Travel Month and Year: December 2018
Travel Dates: 15 till 19 December
Travel Destination: Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
15 December 2018, Saturday: On the way to Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 4
Accommodation Name: The Smith House
Address: Lot. 297, (HSM. 772), Bandar Padang Matsirat, Bandar Padang Matsirat, 07100 Kampung Padang Masirat, Malaysia
Duration of stay: 15 Dec - 19 Dec 2018
Room type: Twin room with extra bed
Room was spacious without the extra bed. Once the extra bed has been put, there was little walking space (you can view that from picture 3). To give us more space to move, we told them to remove the extra bed frame and retained the extra mattress. Only when we needed to sleep, we put the mattress on the floor. We were fine with that.
(a) Very near the Langkawi International Airport
(b) Hygiene level is great
(c) Highest level is second level
(d) Breakfast spread is good, but repetitive. If you are not the fussy type, this will suit you well.
(e) Staff from the front desk, chauffeurs to cleaners are polite and cheerful. Most importantly, they are friendly and helpful.
(a) This small "hotel" has two blocks. But it has only one lift. That means to say both passengers and service lifts are the same. But priority is given to guests. If there are guests waiting to go up and down, the service staff lets the guests to use the lift.
(b) And if you are staying at block B which is not located at the main block, you have a long walk to do passing various guest rooms. Again, it is a matter of preference. If you prefer the room very near the lift lobby, indicate it to them. For me, this was a small issue.
Place Name: Atma Alam Batik
Address: Padang Mat Sirat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
More information from The Smith House website: http://thesmith-house.com/langkawi-attractions/atma-alam-batik-art-village-langkawi/
If you are keen to see how batik drawing and colouring is done, this is the place for you. If you are keen to try to draw and colour yourself a batik piece, then you will enjoy their workshop too. We went there first on our first arrival day as this was within walking distance from we were staying, "The Smith House". They seem not to entertain individuals or small groups. I think they are more suited for tourists groups who wants to take their workshops, etc. All items are expensive as they mention it is unique and hand made. If you want an unique batik piece, then this place is fine. You will not find similar batik piece elsewhere as it is hand made in one to two quantities only.
It was raining as we were walking to this place. I could not snap much pictures...
Place Name: Field of Burnt Rice
Address: Kampung Raja, Mukim Padang Mat Sirat
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_0000ab.htm
There is not much to see in this place, except a small ground where the rice was burnt. You have to pass by a row of souvenir shops to reach this place.
Place Name: Mahsuri
One can say your visit to Langkawi is never complete without knowing Mahsuri and her legend.
I ever visited this place 10 years ago and it certainly was well-maintained then. Now, I find it is totally in an unacceptable condition, with little lights and not even coordinated (not sure where is the entrance and exits too!). Toilets need maintenance too - it is not well kept!
Legend of Mahsuri and Langkawi:
More information on her generation:
Place Name: Mangrove / Bat Caves / Crocodile Cave / Eagle Watching
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_000019.htm
One of the main highlight of Langkawi. One should never leave Langkawi without experiencing a boat ride to the mangroves. It was a great experience for us to invite Zamri, our tour guide along for this ride. He was explaining to us the various features of the island. Our boat driver was a former fisherman (67 years old who has retired from fishing, but now he is doing the boat rides).
Sure, we had lots of excitement when a monkey jumped onto our boat looking for food. The boat driver has some biscuits in a bag. The monkey snatched that and ran away!
Place Name: Langkawi Craft Complex
Address: Kompleks Kraf Langkawi, Jalan Teluk Yu, Mukim Bohor, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Not many tourists or people in this place. We saw the traditional crafts, fishing stuffs, batiks and more...There was a glass blowing place too. But it was too far to walk - we did not get to visit that place. Things sold here are more pricey than the regular marketplace souvenir place. But it was clean and well maintained place.
Place Name: Gunung raya (mountain)
Information found from web: http://www.langkawi-info.com/attractions/gunung-raya.htm
Address: Jalan Air Hangat, Langkawi
Note: The D'Coconut Hill Resort is closed and so is the viewing tower. No reasons were given. When we were up there, we found a notice pasted on the front door, with no further access to the eight storey-tall viewing tower.
It is the highest mountain in Langkawi. The Gunung Raya peaks at 881 meters in height. It has wildlife such as leaf monkeys, flying foxes, macaque monkeys, squirrels, mountain hawk eagles, white bellied sea eagles, and great horn bills. We did not get to see any horn bills, except to hear their noises while there. Of course, along the roads, we saw monkeys!
Place Name: Four Seasons Hotel Lunch @ Kelapa Grill
Address: Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
Food was fantastic or should I say we were hungry and everything tasted great! :) Customer service was excellent and the views were calming.
Place Name: Langkawi Wildlife Park
Address: Lot 1485, Jalan Ayer Hangat, Kampung Belanga Pecah, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Honestly, I do not favour this place. I found the animals were either overfed or disturbed. But it did excite young children. The ticketing counter was encouraging us to purchase some food to feed the animals, but I refused. True enough, when I entered the premise, I felt that some animals were overfed. My son was excited as he had some close encounters with some animals. For me, it was a place I did not like. The pictures of the animals below...
Place Name: Underwater World
More information from The Smith House website: http://thesmith-house.com/langkawi-attractions/underwater-world-cenang-beach/
No pictures were taken as I felt it was almost similar to what Singapore has.
Place Name: Air Hangat Village
Address: 16, Jalan Air Hangat, Ayer Hangat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_00007d.htm
We went to this place very early in the morning. We were the first there and we had a good soak of our feet in one of the hot springs. It is a great experience soaking the feet in the hot springs. Other than that, that place seems not to have that much activity or life in it. You have Jacuzzi there too...
Place Name: Black Sand Beach (Pantai Pasir Hitam)
Address: 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_000014.htm
According to our tour guide Zamri, the sand found in this beach is black due to the minerals Tourmaline and Ilmenite in the granite of Gunung Raya. These minerals flow down by the spring water from the mountain and cause the color of sand to turn black. He mentioned to us that the locals considers this sand to be have very healing properties too.
Place Name: Mahsuri Executed Premise
This was the place where Mahsuri and other prisoners were executed those days. Contrary to what has been said that Mahsuri tomb was where she was killed, this proves it incorrect. She was executed this spot and her tomb in another place. This place is tremendously quiet and still. Even though there are passing traffic, this place seems to hold some kind of stillness in it...and it is less visited or should I say never visited by anyone at all. This place was pointed out to us by our tour guide, Zamri.
Place Name: Waterfalls
More information from The Smith House website: http://thesmith-house.com/langkawi-attractions/seven-wells-waterfall/
We went to the small waterfall as we did not wish to climb any further than that to view the other waterfalls. Moreover, as we were wanting to cover other areas of sightseeing, we had to forgo that.
Place Name: Legenda Eagle Park
Place Name: Sunset Cruise
As for the Sunset Cruise, we went through QQ Holidays to get it booked for us. They arranged for us two way transport. This cruise is coordinated by Crystal Yacht Holidays. The sunset cruise experience in a small yacht was great. And if you are the type who will enjoy saltwater Jacuzzi, then this one is for you. Food served was good too. There was free flow of drinks throughout the cruise. A memorable experience.
If you wish to book directly with Crystal Yacht Holidays, https://www.crystalyacht.com/
*I did not book directly with them...
Tour Company Name: QQ Holidays Travel & Tour Sdn. Bhd. (Comp. No.861517-M) (KPL/LN 6037)
Address: No.77, 1st Floor, Persiaran Mutiara 2, 07000 Kuah, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
I was dealing with a person named Shan Ooi. She was very helpful, prompt and professional in her dealings with me. She gave us an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide Zamri. In fact, they will even book accommodation for you. As I had already done my accommodation booking with The Smith House directly, I only made bookings via them for 2 days private tours and also for Sunset Cruise.
Feedback on our tour guide: Zamri was helpful and patient to our many queries. He was very experienced in his knowledge of the trees and the properties. In fact, we learnt lot from him on the tree species and on the wildlife of Langkawi. He was also understanding to our dietary needs and ensured we were taken care of during our time with him. He also ensured that we did not have to queue up to purchase tickets. He gave valuable advice such as which sightseeing places to go to taking into consideration of the weather and also of the crowd. Most importantly, he speaks good English.
Additional information from Zamri: He is a freelancer tour guide serving many tour companies in Langkawi. He mentioned among the many tour companies in Langkawi, QQ Holidays Travel is great as they take efforts to provide good service to their customers. He too added the vehicles they use is well-maintained and every tour guide needs to get the vehicle cleaned up first before returning the vehicle to the company at the end of the day.
I would recommend anyone to QQ Holidays as they cater to the customer needs and are professional in their dealings too. The different vehicles provided for our two day tours were clean.
The first day: we got the mini van as Zamri did not know it was only 3 of us. The second day: he got for us a bigger car, somewhat looking like in the picture. Both were spacious and clean.
Flights - Airlines: AirAsia
After checking various reviews over many websites, Air Asia seemed to be the best for trip to Langkawi. No issues. Flights departed on time. I feel the air crew team returning back to Singapore from Langkawi was much better than the team when we were going to Langkawi. We purchased Premium Economy and we were given priority check in. Flights were full - both going and return trip. The meals were a bit messy. Even though we selected coffee at the time of web booking, we were just offered standard plain water. We had to ask for coffee and then only they offered to us.
We booked via their direct website.
19 December 2018, Wednesday: Back to Singapore from Langkawi