Those who know me know just how much I love Asia and the island life, so our trip to KL and Malaysia last month was my dream combination. As you know, we spent the weekend in KL (you can read about it here if not) and then took an short flight across to Langkawi. Oh. My. Goodness. Langkawi (cue heart eye emoji). Langkawi is up there with one of my favourite islands I have ever visited and here is why:
Langkawi island is divided up into different areas which four main tourist areas: Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Pantai Kok and Daitay Bay. When researching places to stay in Langkawi and reading different blogs about the island, I got the feeling that the different areas were similar to the Gili Islands:
- Pantai Cenang: Known for being a popular tourist spot with the busiest beach town on Langkawi Island, housing cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and duty-free outlets along its picturesque beach strip. It is also home to high-end resorts, chalets and budget hotels with views of the gorgeous sea. At night, it is transformed into a busy nightlife hub as visitors mingle with locals and enjoy cheap drinks with their feet in the sand at beachfront bars and lounges.
I got the feeling this would be like Gili T / Gili Air.
- Pantai Tengah: Known for being aimed at moderate to wealthy travellers with good dining and people looking for a more laidback, calmer nightlife scene alongside a good range of restaurants, affordable spa centres.
I got the feeling this would be more like Gili Meno
- Pantai Kok: Known for its peaceful vibe, surrounded by lush rainforest. Not a great deal of nightlife but calm and good dining options.
I got the feeling this would be more like Ubud
So after reading various blogs and articles (check out this easy read on Langkawi tourist info) we decided on Pantai Cenang due to the reviews on its gorgeous beach and great dining options.
One of the absolute highlights of Panti Cenang is the gorgeous beach. Pure white sand and crystal clear water, it really was paradise. Every morning after breakfast we would go for a walk along the beach front and see an array of sea life from starfish, crabs, hermit crabs (my fave) and sadly a few washed up jellyfish. But the morning walks along the beach were the is perfect way to start the day – and to catch a good tan as well.
We stayed at the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa which has a private beach attached that was lovely and peaceful. But as you walk further along the beach it becomes full of life and buzzing with a mixture of tourists and locals. There’s a great selection of water sports and vendors offering parasailing and island hopping trips. There is also a selection of bars and restaurants that offer casual beach dining and fire spinning shows in the evening.
We were in our element with all of the fresh seafood on offer in Langkawi. A lot of the restaurants have live seafood stations were you can choose lobster, crab and fish caught locally. These are a selection of our favourite restaurants in Langkawi:
- Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant – this restaurant is rated as one of the best seafood restaurants on the island and the queue out the door speaks for itself!
- Islandish Restaurant – another restaurant with live seafood which was just as tasty as Orchid Ria but much better value for money.
- India Palace – honestly, some of the best Indian food I have eaten in my life! We ordered a selection of samosas, poppadoms, butter chicken served in clay pot and prawn biriyani. The food was amazing.
- The Cliff – this restaurant had absolutely breath-taking views at sunset with a very romantic vibe. The staff were extremely friendly and the food was delicious (I would absolutely recommend the chicken in cashew nut sauce YUM).
Half day island hopping tour
We booked on to the half day island hopping tour with one of the local vendors in the town (I can’t remember the name but there were several stalls popped up that offer the same trips). We tried to barter but the prices were standard at each vendor and we paid RM 65 per person for the tour. We were picked up from our hotel and taken to the far end of the beach where all of the boats were moored up in the sea but we were required to wade through to be able to get on the boat.
The first stop on our trip was Pregnant Maiden Lake. We were told that the island was named as this because it looks like a pregnant lady laying down …. we will just take their word for it to get to the lake we had to climb several hundred steps up and then down to the lake but the views were absolutely beautiful once we made it down. There are a range of activities there including kayaking and peddle boats but we decided to just sit on the edge of the pontoon and relax for the hour.
The next stop was to see the eagles feeding. I didn’t realize that they tempted the eagles in with crab meat but it was a crazy sight to see them swooping down at such a speed so close to the boat.
The final stop on the tour was the beautiful Pulau Beras Basah island. The beach was perfect and we just walked around and found a spot to sit and relax. And we really did relax until the monkeys came and began trying to steal everyone’s food and bags! We stayed well clear of them but they managed to get their hands on the crisps and noodles of the couple next to us!
The trip was actually a lot more physically intense than we realized and there was a lovely little lady called Patricia, who we made friends with on the trip, who at 82 struggled with getting on and off the boat but still got off at every stop on the tour to enjoy her day! What an inspiring woman.
Lunch in the padi fields
The Laman Padi rice fields were located just out the back of our hotel so we decided to visit one lunch time. We sat in the fields in one of the little wooden huts which was such a beautiful setting to have lunch. We ordered the sharing platter with beef rendang, rice, soup, prawn crackers and a salad. The beef rendang was lovely and the food was served on a banana leaf which felt really authentic. The food was really reasonably priced costing approximately 50RM for the sharing platter.
You can also do a tour of the fields and visit the rice museum which seemed a very popular activity with the tourists coming into Pantai Cenang.
Other activities in Langkawi
The island has so much to offer and we didn’t get the chance to experience all of the wonderful trips and activities that we wanted to! We had read about the beautiful Seven Wells Waterfall that is located on the north west side of the island. We also wanted to take the cable car ride up to the peak of the mountains, we had been told that you can view the whole island from up there!
We left Langkawi feeling so relaxed and refreshed that we were ready to tackle our next crazy Asian city : Singapore!