if you take the ferry from Satun(thailand) you ll meet a guy at the pier.he will tell you to change all your thai bahts to malaysian ringgits because thai baht is not convertable on the island.it is not true!and that gives a very bad rate.it is possible to change your thai bahts everywhere on the island.
if you need to change your currencies the banks at the airport gives the best rate on the island.the rates at the change booths and oficces are always lower...
Be careful when you hop onto any cabs to tourist spots as the cabbies may stop at jewellery or souvenirs store and ask you to go in for a look.
They earn commission or some other form of incentives if you buy anything.
Cut Throat Restaurant - Jala Restaurant
This restaurant is situated just near to Kuah town, on the way to the Beringin Beach.
I had been charged RM82.00 for 3 plates of rice, 2 grouper fish (not more than 1kg each) and 3 drinks (1 orange juice and 2 hot beverages)
I had taken no extra dishes but the price is too much to be charged.
Usually with that amount of RM, I can get a least another few more dishes such as Tomyam soup, some vegetables and a portion of meat/mutton/prawn.
Jala means fishing net in English, so I guess I really got netted this time.
Fun Alternatives: Well, avoid this restaurant unless you are a local or you are dining with a local. Let the local do the ordering and talking.
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Underwater World is a largish aquarium that came into existence on 26 August 1995. Entrance (January 2007) was RM 38 - not a fortune but overpriced in terms of what you see, since it is not such an exciting place. I was not altogether satisfied with my visit; the sights worth seeing were largely outnumbered (in my opinion) by the not very interesting sights.
- the glass tunnel with sharks and giant turtles
- the Tropical Rainforest
- the Coral Reef Section
WALK FAST PAST IT
- the Freshwater Fish Section
- the Seashell Display
- the Koi Pond
- the Mini Reptilian and Invertebrate Section
- the Poisonous and Venomous Creatures Section
- the Penguinarium
Telaga air hangat
Telaga Air Hangat means Hot Springs Well and it is advertised as a "a combination spa and cultural experience park."
There are some small hot springs in the "village" and a legend. it appears that two feudinf families were always fighting each other, here - they threw things at each other, too. One day one of the families threw a jug full of boiling water and when the water fell on the ground, a hot spring popped up.
Unique Suggestions: Entrance is free: soak your feet at one of the hot springs (you are not allowed to soak your entire body) and leave - in particular avoid the cultural shows, the carved riverstone mural, batik painting and souvenir shopping. Also, don't look for the spa if going in early 2007: it was advertised but it was still seriously under construction.
Makam Mahsuri is the place where an old island's belle was once buried. Of course there's a legent connected with it: Mahsuri was a beautiful young woman accused of adultery who was condemned to death for it. As she was innocent, as a sign of her innocence, she bled white blood. She also casted a spell on the island, before dying - saying it would remain barren for 7 generations.
When you visit her tomb you'll soon notice three things: firstly that you have to pay for your entrance, secondly that the (not very old) gravesite is nothing to write home about and, thirdly, that the reason why this attraction was set up was to house some tourist shops selling... you know it... junk.
Taman Legenda is (I quote from the internet) "a scenic park with its beautiful gardens of vivid local blooms, plants and fruit trees provide a picturesque and fitting backdrop for buildings showing Malaysia's rich cultural heritage. Within the park, there are some fine examples of traditional Malaysian handicraft and cultural objects".
Translation: nothing is original here - it was built for the sole purpose to give tourists something to see in Kuah town, where otherwise there would be little else to see (Eagle square and nothing else). Entrance is free but we will try to sell you some tourist junk such as plastic eagles.
field of the burned rice
The field of burnt rice is the biggest overstatement of the island. To get there you have to pass a long row of stalls selling you a vast array of tacky souvenirs, and once you get past them all you are left wondering where the field is... There was a stunning house there, so I figured it would be at the back of the house - only to be stopped (kindly) by the owner who pointed me to the field.
Well, the fild is not really a field... more like a very tiny patch of old rice paddy that people burned when the Siamese attacked the island in 1821 and where burned rice still "comes out". The highlight is a 1-foot square box with some burnt rice in it and a plaque.
Unique Suggestions: Take a look at the house right by the field: it is possibly the most beautiful Malay house you will see in Langkawi.
Laman Padi is a rice field that has been turned into a tourist attraction; the fild is not very large and interesting, and you can see there some Langkawi buffalos, there... but if you pay attention you will notice that they are kept there by a chain.
There is also a restaurant, but I did not eat there so I don't know if it is to be recommended, and a spa but the treatments and massages are not very good: it's kind of cheap, though.
Unique Suggestions: Visit the museum where you can learn all about rice growing. it's small but interesting, and you can find displays and exhibits including artifacts and photographs about rice growing. Admission is free, by the way.
Unfortunately the eagles in Langkawi are fed by humans in order to further their want for money and tourism. This is one of the major downfalls of tourism. Although I can understand the need to make money off tourists to sustain a living, I do not like the use of animals for this cause and believe the feeding of any wild animal should be avoided at all costs. The problem with feeding wild animals is that the animal then becomes dependant on humans for their foods and end up not being about to survive on their own.
I joined a boat tour with some friends when in Langkawi and unfortunately contributed to this unmoralistic act by sitting and watching.
DUTY FREE SHOPPING
When you want to take duty free shopping out of Langkawi, DO NOT buy at the airport. its more expensive, shop round.
Langkawi is a totally duty free island and there are duty free stores all round.
example - 1 litre bottle of Cointreau 53RM in town duty free, 68RM at the airport. The difference is the cost of a main course in many local restaurants, I know where I would rather my money went.
Luckily I didn't get caught
Kampong Siam Restaurant
This restaurant is near to the underwater world. The food is not delicious and over-priced. They charged us on the white rice for RM1.50 per person, which i think was too much expensive. The service was good, staff were friendly, the delivery somehow very slow.
Fun Alternatives: Many more restaurants in Cenang Beach. Try there.
- Family Travel
Don't Simply Accept
If you take ferry to Kuah Jetty, be cautious not to stop because there many taxi drivers will look for their victims. And many 'agents' who give out their name card for sight seeing and car rentals. They actually not belong to any travel agents but earning commision from the tour desk.
Unique Suggestions: Just smile and say NO, thank you. I had a reservation and just walk off..They won't come after you.
Fun Alternatives: Go straight to the counter.
Hollywood meets Langkawi
Have you watched "Anna and the King", starring Chow Yuen Fatt and Jodie Foster? Surprise surprise, it wasn't filmed in Thailand at all but right here in Langkawi.
I heard from many travellers that this place is a tourist trap. I'm not exactly a big fan of Anna and the King so I skipped the royal visit.
Fun Alternatives: slap some sun tan lotion and vegetate on the many private beaches on langkawi.....
Bpacker's Langkawi Page
Another very exciting activity in Langkawi for some people is riding a donkey. You have two options either ride on donkeys back or donkey cart. To be honest with you none of them appealing even for free. But there were people who were really enjoying their rides. It is very expensive as well. Fancy a donkey ride?
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