It was the April of 2015. My husband and I were planning to catch a quick summer break. We were looking for a place not too far off from India and somewhere that’s inexpensive. Naturally, we ended up looking for holiday destinations in South-east Asia. That was when we chanced upon this little jewel situated in Malaysia – Langkawi island!
Langkawi is a tropical island having the perfect mix of lush green forest-covered hills and pristine white sandy beaches. It is situated around 19 miles off the north-western coast of the mainland of Malaysia. The island also houses mangrove forests, caves, and beautiful waterfalls.
For the adventure-seekers, there are multiple options available. For example, kayaking through the mangrove forests, jungle treks, or the usual beach thrills such as parasailing and surfing.
However, for the more laid-back travelers, the island offers picturesque surroundings. Here you can simply laze around, have a few drinks, read a book by the sandy beaches. Or gorge on the gastronomical delights of the many cafes and restaurants on the island.
Getting Around Langkawi Island
The best and probably the most popular way of getting around the island is on scooters/ATVs, although you can rent cars too. These are widely available for hire. We rented our scooter from the owner of the Airbnb where we were staying. Driving is quite safe here as people follow traffic rules diligently.
1. Oriental Village
On our first day, we started off around noon, to one of the most popular attractions, Oriental Village. The quaint village is a hub of more than 50 odd restaurants, cafes, souvenir and retail stores. It is situated at the foothills of Mt. Machincang.
The drive to the village was delightful. Although it had rained a little earlier, the weather was quite pleasant. Driving through the meandering roads lined with lush greenery, with the breeze caressing our faces, was nothing short of amazing!
Oriental Village is the place where you board the Langkawi Cable car, also known as SkyCab. This takes you all the way up to the mountains from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island.
2. Langkawi SkyBridge
You can also access the famous Langkawi SkyBridge from the topmost deck of the Cable Car. The SkyBridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It hangs at around 100 meters from the top of Mt. Machincang.
Try reaching early as the entry to Langkawi SkyBridge closes at 5 pm. Also, there are usually long queues at the Cable car ticketing counter.
The walk to the SkyBridge is definitely not for the faint-hearted. You need to climb down precarious steps right on the edge of the mountains. There’s only a handlebar between you and the abyss below.
It gets pretty tiring too, given the humidity on the island. However, once you reach the bridge, you’ll know in your heart that it was all worth it.
3. Cenang Beach
On our way back from the Oriental Village, we visited the Cenang Beach. The sand here is powdery and the beach has options for all kinds of water-sports. There are a number of charming cafes along this beach and the roads leading to it.
By evening, the ambiance transforms into a fairy-tale like setting. The cafes light up with tiny stringed lights and upbeat music starts to play. This is a great time for a lazy stroll along these streets.
You can also grab a quick bite before retiring for the night. People in the island retire quite early. By 9 pm, you will find most of the streets deserted and most shops closed.
4. Tanjung Rhu Beach
The next day we visited the Tanjung Rhu beach. This one easily makes it to the top 10 beaches of the world. Its beauty cannot be described in words.
Tanjung Rhu is a vast endless expanse of white, powder-fine sands. The beach overlooks clear blue waters and is lined at the far end with forest-covered mountains. Once here, you are bound to lose all track of time. You might just keep on gazing into the ocean for hours if you’re a lazy romantic person like me.
Another famous landmark of Langkawi island is the Eagle Square or Dataran Lang. It is situated in the busiest and commercial part of the island, Kuah. The drive from Tanjung Rhu to Kuah is a really long one but extremely enjoyable. Kuah also has great shopping options.
If you have more time on your hands, some of the other notable attractions that you might want to visit are – the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls and the Langkawi Wildlife Park (if you are accompanied by children).
As for us, we got exactly what we wanted from this vacation. The romanticism of getting lost in time in a quaint little island. The serenity of the clear blue waters. Treating our taste buds to some great seafood. Long drives through beautiful meandering roads. And lastly, the fun of getting caught in the occasional drizzle made our visit totally worth it!
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