in 6. asides

Honeymoon at Mutiara, Langkawi in Malaysia

Spent last week in Malaysia for our (belated) honeymoon. A full week of cold fruity cocktails on white beaches with palm trees. Yes, I could get used to the lifestyle. Besides some time at the beach, we tried to be active and do activities including coral riff snorkeling. I also unplugged from the Internet and feel I lived a generally healthier life style by eating healthy and a lot of swimming.

As we were almost half a year past the wedding, it was time to go on a honeymoon. Something I could cope up with all this time because of a mad bachelor party in both Barcelona and Milano with my friends, but was long due. As the destined country was set by generous (wedding-gift) givers, we only needed to narrow down the exact hotel we wanted to stay. Friends & Twitter pointed us at Langkawi Kedah an Island in the some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia North west of malaysia, where we found the humble Mutaria resort.

This particular resort came with it’s own beach, live music bar, pool, palm trees, all for a reasonable price in the low season and we got upgraded to a sea view bungalow when we mentioned our honeymoon! Very kind staff who would deliver sangria to our beach chair and enjoy a dance with the guests late at night (but not in a corny way). During our stay on the island we visited other resorts including the Sheraton and the Datai but ours was definitely better aimed for European visitors and more fun for a mid twenties couple like us.

Chilling on the beach, reminds me of living in Barcelona. Never saw such a classic beach though.

The island is covered with palm trees, some jungle-ish mountains in the center and a mangrove forrest in the west, all surrounded by white beaches. Most people on the Langkawi island seemed very kind towards foreigners, who are intrinsically engaged in individuals. We visited a night market on our first night which opened the floodgates to try other local foods and culture for the rest of the week. Oh, food in Malaysia is great! Fusing Indonesian, Indian and Chinese cuisine.

The Langkawi island is full of wildlife. Before landing I told Suna that I wanted to see at least one animal in the wild, but we’ve seen many: monkeys, gekko’s, buffalo, bats, snakes, wild pigs, eagles and others. A true tropical paradise. Besides the night market, we’ve seen a cement factory and small shops, but didn’t see many other commercial activities besides tourism and nature.

There are two types of monkeys in Langkawi. This is the breakfast stealing one ;-)

At this point, both of us realized that a typical resort (swimming & reading) holiday isn’t something our personalities can handle. Instead, we rented a car and did activities everyday, followed by some swimming and reading on the beach. we also did some activity packages including mangrove forrest visiting and coral riff snorkeling. All interesting activities were great but can be done within a week. Trips that were less worth while mentioning were the cable car, the harbor city and commercial parks.

Trip to the waterfall (Temurun), snorkling (do you notice the small terrifying shark in the bottom?), and stingray feeding.

Another thing worth mentioning about the country is the special automotive culture. Besides the fact that car’s drive on the left lane, we’ve seen a lot of customized cars. I’ve heard that the island we were on has some tax exemption for local cars, so people are tweaking colors and accessories to be different. We’ve seen a lot of proton, Perodua and Japanese cars. Gas is very cheap, we could drive up to 300km with just 10 dollars worth of gasoline.

All and all, a great honeymoon. Above expectations. Slightly off topic but a realization for myself: Inspired by a book I haven’t even read yet, I didn’t use the Internet for a good week. This mission was set just a few days before the holiday and I loved that I decide to do this. The laptop I brought for emergencies luckily could stay in my bag and I read from a paper book. (my Kindle has gmail access!) The non internet thing was amazing – I noticed that time took longer as I wasn’t constantly checking my mail and generally had much more time on my hands. Unplugging feels great and I will try to implement that (somehow) in my lifestyle a little more. Now my energy is recharged, i’m ready for action back in Shanghai.