An hour away from Kuala Lumpur by flight, Langkawi is a calm and beautiful island which can be considered the diagrammatically opposite of the bustling tower filled capital of Malaysia. The funniest airport entry I found, where various tour operators were literally shouting out their packages in a designated area within the arrival zone. Our taxi driver much to my surprise turned out to be a Malaysian woman who just like me was a big fan of Salman Khan and just for that I could feel a sense of belonging with her.
Our resort was beautiful, located near the sea, but sadly the beach was not meant for swimming. Huge wooden cabins made in the sea perched on huge logs were their pride. Their infinity swimming pool overlooking the sea was another beauty which attracted like a magnet and who were we to resist. A Langkawi holiday is a peaceful haven where the waves dance silkily without much haste or worry, as if self-content with themselves, unaffected by the rush of the outside world which lies beyond the waters surrounding the island. It’s as if they encourage you to forget your worries, and let the universe decide where your life should move rather than being the decision maker. The skies, water and sands all merge beautifully and harmoniously without creating boundaries and demarcations.
Evening meant a visit to the majestic Eagle square, the massive sculpture overlooking the calm harbor. Tourists moved around clicking pictures of the cruise ships and sailboats sailing lazily as the sun set, magically turning the sky pink which seemed almost unreal. We then moved further on, entering the Langkawi Fair mall where much to our amazement, liquor was at least 30% cheaper than the duty-free shops at other airports. Though not much of drinkers ourselves, we still couldn’t resist picking up as many bottles we were legally allowed. Also adding a few interesting cocktails for tasting. After sampling various Malaysian food treats, we finally settled for good Indian food at the Fair café in the mall.
The Pantai Cenang beach which is the most popular area is lined with shops and restaurant and cafes which are filled with people eating and drinking as they strolled the streets shopping for gifts and other things. The malls are filled with tourist stuff and the KBC, McDonalds and Starbucks etc. Roadside food meant various satays, Ramley’s burgers, and corn and varieties of fruits, boiled and roasted corn etc. Sunny mango juice filled with ice, fresh coconut water and their local favorite Durian, which is yellow in color and considered the King of fruits, in South east Asia is best known for its pungent smell, often compared to rotting or stale stinks. I didn’t really have the stomach to taste it but found it pretty much like jackfruit.
The highlight of Langkawi is its cable car ride leading up to the famous Sky bridge. The entrance for the Langkawi cable car which takes the visitors all the way up to Mount Mat Cincang is through a beautifully designed Oriental village which is both fairy tale and charming. At 709 metres above sea level, the cable car ride up to Langkawi’s second highest peak is truly an experience not to be missed. Throughout the 20-minute ride, you will pass over jungle waterfalls and a thick carpet of virgin rain-forest. On a clear day, you can see parts of Thailand towards the north and Indonesia towards the south-west.
Travelling at a steep incline of 42 degrees, over a distance of 2.2 kilometres from the base station to the two mountain-top stations, even the gentlest breeze is enough to send one’s stomach churning. But once you get used to the sensation of being airborne, the ride quickly turns into an amazing, exhilarating experience. At the top, a sky bridge offers a breath-taking view of Langkawi. Remember to wear comfortable shoes as it is quite a walk up to the hanging bridge. The cable car operates from 10am to 7pm, subject to weather conditions. Unluckily for us, stormy rains poured unexpectedly and we missed our selfies atop the bridge.
This Oriental town has many other attractions, best amongst them is the 3D museum which gives various fairy tale options for clicking wonderful pictures. The other 3D rides and attractions are inclusive in the ticket and are good for spending time with the kids. The food counter offers food from various countries, including stalls from Germany, India-Pakistan, Chinese, Malaysian and more. Surrounded by jungles, there are options for trekking and hiking if one is interested.
These hectic days wounded on the poolside by night as we relaxed, breathing in the wonderful smell of the addictive ocean as the winds caressed us, reminding why we had made the right choice by visiting this quaint island. There are many more attractions also like the Underworld world, various cruises that can take you for island hopping and adventure sport like paragliding, sailing, and zip lining etc. Langkawi though peaceful has enough activities for the adventure junkies as well as those looking just to relax with a beer or a glass of wine, overlooking the blue sea, hoping the vacation never ends. For me, I’m already looking forward to my next island to explore after this Langkawi holiday.