When we flew over the Andaman sea the aqua blue waters instantly brought us happiness! Langkawi is the most northern group of islands on the west coast of Mainland Malaysia and in January experiences warm, dry weather. We chose it over other islands as it quieter, has nice beaches and a lot of attractions for the kids. It was a perfect family destination and staying at The Westin made the whole experience perfect.
The grounds of the Westin are simple stunning. The gardens are pristine and the minangkabau architectural design elements really make you feel like you are staying within an Asian heritage site.. The pools are well serviced and vary from a rock pool, kids pool and an infinity pool which, allows you to feels as if you are swimming in the sea towards the beautiful collection of islands. Although the resort caters for all ages there is a very quiet and serene feel to the whole place. There are lots of different restaurants but we found we usually ate by the pool or in Breeze where the setting was more casual and food more suited to two fussy eaters. But the breakfast buffet is without doubt the best breakfast we have ever come across. There are food stations catering for every food type you can imagine and a specific kids station meant we started each day with happy, full kids.
We spent our first few days alternating between playing in the shade on the shady beach in the morning and enjoying sunset swims in the pool in the afternoon. The hotel itself is large and our room was at the end of a block which was accessible through two long enclosed (air conditioned) corridors. This could have been tough with two small ones but Eli and Jake enjoyed the chance to run wild in the cool air. There was also a playground on site, although dated and small, the boys enjoyed it.
A recreation centre hosts an in-house photographer who offered all guests a complimentary photoshoot and one free print. Since the majority of our family photos are taken on timer or iPhone selfies, this was such a great opportunity for us and we ended up buying ALL the photos! They were amazing quality and a very laid back experience.
We could have spent the seven days just enjoying the resort but Langkawi is so much more than that. Just looking to the sky you can see eagles flying gracefully. The name ‘Langkawi’ is meant to have come from two Malay words – ‘helang’ (eagle) and ‘kawi' (reddish brown) - lang-kawi. and this statue of the eagle is the first thing you see if you arrive in Langkawi by boat.
Wildlife is abundant on the island. Monkeys roamed our hotel and we decided to visit the Langkawi Wildlife Park where the boys got to get a hands on experience with birds, snakes, flamingos, deers and ostriches to name a few. Andy decided this was the perfect time to hold a python for the first time; much to the entertainment of Eli and Jake…I was happy to stand back and take the photos!
Located close to the park is one of the island’s most stunning beaches; Tanjung Rhu. Crystal clear waters, powder white sands and very few people! After leaving we realised that the majority of our photos were taken from the water because it was to inviting not to be in it.
We hired a taxi to bring us to both places and as with Kuala Lumpur the cost was extremely reasonable. So the next day we decided to visit the Cable car and the sky bridge. On paper this seemed like a great idea but in reality bringing a wild 18 month old up to the mountain top and try stop him from running wild along a bridge 2, 170 ft above sea level! Lets just say the kids loved every minute…we counted every minute until we could get them back down again!
The Oriental Village at the base of the cable car is essentially a theme park and if the kids were just a little older we could easily have spent a day there. We did enjoy escaping the 33 degree heat to spend a few hours running (literally) around the biggest 3D Interactive Art Museum in Malaysia.
We could have easily spent a few weeks in Langkawi; exploring it in a hire car at our own pace. The roads are good and well signposted. And, like we found in Kuala Lumpur, the people are friendly, relaxed and helpful. Traveling to Malaysia with young children is not only easy, it is immensely enjoyable. With so many areas to explore we definitely hope to be back again some day!