Langkawi has been considered as one of Malaysia’s most popular tropical island destinations that the Malaysian Tourism Board has dedicated itself to the protection and promotion of this beautiful and mysterious island. In 2007, UNESCO considered Langkawi as a World Geopark with three of the main Geopark components as Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Geoforest Park and Pulau Tasik Dayang Bunting.
Situated off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Langkawi is surrounded by 104 uninhabited islands. Its remarkable landscape and architecture provided the backdrop for the movie Anna and the King. It had also been host to a number of international events including the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Show, the Annual Royal Langkawi Regatta and the Tour de Langkawi.
Langkawi is the ideal destination to enjoy nature at its finest whether it is spending a day at the marine park, heading out to the fairway for a round of golf, or charter a boat and explore the pristine coral reefs.
Getting in to Langkawi
There are a number of high-speed ferry trips from Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Perlis, Satun in Southern Thailand. Various airlines including Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines and Firefly Airlines, fly in and out of Langkawi International Airport on a daily basis.
Local Transportation in Langkawi
While there are a lot of taxis and car rentals available to help you get around the island, it is best to rent a motorcycle or a bicycle instead to take in the marvelous scenery. Just make sure you don’t forget to wear your helmet.
Main Attractions of Lankawi
Pulau Marine Park
Pulau Marine Park lies just 30 kilometers southeast of Langkawi, on the West Coast region of Peninsular Malaysia. This well-preserved marine park is composed of jade green islands untouched by humans with Pulau Payar being the largest of these islands. Here you can head off to sea on a floating platform where you can step into the underwater observation chamber to get close to the teeming marine life without getting wet. For scuba divers, the marine park has one of the best diving spots in the world. But because visibility varies throughout the year, it is best first to check with your diving operator. There is no accommodation within the marine park. But visitors have never saw this as an issue because it is just an hour’s boat ride from Langkawi.
Also called Eagle Square, Dataran Lang is the most prominent landmark when traveling to the island and the first thing to greet visitors arriving in ferries.
Taman Buaya Lankawi
Taman Buaya Langkawi is a crocodile farm located in the town of Kubang Badak. It is home to about one thousand various species of crocodiles native to Malaysia and found in other countries.
A paradise within paradise! This park was designed in order to mimic the natural habitats of thousands of various species of birds.
While this is not the largest mall in Langkawi that offers a large range of retail stores and a supermarket, it does have an international ATM machine where you can withdraw from your own banks back at home.
Alor Setar | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
As the capital of Kedah, Alor Setar is located on the Northern region and one of the oldest Sultanate in Malaysia. In the Malay Language, Alor Setar literally translates to “small stream.” It is a bustling city dotted with modern-day structures and shopping complexes and is currently known as the rice and rubber trading center of Malaysia. It also prides itself as one of the cleanest and most friendly cities in Malaysia. I passed through Alor Setar so many times and it never changed. The people are friendly and warm, the taxi’s have fair prices compared to the horror of taxi drivers in Kuala Lumpur that many visitors are subjected too.
Getting to Alor Setar
Through the North-South Expressway, which extends from the Malaysian and the border of Thailand all the way to Singapore, travelers have the option to drive themselves up to Kedah if they have rented a car, hail a taxicab or hop onto one of the many bus companies in Peninsular Malaysia. Unlike most cities, the buses en-route to Alor Setar are air-conditioned. Should you decide to take the bus, you can purchase tickets at the various bus terminals in the major cities of Malaysia. You also have the option to take a train to the city of Alor Setar, courtesy of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) railway company, which will take you to the Central Business District of the city. You can purchase railway passes directly from the train station or online.
The Sultan Abdul Halim Airport is a state-of-the-art airport located 15 kilometers north from the city of Alor Setar. As of today, the airport only caters to domestic flights courtesy of Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia.
Passenger ferries are provided by Jetty Kuala Kedah and services regular trips to and from Langkawi. However, the jetty is located some 25 kilometers away from Alor Setar so you will need to take a bus or a taxi from the jetty to get to the city.
Where to stay
During my last stay in Alor Setar I booked a hotel room at the Seri Malaysia Hotel Alor Setar.
Main Attractions of Alor Setar
Menara Alor Setar
Considered as the most prominent landmark of the city, the Menara Alor Setar is located at the heart of the city and serves as a symbol of the rapid development of the city and the entire state of Kedah as well as a telecommunications tower. Visitors can climb up to the top of the tower to take in a spectacular and breath-taking view of the entire city of Alor Setar.
The Zahir Mosque is the state mosque of Kedah and has become an architectural landmark of the city. Built in the tradition of Moorish architecture, it is one of the largest and grandest mosques in Malaysia and the site where the annual Koran reading competition in Kedah is held. If you do plan on visiting the mosque, make sure that you first obtain permission from the Religious Department of the city and observe the dress code being implemented. Balai Nobat. This is the home of the sacred instruments used by the Kedah Royal Orchestra. These instruments are so sacred and special that it is only being used and played during royal ceremonies such as company inaugurations, weddings and funerals, hence the name.
Also known as the “Great Hall” in Kedah, this structure serves as a testimony of long-standing historical and cultural relationship between Kedah and Thailand.
Once serving as the royal palace of the Sultan of Kedah, the Royal museum is now home to various artifacts unique to the Sultanate of Kedah, as well as a State Art Gallery where an extensive collection of paintings, photographs, antiques and traditional arts and crafts from the Sultanate are housed. Moreover, it offer collections showcasing Thailand’s influence over the Sultanate which includes traditional artifacts originating from the ancient Hindu-Buddhist civilization from the Bujang Valley.
Prime Minster Mahathir’s Birthplace
The birthplace of former Malay Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad who was born on 10 July 1925 at a house near the Kampung Seberang Perak.
Kangar | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
Kangar is the state capital of Perlis, on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. Get in By bus Kangar is the end of all domestic bus lines in Malaysia before crossing to Thailand. Most notable company is Transnasional Berhad, the largest bus company in Malaysia. There are also companies that go to and from as […]
Kangar is the state capital of Perlis, on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia.
Kangar is the end of all domestic bus lines in Malaysia before crossing to Thailand. Most notable company is Transnasional Berhad, the largest bus company in Malaysia. There are also companies that go to and from as far as Melaka in the south and Kelantan in the east. Fare to travel from Kuala Lumpur is about RM43 and the journey takes about 6.5 hours.
Taking a train to Perlis you will end up in a small town called Arau, less than 15km away from Kangar. The only company that provides passenger train service is KTM Berhad.
Hop-on-hop-off town buses are easily accessible. The center for the town buses is next to Kayangan Square. However, town buses do not operate at night. Taxis are few and far between and are usually focused at the bus terminal.
- Medan Mountain
- Kubu Hill Recreation Park
- EPF Tower
- Perlis State Mosque
- Syed Alwi State Mosque
- State Museum and Heritage Hall
- Malay World Weaponry Museum
- 6.5183100.17231 Taman Anggur (10 km north). Grape vineyard. (updated Jun 2016)
- Taman Rekreasi Gua Cenderawasih, at Cenderawasih Hill, near Dewan 2020
- The Store, Jalan Penjara, 01000 Kangar, Perlis..
- Girl Friend Fashion Boutique, No. 13 Tingkat Atas, Taman Simpang 3, Jln.Arau-Kangar, 01000 Kangar, Perlis.. Designer fashion boutique.
- Anjung Keli
- Poh Kee Laksa and Ah Beng Laksa are the two most famous Chinese-style Asam Laksa stall in Kangar. Situated just opposite the bus terminal.
- There are two KFC chain store in Kangar, one is located at Jalan Bukit Lagi and another one is located opposite Kayangan Square at Jalan Penjara, which is opened 24 hour.
- Secret Recipe, 275! Jalan Baru, Taman Pengkalan Asam, 01000, Kangar. 11AM-11PM (daily).
Nightlife in Kangar is nonexistent. Shops close well before 10pm but the Kayangan Square stays open until 10pm.
However, you can always join the locals at coffee shop or mamak stall (mostly located at Persiaran Jublee Emas) to have a local drink.
Where to stay in Kangar
- Hotel Putra Palace, fax: +60 4 9768857. 135 Persiaran Jubli Emas. 3 Star Hotel
- Lot 8101 Mukim Atan Aji, Persiaran Wawasan (beside Dewan 2020), fax: +60 4-977 2777. 24 hours reception/message, 24 hours security, free WiFi, daily housekeeping, valet/laundry, wake up call, convenience store, facsimile, Surau, free parking, swimming pool, coffee house – Seri Inai, and function room.
- Soo Guan Villa, fax: +60 4 9772250. 1231 Kg Ujong Matang.
- Hotel Malaysia
- Federal Hotel
- Sri Kayangan Inn, Medan Raja Syed Alwi
- Alor Star – capital of Kedah state
- Hat Yai – South Thailand
- Pulau Langkawi (Langkawi Island)
- Phuket – at South Thailand
- Bangkok – capital city of Thailand
Gua Musang | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
Gua Musang is a small town deep in the jungles of central Kelantan. While it has little of interest in itself, it’s a convenient gateway for Taman Negara and a good place to break the cross-peninsula haul. Get in Travel by train to Gua Musang Gua Musang is on the Jungle Railway, which run from […]
Gua Musang is a small town deep in the jungles of central Kelantan. While it has little of interest in itself, it’s a convenient gateway for Taman Negara and a good place to break the cross-peninsula haul.
Travel by train to Gua Musang
Gua Musang is on the Jungle Railway, which run from the junction at Gemas northwards to Kota Bharu and Kota Bharu. Daytime trains run between Kota Bharu and Singapore via Gua Musang. Several trains per day run northwards to Tumpat, the first is at 05:00, the last at 16:20. Southbound, during the day only the 10.50 AM train to Singapore heads further south than Kuala Lipis, which itself is served by two daily local trains, at 8.50 AM and 7 PM.
Two nightly sleepers head to Kuala Lumpur at 22:30 and Singapore at 00:25. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays there is a more comfortable option for Singapore: the Malayan Tiger Train, which runs as far as Johor Bahru (five minutes from Singapore) at 21:10.
Times correct as of Jan. 2012. Note that times are liable to change, consult KTM, the Malaysian rail operator, for current timetables.
Buses from Kuala Lumpur run via Kuala Lipis to Gua Musang; from Kota Bahru they run through Kuala Krai to Gua Musang.
Private tour companies operate shuttle services from the Cameron Highlands for RM 40-50. Inquire in Tanah Rata.
Once only accessible by train, Gua Musang is now at the hub of several roads that run north to Kota Bahru, south to Kuala Lipis and Pahang and west across the Cameron Highlands to Simpang Pulai and Perak (near Ipoh).
The old town is small and easily covered on foot. Development is spreading away from the old centre, making the newer parts of town only within walking distance for the committed pedestrian. Bukit Gua Musang can also be reached on foot. There is not much for the tourist in the new town, except a supermarket. Taxis or bike rental may be arranged for accessing more far-flung places.
Trees and rocks. This jungle town has interesting rock outcrops like in Guilin or Yangshuo. Though they are much fewer, they do not lack size.
Bukit Gua Musang
Pulai – Chinese temple in Pulai, which is purportedly 400 years old. Pulai is an early gold mine town, and a historical Chinese village.
What to do in Gua Musang
- Jungle Railway Station (the station is just over the bridge from the old town’s main street). Gua Musang is a railway town: Once, trains were the only means of transport to the town. The journey provides a glimpse of village life in the jungle hinterland.
- Rock climbing, Gua Musang. Gua Musang is surrounded by limestone hills and caves, which can provide entertainment for cavers and rock climbers. The area is bolted with 30 routes from 5b to 7a, though there is no equipment hire in the town so trips will have to be prepared for elsewhere.
Nothing special to buy here; however you can buy some local fruits, like durian, rambutans, mangis, mango etc.
- Banks (on the main street over the bridge from the train station). Maybank and CIMB have ATMs
- KFC. Has free WiFi, also fried chicken.
There is beer. On the right hand side of the main street from the station, in the Chinese run mini-market. Look out for a glass-doored fridge with a suspiciously blanked out bottom shelf. What lies behind the card but glorious cold (not to mention expensive) Tiger and Calsberg. RM 7.80 for a small can.
Fresh coconut water has also been reported to be procurable.
Where to stay in Gua Musang
There’s several options. Most have WiFi. A government directory lists them all. Notable options include:
- My Home Hotel, PT 7746, Jalan Persiaran Raya (1.5 km from the railway station. Head down the main street from the station, turn left at the end, pass the mosque on the right and beat left past the Caltex garage on the left. It’s 400m from the Clatex, on the right). A good budget option. Clean rooms, hot water, towels, air-con, satellite TV and free WiFi throughout. The cheapest rooms are windowless boxes but still have all the above amenities. From RM40.
- Fully Inn, 75, Jalan Pekan Lama (Probably the closest to the railway station. Head down the main street from the station, turn left at the end and it’s on the left). Very close to the station. It’s a big shiny Chinese monster. Free breakfast. Wifi. From RM60.
Telecommunications in Gua Musang
- Kuala Krai, Kelantan
- Kota Bahru, Kelantan
- Cameron Highlands, Perak
- Kuala Lipis, Pahang