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First timer’s guide to Langkawi. The Dad edition.

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First timer’s guide to Langkawi. The Dad edition.

story by: House of Travel

By HOT guest blogger: David Agnew

Recently David took his family to Malaysia. We asked him to recount his experience for us so we could share it with you. Here's what he discovered.

The juxtaposition of Langkawi is to stay at the comfy resort or venture out and ​see the sights, and in the end, there’s never enough time. The main island of the 99 strong group is a veritable treasure-trove of activities for those who yearn for a slice of nature or those in search of a buzz. So, if you’re beginning your search for things to do on Langkawi, here​ are seven gems to get you started​. Seven unmissable experiences​ you don't want to miss out on. 


1. Island Hopping Tour, Cenang
The highlight of the island hopping tour has to be the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden on the island of Dayang Bunting. A 20 minute boat ride from Cenang precedes a short-ish 20 minute hike taking you up and over the crater rim to the lake which is collared by untouched deep-green forest. Local legend says a quick dip into the fresh rainforest waters of the lake enhances the fertility of wishful women. But if you’re a bloke (or have a mob of kids in tow already​) there​ are plenty ​of things to do on th​is island hopping tour for every​ family member; something to accommodate every wish. 
HOT Tip: If you wish to keep your distance from the fruitful and potentially life-changing waters, wait until the beach at Beras Basah which would be okay to be marooned at.


2. Lagenda Park, Kuah
On the south-eastern foot of the island is the main town of Kuah and the civic centre of Langkawi where ferries connect to the mainland. Straddling the waterfront is Lagenda, a sculptural monument to the island group known as the ‘Isle of Legends’. Twenty hectares of landscaped gardens and paths are the canvas for the creative art pieces and give an insight into the folklore of the region which isn’t so obvious elsewhere in the multi-cultural population. 
HOT Tip: Make sure the camera has enough battery and go early in the morning to beat the heat.


3. Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park
At the top left of Langkawi sits PGA golf legend Ernie Els’ award-winning golf course, although squeezing in 18 holes might be tough in this neck of the woods. Unspoiled nature co-exists with a catalogue of worthy tourist attractions including the iconic Skybridge and Cable Car. A cool-off swim in the Seven Wells Waterfall reaffirms you’re in a jungle paradise and if you can’t coax the children up the mountain, Oriental Village has enough technology to write-off half a day.
HOT Tip: Ride the cable car in the early afternoon when the sun has burnt off the thin morning cloud for the best 360 degree views you can get. 


4. The Macaques
All over the island are the macaques, - they own the island. - The brown variety roam in family units up to 50 deep, with an alpha male standing staunchly at the helm. These guys mean no harm but have a healthy appetite for human food. Asking locals how to handle them is your best bet but if in doubt, voyeur away. Not so prevalent is the Dusky Leaf Macaque (shy black ones) who pop out for young shoots and leaves and seem to have little interest it seems in appearing in foreigners’ photo albums.
HOT Tip: Watching a mob of monkeys for an extended period of time is great entertainment but don’t look them in the eye!

 
5. Mangrove Tours, Tanjung Rhu
Forget the mangroves that spoil your water view in Auckland, bold thoughts of being deep in the Amazon come to mind when navigating the tight bottleneck of the Kilim Geopark mangrove forest. Thankfully this ride is kid-friendly. The guides live and breathe their environment and are profoundly conscious of preserving what they are custodians of. If the sea conditions permit, the​ three and a half hour trip ducks into the Andaman Sea where you can see Thailand and around to a secluded swimming beach – perhaps to help wash off the guano from the bat caves!
HOT Tip: Take your time at the floating fish farm and try some fresh sea bass (caught at sea) fried and drenched in the local curry.


6. Dev’s Nature Walk, Berjaya Resort
An undervalued bonus of Berjaya Resort Langkawi is the complimentary guided walk through the hotel’s very own rainforest. Besides the resident macaque monkeys, the other animals are secretive and with the help of a passionate guide you’ll find hidden gems like the flying colugo (or flying lemur) who may also grace your lounging presence in the evenings. Not to mention lizards a metre long, sleeping bats, squirrels and odd looking birds; it’s amazing what lurks in the canopy.
HOT Tip: After the rains the animals come out to play. Four times a week guides take guests on the hour long walk through the property’s undulating tracks.

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