Sunday, November 25, 2007

Inspiring Destination: Langkawi

I have always been in love with Pulau Langkawi, or Langkawi Island, since my first trip many years ago. And ever since, I've returned to the island every once a year, simply to enjoy nature at its best.

Every turn & corner on the island is like a postcard view - from paddy fields, hills, sunsets, and waterfalls. The island is really best enjoyed with a car, which can be rented at affordable rates.

Owned by state of Kedah, Langkawi is strategically located in between the Andaman Sea & the Strats Of Malacca, and just 2 hours from Penang by boat. There are also flights from KL & Singapore.

And just like the rest of the beaches and islands at the Andaman Sea, Langkawi too has its white sandy beaches - the popular Pantai Cenang famous for its long stretch of white sand & water sports, plus beautiful sunsets (I fully recommend a walk during sunset here & even a swim); the upmarket Tanjung Rhu Beach which houses the big resorts or the lesser known Pantai Tengah & Pantai Kok (more quiet, but still very beautiful).

The yatchs & boats along the island also gives a beautiful sea view. One of them is at the Telaga Harbour Park, which is the parking area for the yatchs/ boats. It also houses a few fine dining restaurants.

Locals are involved in farming, but there is a growing number of people involved in the tourism industry which has been improving, ever since it has been promoted since the lates 80s/ early 90s. Many tourists shops selling local souvenirs & crafts can be spotted at Pantai Cenang and even in Kuah town.

The town is more of like the business centre - with banks, shopping centres & local businesses. Many duty free shops are also available here with relatively cheap chocolates & liquor (as Langkawi is a tax-free zone).

There is also a growing number of batik workshops on the island, as it begins to become popular with tourists. It is here that I managed to meet with a local artist & his family, who does beautiful batik paintings with local themes - of both Langkawi & Malaysia. Though deaf, he is very humble, and his skills can be seen from his artworks.

Just like the artist, most people of Langkawi are rather friendly, and most are willing to strike a conversation with you... adding to the beauty of the island.

Ever since Langkawi has been opened up for tourism, there has been quite a number of resorts & man-made visiting places popping up. One of the recent additions to Langkawi island is the cable car, which goes all the way to the top of Gunung Machinchang, giving visitors a good view of the island.

Another part where I saw a good view of the island is from the top of the Seven Wells (Telaga Tujuh). This however require a climb of over hundred steep steps. But upon reaching the top, there is that sense of achievement... And visitors can chill out swimming on the top!

If you have more time, then I would suggest the island hopping trips where the tour guides will bring you to the nearby islands - Pulau Payar, Pulau Singa Besar, Pulau Tuba, Pulau Dayang Bunting & Pulau Beras Basah. This trip was very refreshing, and I managed to swim at the fresh cool water of the lake at Pulau Dayang Bunting, watch eagles at the eagles sanctuary and even go snorkeling & diving. The waters are clear blue!

Together with its 99 other 'magical' islands, Langkawi gives a tourist everything they can bargain for. A good 4 days will enable you to see Langkawi in full, but of course, if you have more time, you could simply spend weeks here... And as for me, I'll definitely be back again to the island for its beautiful scenic nature, shopping & warm people :)

Cheap Offers To Langkawi!

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