Monday, 26 June 2017

15 Things to do in Langkawi with Kids

We were in beautiful Langkawi for 6 days and 6 nights. Some friends were shocked when I told them the duration of our trip as they had the impression that there was nothing much to do on the island. However, we had no lack of activities during the six days and at the end of the trip, J even said, "See you again, Langkawi, maybe next year."

Here are the activities we enjoyed:

1) Mangrove Tour

When I was searching the internet for activities to do in Langkawi, the mangrove tour was usually featured with nondescript photographs of boats on greenish waters and I almost gave this a miss. Thanks to some friends who visited Langkawi the week before us, we learnt that the tour was a must-do and so we did. The tour was educational and we learnt how mangroves were important in the ecological system.

The tour also included eagle watching and we witnessed tens of Brahminy Kites and Sea eagles swooping down to feast on the chicken meal provided by our boat guide.

Photo by Lyn
During the tour, I entered a bat cave for the very first time and it was thrilling to see hundreds of bats suspended from the cave's ceilings. Outside the cave, we encountered monkeys which were probably used to humans feeding them. One of them audaciously tugged at my bag and jumped on our friend's backpack! Hope people will heed the call not to feed animals in the wild. God will provide food for them!

We also went to a fish farm and saw how the fish and one stingray was fed, but the highlight of the tour had to be when the children were allowed to drive the boat! It was priceless to see the children's faces light up as they were given control of the steering wheel.

2) Sunset Cruise

The sunset cruise was memorable. We went with Crystal Yacht although I think there are other companies which offer such cruises. Our yacht was quite full and there was not much comfortable seating provided. However, our family enjoyed the natural jacuzzi in the form of a net hung from the back of a boat. We clung onto the net and enjoyed the feel of seawater splashing against our bodies. There was free flow of drinks and we paid for the dinner option, which included satay and BBQ chicken. The cruise was costly though. Our family paid RM700 in all.

3) Skycab

The skycab is another must-do. It brings passengers to a height of over 700 m and is reportedly the steepest cable car in the world at 42 degrees. The views from the skycab are beautiful and the Teluga Tujur waterfalls can be seen enroute.

4) Skybridge

We missed going on the skybridge after our first skycab ride as it suddenly started pouring. One moment, we had a clear view of skybridge and the next moment, all we could see were clouds. The rain seemed relentless so we abandoned our plans to go on the bridge and took the skycab down instead.

The clouds moved rapidly and it started to pour.

We made another visit to the skybridge on our last day in Langkawi and had to pay for the skycab tickets again as we could not possibly hike up hundreds of metres to the skybridge. We called the skybridge operator before leaving our resort and was told that it was foggy on the bridge at that time. We prayed that the weather would be fine when we arrived and it was indeed! Praise God.

I was pretty nervous on the bridge as I was holding Little An's hand and had the great responsibility of preventing her from falling. She and J seemed nonchalant though and stood coolly on a glass panel to pose for photos.

Check out the glass panel on the ground!
To get onto the skybridge, there were two options: to walk down a trail or to take a glider down. We paid to take the glider down as I had read that the walking trail had steep steps and was not suitable for younger children. However, there was a long queue of people waiting to get on the glider on our way up. The glider could only take up to 14 people each time and we estimated a wait of at least half an hour before we could board it.

The glider

We decided to take the walking trail when a staff member told us we only needed to climb 130 steps. I was so proud of the children who enthusiastically counted the number of steps as we ascended the hill. Little An lost count after 50 plus and started from 1 again. The second time she counted, she got stuck at 29 and went 29, 29, 29, 29, .........., 100. We arrived at the skycab station in about fifteen minutes. I was glad for the exercise and thanked God for His protection. We found out there were more than 130 steps though.

5) Oriental Village

The skycab station is located within the Oriental Village, which had several attractions. In fact, the most basic skycab package included visits to the 3D art museum, the sky dome and the skyrex. We wanted to buy skycab tickets alone on our second visit there, but were told that we had to purchase the package.

I truly enjoyed the 3D art museum. Having been to other such museums, I thought the art work at this one was superior to the others. It was also the largest 3D museum in Malaysia and the second largest in the world. There was a light and sound show that was quite impressive and Lyndon and J watched the show twice.

We had high expectations of the sky dome as we had thought it was a planetarium. I was rather disappointed to find out that it was just a roller coaster simulator which made me feel dizzy. Skyrex, a 3D simulator, was better and we had a 'tour' in a dinosaur park. There were other attractions which we missed but I think the basic package and the skybridge could fill an entire day already.

6) Wildlife Park

Another place we enjoyed was the Wildlife Park. We were given packets of food to feed animals with. I was amazed that we were allowed to feed almost all the animals, including raccoons and flamingoes.

There were signs showing us what kinds of food each kind of animal ate. There were also signs describing the animals and these had big prints and easily digestible information.

It was nice when the adorable rabbits crowded around us as though we were heroes. :) I was only concerned about whether the animals would overeat if all visitors fed them.

7) ATV (All Terrain Vehicle)

The ATV was an interesting experience, but I felt it was a little too long for my liking. We went for the hour-long package as it included a visit to a waterfall. The first part of the drive was exhilarating, but I started to feel uncomfortable towards the end due to an awkward sitting position and the loud noises from the engine.

J rode with the guide and had the chance to control the vehicle by himself. Lyndon drove Little An and me and declared that the vehicle was difficult to manoevre. In fact, we crashed into a bush and the guide had to help push our vehicle back onto the road. It was amazing that Little An managed to doze off during the drive and was oblivious of the crash.

What I appreciated was that during the drive, we stopped by a rice plantation and also saw how rubber was tapped, besides going to the waterfall. God was amazing again. It started raining only as our trip ended and we were protected from getting drenched.

8) Enjoying the sunset by the beach

The sunsets were beautiful and we managed to take beautiful photographs on several evenings. It helped that our resort was right next to a beach.

9) Taking a nature walk

Our resort also organised nature walks twice a week and we managed to go on one. The guide introduced us to several plants and Lyndon managed to take a nice picture of a lapwing.

Even as we went on our activities, we spotted Mr Dusky Leaf Monkey and Mr Pacific Swallow in the wild, just to name a few animals we saw. So keep your eyes open and you will be amazed at God's creations.

10) Eagle Square

We made a short photo stop at Eagle Square. After all, what is a visit to Langkawi without taking a picture with the bird it was named after? Thank God for the glorious blue skies that day. :)

We also dropped by the nearby Jetty Point to buy duty-free chocolates, but I realised some chocolates cost less at Langkawi Parade and Cenang Mall. I should have bought chocolates at those malls!

11) Relaxing at the resort

During our vacation, we stayed at the Meritus Pelangi Resort. We loved its pools, beach and convenient location. The staff members were polite and helpful. The only qualm was that the rooms were rather dark.

12) Padi Museum

The Padi Museum was just across the road from our resort, so we did a short tour of it one morning, despite having read reviews that it did not offer much. Lyndon did manage to give the children a good lesson about the tools used in the process of making rice and older machinery were displayed, making the lesson a historical one as well.

13) Enjoying great food from all over the world

We enjoyed lots of good food too. I had checked out Tripadvisor for places to eat and found to my happiness that several in the top ten were located near Meritus Pelangi. I will write about them in a subsequent post. Stay tuned for the food was really excellent!

14) Underwater World

We gave this a miss since we have a wonderful oceanarium in Singapore, but if you have time, it may be worth a visit.

15) Island hopping and snorkelling + sea sports

Island hopping was highly recommended by the resort's concierge but we thought Little An may be left out since she was too young to snorkel. I have read very good reviews of this so we may try this next time when she is older. I was also very tempted to go parasailing, but no one in the group seemed willing to go with me, so this shall wait till another opportune time.

Thank God for a great refreshing vacation. I must say the people in Langkawi seemed pretty helpful and honest and that helped to make our stay a pleasant one too. Thank God also for our wonderful companions during the trip. :)

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