After two days of filling our bellies with delicious food in Penang, we were off for some much needed beach time in Langkawi – a Malaysian archipelago of over 100 islands in the Andaman Sea. We spent three days on the main island known as Pulau Langkawi, which is one out of the two islands in the entire cluster that is inhabited. Our days consisted of not much other than soaking in the sun on a beach and, of course eating.
If I’m being completely honest, Langkawi didn’t particularly stand out for us. The weather wasn’t exactly cooperating for us either, which could have been a factor in this. When planning our trip here, it seemed as though there was going to be a lot to do – tons of beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by the turquoise sea, a handful of caves to go see, and countless attractions to visit. The reality was that our days were slow and relatively underwhelming compared to our time in Penang and Singapore (to be fair, both of which, set the bar pretty high). Perhaps the rain deterred us from getting around to doing a whole lot.
Nonetheless, we ate well and were lucky enough to have one full day of beautiful weather on our last day. I’m not likely to recommend Langkawi to my fellow travelers – at least not with glowing reviews. However, as A put it, we’re not going to love every place we go but every experience is still an experience. Lucky for us, these have been far and few in between.
Day One |
We landed early in the afternoon and after checking into our hotel, we headed over to Pantai Cenang, one of the busiest beaches on Langkawi island which was just across the street from our hotel. The clouds quickly rolled in and we were caught in the rain right into the evening. For dinner, A tracked down a night market that moves to a new location each night of the week so we decided to try that out.
When it came to food, we found that the more local restaurants had erratic hours and the myriad of more touristy restaurants were expensive and not very good. For that reason, we opted to have all 3 of our dinners at the night market.
Day Two |
We were trying to find something to eat for lunch and it was pouring heavy rain outside. After circling a few times in the car, we spotted this restaurant in the corner. It turned out to be delicious local cuisine and super cheap. It appeared to be a common thing for restaurants to have these elaborate spreads of food in a buffet style. To be honest, I have no recollection of the name of this restaurant but the food tasted very authentic and we were very impressed.
How it works. Due to the language barrier, we had some trouble understanding how things worked at first. We thought it was all-you-can-eat for a fixed price. They kept telling us to just eat first and then they would tell us how much after. This made me a little eerie that we were going to get priced gouged, post-meal. However, how it works is that you pile up your plate with what you want and then they will come and give you a bill. I’m assuming they just eyeball your plate and decide the cost.
Both of our plates, a bottle of water, and a can of Sprite came to a total of $23.50 MYR which equates to about $8.30 CAD.
Guys, I had about 4 plates of clams. Totally normal.
Another disappointment was that all of the best beaches on the main island of Pulau Langkawi are privately owned by the hotels and access was only permitted to hotel guests. Since we had gone the budget route when it came to our hotel, we didn’t have a nice beach at our disposal, or a pool for that matter. However, since we did rent a car, it was easy for us to get around and track down beaches around the island. Something we really wanted to do was take a jet ski tour to visit all the other islands. However, with the weather being unpredictable, we didn’t want to pay for the tour and be stuck in the rain.
Seeking shelter from the rain, we went for some fish and chips.
Day Three |
This was the best coffee we’ve ever had!
How incredibly lucky that, on our last day, we woke up to a clear blue sky and the sun was piercing through. We wasted no time and headed to Tanjung Rhu Beach, just north of the island. This was one of the rare public beaches that were just gorgeous. Luckily, we had a full day of beautiful weather so we ended up spending the entire day here and didn’t peel ourselves off away until just before 6pm.