Published On: Thu, Oct 25th, 2018

Water Sports and an Adventure Holiday: Langkawi in Malaysia

Sharing its borders with Thailand and Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia now gets lots of tourists by air or road. With nearly 60 per cent of the country being rainforests, it has over 8,000 species of flowering plants including myriad kinds of orchids and many types of palm. With Penang and the attractive Langkawi, it has become a major tourism hub.

Water Sports, Adventure Holiday, Langkawi, Malaysia

Pulsating Malaysia

Driving out of the airport over excellent roads, we saw the signs of the transformation brought about in Malaysia and its tourist destinations in recent years. Aside from the gleaming glass buildings, Malaysia, which boasts of superb beaches, mountains and national parks, has built up an excellent infrastructure for tourism.

It now has a very high tourist inflow, thanks to its modernization of the cities, tourism upgrades, and F-1 Formula Racing. Malaysia has indeed become a pleasant, vibrant country to visit. It is cheery and has an excellent culture based on a fusion of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures and customs.

The Fabulous Kuala Lumpur

We had spent a few fun-filled days at Genting before moving on to Kuala Lumpur. KL is a federal territory directly under the Malaysian government. Wide, well-maintained roads, beautiful buildings, and a cheerful ambience have made this a favourite destination for tourists. Indeed, KL has grown from nothing to a modern, lively city of almost two million people. With its architectural marvels and the pulsating Chinatown, it is a modern city of gleaming skyscrapers. The effort at modernisation was helped a great deal by the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

From Historic Penang to the Lively Langkawi

Till recently the island of Penang off Malaysia’s north-western coast, was the country’s leading resort. Penang has the intriguing city of Georgetown. It has more Chinese flavour than either Singapore or Hong Kong. Georgetown is a compact city and a delight to wander around. You can see the walls of Fort Cornwallis in the centre of Georgetown. The area within the fort is now a park with plenty of cannons, many retrieved from pirates. Though there are many Chinese and Indian restaurants, the delicious local dishes are a delight to taste.

The Lure of Langkawi – Water Sports and Marine Parks

Lying in the north of the country, Langkawi is a collection of 99 islands that were till recently uninhabited. Even now only Langkawi itself is inhabited. It has come a long way to become a preferred tourist destination.

Langkawi has an ethnic village to showcase the Malaysian culture and crafts. It has lovely beaches, natural beauty, and the attraction of being a duty-free area. We soon found out that the duty free tag really applied to liquor and tobacco only. You can pick up a lot of branded wear here.

A famous icon of Langkawi is the Eagle Square near the jetty. A huge reddish brown eagle greets you here. We were enthralled by the aquarium called Underwater World which has thousands of marine species in giant tanks. In fact the sight of a huge fish swimming above our heads in the ceiling of the room was awe-inspiring.

There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. The cable ride to see the rainforests was awesome. This cable car has the world’s longest span of 950 meters. The excellent Pulau Payar Marine Park 19 km from Langkawi consists of four uninhabited islands which we approached on speed boats Here you can snorkel, do SCUBA diving to see the interesting formations, or discover the mangrove forest.

We were staying in one of the resorts that has a private beach of its own and individual cabanas on stilts for all the guests. It was peace and tranquility all over. Sitting out enjoying our lunch near the swimming pool one day, we saw a small reptilian animal near the pool. When we asked the waiter what it was, he coolly replied that it was a baby alligator and that these often came up to the pool. To this day we are not sure whether it was really so or if he had pulled a fast one on us.

My wife still berates me for not taking a picture of this intruder to show the Doubting Thomases back home.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at knowledgeherald@gmail.com

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