Langkawi: Fall in Love with Mother Nature and Humanity
Top 3 Post Insights:
1. reconnect with mother nature and humanity
2. Chicken satay sticks and fluffy pancakes galore!
3. mecca of Dreamy Sunsets
My mother called me irrational, my friends said ‘go for it.’ Booking a flight to a city you’ve never heard before can be daunting. Consequent to goggling ‘closest beach to Singapore,’ I decided to go to Langkawi.
After all, Christopher Columbus didn’t discover the round Earth by staying in one place! Over the next 4 days, I found myself falling back in love with mother nature, humanity and inhaling countless chicken satay sticks. I was captivated by this place I stumbled on by chance. Here’s what won me over:
Island Bicycle Tour & Shuhada
Rarely do I ride a bike. In fact the last time I rode a bike in Sydney was 15 years ago.
Bike tours are one of the best ways to see a city, so I booked with Dev’s Adventures. For 120RM (approx. $35AUD), you get a 7 hour bike tour around Langkawi. Lucky for me, no one else booked so I got a private tour! My guide, Shuhada was one of those beautiful radiant souls that make your heart all warm and fuzzy. She was amazing. We rode through rice paddocks, scenic mountains, local villages, went to the buffalo cheese farm and rubber trees (or as I called them, the condom trees).
Fun fact: Did you know that one of Malaysia’s biggest export is rubber? Therefore. Condoms.
I remember sitting with Shuhada at the Buffalo Cheese Farm. We were completely lost in conversation and even skipped the second half of the tour. I sat there enamored by her stories (we’re of similar age). She shared her life experiences of growing up in Malaysia and way of life as a Muslim millennial. It reminded me that no matter where we’ve come from or what we are, humans still share the same universal aspirations and challenges.
I was mesmerised by my tour guide who was so fearless, hungry for life and radiated the abundance of love she had for her family, friends, country and tourists. In short, do the bicycle tour (ask for Shuhada!). It’s a rejuvenating experience from soaking in mother nature, to the soul hugging conversations with the people you’ll meet along the way.
If water colours could dance across the sky, Langkawi sunsets would be their master piece. I remember reading my book and staring at the horizon in absolute awe (these picture don't even do it justice!).
‘Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing’ –Dr Seuss.
I had one of those afternoons, where I looked around as kites flew and children laughed, newlyweds strolled the beach and dusk was falling; and in that moment I thought ‘Wow, what a time to be alive. Life is bloody beautiful!’ (aka. I'm so glad I'm not at the office).
Yoga Now Retreat
At the risk of sounding like a hemp hippie, yoga has literally changed my life. My mind races a million miles an hour. Yoga has exponentially improved my focus and mindset.
I googled ‘yoga in Langkawi’ and found Yoga Now. I enrolled in the 1 day intensive retreat. For 700RM ($200AUD), from 6.30am – 8:00pm, you get a full day of yoga, guided mediation and home cooked vegetarian food.
Marc and Meng run the retreat from their property which is about 30 minutes from the main centre of Langkawi. It’s peaceful, picturesque and you literally feel like you’re on a mountain farm. I would say I’m between intermediate and advanced (15 years of gymnastics had to give me something), but the classes are run at your own level. There’s between 3- 5 per class, so Marc and Meng really walk you through your practice.
I loved the guided mediations. They provided a sense of spirituality and practical self- love talk. Meng told me that many people go to the retreat because they need to reconnect. Whether it’s a life change, redundancy, career shift, divorce, break up or just needing to check out, Yoga Now wants to be that breath of fresh air that helps people reset.
Food Markets (Padang Matsirat Night Market)
If you only had $10 on your last day on earth, spend it here. This was one of THE BEST cheap food markets. Unfortunately I don’t remember the names of all these dishes, but boy did I go to town with the chicken satay sticks and pancakes. Chicken and beef sticks were 15c, pancakes were about 50c and corn coconut cups for 60c. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it.
In the end, my ‘beach trip’ to Langkawi turned out to be a 'life appreciation trip' instead. Sometimes the beauty of travel is the lessons you learn along the way. I remember being disappointed in the beach, but looking back I got way more than I bargained for. I gained so much more self-awareness, gratitude and made some friends that I met up with in Ho Chi Minh and Sydney. So next time you’re thinking about a trip, consider a place you’ve never heard of before. There’s an infinite amount of discovery waiting for you to find it.
Other things to note:
· Don’t expect to surf or frolic at the beach much. The waves are a bit flat and water is not as crystal clear as other South East Asian beaches. But the BEAUTIFUL sunsets make up for it.
· Malaysia is a Muslim country, be respectful with the clothing that you wear. Especially if you are a female travelling alone.
· Wi-fi is a bit slow. I worked from the beach at a café for a bit and it was painful.