Liz Porter chooses the Malaysian island for a swim-spa-slumber holiday.
My teenage daughter and I were desperate for an exotic break. We weren't looking for an "eat, pray, love" quest to Bali. Or a place with bars so hip you might be in some barely-on-the-map Melbourne laneway. Part of the charm of being somewhere foreign is that they do things differently. We just wanted somewhere reliably hot and sunny for a spa, swim, room service, book-reading kind of holiday.
I remembered Langkawi from a visit to its main island of Pulau Langkawi in 1976, when there was no tourist development on this archipelago of 99 islands off the west coast of Malaysia and the only access was a 30-kilometre ferry trip from the little port town of Kuala Perlis.
Advertisement: Story continues belowI could recall only the stock tropical-paradise images: palm trees lining long, sandy beaches; jungle; a scenic hilly interior. I remember wading in clear warm water - and someone suggesting that at certain low tides, one could walk to the next island.
Thirty-five years later, I had difficulty finding new and reliable information. The Lonely Planet guide to Malaysia devotes only three pages to Langkawi. But some recent visitors there had described it as "like Bali 30 years ago". As someone lucky enough to first visit Bali when Sanur's Bali Hyatt was the only major resort and Legian had no electricity, I liked that idea.
Honest & great feedback about their langkawi trip..
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