This picturesque destination is a perennial favourite for holidaymakers, but you can enjoy its beauty even from afar
Known as the Jewel of Kedah, this cluster of islands off the coast of northwestern Malaysia has long been a tourist draw with its idyllic beaches and verdant wilderness. In recent years, several upmarket resort brands have set up camp in Langkawi, lending the island a distinct vibe of luxury. Even as travellers stay home and (im)patiently wait for #traveltomorrow, here are some things to get you excited about your next visit to Langkawi.
First, get a lay of the land.
Home to Southeast Asia’s first Unesco Geopark, Langkawi is a destination rich in bio-diversity – from leaf langurs and long-tailed macaques to tiny slow lorises and the colugo, the world’s only flying primate. For an introduction into the fascinating flora and fauna of Langkawi, who better than local naturalist and conservationist Irshad Mobarak to lead the way? Author of the “Discovering Langkawi” book, a tome about the island’s natural history, Mobarak is also a passionate environmentalist who often gives talks and lectures about conservation efforts on the island. Check out his TED talk here.
Then, get a bird’s eye view of the island.
After getting acquainted with the island’s wildlife, scope out the land from above. Langkawi Sky Bridge, which opened in 2005, is a 125-m-long curved bridge located 660m above sea level at the top of Gunung Mat Cincang. Considered to be one of the longest curved pedestrian bridges in the world, this is one of the main tourist attractions in Langkawi. Shut your door, crank your air-conditioning on high and hit “play” on this video… You can just about feel like you’re right there.
Time for lunch?
Tuck into a traditional Seafood Asam Pedas courtesy of Chef Mandy Goh of St. Regis. Originally from Penang, Chef Goh is the first woman to hold this role at The St. Regis Langkawi and she’s determined that each dish served at the restaurant represents the “soul of the culinary team”. In this cooking demonstration, Chef Goh shares her recipe for Asam Pedas, a spicy, tangy stew. Enjoy!
Go behind-the-scenes with hotel staff.
Another luxury hotel keeping busy even during lockdown is The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi. For one, Ikan Ikan Executive Sous Chef Hairullizan Mohd Noor has been experimenting with various fresh-ground spices and native ingredients to craft authentic Malaysian dishes, while Rhu Bar’s Head Bartender Surinder Virk is working on infusing gin with island herbs and flowers. All these new creations will be ready for guests once the hotel throws open its doors in June.
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Featuring our talented pastry chef Ismail, who will be sharing with us a timeless dessert Kuih Ketayap – a pandan flavored pancake-like dessert filled with sweet desiccated coconut a Malaysian tea-time favorite. #FSConnectsAtHome #fslangkawi #onlyonlangkawi #quarantinecooking
Sink your teeth into the island’s art and culture scene.
Beyond the beach and natural wonders, the island also has a nascent arts scene, with the Langkawi Art Biennale gaining momentum as an event of note. While this year’s edition has been postponed to 2 October, the organisers have been quick to rally and are now putting together a virtual art exhibition, featuring a line-up of attendant talks and workshops with artists and creators. They will also be launching a virtual art gallery app soon, so follow them to stay updated!