There are plenty of options to get a view over the towering skyline of KL. Different viewing platforms, the TV tower, Petronas Twin towers and so on. The problem with them is that in order to get to the top you have to pay 50-100 ringgit admittance fee and from most of the places you can see only to one or two directions. But our host here recommended a place called Heli Lounge/Bar which is just a 5 minute walk from our accommodation. The idea is that from early morning until 6 PM it is used as a helicopter landing pad but after that it’s turned to a rooftop bar with 360 degree view of the city. A really great idea in my opinion :)! To get a good place or a place at all it’s wise to go there slightly before 6. In order to get to the top all you need to do is buy a drink from the bar. The drinks are around 30-40 ringgit and at least the Long Islands we had were spot on :)! After 9 PM as we heard there will be some entrance fee and dress code so the best time to visit is between 6-9 in the evening so you could get a glimpse of the sunset also. An awesome place to go and see KL from a different vantage point :)!
Located about 13km outside the city center but still rather engulfed by the vastness of KL Batu caves are located. This place is considered to be one of the most sacred Hindu shrines outside of India and I must admit a quite huge tourist attraction also. It’s a rather long climb up the stairs where the entrance awaits. In there you can find some temples, beautiful cave formations and a lot of clever monkeys climbing around everywhere. Currently some areas are under renovation but it has a little effect to the beauty and the majesty of the cave. Be sure to visit a smaller cave filled with different statues from Hindu religion about a 3-4 min walk to the left from the main entrance. Entrance fee to this smaller cavern is only 5 ringgit and it’s definitely worth it! Batu cave itself is free to visit!
KL Bird park
World’s largest free-flight walk-in aviary is how they commercialize themselves and it’s true, that place is quite huge. You can find hundreds of different birds in there from all shapes and sizes. Although the entrance fee is rather high (67 ringgit per person) it’s still an extremely interesting place to visit if you like to see beautiful birds flying around not in their natural habitat but as close to that as possible. Be careful though not to get hit by any of them cause that could happen. Most popular bird in there seemed to be the peacock and constantly they found a reason to show off their beautiful feathers. They are truly quite magnificent!
Totally out of topic compared to other things in this post but I very quickly just wanted to share my favorite thing to eat here in Malaysia :). They are called Roti booom which back in Estonia would be quite weird since Roti stands for a rat :). Either way they are extremely delicious and I highly recommend to try some while you’re here! Available on the streets but also in frozen form in most of the supermarkets. Just heat the pan, add a little oil and that’s it! Enjoy! 🙂
In all the countries that we’re visiting we try to go to the National museum to get a better overview of the country’s history and heritage. And so we did here in KL also. The entrance fee is only 5 ringgit and for that you’ll get access to 4 huge halls containing hundreds of exhibits through earliest days of civilization in this area to present times. There are also several free exhibition halls with various displays.
Right near to the National museum there’s also a police museum which maybe at first doesn’t sound very interesting but actually it’s definitely worth a visit. You can learn a lot about what different equipment has been used in Malaysia and in SE Asia through the years. There are also several different cars, bikes and other machinery on display and it’s totally free. Spending about an hour there is definitely not a bad idea!
In the middle of those 2 places is the National planetarium which we skipped this time since we were quite hot from all the walking and it seemed to be minus degrees in the building. Maybe that will be for some time in the future :).
All in all there are actually quite many museums and similar facilities with free or very inexpensive admittance fees in KL. Back that with all the different parks, beautiful buildings and skyscrapers this city is pretty nice and interesting place to be 🙂
One very good thing in here is the lunchtime on business days. It seems that during this time many different food trucks park themselves on the streets between the buildings and suddenly a huge number of nicely dressed office workers fill the streets to get lunch for themselves. For us it’s also very convenient since you can get an extremely delicious meal for only 6 ringgits (about 1,2€) without walking more than a minute or two.
Also Uber is really inexpensive in KL. Our nearly 60km trip from the airport was 75 ringgit and smaller trips in the city cost no more than 5-15. Of course you have to take under consideration that in some cases you are probably quicker on foot due to the traffic jams.
Tomorrow we plan to visit the famous Batu caves. More about it in the next posts :)!
Sending a lot of sunshine!
Compared to other places we’ve been Langkawi is most likely the least expensive. Especially if you consider very cheap alcohol and gas prices. Nevertheless here are the results of our 17 day stay as usual averaged out per day for 2 people
- Groceries (different food items and all other similar things) – 25,8 ringgit
- Transport (in case of Langkawi it also contains only of scooter rental, gas and Uber to/from airport. We used scooter for most of the time during our stay) – 16,7 ringgit
- Eating out (also includes breakfast) – 28,8 ringgit. In Langkawi we quite often cooked our own meal at the hostel so if you plan to eat 3 times a day out the cost will definitely be higher
- Entrance fees (Langkawi Cable Car, cinema and the watch tower at Gunung Raya) – 8,7 baht. Different island hopping tours were available from as low as 35 ringgit per person but this time, after already doing that in Phuket, we skipped it
- Shopping (different souvenirs) – 2,8 ringgit
- Other (mobile internet, cash withdrawal fees, washing clothes, and other similar) – 7,9 ringgit
As said before the accommodation in Langkawi was not the cheapest one + since from last year there is also a nationwide tourist tax for everyone 10 ringgit per room per night. Our hostel cost us 1687 ringgit. So in total we spent during 17 days roughly 1632+1687=3319 ringgit (about 682€). The ratio between accommodation and all other expenses was about 50:50 which also reflects not so cheap accommodation costs related to other living expenses.
I hope that you find some value in this and to finish off our adventures on Langkawi here’s the second video of this beautiful island
Different thoughts and comments about Langkawi through my eyes 🙂
- In the evening there are quite many mosquitoes flying around so use repellent or be ready to scratch! I’ve done the latter mostly…
- Most popular car in here seems to be Proton which is logical since the brand is originated largely from Malaysia. And most of the cars are smaller compact ones, not pickups like in Thailand.
- Smoking is really popular around here and the not so good part is that it’s allowed also in public places. One package of local cigarettes costs about 0,45€
- There are around 90000 people living on the islands of Langkawi but only 4 of the 99 islands are inhabited
- English is really common around here and you even hear locals speaking it quite often amongst themselves. There are just so many different dialects that sometimes it’s easier to communicate in English it seems
- Although snorkeling is supposed to be quite popular here we still haven’t found any place with nearly as clear water as in Phuket for example. Maybe it’s just like that this time of the year..
- Walking around in the main tourist street is like walking in a huge duty free shop like ones found in airports. After every 20 meters there’s another shop. But the prices are mostly much cheaper 🙂
- Most reasonable method of transportation is renting a scooter. But if you don’t have an official A category license I’d stay clear from Jalan Pantai Chenang street since it seems to be a hotspot for police. Otherwise it’s rather quiet in the other places on the island. And from this year Uber is also available in Langkawi with very good prices!
- When the sun sets a huge number of different bars open on the beach with fire shows, great music and hookah which is also really popular in here
- There are a huge number of resorts on the island with some of them having private white sand beaches
- BigMac in here is the best I’ve ever had :)! I don’t know why but it just is! Most of the time we eat local food or go to the market and make something on our own in the hostel kitchen but on some occasions we have also found ourselves in McDonalds and only because of that BigMac 🙂 Sorry! 🙂
- Local radio stations play a lot of songs from 5, 6, 7 or 10 years ago. And it’s great to here these old hits again :). For some reason Akon is also really popular here..
- Monkeys are to be found everywhere on the island. Sitting on the roadside, climbing on the trees or just chilling on the beach.
- And one more time – it’s difficult to imagine more beautiful mountains, beaches and waterfalls then in Langkawi 🙂
So today we visited the most popular tourist attraction here in Langkawi – the cable car, sky bridge, oriental village and other related attractions. And I can tell you right now that this place is really really worth a visit. Entrance fee is 55 ringit per person and for that you’ll get a ride with the cable car, entrances to Sky Dome (where a space roller-coaster movie is projected to the ceiling), SkyRex ( a fun 4D attraction where you’re visiting the Dinosaur island) and 3D museum (you can find really beautiful artworks and 3D effect expositions there). There is some queuing involved so it’s recommend to visit as early in the day as possible. And if you’re going alone or in a company of 2 you’re also lucky while using the cable car. Since gondolas are for 6 people they very often let up to 2 people ahead in the queues so all places would be taken.
For additional 5 ringgit (when you decide to walk a short nature trail) or 15 ringgit (special lift to the bridge) you can visit the Sky Bridge and enjoy magnificent views from there. If you have already taken the journey to the top of the mountain I’d really advice you to visit the bridge also. But be careful if you’re afraid of heights since the bridge (and of course the cable car track) is located quite high above the ground. But all the scenery there and all over Langkawi is really breathtaking, no wonder it’s called the Jewel of Kedah (Kedah is a county in Malaysia).
Here’s a an overview of our adventures in Langkawi so far. It’s unfortunate that you really can’t capture all that beauty with the camera. So you have to come and see for yourself :). Feel free to follow me on YouTube to see all the other videos from our SE Asia trip + everything yet to come :)!
4 days ago we rented a scooter to have a proper look of the island. There are 2 bigger areas on Langkawi – one is the main city Kuah and the other is the tourist area Pantai Cenang near where we are located. And the rest of the island is full of smaller towns, villages, beautiful mountains, beaches, rice fields, forests and jungle. In some way (of course besides the mountains and jungle 🙂 ) it reminds my of an island called Saaremaa back home. Beautiful scenery, laid-back atmosphere and just an overall relaxing place to be. Since for some reason accommodation is not so cheap here compared to many other regions of SE Asia our hostel is maybe not the dream place to stay but in the big picture it doesn’t matter. Because when you get on your scooter and start driving around then you have to be really careful to watch the road since you find yourself constantly in awe of the surrounding nature.
By now we have basically made a full circle around the island and discovered some very picturesque places. For instance I highly recommend to visit Gunung Raya mountain which is the highest peak in Langkawi and easily accessible with a scooter or a car. On top of the hill there’s a a viewing tower (RM 10 entrance fee) from where you can see magical 360 views of the whole island (since the mountain is situated right in the middle of Langkawi).
Secondly one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever been are just a bit north from the mountain at Tanjung Rhu. The sand is white, water is blue (although still not as clear as in Phuket) and there are not much people around due to it’s remote location. Of course there are still some top-notch resorts located there and some local villages but still it’s really quiet. The beach actually consists of 2 parts but I’d recommend to visit both of them. We will definitely go back there in a few days!
Thirdly a must see place also located in the northern part of the island is Temurun waterfall where a small stream comes down from a rather high cliff into a beautiful clear water pool continuing it’s way through the forest. It’s actually quite easy to miss since there are not many signs around but when you look at the google maps you’ll find it.
By the way scooter rental here is 20 ringgit a day (about 4€) and one liter of gas is around 2,3 ringgit (about 0,48€) so driving around is really inexpensive! You have to be careful about the police though. Sometimes they like to put up roadblocks and check the documentation and as in Thailand to 100% legally drive a scooter you need a A category licence since scooters here are much more powerful.
Tomorrow we plan to visit Langkawi Cable car and Skybridge which are probably the main attractions on the island. More about that in the next posts :)!
Here are first comments/thoughs about Langkawi during our 3 days in here:
Until the next post!