After a year since our last visit to Langkawi, we managed to come back to this legendary island again. The main reason for our return is of course the Langkawi International Laksa Carnival (LILAC) 2016, which is already in its fifth year. The Gaya Traveller team always looks forward to attending the event because it is the only time when we could have as much laksa as we could stomach in three days!
Every year there is always something new to look forward to during LILAC; the organiser for this event, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), did a wonderful job in ensuring that LILAC remains exciting for visitors. As with the past years, many celebrity chefs grace this event and become strong crowd pullers. This year’s LILAC saw the participation of Sarah Benjamin, celebrity chef from AFC Channel; Chef Jo, professional chef who is also a jury of Master Chef Malaysia; Sheila Rusly, popular Malaysian TV personality who hosts and produces various cooking shows; and not forgetting Dato’ Fazley Yaacob, singer turned chef and restauranteur. These celebrities took part in various activities like participating in a cooking battle, cooking demonstrations, and adjudicating cooking competition.
This year’s LILAC also witnessed the unveiling of the Laksa House, which is a mini museum located at Laman Padi, the home of LILAC since its inception. This mini museum tracks LILAC’s history and progress throughout the years. It also has various types of laksa on display for visitors to learn more about the comestible.
A new addition to this year’s participation in LILAC is from Korea, serving different versions of japchae, a traditional Korean noodle dish. Fans of Korean culture should definitely give this dish a try! Other international participants were from Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. You could definitely find all the available local laksa; Johor, Penang, Kelantan, Sarawak, Pahang, among others! Alas, despite having attended the event for three days, we did not get to taste all of the laksa on site.
If you are a noodle lover, look out for next year’s LILAC! It is usually held at the end of May.
WHAT WE DO
Island Hopping On Jet Ski
Of late there are many adventure sports companies offering plenty of exciting activities for visitors who are looking for fun beyond lazing around the beach. We decided to do something adventurous this time around: island hoping on a jet-ski! We have never ridden a jet-ski prior to this, and of course we were very nervous about it. When we first heard that the whole experience would last four hours, we started to have second thoughts. However, our guide’s instructions were so simple that we felt confident enough to embark on this half day adventure.
We were taken on the Mega Water Sport’s Tour 2 (Dayang Bunting Island Tour), where we visited eight islands that include Dayang Bunting, Singa Besar and Beras Basah. The highlight of this tour is of course the Dayang Bunting Island, which is the second largest island within the Langkawi archipelago. We parked our jet-ski and discovered this island on foot, as well as taking a quick dip in the fresh water lake.
There were many interesting sights along the four-hour excursion, our favourite being the area nicknamed “The Fjords”. We have read about the Fjords of Norway in anticipation for our future travels, so this was a very pleasant surprise to discover that that are fjords in Langkawi too! Fjords are generally long, narrow, deep inlets of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley.
The best part of this activity is our ability to get really close to the smaller islands, and appreciate their natural beauty.
We cannot believe how easy it was to manoeuvre the jet-ski. However, precautions must be taken too. Accidents do happen, as they did with our group of ten: a gunnysack got stuck at the propeller, a driver fell off from her jet-ski, and a jet-ski flipped as a result of clowning around. Our guide was very calm throughout the whole ordeal, and handled everything professionally. We are glad to report that none of the mishaps involved the two of us, the only bad thing was that we got sunburned!
For more information and booking, visit www.megawatersports.com or call +604 955 3559.
Rhino In The Jungle
There is more to Langkawi than just the beach. We had wanted to go for parasailing, but it rained the whole day so parasailing did not seem like a good idea. So we opted for something unique that we have not tried before: Naam’s 4×4 Discovery Ride on the Yamaha Rhino, which is a 4×4, side by side (SxS) off road vehicle. Like the jet-ski, it takes no time to get used to it. One Rhino can two persons. After listening to a brief explanation by the company’s tour supervisor, the next thing we knew we were on our way discovering some off-road adventure! Guests will be guided by a tour supervisor who will ride in front of the Rhinos.
There are two options for this ride: 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. We drove by fruit farms, coconut plantation, fishing village, meadows and paddy fields! Some parts were quite tricky to negotiate, like climbing steep hills and crossing a stream! This is a highly recommended activity if travellers want to let off steam, and experience adrenaline rush at the same time.
For more information and booking, visit www.naam.bz or call +604 963 9200.
WHERE WE STAY
This is the third time that we stay at this lush and sprawling resort. Berjaya Langkawi Resort is nestled within a rainforest reserve said to be older than the Amazon. The resort faces the Andaman Sea, so guests have access to the white sandy beach and tropical greens.
A proof of a good family-friendly property is in its breakfast spread, which we found amazing, with fresh pancakes, waffles, eggs, roti canai and even croissants all cooked on site! We always turn up early for breakfast so that we can take our time and enjoy the buffet.
This five-star resort comprises a whopping total of 424 chalets and suites to suit various budgets and preferences. Our chalet has a sea view, which was utterly relaxing. There is also a pick-up shuttle service whenever we need to go to the lobby or other areas of the resort.
We had the chance to dine at its Pahn-Thai Restaurant, located on the waters of Andaman Sea. This alfresco dining outlet above water that is open only for dinner serves authentic and delicious Thai gastronomic offerings, which make perfect ending to guests’ day. Besides Pahn-Thai, there are other F&B outlets scattered around the resort, making it possible for us not to leave the resort if we truly wish for a lazy holiday!