From our hotel in Georgetown, we asked the staff to help us arrange for a taxi to the airport. They were great and actually arranged for one of the staff members to drive us.
The flight was only about 40 minutes. I love it when they just wheel up the stairs to the plane and you walk onto the tarmac.
Langkawi actually consists of 104 islands, but with only 3 of them being populated. We landed on the actual Langkawi Island which has a population of around 65,000.
Our first stop on the island was Cenang Beach, which is on the south-west side tip of the island. We stayed 4 nights at the Malibest Resort, which is a lovely little place that is nestled right on the beach.
I love that our room has a balcony.
Cenang beach is a lovely little beach town that feels completely undiscovered. Although Langkawi has an estimated 3 million tourists per year, the place does not feel like the rest of the world has figured out how great it is yet. There are no big resorts and limited commercialization. The beach is dotted with small hotels and motels. The strip is lined with small shops, bakeries and BBQ restaurants. The big thing here, food wise is BBQ seafood. (No complaints here.) Yes, you can find a Starbucks here, but you will find a better coffee for a better price at one of the local restaurants.
The prices in this town do not reflect big tourism that is geared towards wealthy foreigners. Translation: your dollar goes a long way!
For example, this is a 24 hour BBQ hut. On the sidewalk, you walk past the BBQ pit and the ice filled buckets of seafood. After ordering your drinks and side dishes, the waitress and your party walks to the front where you choose your own fish. She weighs it, they cook it for you, and then serve it to you.
Everything we have eaten, has been extremely fresh and healthy. Watch some of the spices, they like things a lot hotter than I am used to, so if a waiter warns me that it might be hot, that usually means it will peel the skin off my tongue. Also any item that has the word volcanic in it, will equate to the sensation of burning fire in your mouth.
Other meals enjoyed include:
There are some interesting things that happen when you are in a low cost area. Things are less “western” than maybe you are accustom to. I call it the wild west (or maybe it should be the wild east). But these are the things that make traveling so interesting.
Like the wild cats that run freely through all restaurants and shops. They seem to be randomly fed and cared for by the locals.
We have only found a couple restaurants that are enclosed with air conditioning. Most restaurants are open, without walls or doors. My theory is, the more open the restaurant, the cheaper the food will be.
A lot of restaurants have a sink in the middle, for both patrons and staff to wash their hands. Speaking of cleaning….
Although there are a couple laundry mats in town, there are at least a dozen laundry services that will do all your laundry for less than 10 MRY, same day service. We did not use this particular service, as it was closed, but we found one a block down.
Sidewalks here seem to be an after thought, as does the level of safety that one might be used to coming from a western culture. Thy assume here that you will use your common sense, watch your step and get on with it. But for anyone unsteady on their feet or who have hip or balance issues, the uneven sidewalks and stairs will pose a challenge.
But we aren’t really hear for the shopping, are we? I am here almost entirely for my beach experience. And it didn’t disappoint. The sea temperature is between 27-29 degrees during the day.
When you walk into the water, there is no wincing as your body adjusts to the temperature. Because the water here is perfect.
An alcoholic cooler will set you back about 7 MYR ($2.30 CAN)
You can rent an umbrella and two beach chairs for the day for the price of a Starbucks latte. If I wasn’t swimming, I was lounging under my umbrella. I can’t tell you how intense the sun is here. You seek shade. All the time.
Every night, we walk down to the beach to people watch. People swim until it gets dark. It is a nice way to cool off after dinner.
Today was a blustery warm day. The waves on the water were incredible. There was intermittent rain, yet still the heat and temperature of this place never relents. It is currently 28 degrees C and feels like, maybe 34 C? You know you are in a hot place when 34 C feels like a cool day.
I love the island of Langkawi. I love how remote this place feels. I love the beach. The food. The people. This place is how I envisioned Asia, and it more than exceeded my expectations. I would heartily recommend this place to anyone.
Stay tuned for our next adventure….