Saturday, May 16, 2009

Islands hopping, birdwatch and more in Langkawi

Many activities we can do in Langkawi Island.

Langkawi is an archipelago that consists of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, south of Thailand, 30km off the mainland coast of northwestern
Peninsular Malaysia. The islands are a part of Malaysia's Kedah state, but are adjacent to the Thai border. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi (Langkawi Island) with a population of some 45,000, the only other inhabited island being nearby Pulau Tuba.
Tourists flock here for the delightful beaches, superb resorts and refreshing nature-based activities. The best beaches include Pantai Cenang, Burau Bay, Pantai Kok and Pantai Datai.

But many still prefer the more adventurous crossing by fast air-conditioned boats from Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah on the mainland. Some even take the special ferry services from Penang Island. The usual jump-off points are from Kuala Perlis (approx. 45 mins.) and Kuala Kedah (approx 90 mins.). The one-way fare from Kuala Kedah is RM23.00.

From Penang to Langkawi - Ferry trips average 3 hours each way. From Penang, 8.15 am and 8.30 am ferry trips but ask if the ferry stops at Pulau Payar to pick/drop passengers. Avoid the Pulau Payar one as it saves about 15-20 mins. From Langkawi, the ferry trips to Penang are at 2.30pm and 5.30pm. Price for return trip (you can have an open booking for the trip back - confirm while you are on Langkawi island later) is RM105 per person. You can park your car at the parking space in front of the Penang Clock Tower for RM12 for the 1st day and RM6 for subsequent days. It is safe to do so - guarded at night by the Chinese who take the parking fee from you.

Islands Hopping - For about RM40 (about USD12) you can join the islands hopping. You will be brought to several islands around Langkawi, usually the Pregnant Maiden Island and Pulau Beras Basah. You will also have the chance to feed the eagles along the way. The island hopping takes about 6 hours. This is a very popular and sought after service, inquire from the hotel. They have pick-up service from your hotel.
Birdwatching - there are over 200 species of birds to spot.
Take the Cable Car to the summit of Gunung Mat Cincang at 700m to walk across the sky bridge and have a spectacular view of the islands including neighbouring Thailand. Valuable Trip. RM25 per adult. Includes a very steep section which is spectacular both going up and coming down. Doesn't operate in bad weather, so call 04-9594225 to check if they are open.
Countryside Biking. You may rent bicycles in many of the hotels. Expect to pay between RM10 to RM30 per day
Sailing- popular activity with first-class marinas providing berth for many international yatchs.
Jungle trekking.
Mangrove Cruise. They have special group tour to the mangrove area. Ask around the hotel you are staying, mostly will offer between RM60 to RM100 per person. They will provide English speaking guide. Even if the guide is not English speaking, you will probably will share the travel with many Malaysians who has decent English. Ask them nicely and they will help.
Mangrove River Safari & Dinner.
Mangrove Kayaking.
Nature Walk.

Scuba diving and snorkeling around Pulau Payar Marine Park(20km south of Langkawi) - there is a viewing platform for relaxation between underwater adventures.
Feed the sharks.
See the island from a bird's eye.
Walk above the clouds
- walking across the suspension bridge is scary but great fun.
Go-Kart - Morac Int. Go-Kart, near the airport. RM34 for 10mins.
Underwater World 604-955 6100. Every day 10AM-6PM. Try to catch all the feeding time (be there by 10.45am)
Feed the Eagles - near Tanjung Rhu. Wonderful display of a large number of eagles being fed was provided by a small and inexpensive boat tour. Take movies and not still photos, as the eagles swoop down very quickly.
Relax on one of many beaches!.
Airtrekking-flying through Langkawi's rainforest!.
Seven Wells (Telaga Tujuh) - This waterfall is named after the seven natural pools along its path. Legend has it that fairies used to come down to the pools to bathe and frolic. There are 2 viewing areas at Telaga Tujuh. The lower area is at the base of the waterfall and the higher area is where the 7 pools are. Be warned, to get to the 7 pools, you would have to climb 300+ steps which can get quite slippery when wet. As with most Malaysian tourist sites, the toilet facilities are not maintained and rubbish is strewn everywhere.
Play Smart-Free playland for kids at Harbour Park.
Koh lipe The only inhabited island in the Tarutao National marine park - Koh Lipe is a small island about 2km long in the Andaman sea, which is on the west coast of Thailand. The only inhabited island in the Tarutao National marine park, Koh Lipe is part of Satun province near Thailand's southern border just a short speed boat ride from Langkwai. The islands around Koh lipe offer some of the best dive and snorkeling sites around

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