Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pulau Langkawi 2015

It seemed impossible for 17 years. Well, not exactly impossible but the idea lingered long enough for me to watch a baby complete his or her SPM. I last visited Langkawi when I was 14 years old. Whenever I hear of Langkawi, reminiscence of my first unchaperoned teenage trip replays. It was sweet fun but I did not step foot there again. Then one day, my traveller’s star decided to align with the moon of Ramadhan and twinkled north at Langkawi. My boyfriend came back with the tickets and off we went to the Jewel of Kedah.
Trips always makes me elated

The ferry ride takes 2 hours at RM23 per person from Kuala Kedah jetty. The ferry can be a freezer. So remember to bundle up even though you know very well it is a sun, sea and sand affair. The 2 hour journey bought me time to wonder how much Langkawi has changed compared to my distant memory of it or alternatively, I could have just slept! Sleep...it will serve you well in the activities ahead.

Langkawi Vegetarian Restaurant
When we reached Langkawi it was time for lunch. If you are up for something out of the ordinary to build the momentum of the trip, search for Langkawi Vegetarian Restaurant. This Buddhist Society funded restaurant serves like the normal ‘chap fan’ (mixed rice) restaurants.  The best part is that there is no price for the food taken. Patrons pay back as donation put in a box. Tableware used has to be washed by us, the users. The vegetarian food comes in the form of fried rice, fried mee hoon, porridge, vegetarian meat and of course vegetables. Scoop your soup from a big pot using a huge ladle. Chinese desserts like bubur cha cha and longan drinks are also available. We found the yummy and charitable meal fun, especially the part when we did our own dishes. The restaurant is bedecked with words of wisdom and Buddhist quotes. There were two Malay ladies running the restaurant. Religious harmony right before our eyes!

A Buddhist society funded restaurant
Langkawi Vegetarian Restaurant
72, Jalan Pandak Mayah 7, 07000, Pusat Bandar Kuah, Pulau Langkawi, Kedah

After all were fed and watered, we took out our free copy of Langkawi map which we picked up from the jetty. In Langkawi, it is best to go around the island with a car. Therefore, we got our own KV plated automobile and of course whipped out our shades. (All Langkawi vehicles are registered as KV) There are 36 attractions suggested in the map. If you ask me, the best place to strike out most attractions is at the Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park at the north east of the island. Head towards the Langkawi Cable Car in The Oriental Village at Burau Bay for a cluster of attractions and activities.

Ready? Go!
Langkawi Art in Paradise
Langkawi Art in Paradise 3D Museum, hailed the largest 3D art museum in Malaysia and second largest in the world. Indulge yourself in the literally superficial world here. All you need is a camera and lots of imagination. If you like 3D art, this three storey-ful of hand painted scenes will satisfy your fetish. Talented local artists collaborated with 23 leading Korean painters to produce over 200 make-believe artworks.
The free sample of 3D art
Attractions at the Geopark
Sky is the limit to imagination
Telaga Tujuh (Seven Wells) Waterfall
Do not overlook the island’s waterfalls while frolicking in its beaches. The best waterfall is apparently the Seven Wells Waterfall just 5 minutes’ drive from the Langkawi Art in Paradise. To get to the waterfall, we had to ascend a prominently steep road by foot. Legend has it that the waterfall here is so beautiful that even fairies come to bathe in it. However, I find the waterfall’s beauty itself more enchanting. Like the name suggests there are seven intertwined natural pools fed by seven separate waterfalls from Mount Matchincang. Dip in the invigorating waters to wash away stress or just be there and let the breeze cleanse your soul. Do be careful of pick pockets and thieves as we witnessed a distressed tourist losing his unattended bag. The nearest police station is down south at Padang Matsirat.
Geared with an ice cream and great determination to reach the waterfall
The beautiful Telaga Tujuh Waterfall
Be more adventurous and climb higher
Durian Perangin Waterfall
One waterfall did not do justice to our enslaved life in the city. Langkawi offers plenty of waterfall opportunities. So we decided to go for another one and this time one at the west of the island. Durian Perangin Waterfall is called so because of its abundant of durians in its surrounding. The site is equipped with barbeque pits and little gazebos making it perfect for picnic. The green canopy shields the sunlight making the place cooling sans air-conditioning. (pardon the urbanite) The lower falls are great for kids to waddle in while the upper tier proffers deeper waters and stronger currents. This is a 14 tier waterfall. You will find your lungs infused with nothing but fresh air. Bring a bucket to enjoy water fights with family and friends.
Gazebos for picnic by the waterfall
Careful of durian falling
Remember to bring a bucket to boost the water fight
Wat Koh Wanararm (Langkawi Lucky Temple)
On the way out, we stopped by Wat Koh Wanararm. We had the opportunity to admire the prowess of craftsmen who carved the marble Guan Yin statue out of a cliff. It makes the Guan Yin statue all the more divine.
Guan Yin statue carved from a cliff
Dataran Lang (Eagle Square)
We wasted no time and we made our way to Dataran Lang. This is where the iconic Eagle perches while looking out at the sea. Langkawi itself means reddish brown eagle in Malay. In Malay literature Hikayat Merong Maha Wangsa, the Garuda (a mythological giant eagle) rested on these islands. Photographs back dropped by the Eagle is indeed picturesque.

Pantai Chenang
The sun was setting and what better activity to do than a romantic stroll at the beach? If you like it happening, head to Pantai Chenang, the most developed beach in Langkawi. I have long heard of it and when we finally met, I understand why she is popular. The beach is level for quite a distance while the Andaman Sea caresses the white beach. The seaside is very wide allowing it to accommodate multiple beach activities. Quaint shops, hotels and F&B are aplenty. My feet had the sand therapy they deserved, ploughing the fine sand while we strolled. We planted the tripod into the sand and had a ball time with the camera too! Enjoy sips at the Yellow Café or visit the Rice Garden Museum and Sea Aquarium which is along Pantai Chenang. If you like it quieter, try the Tanjung Rhu beach.

Duty calls for Duty Free
There are many reasons tourists fly in to Langkawi and one major reason which makes this island special is that things here are DUTY FREE and GST FREE! I took the opportunity to stock up on my beauty essentials and chocolates. What makes a party rock even more, duty free alcohol of course! In Langkawi also, do not forget to squeeze a few packets of ikan bilis (anchovies) and dried sea products into your luggage. My mother made sure I import some back to Kuala Lumpur as they are very fresh and cheap. I got mine from Kedai Guan Thong. Call me for more discounts from Kedai Guan Thong so that you can make more ikan bilis soup or sambal ikan bilis. Pile up on the calcium babeh!
Only RM3.50 woo hoo!
Make sure to stock up on ikan bilis to make soup back home
Contact me for more discounts from Kedai Guan Thong
Lot 179-181, Pusat Perniagaan Kelana Mas, Pulau Langkawi

In Langkawi, do not miss out island hopping which is usually to the three popular islets Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Singa Besar and Pulau Beras Basah. Due to the weather, we had to make this the highlight of our next trip. Pulau Dayang Bunting (Pregnant Maiden Island) is known to potently help conceiving when dipped in to the water. Mortally speaking, I look forward to submerging into the fresh water lake in the middle of the Andaman Sea. Nature never fails to bedazzle me.

Other activities that we missed, which could add value to your trip:
Skytrex Adventure Park
Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri Tomb) Learn the amazing legend behind this tomb

Langkawi Permata Kedah word sign at Pantai Chenang
There will certainly be another visit to Langkawi, especially to fulfill the other undone activities. Hopefully I do not have to wait till the same baby finishes degree to step on to Langkawi again. Wait for me Reddish Brown Eagle!