24-27 January 2013. Langkawi Island, Kedah, Malaysia. No matter how short, a vacation can do no wrong when spent with people you love most and love you back. Tina, Gabby and I took advantage of the long public holiday here in Malaysia from January 24-28, 2013 (well, not actually as January 25th, Friday wasn’t a holiday so we filed a leave from work to maximize the fun) because of their celebration of Prophet Mohammad’s Birthday (January 24th Thursday) and Hindu’s Thaipusam (January 27, Sunday that made the next day a Replacement Public Holiday).
Time stood still upon the sight of this charming beach. Pantai Cenang, Langkawi. So happy to be here!
HOW WE REACHED LANGKAWI
When Tina and I were planning to go to this island paradise back in late November last year, we already crossed out the possibility of bringing our feet to Langkawi via ferry ride from Penang (about 2-3 hours), or from Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah simply because my lovely wife has vertigo; she gets dizzy easily on long ferry rides; she’s not fond of airplane rides either. She rarely travel without her anti-motion sickness pills. I thought the plan would not push through until I collected little earnings from a sponsor by posting an an airline food review, we both agreed to go to Langkawi via Air Asia with their promo-seat-sale. And man, the flight took us by surprise! It was like we just went on board to watch the pre-flight safety demonstration by the crew, went up at 11,000 feet for few minutes and then the plane took its smooth touchdown at the Langkawi airport at 25-minutes flat.
Prior to that shortest flight ever, my family and I were admiring the newly refurbished Penang International Airport. Recalling how it looked like when we first saw it in 2010, there’s a tremendous improvement on this terminal as seen on its minimalist architecture, clean lines on its interiors and commendable provision of FREE internet lounge at the boarding area. We’re very impressed by the changes! Look at my family’s smiles while grabbing siopao bites prior to boarding, there’s no sign that we almost missed our flight that late afternoon! Teehee!
OUR AFFORDABLE AND BEAUTIFUL ACCOMODATION
From the list of hotels in Langkawi that Tina obtained online, I narrowed the choices for our accomodation prioritizing location, comfort and cost. It seemed like we hit the jackpot when there was a promo-rate offered for a Deluxe Room at the time of our online reservation. And we’re all content with the decision to purchase a 4D3N stay at White Lodge Chalet. It only took us 20 minute-taxi ride that cost 20 ringgit (US$ 6.4) from Langkawi Airport before we arrived at this relaxing island abode. The lush and gorgeous walkway to the reception area was enough to remind us of the importance of savoring a change of environment from time to time. Such an incredibly welcoming respite!
Admittedly, all staff of White Lodge Chalet particularly those assigned at the reception area were all warm and friendly. They readily answered all my queries about the Island and best, they volunteered to phone a taxi cab prior to our departure to the airport on our last day. We proved that their services were rendered fast and efficient as we requested their maintenance to check and repair a minor and brief electrical interruption in our room.
Location was perfect for us. It’s secluded from the busy main road of Cenang; about 5-to-10 minute walk from Pantai Cenang or Cenang (pronounced as chenang) Beach.
I already paid the room reservation via agoda.com a month before our holiday so checking in was a breeze; they didn’t even ask for a deposit on top of the paid voucher upon arrival. After we got the keys and wifi’s username and password, we headed to our designated room. It may not be a beachfront hotel, neither a five-star-accomodation, what mattered most was the fact that we really enjoyed our days at White Lodge Chalet! Tina professed her wish to go back to the same budget hotel if we get a chance to go back to Langkawi.
Here’s the garden-path to our Deluxe Room at White Lodge Chalet Langkawi…
The room was relatively new; not too spacious neither very small. Everything’s good except for few little things like there’s no phone in our room to call the reception, the wifi’s weak, the flat-screen-TV didn’t have cable channels and the tissue holder at the toilet was installed near the shower. But all in all, we managed to enjoy our time at White Lodge Chalet.
After checking in, we dropped our luggage and bags and off we trooped to the beach! But before anything else, must take photos!
A few minute walk will take you to the main road of Cenang…
Have I told you that Langkawi seems like our very own Boracay in the Philippines but with plenty of Duty-Free? It’s an island paradise cum shopping haven! Tina bought few chocolates as they’re in volume and cheap in these shops.
At the back of that famous tourist attraction, Underwater World Langkawi, lies the beach…
PANTAI CENANG (CENANG BEACH)
It was almost 7PM and the sunset came as usual (in Malaysia) at around 7:30PM. It was time to leave the beach for dinner. Langkawi of course, boasts of freshest catch from the sea! We suddenly missed going to Dampa restaurants back home where you buy your ingredients from the market and ask restaurant people to cook your goods the way you want it -grilled, buttered, fried, in broth and whatnot! Hmmmmm!
There’s that airconditioned Cenang Mall and the main road itself offers a wide variety of choices of food places from hawkers and fastfood joints. We tried to sample local dishes but found nothing extraordinary compared to Penang; we ended up having dinner in this Tomato Nasi Kandar, a decent Indian eatery.
We had Chicken Satay in Peanut Sauce, Gabby’s favorite -Cheese Naan dipped in dahl, Buttered Chicken Masala and 3 orders of Roti Canai (which was so affordable at 80 cents | US $ 0.25 per plate!) and washed everything down with a can of Coke (sinful, I know!) and a gulp of fresh watermelon juice! Solb!
“The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal.” #CSLewis
Without umbrellas, we were halted by a downpour and had to wait for half an hour under the shades of a sidestreet bazaar.
Thank God, it rained; it made me appreciate the wet colored tiles of the sidewalk. The patterns were amazing!
We continued strolling down the main road back to our room. Here’s a rundown of the interesting things we saw…
SECOND DAY AT THE BEACH
We thought of catching the sunrise by the beach but we’re too weak to resist the lure of curling under the sheets. We gave in to our desire to sleep longer; after all, that’s included in the philosophy of a break, isn’t it? Nothing’s more delicious than waking up without worries of battling with an alarm clock.
It was already high noon when we left our room. That red roof on the left side of the next photo below was our room for 4 days in Langkawi. And the structures on the right are called vacation homes by White Lodge Chalet. Spotted a Mini which is so common on the roads here.
Trying to avoid KFC as we commonly eat it almost twice a week when at work and in the absence of our favorite Filipino fastfood, Jollibee in this part of the globe, we opted for the next best thing on our list. ‘Love din namin ‘to!
Cravings : satisfied. Time to worship God and appreciate His beautiful creations by the beach!
We also like the fact that there are chalets and locally-themed accomodation at the beachfront but indubitably, the area can get crowded and noisy unlike if the hotel’s tucked somewhere near.
After Tina chose a spot to while away time, she spread our beach-friendly, sand-repellant Lagu blanket. Thanks, Lagu Singapore for this one; we welcome additional gifts in other vibrant colors #shamelessplugging!
The wind and sea breeze were perfectly blowing so flying this plastic birdie wasn’t an effort. It was whole lot of fun! I think I enjoyed it more than Gabby, lol. The only problem was, we all forgot to bring our sunnies and the scorching heat was unforgiving to the eyes! Nonetheless, it was surreal!
THIRD DAY : BEST CHICKEN RICE AND PANTAI TENGAH (TENGAH BEACH)
As the plan to catch another sunrise by the beach was drowned again by long hours of sleep, we left our room at almost noon to take lunch. Tina’s craving for Chicken Rice was satisfied! We highly recommend Mr. Tan’s Famous Chicken Rice along the road in Cenang! Two thumbs up for this ultimately flavorful Chicken Rice served with soup!!! The wannabe-food-connoisseur in me told Tina that my palates sensed a-no-preservative dish in the plate and on the soup. Mr. Tan must not be fond of using chicken cubes but freshest ingredients only. Very nice indeed! So budget-friendly and cleanly served for only 5 ringgit (US$ 1.60) per plate! It goes without saying that I had two servings and unbelievably, it was the same case for Gabby! The chicken was not steamed but roasted to perfection! Dare I say it’s the best Chicken Rice we’ve tasted in Malaysia. Need I say more?
When in Langkawi, must eat here! Sarap! Sedap! Delicious!
Dining al fresco was never been better! Great tasting and cheap food enjoyed with family, provision of free table napkins (which is a rarity in Penang hawkers!) and a warm service from Mr. Tan! Everything’s awesome!
We woke up before 6PM and hit the roads again. The walk towards Tengah Beach from White Lodge Chalet took us around 20 minutes. Although Pantai Tengah runs continuously with the waters of Pantai Cenang with only a chunk of rocks and a slope of a hill dividing the beaches, one can easily know the difference between the two. If you’re into water sports like parasailing and jet skiing, Pantai Tengah is it! While if you’re like us who prefer finer and more powdery sand, go enjoy Cenang Beach!
Here are the scenes from Tengah Beach…
Dinner time. Oh yeah, McDonald’s again.
Langkawi offers so many tourist adventures like the famous cable car that provides a panoramic view of the island with a Sky Bridge (some say you can even view the neighboring Thailand from there), a stroll inside Oriental Village filled with souvenir shops and other attractions, a trek to Seven Wells, a visit to the Eagle Square, gardens, museums and mosques, the Underwater World near Cenang Beach and of course, island hopping and eagle-spotting. We missed all those for some reasons (ask Gabby!) but nevertheless, they remain a notion for us to go back and revisit this wonderful island paradise in the near future. *crossed fingers and toes*
Honestly, we’re grateful and happy we did nothing but beach-bumming and eating in Langkawi. Even for a while, Tina and I were relieved from stress and worries about work (and perhaps, Gabby too with routine life in school). It may not be as interesting and fascinating as what the other tourists usually do iin this island but our simple break defined what we badly need. We created a no-game-plan-vacation and just allowed time to take its course. It was wonderful!
LAST DAY IN LANGKAWI
We checked out from White Lodge Chalet and left our luggage and bags at the reception area. We went back to the same Chicken Rice stall by the road and ordered the same thing for lunch. Gabby had two servings again! It’s that addicting, I kid you not.
After that quick lunch, we went back to the reception area and waited for few minutes for the taxi cab they phoned for us. We opted to kill time inside Langkawi Airport rather than rushing to catch the flight again. We arrived here around 2PM and waited for our flight 3 and a half hours after. We chilled in our favorite coffee shop with these yummies…
As for me, I’m counting memories…
And just before the 25-minute-flight touchdown at Penang International Airport, I luckily got a good shot of Penang’s inviting coastline. Hello, Penang! We’re so back and recharged.
Until our next family bonding adventure!
*This is NOT a sponsored post.