Langkawi – Malaysia

It was sometime in January, 2017 that we started thinking of which place to go for our second anniversary. All we knew was that it had to be a short 4-5 day trip and South East Asia was the most probable option. The original plan was to do the trip in February but due to work commitments the trip actually happened in the last week of March. We visited Singapore at the same time last year and the idea for this year was to have a more laid back and relaxed holiday. We wanted to do Bali but learnt that due to the Balinese New Year, there was a possibility of most places being shut at that time. The next best option was Langkawi due to its connectivity and affordability and a short 5 day trip proved to be exactly what we were looking for.

We flew Malindo Air from Mumbai to Langkawi via Kuala Lumpur. This was the first time I was flying Malindo and it turned out to be a below par experience. The Low Cost Carrier had the basics covered but that was about it. The flight was delayed on the Mumbai – Kuala Lumpur sector and that meant we missed the connecting flight to Langkawi which was a couple of hours later. The food and snacks were average and the airline did not serve alcohol. We asked for blankets on both the sectors but they were not available. The airline offers In Flight Entertainment and there is decent collection of English, Hindi and Tamil movies along with a few games. The leg space is also standard and all aspects included, while the airline is value for money , there is some scope for improvement.

We were welcomed to a long traffic jam at Langkawi and had to wait for almost an hour for a taxi. The reason for the packed airport was the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (LIMA) which is a Maritime and Aerospace exhibition held once every two years. The exhibition allowed me to witness a lot of defence and commercial aircrafts flying all over Langkawi and the Aviation Geek in me was not complaining one bit. Our resort, Berjaya was a half an hour drive from the airport and close to the Langkawi Sky Bridge. There isn’t a lot of touristy activities in Langkawi to begin with and during our time at the island, we went with the below ones.

1. The Mangrove Tours : The northern tip of the island consists of some really dense Mangroves and make up for a decent tour. A six hour tour takes your around the mangroves and you get to see natural habitat, some lovely beaches, fish farms, caves which shelter bats some isolated islands.

2. Cycling Tour : A half day cycling tour around the island gives you nice window to witness the local lifestyle and culture. The rice fields, rubber plantations, fish farms, local food and markets are some of the things you may see during the cycling tour.

3. Langkawi Sky Bridge: Probably the most famous tourist spot of the island is the bridge and the cable car service to the second highest peak of Langkawi. From its highest point, the place offers some breathtaking views and the entire tour is a pleasant experience.

One of the highlight of the trips for me was the bike ride around the island. It doesn’t need a license to drive and you can get a bike for less than 10 USD a day. We spent an entire day hopping from one local market to another and ended up in the evening at the Cenang Area on the southern end of the island. One of the most striking things about the island is how cheap the alcohol is. It is at least one-fifth of what is available in India and at least half of what you will get at any Duty Free Shop. I stacked up a few single malts, had dinner at the beach and rode around a bit more before ending up at our resort.

It will be unfair for me to not give more credit to the Berjaya Beach Resort, which was the reason behind our trip being excellent one and not just a good one. At 120 USDs a night, the resort was a steal for the services it offered. The price included breakfast for 2 and 1 dinner for every two days of stay. The resort has an nice bar and my personal highlight was the live performance every evening accompanied by few single malts. The restaurants at the resort offer a wide variety in terms of cuisine and the private beach along with the pool will keep you busy during your time at the resort.

Ours was not a budget holiday and we were able to complete the entire 4 day holiday for less than USD 2000 (including airfares) which just shows how affordable the island is. Do not expect a lot of breathtaking views like a Maldives or Seychelles as the sea isn’t that clear and that is also the reason why diving and snorkelling isn’t very popular. But the island can surely give you a few days off from the noise of a city along with some some good sea food and drinks.
Happy travels !

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