Since I last updated you were were waiting in a Malaysian airport to fly to Langkawi. We did in fact make it.
Langkawi was the pinch hitter for the beaches of southern Vietnam. Thankfully we had friends who had been to Langkawi a little while ago and we remembered them singing it’s praises.
Why Langkawi? That is a very simple, yet complicated question. The simple answer is that it is relaxing. The complex answer involves venn diagrams and list of pros and cons.
We cherish our vacation and travel time (who doesn’t.?). Four or five years ago we began thinking about and discussing the types of trips we take. What do we get out of them? What do we need at certain points of the years? What is the latest research on happiness and travel? This led us to developing a general idea of the ideal type of trip for us.
So for our post-summer (a.k.a. Post crazy work schedule) trip we have a few requirements:
- The first of the trip must be relaxing and a time to unwind.
- Sun and heat are a must.
- Not a mind numbing resort.
- Not cheap but not Four Seasons crazy expensive.
- Not one of the usual spots North Americans go.
- Opportunity for adventure.
- Not a place with vast amounts of historical/famous places to see. We don’t want to feel like we are missing something when we just read all day.
- Monkeys are a plus (we love monkeys).
- Great food.
- A scooter.
So with all of that in mind, and our first choice of southern Vietnam out of the game, we set our sites on the tropical Malaysian island of Langkawi. We did well.
We were originally going to spend 5 or 6 nights on the island. We ended staying 10. After two days we simply extended our reservation, one of the benefits of having nothing planned.
We stayed at the classy, yet surprisingly affordable Berjaya Resort. We somehow scored another free upgrade and ended up with a unit over the water… Well at least at high tide it was.
Berjaya is the type of place that could suck you in so that you spend all of your time on the hotel grounds being pampered. It is NOT an all inclusive though. The restaurants on the resort are ones you have to pay for, and thanks be to the traveling gods, that you don’t have to wear a bracelet. It was just a great place to stay and unwind.
Our unit was what we would call a one bedroom cottage. It had a covered deck, a king size bed, A/C, and a fridge. There were towel swans on our bed every day. It had Internet that only seemed to work when the stars were aligned a certain way.
Our first day on Langkawi involved getting a scooter. The hotel rented them but after they told us we needed a motorcycle license (bahahahah) and that they cost 70 ringgits (about $21) per day we decided to shop elsewhere. A quick Internet search revealed a place just a 20 minute walk away.
We walked in the sweltering heat (about 33 degrees daily) and saw some monkeys, Becky saw a giant lizard, and we came to the rental spot. A guy sauntered out and we agreed on 35 Ringgits per day. I filled out my own rental form, nothing was mentioned about a license, and we were off.
The scooting on Langkawi was fantastic. Roads are in great shape, people drive very cautiously for South East Asia, and as long as you can remember to drive on the left side if the road it’s as easy as it gets.
With scooter acquired we did a quick tour of the local area and headed back to read, get sunburnt, and eat.
This cycle of sleep, eat, scoot, burn, read, eat, sleep repeated itself for the time we were on Langkawi. We managed to scoot the entire island multiple times and ate some amazing, amazing meals.
We achieved exactly what we had hoped for on this first segment of our trip: Relaxation. We left Langkawi knowing that we would be back.
From Langawi we set off by plane to Kuala Lumpur.