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Published: April 25th 2011
. . .Langkawi. A small island of the north west coast of Malaysia, the island gets its name from the legend of a local bird, Lang being short for the word eagle and kawi meaning reddish brown. With Uncle Matt working during the week we’d decided to catch a cheap flight over to this tropical island as a sort of mini holiday inside a holiday, if that makes sense! After arriving at the airport we jumped in a taxi and headed to Datai Bay on the North side of the island. We were staying at the Andaman Hotel, which had been recommended to us by Mum and Dad’s good friends Linsey and David. Upon arriving at the hotel, myself and Cerri were blown away by how luxurious and grand the place was whilst maintaining that traditional feel and touch. The Andaman was tucked away, nestled between the rainforest and the beach. The entrance hall way was probably bigger than Torquay United’s Football Pitch and I’m sure we must have been the first backpackers to ever stay here! As Mum and Dad were only away for two weeks in total (unlike the ten months we’ve currently been away for) they wanted to
Monkeys on the Beach
make sure they went back home with some kind of a tan, so we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the secluded, private beach cove which majestically swept past the hotel. Every now and again waiters from the hotel would come by bringing us ice cold water and fresh cold towels to cool off with, we were in paradise. During our time on the beach we noticed several monkeys down at the other end of the beach, so went to investigate. The monkeys close up seemed so human like and we watched them as they played about in the trees, swinging from branch to branch with ease. The hairy little critters looked friendly enough but there were stickers in the hotel rooms warning us not to leave our windows open or we’d had some uninvited visitors breaking into our mini bar, so not just cute and cuddly they were clever too! We also spotted plenty of the white bellied sea eagles from which Langkawi gets its name, circling above the ocean looking for their prey. That evening we overindulged at the Hotels all you can eat BBQ Buffet, I think I tried one of everything that they had
Continuing the next day in the same vein, relaxation and food mainly on the agenda, we started off the morning with what can only be described as the best breakfast buffet in the world! You name it and they had it, fruit, cereal, fried English, you could even have sushi, Chinese, Dim Sum or Indian for breakfast if you so wished! Cerri was extremely happy as they had your own personal chef that would make you pancakes, waffles and French toast made to order right in front of you! With our stomachs very full from breakfast we did as most German tourists do and claimed our spots on the beach beds with our towels. From here the day panned out nicely, catching some more rays, cooling off in the water, having a snorkel over the nearby reef. We ducked into the beach bar for some happy hour drinks and started up the Field tradition of playing Scrabble whilst on holiday! For dinner that evening we popped next door to the hotel to the Garden House, where we overindulged once again in an amazing fusion of Indian and Malay food.
The following day we decided to do
Doctor Fish hard at work
some exploring around the island and hired a car, anybody heard of the make Perodua? No, we hadn’t either but that’s what we had! First stop on our tour of the island was the Oriental village, unfortunately it turned out to be more like Langkawi’s answer to Trago Mills with tacky tourist shops but that wasn’t the reason we came here. Rising high above the Oriental Village was the Machincang Mountain Range and the only way to get up there was by Cable Car. Regrettably for us we had turned up during the Malaysian school holidays, so the place was rammed and arriving early we had an hour to kill before the Cable Car was even open. We strolled around the village before coming upon a Fish Foot Spa, and for £2 each we thought we’d give it a go to kill some time. Now I’ve always looked up to my old man as a bit of a role model . . . that was until his feet entered the water which the fish inhabited, he then proceeded to scream like a little girl! One word, embarrassing! Luckily the screams died down and turned more into girly giggles! The Fish
are called Doctor Fish as they only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow. The foot spa experience was a fun one and we all came away with our feet feeling silky smooth and had had a right laugh at my Dad. From here we joined the queue for the Cable Car and after about an hour queuing in the heat we finally made our way up the mountain. This was where my mum turned into the screaming girl, as she had a fear of heights! The first cable car took us up to a viewing platform to see some great sights out to sea, we then boarded a second cable car taking us even higher and to even better views as you could see both sides of the island from all the way up here. They also had a walking trail through the rainforest that then led onto a suspension bridge which went out over the top of the trees, to see the views from different angles, the place was pretty breath taking and after a few snaps we were ready to descend back down. After the excitement of the fish
foot spa for Dad and the Cable Car for Mum they both need a drink to calm their nerves, so we drove a little way to the main tourist area of Langkawi called Cenang Beach. Here we had a spot of lunch on the beach with a few drinks before continuing on our day trip to the Islands main town of Kuha. This town sits on reclaimed land and the waterfront which sadly looks like a mucky and murky strip, that being said it wasn’t without its charm in the form of a great big Eagle Statue, from which the island is named after. Without a doubt Dataran Lang, also known as Eagle Square is Langkawi’s most well-known attraction, we were actually surprised at the shear size and the beauty of the colossal eagle in flight statue. We posed for plenty of photo’s then decided it was time to head back as we’d booked ourselves on a nature walk that evening. Back at the Andaman we made sure we applied plenty of Mossie spray and headed out to meet our nature walk guide. The walk last about an hour or so and the guide took us around some interesting spots,
Dusky Leaf Monkey
we were told about the flying snakes that lived up high and glided from tree to tree in a unique way, we were in the exact place that National Geographic had filmed this very animal. We spotted a wild boar rustling through some leaves, frogs hopping away for safety and plenty of Long tailed Macaque Monkeys. As the tour was ending we were able to witness the Colugo or Flying lemur. They sleep during the day but come alive at night, and there were plenty of them to see in the trees around the hotel complex. By shining a torch up into the trees you’d catch glimpses of them making their way from tree to tree by literally flinging themselves into the air.
Continuing on our David Attenborough theme we went on a morning nature walk the following day, this walk was more about the trees and plants instead of the animals but was still interesting all the same. We did spot the second species of monkey on this walk though, the Dusky Leaf Monkey which are easy to tell apart from the other types of monkey due to their white coloured rings around the eyes, they were very
Datai Bay Sunset
cute. The rest of the day was spent down on the beach enjoying the sunshine, we managed to get the old folks to go down the slide into the pool although I think I could have ran a marathon quicker than the time it took Mum to come down the slide! The afternoon saw us hire some kayaks and paddle over to the nearby island, here we witnessed monkeys actually swimming in the sea to get from the mainland to the island! It was a crazy spectacle watching a gang of monkeys do front crawl across the water. As it was our last night in Langkawi, we finished in the same vain as we’d started with a few cocktails and some delicious food. The next Morning we caught a flight back to Singapore.
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