Langkawi, Koh Lipe 4D3N CNY getaway 2020

It was the third day of CNY 2020. Vvy would be going back to Singapore to work on the next day while Juan and family would be going to Sibu to continue their CNY celebration. So we headed to Langkawi for our CNY holidays. Actually our main destination is Koh Lipe, a paradise island in the southern part of Thailand. There are two ways to go to this small island: one way is to fly to Langkawi and take a ferry to the island, the other way is to take a flight to Hat Yai, take a car to Pak Bara pier and take a ferry to Koh Lipe. We opted for Langkawi as our gateway to Koh Lipe as we also would like to see what has Langkawi transformed into after so many years!

Day 1

We arrived at Langkawi International Airport at around 1 pm after a transit at KLIA by MAS. This airport does not have an aerobridge. So we had to walk from the aircraft on the tarmac to the arrival hall.

Taking necessary precaution because of the outbreak of coronavirus, COVID-19

Kayden was not following us. He & his family were going to Sibu. Their flight was almost the same time as ours

International Airport without aerobridge!

Immediately we hailed a Mycar cab to the Nasi Dagang Pak Malau at Maksirat. This restaurant is situated in the middle of the paddy field. We got to know this place while reading the Travel 3600  inflight magazine in an Airasia flight recently. This restaurant is also highly recommended by Tripadvisor.  We arrived at 1.20 pm. They only had one last plate of nasi dagang available. We got no choice but just to accept and share out! Actually the restaurant closes at 2.00 pm. We just tried our luck. Well, we were not disappointed as the curry gravy was thick and yummy and the glutinous rice was well cooked. The tuna fish was fresh. It’s not salty either, just nice to taste. However, it didn’t come with cucumber pickle. It’s a bit overrated. Comparatively, I would still think that the authentic nasi dagang from Terengganu tastes better. We also tried the durian crepe, local delight made from durian, custard flour, eggs, sugar, butter, whipping cream and vanilla essence. It tasted a bit like egg tart minus the durian flavor. On the label, it is recommended to defrost 15 minutes at room temperature before consuming. But we didn’t do it. It tasted like ice-cream!   

The restaurant looks more like a ‘pondok’!

Not appealing at all!

The durian crepe which can be found in many parts of Langkawi

Then we proceeded to our hotel at Resort World Pantai Tengah. This is a beautiful resort located at the southern tip of Langkawi island facing the Andaman Sea.

Resorts World Hotel Langkawi

View of Andaman Sea from the hotel room

Beach front of the hotel

After checking-in, we e-hailed a Mycar cab to our first itinerary in Langkawi, i.e. The Langkawi Skycab to go up to the Sky Bridge. Actually we had been to Langkawi twice but that time this bridge was not built yet. Ticket price is RM 45 for locals, RM 85 for foreigners and RM 30 for senior citizens. It connects the Oriental Village at the base station at Teluk Burau to the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang, which is also the location of the Langkawi Sky Bridge. The total distance is 2.2 km with a journey time of around 15 minutes. There are altogether 3 stations. It claims to have the steepest and longest free span mono-cable car (950m) between middle station and the top station. The gondolas hover over the jungle and 550 million old rocks! There’s an intermediate station where visitors  stop at this station to get to the 2 observation platforms where they can get a panoramic view of part of Langkawi island and many of the nearby islands at an elevation of 650m above sea-level. Another few minutes ride will take the visitors up to the top station which is 708m above sea-level. From the top station,  you can either take a jungle trail(RM 6) to the Sky Bridge or take a Sky Glide (RM11) for those who do not want to walk. At the top station, visitors would be amazed at the exciting feature of the Mat Chinchang Mountain peaks providing a spectacular and breathtaking 360o view of the Langkawi island and Southern Thailand. We descended to the base station at around 6.00 pm. It took us about 10 minutes.

At the Oriental Village

At the Mid station

Walking trail to the SkyBridge

You may take this Skyglide to the Skybridge

At the Skybridge

Panoramic view from the Skybridge

The umbrella bridge at the Oriental Bridge

We tried to e-hail a cab but were unsuccessful. In the end, we took a taxi back to our hotel. At night we had dinner at the Salt Shark Bar next to the infinity pool.

At the infinity pool, Resorts World Langkawi

Sunset at Resorts World Langkawi

Day 2

We woke up early in the morning as we were going to Koh Lipe island. After breakfast at the hotel, we hailed a grab car to Telaga Ferry Terminal to board the ferry at 9.30 am. It was an ½ hour ride from the resort to the ferry terminal. The ferry left sharply at 9.30 am. Majority of the passengers were Europeans!

This is the ferry we took to Koh Lipe

Boarding the ferry

It was a smooth sail as the sea was calm and not choppy at all. We finally arrived at Koh Lipe after 1 ½ hour voyage. As there’s no jetty at this island and the ferry could not dock at shallow water, so we had to disembark by taking a small long tail boat to the shore where there are pontoons for passengers to go up.

Disembarkation from the ferry to the long tail boat

This is the long tail boat that ferry passengers to the shore of Koh Lipe

The pontoon pier at Koh Lipe

Immigration was slow as the ferry operator kept our passports and only returned to us by calling out our names and countries one by one. I then realized that the Europeans came as far as Peru, USA, South Africa, Finland, Sweden and in fact all over the world! After receiving the passports, we could then proceed to the immigration office for passport stamping. Wait, before you could leave after stamping your passports, you need to pay THB 200 for environment fee.

At the pier, the hotel operators were already waiting for their guests.

Getting the passport stamped

Paying the environment fee at this simple shelter

The hotel operators waiting for their respective guests

 

On the way to our villa

We then proceeded to check in Bundhaya Villa which is a few hundred meters away. This beautiful villa is located at the end of the Pattaya beach.

After a short rest, we began our exploration of the island by walking to the Koh Lipe Walking Street, the only vibrant street in the island. We had lunch at the Thai Lady Pancake Shop2. We had Paht Thai and lemon grass shrimps salad.

The street becomes vibrant after 6.00 pm. Other time it is quite quiet.

Our lunch

The weather is very hot in the afternoon

I noticed there are a lot of restaurants, massage parlors and diving centres. There are quite a number of pharmacies here also. Many people may not know that this island was inhabited by the local Chao Ley (Sea gypsies) Urak Lawoi who first settled in the island some 100 years ago! I only got to know after reading the island information obtained from the information center. They still reside in the island with a population of about 800. Many of them run small business in this island.

Visitors are spoiled by choice for accommodation on this island with a great selection of luxurious hotels to budget lodgings. The island is rich in culture. You can walk the whole island in just a couple of hours. After lunch, we walked to the sunrise beach in the east which is just less than 1 km.  This sunrise beach was full of European tourists sunbathing there. The weather was extremely fine and hot. We walked along the white and pristine sandy beach to enjoy the beautiful beach and the cool sea breeze. Then we bought some banana pancake and skewed chicken for snack. We returned to the hotel at 2.30 pm for a rest.

This Varin Village at Sunrise beach offers basic accommodation at around USD 20. No air conc, only fans. Very popular among the European backpackers

Selfie at Sunrise Beach

This Sunrise Beach is very quiet and beautiful with clear water. It is very suitable for swimming and sunbathing

Of course mom didn’t catch these two black marlin fish!

This Japnese couple caught them during their fishing trip

At 4.45 pm, we set out again. this time we walked to the sunset beach on the west side of the island. For your information, Koh Lipe has three beaches, the Pattaya Beach where we stayed, Sunrise Beach and Sunset Beach. The most vibrant beach is Pattaya Beach where you have a lot of shops and bars. But if you prefer to laze on the beach, enjoying the sunshine, then Sunrise beach will be more suitable as there are not many boats docking at the beach. The scenery here is breathtaking!

It took us about 15 minutes to reach the Sunset Beach. This beach is nowhere compared to the other two beaches except maybe you could catch a stunning sunset! However we didn’t wait for the sunset here as  you can also catch the sunset at the Pattaya Beach where we stayed this time around as it is not available throughout the year. So we walked back to Pattaya Beach and relaxed on the beach lounging chair at our villa.

At the Sunset beach

At Pattaya Beach

The long tail boat

Sunset at Pattaya Beach

Dinner was at the villa. We had pineapple fried rice, steamed fish and Thai green curry. We walked a total of 8 km for the day.

Day 3

After having a scrumptious breakfast at the resort, we checked-out and headed to the pier at Bunga Resort to board the ferry back to Langkawi at 10.30 am local time.

It’s time to bid goodbye to Koh Lipe

The journey took 1 ½ hour (Time difference is 1 hr where KL is 1 hr earlier). We arrived at Langkawi Telaga Terminal at 1.00 pm local time. There was a delay in disembarkation as the immigration officers checked the body temperature of every passenger arriving at the ferry terminal due to the outbreak of the covid-19. We then e-hailed a cab to Nadias hotel at Chenang beach. We had express set lunch at the hotel before proceeding to the duty-free shop next to the hotel to buy some chocolates.

At Chenang Walk

A visit to Langkawi is incomplete withour a visit to the Eagle Square.  This Eagle Square is the landmark of Langkawi. Every tourist arrives at Langkawi will surely visit this square which is located next to the Kuah Jetty Terminal. We took some pictures and visited the ferry terminal as well before heading back to Chenang beach where we had our dinner.

At Eagle Square, Langkawi

Sunset at Eagle Square Langkawi

This Chenang beach is very vibrant now, unlike in the 70’s where there wasn’t any hotel here. We walked along the beach. There’s some acrobatic fire performance at the beach to attract visitors. We then walked along the main road. Now Chenang is just like Krabi in Thailand, full of European tourists and a lot of seafood restaurants, hotels, massage parlors and shops selling beach wears. It has transformed into a vibrant town. We retired to bed at around 11.00 pm. We walked a total of 5.6 km.

Acrobatic fire performance at the Chenang Beach

Day 4

We woke up late in the morning as we didn’t have any itinerary for today as we would be going back. After a simple breakfast at the hotel, we walked to the Chenang Beach again to enjoy some morning sun and sea breeze. There were quite a number of people jogging on the beach. Some foreigners were doing yoga. It’s such a peaceful and serene sight early in the morning. Then we proceeded to Chenang Mall to explore. The Mall opens at 11.00 am. There are some duty free shops as well as some fast-food restaurants.

At 12.00 pm, we checked-out and  headed to the airport for our departure ending the 4D3N unforgettable and enjoyable holidays. We will definitely come back again for island hopping!

 

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About HP Lim

An experienced Form 5 chemistry teacher from Johor Bahru.