Thursday, June 23, 2016

Malaysia: Langkawi Island Tour and Pulau Payar Marine Park


Where are the people? I mean, I haven’t seen anyone since we went off?, I inquisitively asked our driver as we started to roam the island. I noticed how peaceful and quiet the roads were as we travel it. There were monkeys and cows but no people. The driver just laughed and went on with his stories of how simple life is in Langkawi. I’m starting to like the chill vibe of this island.

Pulau Payar Langkawi Malaysia

It was our first time in Langkawi and all we knew was that this archipelago (with 104 islands) on the northwestern side of Malaysia is a tax-free island. Located on the Andaman Sea, it is near the Thai border which makes it a nice pit stop for hopping around different islands. We had a week to explore the islands of Langkawi and we carefully planned our day-to-day activities.

Langkawi Malaysia
Pufferfish for souvenir, anyone?
Hotel Bahagia in downtown Kuah, the largest and capital town, was our home for three nights. Its perfect location provided a quick preview on what to expect in Langkawi. The place was quiet in the morning and much more peaceful at night. You could stroll at midnight and no one would bother you. And one more thing, nice cars were everywhere like top-of-the-line brands.

Okay, so we had a half day tour around the island (private car with driver from Ekomegah Tours) where we had freedom to choose where to go and what to do the problem was, we weren’t prepared for that freedom.

Langkawi Malaysia
There are no public transportations in Langkawi, Malaysia. It's either you rent a car or join shared tours.
Me and my two favorite travel buddies in the world started the day at the famous Eagle Square (Dataran Lang). Facing Kuah Bay, the 12-meter statue of a poised eagle ready to take flight is one of the most notable structures on the island. We braved the 10 o’clock heat and visited the famous eagle which is the celebrated icon of Langkawi. The word Langkawi is said to be derived from two Malay words “helang” which means “eagle” and “kawi” which means “reddish-brown” or “strong”.

It was just a quick stop. We were asked by our friendly driver if we wanted to check out the duty free shops and we politely declined. Again, we were given a lot of places to visit but we’re all hyped up when he mentioned beach, we knew right away that we wanna explore some of the beaches of Langkawi. We drove to Pantai Cenang, probably the most famous one on the island, after the quick stop to Eagle Square.

Eagle Square Langkawi Malaysia

Eagle Square Langkawi Malaysia
The most notable icon of Langkawi
All my questions about the people’s whereabouts were answered when we passed by some restaurants, shops and hotels that signaled our arrival on the famed beach of Langkawi. I was hoping to find local ones who were enjoying the sea breeze but no, tourists were everywhere enjoying the heat and tropical vibe of Malaysia.

Pantai Cenang Langkawi Malaysia
Pantai Cenang
We got off on a driveway near the shore and were greeted by the scorching heat and ivory white sand of Pantai Cenang. I was ready to jump into the water when I saw warnings about jellyfish, I ignored the yearning for saltwater this time.

Pantai Cenang Langkawi Malaysia

There were some almost naked women lined up on the shore hoping to get that perfect tan while some guides were offering all sorts of water activities, we weren’t in the mood at that time.

Pantai Cenang Langkawi Malaysia
Tan. Bronze. Lechon.
We settled under the shade of coconut trees and realized that it was a perfect time to booze up. We walked a few hundred meters to the main road where we spotted a duty free shop and hoarded cartons of beers in can (incredibly cheap at RM1.8 each | US$0.45). We went back to the beach, spread over my sarong, popped the cans and started our beer nights, oh I mean, beer noons.

Pantai Cenang Langkawi Malaysia
Everything for US$5
Pantai Cenang Langkawi Malaysia

The boozing up sesh lasted for about two hours, (and) that almost filled up the half day tour. 

Pantai Cenang Langkawi Malaysia

Pantai Cenang Langkawi Malaysia
Pantai Cenang at night
We went back to our car and asked to be brought to Tanjung Rhu, another beach destination but not as famous as Pantai Cenang.

Tanjung Rhu Langkawi Malaysia
Tanjung Rhu
Tanjung Rhu Langkawi Malaysia

Tanjung Rhu is famous for its limestone precipices near the UNESCO Global Geopark of Kilim. The crystal clear waters and ivory white sand with lush trees is picture-perfect. It felt deserted compared to the previous one which I definitely love. Aside from two resorts and a few restaurants there’s nothing much here. People usually go here for lazing around and practically do nothing. We wanted to explore more but we had no time left, too bad.

Tanjung Rhu Langkawi Malaysia
Next time...
We were brought back to our hotel and ended the day with another beer sesh with our hoarded stuff. We could’ve hiked the Seven Wells Waterfalls or ride the famous Cable Car but no, we chose to bum around. We could’ve walked to Langkawi Sky Bridge or probably visit the Underwater World but no, we wasted time and boozed up at noon. But we do love the beach (it’s all about beaches on our Beach Hop Asia 2016 summer backpacking trip) and to do nothing. That’s what I love about my travel buddies, we’re like on the same page all the time.

The next day we were off to another adventure. The three of us, again, availed a full day package to Pulau Payar Marine Park from Ekomegah Tours. We were picked up by a car and brought to Kuah Jetty where we boarded a ferry going to the marine park, the trip lasted for an hour.

Pulau Payar Langkawi Malaysia
Pulau Payar Marine Park
We had a brief overview about the island and certain regulations before we were led to our specific area.

Pulau Payar Marine Park is a popular diving and snorkeling site thirty kilometers south of Langkawi’s main island. There are four uninhabited islands surrounding the marine park and the area is controlled by the Fisheries Department of Malaysia’s Kedah State.

Pulau Payar Langkawi Malaysia

After a simple lunch meal (included on the package), we scanned the area for the perfect base camp and lounged a bit. We found refuge underneath the wooden boardwalk which provided a good shade near the beach.

A photo posted by blissfulguro (@blissfulguro) on

The crystal clear water was too tempting that the moment we arrived, I put my goggles and snorkel on then enjoyed exploring the marine life. I loved how clear the water was and the excitement (or maybe the fear) of swimming with baby blacktip sharks.

Pulau Payar Langkawi Malaysia

Pulau Payar Langkawi Malaysia
Swim with baby blacktip sharks
We had a great day coupled with our, again, beer stash that we brought. We could’ve circled the island using the boardwalks but we’re too lazy (or maybe the beer) to move but on our chosen spot.

Pulau Payar Langkawi Malaysia

Pulau Payar Langkawi Malaysia
Beach. Bronze. Booze. 
We left at around three in the afternoon and were brought back to our hotel again.

We’re starting to love Langkawi after exploring it for two days. We can’t wait for another round of adventure and booze sesh, haha, you can’t help it while in Langkawi.


Ekomegah Holidays
No. 68-78 Persiaran Bunga Raya, 
Langkawi Mall, Phase II, Kuah,
07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
Contact Number: (+60) 496.959.89
Email Address: ekolgk@gmail.com




2 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful place! So many beautiful beaches in Malayasia, it's so dreamy!

    ReplyDelete