When most people think of a tropical beach vacation in Southeast Asia, they generally think Thailand. More specifically, they think Phuket or its neighbor Krabi. To be sure, they are both drop-dead gorgeous, but they are also incredibly popular… and crowded. In fact, over 5.3 million tourists flock to Phuket each year. If you are looking to people-watch, party, or shop, then Phuket is a great choice. If you’re dreaming of a peaceful island getaway, then you may want to choose another destination. Why not consider Langkawi, Malaysia?
Langkawi is a collection of 99 thickly forested tropical isles located in the idyllic Andaman Sea, just 155 miles to the southeast of Phuket. In 2007, UNESCO declared Langkawi Southeast Asia’s first Geopark for its stunning natural beauty, geologic wonders, and ecological harmony. Happily, you’ll also find a peaceful, laid-back, atmosphere and uncrowded beaches.
One of the top tourist attractions on Langkawi is the cable car, which takes visitors all the way up Mount Machincang, Langkawi’s second highest peak. There are two observation platforms – the first platform is 650m above sea level and the second is at 1100m above sea level. Depending on how long you take to “observe” at each platform, the round-trip should take between 30-45 minutes.
We stayed at The Andaman resort on the remote north side of what is an already quiet island. It was gorgeous and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a 5-star lodging at a reasonable rate by Western standards.
The setting is incredible and as you enter the lobby you will be impressed. The rooms are good-sized and comfortable. We were lucky enough to get a room with a view of Datai Bay.
Watch out for those cute monkeys. They are also quite naughty. They will break into your room and rifle through your belongings and minibar, if given the chance. We had one open our balcony door while we were inside our room. Luckily, we were paying attention, so we jumped up in time to quickly shut and lock the door.
The pool is truly stunning. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Absolutely amazing.
The resort is directly on Datai Bay and offers non-motorized water sports and use of complementary snorkeling gear. We went kayaking on the bay. The water was clear and incredibly calm.
The Andaman also has their own Coral Nursery on site with various educational activities. We got a guided tour. The photos are a bit hazy, but you get the idea.
The resort also offers guided nature walks in the surrounding rainforest. We took the morning walk, where we came across some sleeping fruit bats and the only known gliding primate.
Here is the beach at sunrise.
Here is the beach at sunset.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip and we truly enjoyed Langkawi.