‘More than half of the earth’s species and animals can be found in just 6% of the Earth’. As you luxuriate in your beach villa which sits on what we could call the ‘icing’ on the cake of Langkawi, make sure you also taste the delicious fruit-rich, main event that lies within.
A blend of flop and forage!
Langkawi is home to four major forest reserves covering almost 13,000 pristine hectares of mountains, lakes, waterfalls and golden beaches. We’re taking a look at the adventures you can enjoy as part of your relaxing luxury holiday; whether you’re a committed trekker and kayaker or simply enjoy a stroll and a cruise, this astounding, lush greenery and its diverse ecosystem is right on your doorstep. The exciting adventures that can be as demanding as you like, simply cry out for family participation too – your kids will adore their experience here,
‘I arrived expecting chic luxury, and I wasn’t disappointed; but I wasn’t prepared for the breath-taking adventure that lay just metres inland’
Here’s your cake – don’t forget to eat it!
So you will arrive on the Island of Langkawi – probably by air from Kuala Lumpur which takes just 45 minutes. It is actually part of a more extensive archipelago comprising 99 islands – well nearer to 104 at low tide! Although partly unexplored, it also boasts a tremendously modern infrastructure which includes duty-free shopping, marinas, luxury resorts and a modern road network. Surely this is a dream tropical combination?
Bird’s eye view – get your bearings
South Asia’s steepest cable car will offer you a view that is nothing short of jaw-dropping and is a brilliant way to appreciate just what is all around you at ground level. It encompasses a whole raft of experiences from the SkyCab, to SkyWalk (pedestrian suspension bridge), to SkyGlide (a sort of elevator) plus the sensory SkyRex, 6D Cinemotion and several more ‘sky’ themed attractions – you will no doubt get the aerial picture now! Tickets are multiple and start at a basic SkyCab ride for RM45 going up to RM126 for a combo-package. No-need-to-queue tickets are available at a premium as are VIP/private deals for 3 to 4 persons. They can all be booked in advance at http://www.panoramalangkawi.com/tickets/
Explore on foot – Langkawi lowland rainforest
Finding endemic flora and fauna, visible nowhere else on earth, has never been easier. If you are not interested in a long walk or have children (12+), there are easy one hour treks in the Langkawi Lowlands, on flat gradients that will be perfect.
The rainforest after dark
The sounds that dominate a walk at night are truly magical and a guided tour after sunset should not be missed. Your knowledgeable naturalist will be able to point out bats, flying squirrels and the unique flying lemurs (colugo). They usually last about an hour and a half and will be limited to around 12 persons.
A moderate trek of 3 hours will take you further into the tropical rainforest where your guide will point out many of Langkawi’s 400 tree species, some reaching 70m high! A combination of an afternoon and evening trek is a great way to see the changing mood of the jungle as it shifts from warm speckled sunshine to noisy chattering, as nocturnal creatures emerge. Morning, afternoon and afternoon/evening treks available.
Great for adults or children from about 10 is exploring by bicycle which will take you along river banks, through paddy fields and into forests as well as stops at island villages offering a glimpse of everyday life. If you are not cycle-fit don’t stress – the emphasis is on enjoyment and nature, not distance and speed! You will find a typical duration of 3-4 hours starting either in the early morning or late afternoon.
Kayaking the mangroves
Although this may take about 5 hours it is not as demanding as it may sound! As you glide through the more intricate channels of the mangrove jungle in single or double kayaks you will be treated to pretty much constant natural beauty in all directions. Birds, including eagles, monkeys, monitor lizards, snakes and otters can be seen and your perspective from the water is both intriguing and enjoyable. Children as young as 5 will be accepted making this a great experience for family groups. If you don’t fancy self-propelling, then you can take a cruise along the larger rivers.
The rich diversity of ecosystems and habitat types that include the lowland broadleaf rainforest, mangrove forest, reed beds, rice paddies, orchards, scrublands, mudflats – and breathe – present a super-rich diversity of birdlife. Dedicated guides will take you to hotspots where you can enjoy an indulgent lens-feast. A bird photography tour is run twice weekly from The Datai, it runs from mid-afternoon and lasts around 4 hours. The Datai is situated on the northwest coast amidst lush rainforest and reached in just 30-minutes from the international airport. You will also find several other well-guided walks and outings such as the Birdwatching Walk, Hornbill Trail and Poets Trail – don’t forget to collect your walking stick at the entrance!
If you cannot possibly give up your picture-postcard tropical beach – and why should you? But also crave the chance to sample something untamed, then head to Malaysia’s Langkawi which magically fits the bill.
‘Langkawi is one of my most favourite places on earth; I recommend you visit is soon, as you WILL to want to return’