Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, as it’s officially known, is Malaysia’s answer to Bali, albeit a much quieter version. Tourists come to the island because of the amazing beaches and the lack of crowds, giving it a more secluded feel than nearby Penang.
Langkawi, meaning Island of the Reddish-Brown Eagle, was originally believed to be cursed. A beautiful young woman named Mahsuri was accused of adultery and executed on the island. With her dying breath she brought down a curse of bad luck for seven generations. Her tomb is a popular tourist location, although a village has been built around it and fees charged to enter.
Palau Langkawi is slightly larger than Penang Island and like its southern sister, the best way to get around it is via scooter. Yay! While more expensive to hire than in Penang they’re still cheap at only NZ$12 per day. A tank of gas will cost just over NZ$2 and will get close to two laps around the entire island.
Surrounded with beaches of white sand, Langkawi is definitely a picturesque paradise. Most people stay in the touristy Cenang area, with Pantai Cenang perhaps the beach most similar to Kuta Beach in Bali.
And within walking distance is another popular beach, Pantai Tangah.
If you have transport, there are more beaches within reach. Only 30 minutes north is the empty Pantai Kok.
And another 30 minutes through the mountains to the northern side of the island there’s such beauties as Pantai Tanjung Rhu, right near Scarborough Fish n Chips, the best on the island.
Scattered around the island are several waterfalls. While they aren’t spectacularly tall or wide, they’re enjoyed by locals and visitors alike as swimming spots. On our scooters, we stopped by at 7 Wells waterfall…
… and Durian Perangai Falls.
Located at the northern end of Pantai Kok, the oriental village is an open air complex surrounding a small lake. It’s an entertainment zone with many different things to do. For the kids, there’s the water balls, round or tubular…
The village, while not very oriental looking, has elephant rides, eagle viewing, tiger watching and snake cuddling…
It’s also home to the Skycab, the cable car that takes people to the top of nearby mountains…
The panoramic views over most of the island are spectacular. While the ascent can be a little breathtaking, the journey is worth it for the views alone.
Overall, Langkawi is a perfect place to take a break away from the world. With only 65,000 residents, it’s a very peaceful place with a handful of tourist options and many beaches to relax at.
Next we head north for the craziness of Christmas and New Years in Thailand.
The Trail Wanderers