From Penang, we took a ferry to Langkawi Island. Langkawi is located in northern Malaysia, just off the border with Thailand, and is famous as the so-called local resort island. So, we hoped Langkawi just to rest and enjoy the sun. We managed it quite well except for some rainy afternoons.
Fortunately, we arrived at Langkawi when it is offseason and we didn’t have to compete with many local or foreign tourists. In addition, the locals also had the time of Ramadan, so they did not eat anything before the sunset. Our hotel was almost empty. Even the hotel restaurant was seasonally closed and we were sad when we arrived because the stomachs were empty and there were no other eateries within walking distance. Fortunately, the hotel people were so responsive that we were still given food. The restaurant celebrated one child’s birthday and we were kindly invited to eat there with them. So we could feel the local hospitality right on the first night.
Quite quickly, we discovered that Langkawi also had a lot to offer to tourists, rather than just laying by the pool and the sun. We rented the roller scooter and started exploring the island. First, we went to discover different beaches. We visited the black sand beach and also tried to find some of the famous white sand paradise beaches in the north of the island. However, due to hot weather and no shady spots, we didn’t stop at either beach for long. We also discovered that many of the beachfront areas are privately owned or conquered by large resorts, and at beachfront areas, three are tiny beachfront bungalows. Bungalows seemed wonderful and an ideal place for a real paradise holiday … if only a shady place was around there. We imagined how hot these bungalows could get at the sun … so we drove back to our hotel pool. We bought a bunch of fruits from the roadside market.
One of the most famous attractions in Langkawi is the sky bridge. It is a tourist magnet built in the mountainous area of the island. To visit the sky bridge, you first need to buy a ticket for the funicular, which takes tourists to the top of the mountain. The funicular ride was quite scary, but at the same time, the breathtaking views of the bays and small islands surrounding Langkawi were amazing. The islands that belong to Thailand are also nicely seen from the hill. We were so close to the Thai border that our phones even decided to switch to the Thai network 🙂 The sky bridge itself is basically an architectural masterpiece built between two hills. The pictures were taken and videos perhaps give some overview of what it looked like up there.
One of the places to visit, in our opinion, is the Friday night market. We were afraid that the market was closed because of Ramadan, but fortunately, we did not had to disappoint. The market was full of merchants, selling clothes, household items and fresh fruit, and the best local street food. First, we walked from one end of the market to another and just couldn’t believe the choice of food. It took a long time before we were able to choose something. We tried local food, the name of which was unclear to us, but what is essentially a potato porridge with meat wrapped in a pancake-like thing. It can be eaten directly from the hand like a pastry. In addition, we tasted different grill meat and sausages. Kaija was also loyal to her favorite papaya salad – although her mouth burned a long time after. Luckily, we also found a tiny coconut pancake that somewhat relieved the fire the mouth. It was especially strange to us that all the dishes were served in a plastic bag. We left the market with a good mood because the stomach was full of good local food.
In addition to the beautiful beaches, Langkawi Island is also known for its beautiful mangrove forests. Since we haven’t seen any mangrove forests so far, we decided to take a tour. It included a half-day boat ride between the mangrove forests on a river and finally also along the sea. We witnessed a feeding of the eagles, a crocodile cave (where the crocodile does not live, but the cave itself is crocodile shape), a cave full of bats and fish farm. It was a very tourist activity, but fortunately, everything was pretty exciting to still make it enjoyable.
Near the mangrove forest, there are also one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. After a boat ride, we spent some time there and enjoyed a beautiful view of the bay. The nearby restaurant also offered a delicious barbecue fish that was the perfect food to end the adventurous day. Of course, it was difficult for Jaanus to find a way to buy beer, but fortunately, there was one bar on the beach selling alcohol.
All in all, we stayed happy with visiting Langkawi, although next time we would probably choose another island. Fortunately, in a couple of days, we also got a little rain, because it was quite difficult to cope with the heat of 37 to 40 degrees and the rain was very welcoming. For example, we were forced to stop the scooter a few times by the road and just rest, as Kaija was dying of heat – no wind was blowing on her sitting on the back. Also, walking on the sky bridge, Jaanus got a small heat stroke and we had to rest and cool off before moving on. It would probably be much better to visit Langkawi in some other time of the year for northern people.
Next, we took a flight from Langkawi to Sihanoukville in Cambodia. We hoped perhaps there might not be so hot …