Only a month ago, I said I’d never do a ‘top 5’ post. But
after two months in Langkawi, I reckon I’ve got this one nailed. Trying to keep kids amused on a budget isn’t always easy, but here is a great start for some Ringgit-free Langkawi days.
- Langkawi Falls
Along the road to Datai Resort on the North West of the Island is Langkawi Falls. It’s a short walk to the base of a spectacularly high waterfall. The walk is steep but our Mr4 happily scrambled up. The falls are constantly changing depending on recent rainfall. On one visit we watched a group of local boys climb the rocks to hidden pools above, on another the falls were so strong they generated a howling wind drawn violently down by the flow of water. We went here three times during our 2 month stay on the Island.
The car park is across the road and there is a food stall if you work up an appetite. If you take your own picnic, then about 200m back along the road there is a carpark and beach access area. There is a brand new toilet block at the start of the walk, but head up in your swimmers so you can jump straight in.
- Laman Padi
Right at the northern end of Cenang, across from Casa Del Mar is Laman Padi, this place is all about rice growing and it’s beautiful. You can wander around the padi’s to see rice growing at various stages. A friendly guide told us all about the fish in the padi’s and local plants. I really enjoyed it but Miss2 and Mr4 were more interested in pushing the stroller around the paths, ramps and bridges. In a few years they would be more engaged. The kids did enjoy seeing the water buffalo and several baby buffalo were born during our two month stay, including albino babies. The rice museum in the middle of the complex is deliciously air conditioned and full of info about rice farming now and before. You can explore a herb garden where they grow herbs used in the onsite day spa. We had fun crushing leaves and smelling the various scents. You can even stay for lunch or dinner at the Seashells restaurant where you can sit under a little hut in a padi and enjoy your meal (and they are reasonably priced).
- Seven Wells Falls
Just north of the Oriental Village, it is not a walk for the faint hearted, but you don’t need to be an ironman to make it up either. Mr4 walked up with a few breaks while I carried a sleeping Ms2. The path is shaded by trees and we encountered monkeys on the way up (don’t feed them!). The walk is worth it, but you’ll be ready for a swim when you get there. The view is to die for, and the series of pools are fun to slide down like a natural water slide. We went at the tail end of wet season, and there was plenty of water.
There are 3 toilet blocks along the path, the middle one (at the turn off to another waterfall) is the best. At the start of the walk there are some stalls selling food/coconuts/hats and the car park costs 2RM.
- CHOGM Park and playground
CHOGM Park is a large beautifully manicured park along the water at Kuah. Explore the different features of the park, including a temple-y thing, tunnels, bridges and wiggly pathways. Next to the park is a huge playground which our kids just love. Word of warning, however: unless it is a cloudy / windy day, I would save this one for evening. At night the playground is lit up with colourful lights, but by day it is BAKING HOT with very little shade. Not as ‘safe’ or as well maintained as Australian playgrounds, but still worth a visit with little kids that are playground deprived. It’s also a nice way to meet local parents as you watch your kiddies run around, I have found Malaysians to be such lovely friendly people who love kids.
- Black Sand Beach
I love this beach on the northern side of Langkawi, the view over fishing boats is north to Thailand. But this feels like authentic Langkawi. Driving east, you first encounter the beach beside a walkway, which is lovely for a stroll under shady palm trees (and interesting for kids). But about 1km further down the road, there are a few market stalls and a cheap restaurant (with a picture menu) right next to two playgrounds. Happy days! Sit under the shady trees and enjoy a coconut while the kids burn off energy. Should I mention a clean toilet block too? Afterwards head down to the beach and have fun writing messages through the white/black sand. The waves are small (to non-existent) so bring your swimmers if you want a dip. If you want to picnic instead, a nice stop with shady huts is half-way between the walkway and the market stalls.
So there you have it. Happy family traveling on a budget. Feel free to suggest your own favourites.
Follow our journey on facebook and instagram – Cast Adrift @castadrifters