We loved Langkawi.
After the hustle and bustle of KL and Penang it was wonderful to get to this relaxed and open place.
The flight from Penang took 35 minutes. That is the shortest flight we have ever had.
We had booked accommodation in Kuah for 3 nights as we wanted to catch the ferry from Kuah Jetty to Satun in Thailand and thought it would be better to stay close to the departure point. Unfortunately our accommodation at Amara Gueshouse was very disappointing and we would not recommend staying here (I have done a review for Trip Advisor).
From the beginning…..we went to the taxi counter at the airport and paid 24 MYR for the ride of about 30 minutes. Now that we know the layout of Langkawi we would not stay in Kuah but probably in the vicinity of Cenang Beach.
The drive to Kuah was enjoyable as the roads were not congested. We went into relax mode straight away.
There is no public transport on Langkawi so you have a choice of either renting a car or motorbike or take a taxi. Unfortunately we forgot to bring our driver’s licences with us so could not rent a car, instead we hired a tax for 6 hours which cost us 175MYR…..it would have been cheaper to rent a car for two days ….apparently you can rent a car for 50MYR per day.
Langkawi does not have tax on goods so we were pleasantly surprised by the price of beer compared to where we have been. You can buy a 300ml tiger beer for about 1.3 MYR from the duty free shops but if you buy it at an eatery it is about 3MYR which is still very good. Wine is about the same price as in Australia but definitely a lot cheaper than other places in Asia. Spirits are incredibly cheap,,,,,,1.25L of Grants Whisky was around 40MYR. Chocolate and sweets are also cheap, so it would be very affordable to live in Langkawi if like a drink and eat chocolate!
Our trip around the island was very enjoyable. We saw green jungle/rain forest and the odd rice paddy. The roads were in good condition also. We stopped at Perdana Galleria which is the most incredible building and it houses all the gifts given to Dr Matihir when he was Prime Minister. You could spend many hours here and it is amazing what he was given, including a Formula 1 racing car as well as many other cars.
Next stop was Tanjung Rhu which is a beautiful beach at the north eastern tip of the island. We did not eat here but there were a lot of eateries and many day trips out on the water if that is what you would like to do. Very, very peaceful.
Next stop was at the Four Seasons Hotel. We can’t afford to stay at these Five Star accommodations but we often stop to have a look and this time we sat overlooking the sea sipping a cappuccino.
This is a beautiful resort on the beach and very well done. If you want to stay here, the cheapest room is on the second floor back from the beach.,……2,000MYR per night. The most expensive is a villa on the beach…..6,000MYR per night. So we paid 30MYR for our two coffees and felt we had tasted the life of the rich and famous!
Next we stopped at the Black Sands Beach. There are some markets here. We went down to the beach and were surprised that the sands were not black. There was a bit of black mineral but generally the sands were quite light. As it was school holidays there were a lot of people visiting.....we hope the markets did well.
Next stop was at the ‘Datai’ on the north western part of the island We didn’t know it was a resort, we just thought it was a place on the map but you could tell as soon as you turn off the main road that something was going on because the street lights were attractive and the verges on the sides of the road were manicured. We pulled in to the reception area and got out to have a look. This resort is hidden in the jungle with no neighbours. You can see the beach through the trees. Very exclusive and if you have 9,000MYR you can stay a night here. On the way out we stopped at a lovely beach where all the local people were picnicking. There were little fireplaces for barbecues and the smell of the food cooking made us realize that we were hungry.
Next we went to the Cable Car on the way back down the west coast. This is a great attraction and we had been eager to try it. Unfortunately it was raining so they closed it! Very disappointed but we wouldn’t have been able to see anything because of the clouds. We will just have to go back to Langkawi another time! The cable car ride can be taken from an area they have made into a little village with shops and eateries. Too may people around because it was school holidays so we decided not eat here.
The taxi driver tooks us to the marina just around the bend for something to eat. We thought it was too Western so kept on driving. We went past the airport and could see what we thought were roads into the water. The taxi driver explained that these were breakwaters to stop any Tsunamis flooding the airport area. They were built after the tsunami of 2004.
We decided to stop at Cenang Beach. This is the tourist strip of Langkawi with a 2klm beach. We explained to our taxi driver that we would be staying here for the rest of the day as it was raining and not much else to see and do. He was very good and we paid him the agreed amount.
We were very hungry so ate at a little restaurant on the southern end of the beach. The food was delicious and very cheap.
We walked the beach and also looked at the shops and ended up at the Cenang Walk which is at the front of the Cenang Mall. Happy hour draft beer was 4MYR so we had a few and also ordered a corn chip salsa type snack. This was 8 corn chips with salsa and melted cheese….very yummy and excellent value for 4.5MYR. People started arriving at the bar and it was becoming quite a party atmosphere so being our last night in Langkawi we decided to have dinner here. What a great decision…the prawns I had were in a tempura batter and so light they could have floated away. I even had some wine (not bad either) to make the experience complete. Feeling relaxed and fed we caught a taxi back to Kuah and packed our bags. We think we will revisit Langkawi, perhaps for an extended period next time.