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
nothing but a little patch of grass
this was the site where the locals gathered and burnt their rice harvest to prevent the advancing thai army from getting their hands on the valuable commodity of their land.. it is said that up till today, one can still see traces of black burnt rice on these grounds.. however, a visit there will only see a little patch of green grass fenced up with a sign indicating the site.. also you'll be surrounded by lots of stalls selling souvenirs..
Unique Suggestions: this place is very near to the airport.. and things are pretty cheap at the stalls in this area.. so, if you have some time to spare before your flight, go ahead and have some fun shopping! :)
the oriental garden is meant to be a shopping area near the cable car station.. untrue to the name, there's nothing oriental about the place and most of the shops are not occupied..
Unique Suggestions: a ride on the cable car up to the highest point on the island is a must as this gives a lovely view of the whole island.. and the ride is pretty exciting as well!
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
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
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?
The Summer Palace
This reproduction of a royal Thai summer palace was built as a film set for the 1999 film 'Anna and the King' starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun Fat.
Construction commenced on 15 February 1999 and was completed on 30 March 1999.
In June 1999 (after filming) the building was reconstructed to make it permanent and opened to the public in April 2000.
The whole Anna Leonowens account of her relationship with the Thai king was exaggerated by Ms Leonowens apparently and is a sore point in Thailand. Consequently the film, or anything to do with it, is banned in Thailand and shooting for this new production was not allowed in the Kingdom. Langkawi served as a similar looking location substitute.
After completion of the film the set was left standing as a tourist attraction. Admission is RM3.50 for adults and RM2.00 for children.
It takes about 10 minutes to see and is not really worth the effort.
Summer Palace Langkawi
Lot 1135 Pantai Kok
Mukim Padang Matsirit
07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman
Tel. 6-04-959 2599
Unique Suggestions: It's okay as a small diversion, especially if you are touring the island.
Fun Alternatives: If you are also planning to visit Thailand on your travels don't bother with this but see the Bangkok Grand Palace instead. If you are just in Langkawi go by all means but don't expect too much.
- Family Travel
Check the price first before you eat!
Always check the price of the food first before you order, especially seafood. Usually the menu stated with prices (small, regular or large), but make sure you tell them the portion you want! I recently have this experience that a plate of vegetable cost me RM15!!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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