That's all well and good, and those trips look fun in their way, but reading those posts when attempting to plan a vacation to Langkawi can leave one with the impression that if you don't have a lot of cash to spend and if you prefer to do your own thing instead of hiring boats and tour guides and drivers--Langkawi isn't the place to go.
After spending 4 nights there in honor of our 5th wedding anniversary, I'm happy to tell you that it's completely possible to have a choose-your-own-adventure vacation in Langkawi. If you don't like parasailing and getting into boats with other random tourists, feel free not to. There's plenty to explore and enjoy at your own pace.
If you truly want to choose-your-own-adventure, you will need to have transportation, though, as taxis and buses on Langkawi don't really cut it, especially if you want to circumnavigate the island and take yourself to whatever little nook or cranny of the place you find interesting. The rental car was the one big expense of the vacation for us, and it was worth it to have our own transport. We took a ferry to the island, stayed in an inexpensive room we rented off of Airbnb, and ate at local nasi kandar restaurants that reminded us very much of the restaurants on our home island--so Langkawi was a perfect 'budget destination' for us!
So what did we do on the adventures we chose for ourselves? Well, we took long, long walks down every beach (hehehe, stereotypical online dating profile answer).
We visited every waterfall we could find. My favorite was Temurun Waterfall, because we were there early in the morning and had the whole place to ourselves. It felt like a destination somewhere in Middle Earth.
Telaga Tujuh Waterfall
Durian Perangin Waterfall
We splurged on cable car tickets because Angel loves mountains and I love bridges and I had to go on the SkyBridge.
We learned about rice farming at Laman Padi--and sat and watched cows in the fields and cats eating rice. Angel loves cats. If he were a blogger, he'd probably be a cat photo blogger and he'd be much more popular than I am.
We took a lot of wrong turns because this was our first driving trip with no GPS and only a paper map. Angel favorite strategy when we're not sure where we need to turn is to drive really quickly past the correct turning and then have to make a U-turn somewhere and come back to the right place. Maybe it's not efficient, but we get there eventually. We also discovered the "meaning" of the forest. These signs appeared regularly and never failed to crack me up.
We took a winding road up a mountain and climbed the stairs to the tower that marks the tallest point in Langkawi, where we sat in a glass room and drank herbal tea. The wind whistled so fiercely around the room that I suffered from giggling throughout most of our visit. I don't know, something about standing alone in a really tall glass room with wind so loud it sounded like a typhoon whistling outside just feels hilarious.
'Twas a grand adventure. This was a slower-paced trip than most of ours. We'd adventure in the morning, return to our room to watch a show and take a nap during the heat of the day, and head out again in the evening. I sure hope I'm not turning into a lazy vacationer, as unceasing energy is one of my trademarks, but it was a very enjoyable couple of days of peaceful adventures and explorations!
Have you ever been to Langkawi? What's your vacation style? Do you like to do your own thing, or do you like the convenience of a guide and packaged adventures? Do you think Angel should become a cat blogger?