Langkawi, Malaysia: How to get there, where to stay, what to do and where to eat

I have mixed opinions about Langkawi, we spent the most amount of time there which was a mistake but looking back it was really nice to take such a chilled pace of life after a hectic 10 days. I've described Langkawi as the Benidorm of Malaysia. In the main strip, it's pretty Westernised and feels like you could be anywhere in the world. It really doesn't feel like Malaysia. But once you hire a car and start exploring, the island becomes so much more. If you're after a few days relaxing and enjoying the beach then Langkawi is for you. Just don't expect too much to do!

How to get there
There are currently no direct flights available from the U.K but you'll be able to catch fairly cheap internal flights. We flew back to Kuala Lumpur to go home for around £30 on Asia Air. We were traveling over from George Town, Penang. Instead of flying we decided to catch the ferry. If you head down to the ferry terminal, you'll find lots of shops offering a ferry service. We just picked a random one and it worked out fine. Remember to take your passport as you'll need that to purchase tickets. We tried to book online but there is a problem with the website accepting U.K debit/credit cards. Ferries run twice a day, once in the morning at 8.30am and once in the afternoon at 2pm. It will take around three hours. It's not a picturesque ride and is a bit of a tight squeeze but its painless and a pretty cheap way to travel! Tickets cost around £11 for a single and £22 for a return.

Where to stay
Address: Lot 1947, A Jalan Pantai Cenang, Kampung Gelam, Langkawi, 07000
Cost per night: Around £82 based on two people sharing with breakfast included

We decided to splash out and stay at Kunang Kunang Heritage Villas as we were coming to the end of our trip in Malaysia. Although a little out in the sticks, the accommodation was absolutely perfect for a few days of pure relaxation. They had a gorgeous pool which was just the ticket for curling up with a book and putting thoughts of home out of your head. Just be prepared to hire a car as nothing is within walking distance - taxis can work out expensive if you keep booking them.

What to do

Cable car
Langkawi is home to the steepest cable car in the world and its certainly a hair-raising experience! It takes visitors up 708 metres above sea level and offers the most incredible 360 degree views over the island. You'll see jungle and rocks over 550 million years old. There are three stations: base, middle and top. It costs around £8 each and includes a stop off at each station.

Sky bridge
At the top station of the cable car is where you'll find the Sky Bridge. It really does feel like you're up high in the clouds, if you're feeling brave enough make sure to check out the clear glass boxes dotted along the bridge. It will make your legs all wobbly looking at the drop below! You can buy a combination ticket with the cable car for around £16-17.

Hire a car
Public transport is non-existent on Langkawi. The country has its own version of Uber called Grab which is very reasonable but sometimes it's nice to have your own freedom by hiring a car. Our hotel helped us to hire one, we enquired about it one morning and it was in the carpark the next day - it couldn't have been simpler. Langkawi is full off gorgeous beaches and hiring a car is the best way to see them all.

Rainforest trek
Langkawi is full of lush rainforest and we wanted to get up close and personal with it. I was drawn to Dev's Adventure Tours because they're an ethical company who were keen to help preserve the rainforest. We chose to do their jungle evening walk. We were picked up on time from our hotel before being driven to a hotel deep in the jungle. We were lucky enough to have a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, there wasn't anything she didn't know about Langkawi. After walking through the hotel grounds and spotting ALL the monkeys, we went into the rainforest and managed  to spot some flying mammals as the sun went down.

Where to eat
Food isn't the best in Langkawi, it was a bit of a disappointment after having a such amazing food in the rest of Malaysia. We did have a few delicious meals but they were few and far between. It says a lot when our favourite restaurant was a Syrian one!

Arang BBQ and Grill
I'd never had Syrian food before and didn't think the first time I would try it it would be on a Malaysian island! Located at the southern end of Pantai Cenang, it's a great place to people watch as you can sit outside. We started with a selected of hummus dishes with some flatbread before diving into our mains. I opted for the falafel wrap drizzled with delicious tahini sauce and paired with a side salad. It was so good with the falafel cooked to perfection. My boyfriend went for the Syrian Kebabs which he raved about too.

This wasn't the best Malaysian food we had in Malaysia but it was the best we had in Langkawi. I'd really recommend the curries which were delicious and had just the right amount of heat. Make sure to grab a seat outside and watch the world go by.

Restoran Hafizi Ramli
We randomly stumbled across this place on our first night and discovered they did a cracking Roti Canai. It's a very laid-back place, quite similar to a food court you'll get on the mainland. Just try to catch the eye of someone and they will come over and ask you what you want. Don't forget to ask for the chicken satay as it is delicious!

Hotel review: Kunang Kunang Heritage Villas, Langkawi, Malaysia

Address: Lot 1947, A Jalan Pantai Cenang, Kampung Gelam, Langkawi, 07000
Cost per night: Around £82 based on two people sharing with breakfast included

We were on a pretty strict budget for our trip to Malaysia but decided we wanted a little bit of luxury for our last four days. We decided to visit Langkawi and during my research I discovered there isn't an awful lot of things to see and do. It was our one chance to relax so it was the ideal place to book us into a swish hotel.

Kunang Kunang Heritage Villas are located just outside Pantai Cenang which is probably the most touristy place on the island. It's about a five minute drive in a taxi from restaurants, bars and the beach. But as soon as you step foot on the complex you could be a million miles away from the main strip. Consisting of individual wooden villas scattered around a complex, each one comes equipped with free wifi, kettle, tea and coffee, two free bottles of water a day, toiletries, mosquito spray and a private bathroom. You'll find a swish four poster bed complete with a mosquito net with a seating area with a table.

Next to the restaurant is a stunning swimming pool set in a pond surrounded by a few cushioned sun loungers. There is a basket in the shade full of complimentary soft towels and a little wooden structure behind with chairs and a table if you want to escape into the shade. We found the pool was never too busy when we used it, it helps that there is only 8-9 different villas.

Staff at reception couldn't be more helpful and helped us arrange a car so we could explore the island.  We booked one at reception and within a few hours it has arrived. Incredible service! I think it cost us around £17 a day which was an absolute bargain. They also help you hire a scooter but we wasn't brave enough for that! We ate lunch at the restaurant one day, and while it was expensive compared the street food we had been enjoying, it was really tasty. The Rendang curry really hit the spot!

We had a great stay at Kuang Kuang and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get away from it all. You have to be prepared to hire a car though as nothing is within walking distance and it will help to give you some freedom. Keep in mind you'll have to pay a MYR 10 per person as a tourist tax so pop that into your budget.


Can you ever get rid of imposter syndrome?

Yellow polka dot dress: Zara
Black faux leather jacket: New Look (similar)
White plimsols: Converse

I've been working at my current job for over three years now and yet I'm still waiting for the day to be pulled into a separate office and be told that they've made a terrible mistake employing me. And it's not just me that has these irrational thoughts. Nearly all my friends agree with me. Despite being well established in our careers, we still have a massive fear that someone will find out that we've been winging it all this time and we're not qualified at all. It's all complete rubbish of course, as if we honestly couldn't do our jobs then we would be long gone and replaced with someone who could.

Imposter syndrome is very real and it can be very difficult to get the invasive thoughts out of your head. If you let it, it will continue to fester. I've had it ever since I've started Uni if I'm honest and I'm not sure it'll ever go away. But you can learn to bat it away.

Remember it's natural to do things wrong at work. The only way we learn is if we make mistakes. Use those mistakes to try and make yourself better, learn from them, adjust the way you work and then lock the thought of them away. Talking things through with friends always helps. As I've found, they often feel the same themselves and friends make a great sounding board. They'll often tell you what a Queen you are and trust me, that's a surefire way to make you realised that actually you do know what you're doing after all. Finally, sit down and think. Think about everything you've achieved at work. Did you manage to pull off a successful project? Did you kill a presentation when you were nervous as hell? Did you do a piece of work and get praised for it? The chances are you've definitely pulled something off that you were worried about. And if that doesn't prove you don't deserve your position in the company, then what will?

How do you deal with imposter syndrome? Tell me I'm not alone in having these thoughts!


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