridge to explore and feast on some authentic and local dining experience. And most importantly, it’s about 8km (10mins ride) from the lagoon to Pantai Cenang.
If you are looking for a place to crash with more bustling nightlife and happening crowd, there are tons of resorts/motels around Pantai Cenang priced as low as 60rm. One I recommend is the Boxpacker Langkawi. A brilliant, low-cost option where you can chill with fellow backpackers. A walking distance to the beach too!
Now what is a paradise without its pristine beaches? Unlike its neighboring island Penang, Langkawi’s islands are sprawled over a myriad of beautiful beaches. It is amazingly clean and spacious. Moreover, not just is the island filled with an endless array of beach bars, one can also participate in engaging water activities.
On the other hand, Langkawi even had the honour of hosting the prestigious Beach Volleyball World Tour 2018 right at Pantai Cenang, underscoring the island’s recognition internationally.
Let’s take a look at some of the beaches:
Pantai Cenang; the most populated beach is filled with activities from volleyball to jet skiing. It also has chic bars all over. While known for being touristy and packed, it tends to close earlier than expected, around 11pm or 12am. This heavenly hotspot has cosy cafes by the sea for shisha at 30RM. Though the shishas aren’t tasteful, the ambience more than makes up for it. With the sound of waves crashing and the cool breeze blowing, one can expect a confirmed night of chillaxing. (Do it for the gram!)
Pantai Tengah is just around the bend of Pantai Cenang and is actually a continuation of the latter beach. Still providing the same activities but with lesser bars, it has the highly recommended club to patronise; Marrakesh Club. A particular regret is that we did not experience the nightlife there as we were rushing for dinner and massages (who would skip seafood man?).
While the aforementioned beaches are located at the southern tip, the northern beaches are cleaner and less patronised. Some of it include; the Black Sand Beach, Pebble Beach (literally a beach with just rocks of different sizes and shapes, it’s cool), Tanjung Rhu Beach and Tengkorak Beach. Despite lacking all the sea activities, these northern beaches are definitely worth a ride up for the picturesque views and amazing sunset. If you’re lucky, on a clear day you can spot the islands of Thailand within a distance.
Things to do
There are plenty of things to do in the archipelago of 99 islands and island hopping is one of the activities to look forward to with a speed boat taking you to various surrounding islands. Breathing in the fresh air and indulging in the sea salt sprayed right in your face, as the boat whizzes past is a must try. If it is a sunny and clear day, you will be able to spot Thailand in the distance and the view itself is a treat.
Bored of the sand and the sea and looking for an adventure nature can offer? Head up north for stunning views and greeneries. Langkawi Cable Car is a must go provided the sky is clear. The cable car will take you all the way up to 2200m above sea level. Unfortunately, we went during a period where the fog was thick and everything up there was unclear for the paramount view.
Also, there is an optional mini hiking at the top which leads to the Langkawi Skybridge.
Riding around the area introduces you to several natural wonders like the Seven Wells Waterfall, Temurun Waterfall and hidden beaches. So definitely, any Langkawi trip is not complete without a ride up to the north.
As Langkawi is surrounded with nature and spectacular views, renting a scooter would definitely be a great choice. For a small amount of 30-40rm per day, you will be able to witness the beauty of the island first hand. Taking pit stops to snap pictures or sampling local delicacies by the roadside is so much easier with a scooter.
There are few rental transport services operating at the airport which is reliable and efficient. Both pickups and drop offs are at the airport itself: saves the hassle of finding a transport.
For GPS, Waze app is the more trusted app to use to get around in Malaysia.
And we also enquired about the car renting service at the airport and it costs about 200rm for three days. Not really recommended as the parking spaces in Langkawi is restrictive.
Grabbing a cab? Always have the Grab app in your mobile phones instead of flagging down a cab. It is so much cheaper and trustworthy.
In a nutshell, Langkawi has its own beauty that can’t be compared with other islands around the world. There’s a reason why they are crowned the Jewel of Kedah. Hope you will find Langkawi even more beautiful than I ever did and if you planning to continue your trip to Penang, check this guide out here.
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