Escape to Langkawi Malaysia

A year ago a friend of mine posted stunning travel pics of white sandy beaches, breathtakingly beautiful sunsets, lush tropical forests, and crystal-clear blue seas she’d taken while visiting Langkawi in Malaysia. It was at that moment I knew I had to add this spot to my bucket list and I’m so glad I did, because my time in Langkawi has been filled with happiness-boosting vitamin D, some much-needed relaxation and experiences of paradise on earth that have left me feeling amazing!

The flight from Singapore to Langkawi was only 1 hour 30 minutes. If you fly from Kuala Lumpur, the flight is only 1 hour 5 minutes, making Langkawi a great island to visit – even if it’s just for a weekend.

Within an hour of landing, we arrived at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. Langkawi has loads of hotels spread out across luxury, five-star resorts and cheap and cheerful budget accommodation. But since we wanted to splurge on this holiday, we opted for the Westin located on the south-eastern part of the island.

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When we arrived at the resort, we were welcomed by a smiling host and enjoyed refreshing tropical drinks. Because it was available for just $40USD extra per night, we decided to upgrade our standard room to a premium one with a balcony and partial ocean view. Honestly, it was sooo worth it!

I loved spending time on the balcony in the early morning journaling my thoughts, ideas and aspirations. I try to journal wherever and whenever I can, but it was so much easier to do it surrounded by the natural beauty of Langkawi. The cool stillness of the morning air, the view of the shimmering aquamarine sea and the gentle sound of birdsong created the perfect environment for me to get everything in my head down on paper.

It wasn’t just the balcony that made the upgrade worth it – the entire room was so much better than what we would have got, had we not upgraded. The bedroom was incredibly spacious, with two huge Westin Heavenly Beds which were so soft and comfortable it was like sleeping on a fluffy cloud. The bathroom was also one of the largest I’ve ever had, with their signature Heavenly Bath to soak in and plush bathrobes to snuggle up in.

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The Westin Langkawi has 4 incredible swimming pools, plus an extra outdoor pool that forms part of the onsite spa. The main pool has a swim-up bar and poolside service, so you can stay hydrated with everything from freshly-prepared coconut water to amazing fruity cocktails while you soak up some rays.

And with 7 dining options (plus 24-hour room service) this place really is heaven for foodies! All the restaurants I got to try were truly outstanding and served some of the very best food I’ve ever eaten in Langkawi. But if I had to pick just one favorite, it would definitely be Breeze. This incredibly romantic lounge has stunning views of the Andaman Sea, comfy couches, and an outdoor terrace.  Breeze serves up their signature cocktails, wine, and delectable dishes from all over the world. The Pineapple Ginger Mojito with rum, freshly muddled pineapple, ginger, mint, lime juice, and sugar was one of my favorites.  The restaurants really were so superb that I couldn’t just pick one. My other favorite place to eat was Splash. This poolside bar served the best fruit smoothies and mojitos ever and had a great snack menu with loads of little bites perfect for nibbling by the pool.

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I really loved how the Westin Langkawi placed a great importance on wellbeing. The onsite spa had one of the most comprehensive treatment menus on the island, with massages, facials and exfoliations from all over the world. Whenever I stay at a hotel with a spa, I’ve got to use it and I can definitely recommend the one at Westin Langkawi. Just make sure you arrive at least an hour before your booking, so you can take advantage of the private pool area.

 Rhea enjoying the private pool at the Westin's Spa.

Rhea enjoying the private pool at the Westin's Spa.

There’s also the Westin WORKOUT Fitness Studio with all kinds of equipment designed to keep you in the best shape ever. This state-of-the-art gym had all my favorite toys – free weights, medicine balls, Swiss balls, and TRX so I could keep up with my workouts while I was away.

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If you don’t want to be stuck indoors while working out, you’ll love the watersports. The Westin Langkawi is located right by the beach and offers everything from windsurfing and kayaking to sailing and more! And while you’re down at the beach, make sure you try one of the resort’s yoga classes. Doing yoga on the beach while the sun dips into the horizon really is an incredible experience everyone should have.

Westin Langkawi gets that health isn’t just about what happens to your body on the outside – it’s also what you put inside that matters. And to keep you healthy inside and out, they include loads of yummy superfoods in their restaurant menus. Smoothies made with blueberries, salads sprinkled with goji berries and delicious salmon filets are just some of the drool-worthy dishes you get to choose from.

As much as we loved hanging out at the resort, eventually we decided it was time to explore a little further afield. And when we heard there was a night market nearby, we knew we couldn’t miss it.

One of my favorite things to do in Asia is explore the night markets because you can try delicious local foods for dirt cheap prices. Kuah Night Market is considered the biggest night market in Langkawi, but it’s actually quite small compared to other markets I’ve visited in Asia. The market was about a 15-minute drive from our hotel and we strolled along the stalls for over an hour, sampling all the tempting local Malay dishes.

Some of my favorite eats were seasonal fruits, fresh mango juice, chicken satay, murtabak, and apam balik. In case you’re new to Malay food, murtabak is a seriously yummy pancake-like sandwich stuffed with veggies and meat. Apam balik is another pancake-like dish, but it’s sweet, comes in the shape of a half moon and is filled with a sweet peanut mixture.

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One of my favorite ways to explore a new destination is by scooter. You can feel the wind in your hair and buzz anywhere your heart desires. I love exploring places on foot, but with a scooter you can cover loads more ground much faster, spontaneously nipping down small alleyways and cruising along empty roads – almost like you’re the only one there! It’s a great way to discover new places you’d never otherwise be able to see and it’s almost always super cheap. Even if you hire a scooter for just one day while traveling, I definitely recommend it!

Just minutes away from the Westin Langkawi, you can rent scooters for 40 Malaysian Ringgit for the whole day. That’s just over $10! There were lots of excited giggles coming out of us while waiting to get our scooters. The rental guy had loads of scooters and loads of keys, but he wasn’t exactly the most organized person in the world. So matching up a scooter with the right set of keys took a little time. But the amazing experiences we had made it definitely worth the wait.  

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After waiting to be handed the right key, we were all set and headed north. The sky was blue, the sun was blazing and there were no clouds in sight – we knew we’d picked the perfect day to explore the island!

About 45 minutes after we set off, we arrived at the paradise known as Tanjung Beach. This is the kind of beach you’ve got to see to believe. Seriously – if I hadn’t been stood in front of it in person, I would have sworn I was staring at a Photoshopped image. Powder-soft, sugar-white sand blanketed the floor, unbelievably calm turquoise waters gently lapped onto the shore’s edge and palm trees swayed ever so slightly in the wonderfully cooling breeze. It really did feel like I was on a movie set.

Rows of comfy beach chairs were set up along the sand, eagerly awaiting travelers keen to soak up the sun and wonderfully colorful umbrellas were ready and waiting to offer shade to anyone who wanted some. That was our cue! We rented some chairs, umbrellas, and towels and sipped on icy cold water and fresh coconut water while the Malaysian sun warmed our skin.

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My plans for the day included little more than working on my tan, re-energizing with some serious napping and finishing up “The Wisdom of Sundays” written by Oprah Winfrey. Which, by the way, I totally loved from start to finish and 100% recommend you read!

There was a charming food stall with a casual dining area out front serving local dishes and drinks, plus a watersports kiosk offering parasailing and wave running. I would have loved to try out the watersports, but my mind and body were begging for some relaxation time after my adventures in Singapore, so I stayed put on my plush sun lounger.

After we’d had our fill of sunshine, we headed back to the Westin Langkawi and got stuck in a down pour. This definitely made for an adventure!

A must while you’re in Langkawi is the SkyCab which takes you up to the SkyBridge. The longest free span mono-cable car in the world, the SkyCab soars over dense jungle and ancient rocks dating back over 550 million years, giving you some breathtaking views you won’t forget in a hurry!

The Oriental Village is located at the bottom of the site and is brimming with shops selling souvenirs and restaurants offering local dishes. From here, you follow the signs leading you to the ticket kiosk and purchase your ticket to the SkyCab. When we were there, our line moved pretty fast because there weren’t many people. But if you visit during high season, I imagine the lines will be pretty long, so be prepared! Oh – and make sure you don’t take any food or drink with you because neither is allowed.

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After you get your ticket, you climb into the SkyCab and ride half way up the mountain to the first viewing point known as Middle Station. This point is 650m above sea level and gives amazing panoramic views of Langkawi and the surrounding islands. From here you can also see beautiful flowers on the ridges and the forest-covered valley in between leading up to the Top Station.

When we’d snapped enough pics, we climbed back into the SkyCab and rode the final way up to the Top Station. This point is 708m above sea level and offers 2 viewing platforms from where you can see dramatic mountain views, dominating rock tower peaks and all the amazing natural beauty of Langkawi from one single place. There’s also a convenient little shop where you can buy snacks and drinks.

We had to pay an additional fee to walk on the SkyBridge, which was a little confusing because we thought we’d already paid at the bottom. Oh well, I guess we were wrong! This suspended bridge is built on top of the magnificent Machinchang mountain and is suspended from a single pylon, hanging around 100m above the ground. It swings right out away from the mountain so it almost feels like you’re walking on air! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, but I’d definitely not recommend it to anyone even the tiniest bit afraid of heights.

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When we headed back down to the Oriental Village, we discovered the Langkawi Art in Paradise 3D Museum. Less of a museum and more like a funny art gallery, this place is full of paintings and artwork that look 3D when you stand in front of them. There wasn’t much to do apart from snap silly pictures, so we spent less than an hour here, but we had fun. There was a live interactive show, but after a full-on day, we were keen to get back. So we grabbed some ice cream, met up with our driver and headed back to the Westin Langkawi.

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Langkawi is a wonderful place to relax with a good book, recharge your batteries, and treat yourself to some chill-out time. I left it feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world! During our entire stay, we were blessed with amazing weather every day and just one wet afternoon. So if you decide to visit, make sure to pack plenty of summery clothes, sunscreen and sunglasses for your trip.

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