Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Langkawi October 2014 Trip Report

This blog is not as defunct as you would like to think. On and off I will check-in, with content which I hope would be helpful towards your Google search result; like this topic that I'm about to embark on - my recent Langkawi trip.

As a local, my business with Langkawi was with one thing and one thing only - duty free shopping.

Forget about the food, forget about the beaches, forget about the "local attractions". If anyone tells you that you should go to Langkawi for these 3 things, they are lying. If you had planned your trip around how much you will be enjoying all these 3 things,  you will be severely disappointed. If you happened to have stopped by this blog in search of where to go for a good beach, eating or sight-seeing holiday in Langkawi, please, let me implore you to try these alternatives:

For food - How about Penang or Ipoh instead? Even KL has better food and more variety.
For beaches - Try Pangkor.
For sight-seeing - Why not Melaka, or Penang (food and sight-seeing! co-co-co-combo!)

Okay, so in spite of my earlier warning, you still want to proceed to Langkawi. Well, here is my experience which I hope could be of some use to you, dear single random reader.


We flew to Langkawi with MAS. Sometimes they offer you really good deals - even cheaper than the budget airline, without additional hidden costs. The fare always includes check-in luggage and refreshments. So if at any time MAS is cheaper, MAS will always be my first choice. Yes, despite the couple of bad incidences. As a Malaysian, I am proud and will always be proud of MAS. IMHO, the upper management team needs to be thrown into the ocean to drown, but the working level troops are one of the best in the business and nothing will convince me to lose faith in MAS.

#staystrong #flyhigh 

Mode of Transport Around the Island

Upon arriving at the Langkawi airport, we rented a car at the airport exit. Honestly, I don't know which one is the best but in Malaysia, usually a decent gauge is to check out the counter with the longest queue. But if you have the balls, like us, try the ones with no queue at all. They may be willing to rent you a car at a better price. Just remember a few very important things:

1. Haggle. Haggle. Haggle. We paid about RM80 per day for a manual rickety old Perodua Viva without haggling which I regret. You can do better.
2. Do not leave your original passport with them, you do NOT have to do that.
3. Get their contact number and make sure the number works.
4. If they force you to pay a deposit, do not pay more than RM100. As a gauge, we paid only RM50 deposit for our Perodua Viva for 2 days.
5. Most of these cars will not carry the specific license for leasing. There is also highly likely that the cars that are leased are actually stolen cars, or privately owned cars. If you are icky about this, I would suggest that you get around the island in a taxi.

We were very happy with our car and used it to the maximum as we went to the city a lot. The distance from the resort to the city centre was about 20-30 minutes on a leisurely drive. I shudder at the thought of how much the cab fare would cost.


Our party stayed in Berjaya Resort. It was fanta-bulous. But it comes with a not-so-cheap price tag. I believe if you are not Malaysian, it'll be even more expensive for you but with the RM so weak, it's going to be peanuts for you anyway so it doesn't matter.

The resort is a collection of chalets which overlooks the sea. There are 2 types - one by the beach (more expensive), one by the hills (less expensive). Both offers you incredible views and a lovely feeling of being one with nature. It's one place you'd just want to keep staying-in, in. You do not need to go anywhere else to enjoy the island. Just stay put. Even when it rained everyday, it didn't dampened our spirits because it was just so beautiful.

But don't take my word for it. Here are some horribly taken pictures using a handphone.

A freaking large fountain will greet you at the reception.

Hello, fountain. You look happy to see me.

After you check-in, a buggy will take you to your chalet. Though, it does take forever to come especially when the queue is long. We got the forest chalet. If it is near enough for you to walk, I would suggest walking. It is a lovely walk.

Walking is good for you. And you get the enjoy sceneries like this one.

You'd want to walk everywhere in this place. The air is fresh and clean. The view is so green and pretty. Sigh, I want to go back.

Doesn't this look like a hobbit trail to you?

The bedrooms are decent. The designs are kind of old school. Lots of dark wood and dim lighting, but very comfortable with plush giant pillows. Yes, rainfall shower head and bathtub are included. TV channels not too great, but has enough to keep you entertained throughout your booze-fuelled nights.

Sleep on me. Sleep on me NOW.

Each chalet has its own balcony for you to chill in. Or do yoga in. Or contemplate the meaning of your existence in. YMMV.

Our freaking balcony overlooks the forest. And the air is sooo fresh.

Good/bad news is that at night, you will be accompanied by the chirping of jungle insects. This may turn you on/off. We were very fine with that as it adds to the whole nature/jungle-y experience. (Un)luckily for us, it happened to also be the rainy season so it was cool enough leave the air conditioning off.

The chalets by the sea. Aren't they lovely?

Do take a stroll along the beach. But I wouldn't recommend you to jump into it, though. I personally would never jump into any water that doesn't allow me to see my feet. Who knows what may be lurking underneath.

Nah. One token picture of the resort's beach. Edited to high hell.

Oh yes, bring along your swimswear. While you may not want to jump into the icky brown/green sea, you may enjoy the resort's lovely swimming pool.

View of the pool, facing the sea. Taken while it was drizzling. Still pretty inviting innit?

They even have a tiny outdoor jacuzzi, if you're so inclined.

View from the view, facing away the sea. It was so photogenic, I didn't even have to edit it.

What I thought was a nice touch was the resort's little mangrove walk by the resort's beach. The trail is made out of some bright plastick-y blue material. While it looks cool, be careful as it will be slippery when wet.

The resort's mini swamp trail into a ... swamp.

Places of Interest

If it is your first time in Langkawi, I would suggest for you to try the cable car ride. From my memory, it gives you a beautiful view of the island and sea on the way up. But please, please please please, go before the line starts. Throughout the day, the queues are insane and doubly so during school holidays. Again, there are preferential rates. If you are Malaysian, prepare your IC for a cheaper rate. If you are a foreigner, it doesn't matter how much it costs as it'll be too cheap for you anyway (really). The best part about reaching the top is the sky bridge with its view of the entire island and beyond.... HOWEVER I've been made to understand that it is now closed indefinitely due to structural issues. I thank my lucky stars everyday that the bridge didn't collapsed at my last trip.

There's a news article about it which claims that it'll be re-opened in December 2014. But this is Malaysia, where promises made by the powers that be are never kept. So don't hold your breath ya?

If you rented a car, roll down the windscreen and take a slow drive along the coast and through the paddy fields. Those are beautiful to look at. Forget the tomb, forget the burnt rice fields, forget all the animal farms or whatever touristy trap places. Just take a long slow drive. Stop every so often to take a picture or two.

Picture perfect paddy fields. Don't need to see any burnt rice field coz as a Chinese, I don't like to see burnt, wasted rice.

If you must make one stop for a pee break, why not check out the Warm Water Spring (Kolam Air Hangat). While this place has absolutely no maintenance, it's quite a little surprise to suddenly find, among all the ridiculously overdone stone architecture that surrounds it, a little well which is constantly warm. Forget about how gross the water is, or how germ infested it may be. Just deep your feet in there and enjoy the warmth, and leave. No entrance fee anyway, so what is there to complain, right?

Trying not to think about the bacteria infesting in there.

Head towards Kuah town, specifically, Jalan Pandak Mayah. The bulk of all the duty free shops are there. You'll find kitchenware, crockery, tobacco, booze, and chocolates selling for cheap here. This is the place that puts Langkawi on the tourist map. Note the following:

1. If you are buying a lot from a shop, try asking for a discount. Be extremely polite and put on a huge smile and ask "auntie/uncle - got discount ah?" (if it's a chinese at the cashier) or "bang/cik - ada diskaun tak? (if Malay). Higher chances of getting discount if you pay by cash.
2. There is a chance that half of these stuff are fake. Especially liquour. The prices can be too good to be true. If you did buy a fake, well, too bad loh. So cheap what!
3. Becareful of pickpockets
4. If you're going to go crazy with buying stuff, bring along an empty suitcase to lug your stuff from shop to shop. Trust me, you will not stop at only one shop. And you shouldn't just stop at one.
5. This is a decent guide for which shops you should visit at Kuah.

Horribly botched up panaromic view of the Duty Free haven.

The first thing we did after checking-in was to head straight to the duty free town. We spent a good full day at Kuah town just shopping for duty free stuff. Best shopping trip EVER.

If you are thoroughly bored at night and have absolutely nothing to do, you could drive towards Cenang Beach. There, you'll find lots of street-side stalls to see and get conned by. Do try the coconut jelly drink. It is surprisingly GOOD.



The resort provided us with a very average breakfast buffet. But it's food and it's provided for so we're usually set for the morning till late afternoon. Actually, our group consumes so much cheap beer during the trip we never really felt too hungry anyway.  But one must eat eventually.

Firstly, don't bother with all that TripAdvisor recommendations. Langkawi is not known for fantastically good food. Try however, to Google for "Langkawi food review"... and you'll find a lot of reviews to be in Malay. That's because the better food choices in Langkawi ARE local Malay food.

Secondly, specialty seafood restaurants? Nope. It's not the cheapest, not the freshest. It's just a bunch of tourist trap and most often than not, will disappoint.

However, there is a silver lining. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough - Veena Thai Seafood Restaurant.

If there is just one place you must eat in Langkawi, make it this place.

It is great. We ordered a small bowl of tomyam (RM6), thai style (sourish) steam fish (RM29) and fried belacan kangkung (RM5). Including 2 bowls of rice and 2 water - the grand total of this huge meal for just 2 came up to RM45.40. It was delicious and stupid cheap.

Waze can take you there. The shop next to it is supposedly good too. Should be as affordable as well.

Googling also brought us to this other supposedly famous place to eat - Fat Mum restaurant. It's a family-owned restaurant I suspect. The cook is this flustered little chubby auntie, hence the name?

Flamed noodles (GET IT) , teochew steamed fish (skip), fried taofoo (skip), steam prawn (ok)

The noodles were something special, as it was served in flames - I would suggest you to just order that and your dinner is sorted. If you must, maybe just one additional vege. The seafood was fresh but not outstanding, and skip the signature fried taufoo. The other saving grace is that a bottle of ice cold Sapporo beer was only RM5 (it's usually anywhere between RM15 and above). Then again, we ARE in Langkawi afterall.

We ordered 4 dishes which costed us about RM150++. It's not cheap, about average city pricing, with average food. While it was not as mind blowing as some reviews claim it to be - it was a satisfactory experience.

I will still recommend you to eat there, mostly because auntie seems like an honest hardworking lady and I like rooting for honest hardworking aunties.

Sekian sahaja laporan cuti-cuti Malaysia saya kali ini. Semoga saudari dan saudara sentiasa dalam keadaan sihat walafiat.


  1. finally! pls keep blogging liddis kthxbai

    1. Wah! you still have the blog on your feed! Is honoured. <3


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