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Langkawi Island, Malaysia

by admin on May 28th, 2010

The first thing you see once you get off the ferry from Satun, Thailand to Langkawi, Malaysia is a giant cement eagle (Langkawi’s mascot I guess but it looks a bit like a communist art statue) and … a mall. At first you get an unpleasant feeling at the view of all the concrete, but given the fact that it also feels hotter and more humid than on the Thai islands, passing through an air conditioned mall to get out to the taxis isn’t such a bad thing.

Langkawi was, like the resorts on the west coast of Thailand, just out of season. This means fewer (although still enough) tourists on its main stretch of beach. Or maybe people were elsewhere on the island, same as we ended up going. The thing is – the beautiful part of Langkawi is not its main beach; once beautiful, it is now overdeveloped and the street constantly smells like sewage from an overtaxed sewage system (at least at the time we were there). A few over-priced restaurants and souvenir shops line it up, but nothing special – a concrete furnace by day and a neon light hotspot by night.

Langkawi is mainly known for its tropical views of the sea from the top of lush green mountains and for a feel of countryside in Malaysia. Even by the place we stayed at, next to all the development, there were chickens roaming around in the street and a couple of cows lived right behind our room. It feels very refreshing to be woken up by roosters in the morning instead of alarm clocks.

We had to rent a car to get around in Langkawi, since there are no reliable public means of transportation around the island.

The following three photos are taken at Sunset Beach (very good name!) on the North side of the island:

The cliche-ed “in the air on the beach” photo:

Monkeys on the side of the road. We saw them, pulled by them, and they all came curious by the car. We must have all been studying each other (the monkeys and us I mean) for a while when a dog barking in the distance made them run away.

The mom and dad:

Picking flees (we people who like to be scratched and picked are not so different!):

A son (or maybe daughter?): “is this a flee I found?”

Pantai (Beach) Kok, on the North side:

A motorbike left with keys in – probably not a high theft zone…or maybe people just worry less:

Oxen just off the road:

Langkawi cable car. View from the top:

Footbridge at the top:

Mango seller off the road. We went in to see his mango orchard:

His wife and children carefully wrap each fruit in paper and only spray chemicals on the paper, not on the fruit:

On the last day, we snuck into a luxury resort with a private beach… just to see what’s there. We have a more insightful article about this (written by Greg) at

We have a more insightful and opinionated article related to this post at

From → South East Asia

One Comment
  1. Remus permalink

    Hello you two. When are you going to post the entry on Penang? Hurry up please, I’ve been waiting for too long :)

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