Langkawi – a Malaysian tropical island paradise – is a west coast oasis complete with pristine islets, impenetrable jungle, golden sands and shimmering blue waters. Renowned for its gastronomy and sightseeing options, the island’s roads are easy to navigate.
Early in the morning – with our sunglasses, flip-flops and unseemly large-brim hats within reach to ward off the sun – we make our way to the hotel lobby where our tour guide, Ravi, is meeting us. He arrives right on schedule and our small tour group piles into the van; we’re seated comfortably with the air conditioning on full force. Bliss!
Our first stop is the Oriental Village – home of the Langkawi Cable Car. A mock-Asian hamlet with plenty of upmarket eateries and shopping kiosks, it is reminiscent of a charming French village – bistros serving espresso and pastries dot the sideways while visitors throng the shopping avenues. Ducks, with their offspring in tow, are scattered across the centre stage lake while visitors snap photos of them, as well as the small town, from the brick-red main bridge.
Most visitors are crowded beside the Cable Car ticket counter; we head straight on over to buy tickets but alas due to bad weather conditions, the cable car is not operating. Still, we’re an easy-going group – after all who can control the climate? We visit a couple of stores along the thoroughfare, take plenty of pictures and then leave.
Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls
Ravi decides to take us to visit some of Langkawi’s other attractions. Soon we’re headed towards the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls; the road to the falls is a picturesque journey with lush forest surrounding the van. When we arrive, we begin our 20-minute trek up the hill – the view at the top is definitely worth it. Water cascades down the hillside through a series of seven natural pools making the area serene and beautiful – unquestionably an ideal picnic spot.
We arrive at Eagle Square close to noon. The excursion around the square proves to be especially rewarding, even in the midday heat. ‘Glorious’ and ‘awe inspiring’ were the only words to come to mind when gazing at the sprawling 19-acre landmark. The bronze eagle statue – visible from the air or sea of Langkawi – is surrounded by little fountains and the serene ocean just beside the square. We take photos of the statue, the beautifully landscaped area dotted with pretty fountains as well as the unhindered view of the surrounding vast blue ocean.
Next up, we head on over to the Galleria Perdana – a museum dedicated to Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir. Home to a variety of gifts – from various world leaders – ranging from exquisite Malay wooden architecture to an outdoor greenhouse housing a variety of plants, the museum is quite extensive. The displays are beautiful and the best part is the impressive collection of automobiles.
Eagle View Restaurant
Lunch consists of Chinese-style fried rice, crispy fried chicken and mixed vegetables served with soya sauce at the Eagle View Restaurant in nearby Dataran Lang. Once we’re filled with flavoursome Chinese cuisine and ice-cold Cokes, we begin our drive back towards Pantai Cenang.
Pantai Pasir Hitam
Next on our itinerary is Dataran Lang – located in Langkawi’s capital, Kuah and along the way stop at another Langkawi landmark, Pantai Pasir Hitam – a stretch of sandy beach with unique glittering opaque sands. An excellent photo opportunity, most of us are quite taken with this landmark – after all how often do you come across a stretch of glitzy black seashore with the wind in your hair and the vista of the Andaman Sea just beyond?
The last highlight of our tour is the renowned Underwater World. This manmade colossal aquarium is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest aquatic and freshwater aquaria. We’ve been looking forward to this familiar marker – after all its reputation precedes it.
The ‘penguinarium’ is the most exciting part of this gigantic under-the-sea homage – the adorable penguins love splashing, waddling around and diving in and out of the waters. The 15-metre long 5000,000-litre hexagonal walk-through underwater tunnel is thrilling – the best moment being when we see a giant green turtle swim overhead.
It’s nearly four in the afternoon when the cheerful Ravi drops us off at our hotel; most of us are tired out after a day spent walking, exploring and generally having an awesome time. Yet we’re grinning from ear-to-ear and we’ve got more than a few grand stories to tell our friends and colleagues back home.
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- Tour Available: Langkawi Island Tour