I realized it was actually quite a few years since I last left the country I’ve grown to love so much – India 🇮🇳. The past few years have gone by focussing on studies, work, relationships and well, LIFE. However, I recently got the chance to fly out and enjoy a short but sweet vacation as August 2019 dawned on us.
We flew out from Mumbai to the beautiful district of Langkawi, some 30 kilometers off the north-western coast of Malaysia. Little did we know that this archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea was about to give us a pleasant little surprise over the course of our stay of 4 nights at the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa.
Spread over a huge property, Meritus has everything you need right from a couple of swimming pools to spas to gyms to a recreation/gaming room to a beach to a couple of tennis courts and much, much more. They even have a couple of different options for breakfast including a sea-facing one. Unless you’re keen on walking much every morning and evening, you’re going to need one of the hotel golf carts to get you around from place to place. This blog is supposed to be more pictures than talk, so take a look:
The resort is not exactly economical for the average traveller but trust me, it’s 100% value for money. Rooms begin as low as RM 535 which adds up to around INR 9,000 a night. Where will you get such facilities at this price at a 5-star hotel in India? Regardless, I’ve droned on enough about the hotel. There’s plenty to do in and around Langkawi which makes picking a hotel really irrelevant, considering you need the hotel just to spend your nights.
Day 1 – Langkawi Cable Cars
The steepest cable car in the world and boy, there were some sights to see from those heights! If you pay a bit extra, you even get a see-through glass-bottom sky cab. However, this isn’t for the weak-hearted or those who would freak out from from such heights. 2.000+ feet up in the air and the view from the top had us absolutely speechless…
At the highest station of the Langkawi SkyCab, you can also walk down to the Langkawi Sky Bridge. Like most of the other sights in Langkawi, this is a newer monument, completed in 2005. Connecting two hilltops in Gunung Mat Chinchang, the bridge is 125-meters long and is suspended by just 8 cables. It even shakes a bit as you walk across it, although it promises to be able to withstand a capacity of 250 people at once.
Bollywood thriller ‘Don 2’ starring Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra had a very iconic fight scene shot on an elevated platform on this bridge. It’s actually pretty surprising that we haven’t had more movies shot at such a location. However, I’d strongly recommend not doing the SRK pose while on the Sky Bridge:
Day 2 – Croc farms, bat caves
Don’t let the unassuming nature of this district fool you as there’s plenty you wouldn’t expect from Langkawi. While the cable cars were way above sea-level, Day 2 was spent in the sea itself. Once again, the faint-hearted should stay away from the bat caves as you’re literally walking through swampy areas, crouching low within the caves and well, you’re surrounded by monkeys. After advising everyone against the monkeys, guess who got attacked by one eventually? MEE! 🙋♂🙋♂🙋♂
As you stoop into the bat caves, remember not to make too much of noise as you don’t really want to wake up thousands of bats, in their own habitat too. Gone are my days of loving Batman now! But we got past it, even though we didn’t finish the entire tour because of rising water levels in the caves. Throughout the entire trip to Langkawi and Malaysia, we were lucky to meet some very friendly people, including our hilarious helmsman.
Already an extremely exhausting day, we went eagle-watching before stopping at a nearby crocodile farm, where we fed the newborns and watched the older ones in a crocodile show. If nothing, I’ve at least learnt some strategies to keep the crocs at bay if ever faced with such situations in life!
Day 3 – Local attractions/shopping
With a total erect height of 12 meters, Dataran Lang is the largest man-made attraction on the island of Langkawi. As per some of the stories of the people we came across, this reddish brown eagle is the emblem of the island of Langkawi. In fact, the region has got its name from this bird itself. In Malay, helang means eagle and kawi is the reddish brown colour. The attraction is also known as the Langkawi Eagle Square:
There’s plenty more for one to do and see at Langkawi including scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing and other water sports, which most of the resorts in the area undertake. If you wish to get a little adventurous and explore the city by yourself, you can also hire a motorbike or car; all you need to do is produce your local driving/riding license. Remember, max out on shopping in Langkawi as you will get a lot of local produce here tat you won’t in Kuala Lumpur and other big cities in Malaysia.
— Dwayne Fernandes (@Dwayneeeboy) August 28, 2019
(This article is a work in progress. Check back in a while for latest update)