Malaysia, is rich with its culture and abundance of beautiful places to visit. How many of you can proudly claim that you have toured across the country and experience them all?
At the end of July, I made a return to Langkawi. This time it was a properly planned holiday, uniquely meant for rest and discovering new side of the island. Located up north in Kedah, Langkawi is famously known for its duty free island status - cheap shopping; and its gorgeous 99 small islands that make up the whole Langkawi Island.
My hometown is in Kedah. However, due to the popularity of the island being a tourist destination, my visit to Langkawi so far, I believe; have been less than 10 times. This planned trip objective was to experience the other side of the main island, so I decided to choose Burau Bay. There was only two hotels at Burau Bay area. After scouting for packages, I managed to secure a good bargain from Berjaya Holidays; 3 days/ 2 nights stay with breakfast, dinner and 1 hour massage for 2 persons.
The journey started with 1 1/2 hour ferry ride from Kuala Kedah Jetty. The facility have improved so much compared to a few years before. Even the Kuah Jetty in Langkawi is now so much presentable with good facilities to be offered to the public. We took a taxi from jetty to the hotel -- about 40 minutes from Kuah town. The taxi fare is regulated, Kuah to Berjaya Resort is RM 40/one way.
It was not high season, for local, but the place was almost filled with tourist from Middle East. Berjaya Langkawi Resort, is so far the most luxurious accommodation in the island that I have ever experienced. Not only the chalet style was in superb conditions, but the services given was by far the best in the country. Our room had sea-view with partial forest view - thanks to free room upgrades.
|Courtesy from Berjaya Langkawi Resort|
After we checked-in to room, my & my brother went down to its beach to just experience the afternoon beach. There was plenty to choose, from motorized water sports (i.e. Jet sky, banana boat, catamaran lesson, para-sailing, etc) to just simple beach activities (i.e. beach volley ball, kite flying, beach balls, etc.)
Our first afternoon snack (with soon turned to be our early dinner) was at the Beach Restaurant. The food was lovely (highly recommendable).
I must say that the resort offers a variety of gastronomical choices to experience. One can choose to have local to western to oriental cuisines from the exclusive restaurants and cafes within the resort itself.
That evening, my brother & I took the shuttle (free for guests) ride to the main lobby. We sat down and enjoyed listening to the live band performing at the lounge. A short chat with one of the musician revealed that the hotel are very famous among the foreign tourists. My brother & I was the 3rd local couple he'd met in the past 6 months.
The whole day was reserved for our high sea experience. We went for a day cruise -- 7 hours activity. The van pick up was at 9 am, with 2 couples from our hotel. The van continue to pick up another 3 couples before arriving at the Awana Porto Malai. There were 12 pax (technically 6 couples, 2 from Germany, 1 from Kazakhstan, 1 from Hong Kong and 1 from Middle East for the sail-ride. The sailing experience was chartered from Tropical Charters Sdn Bhd.
Let the pictures speak on its own;
A leisurely sail (when the wind if favourable!!) through a myriad of islands that will remind you of the fjords of Scandinavia or the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. On board our flagship, “SEASATION”, you will meet our friendly Malaysian crew, who will explain the flora and fauna of the islands and assist you throughout the day. [from Tropical Charters]
The weather was superb, with blue skies & bright morning sun. Soon after the yacht left Awana, the crew unfolded the 'fishing net' for the salt water jacuzzi. It was an experience I will never forget.
After about an hour or so, the crew started to warm up the BBQ pit to prepare for our lunch. The yacht slowly sail passing through a few of the famous small islands and made a brief stop in the middle of the small islands. The sea was extremely calm. A few of us went on canoeing, and many just jump into the sea.
While waiting for lunch to serve, a few of us even tried fishing... I guess the water was too tempting, after a short wait -- everyone decided to be in the sea rather than on the yacht.
Lunch on board was superb. Everything was nicely prepared. After lunch, the sail continued.
When we arrived at a private beach, what said in the operator's website was sooooo trueee....
During the course of the day, you can expect to see a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, sea eagles, and dolphins.
Upon arrival at our private, secluded beach, you may relax on the white sandy beach, swim, and snorkel or play Frisbee! Kayaks are available to explore the coastline, and you can take a short walk through the jungle! Our beach crew will prepare a memorable international feast, which you can enjoy under the cooling shade of the jungle canopy at the edge of the beach. [from Tropical Charters]
In the end, it was worth every cents paid. We paid RM320/person, and the experience is priceless. I even had the chance to be the 'skipper' for a short while (",)
Upon the returned to hotel, we took a short rest before heading to the main lobby for our dinner. I had crab and prawn curry with rice. It was a buffet, but since time was chasing us, I chose to eat whatever seems special to me.
The evening started with an hour massage at the Ayura Spa -- it was part of the package. The choice to get myself pampered after a whole day on the sea, was so righhhttt!!!! After the massage, my brother and I chilled at the sport's bar -- played pool (a few rounds) and just kill the time with casual chat and drinks.
Before check-out, it was final round to the spa...this time to use all the facilities. I had a hot shower, before walking into the sauna for about 15 mins. Next door-stop was into the steam bath. It was so refreshing to sweat in the steam room. It was still early, so there were not many guests. I peeked out the window and saw my brother was already in the cool jacuzzi pool -- I immediately joined him. After a nice cool dive in the pool, we walked back to our room.
Technically the experience at the hotel ends about 1pm. I had chartered a taxi for 2 hours - had to do some souvenirs shopping for friends and family back home. My initial plan was not to shopping, so I had already prepared a list of items to buy. The taxi stopped at the area in Kuah town which are famous for shopping. After browsing a few shops, we bought everything that are known to be a must-have when you go to Langkawi -- crystal glasses, chocolates, cigarette & mini cigars, kain batik & pelikat and minyak gamat. Since we had no extra luggage space, we ended up buying a new luggage bag -- for all the items purchased.
It was raining just when we arrived at the jetty. We had our lunch first at the jetty, while waiting for our ferry ride at 4.30pm. After arriving at Kuala Kedah jetty at 6pm, my brother and I took a taxi back to our grandmother's house.
It was indeed an experience worth sharing with everyone. Thank you to everyone in Langkawi who have been extremely friendly and helpful throughout the stays.
I came back to office fully recharged. Cannot wait for the next trip (still browsing around and planning...)