A Langkawi Beach Vacation

We were craving a beach! So a beach we would have.


After spending the first weekend after spring break doing essentially nothing besides catching up on sleep and schoolwork, we were ready to go somewhere fun for the weekend. We had heard of Langkawi, which is an island up north, and best part it’s DUTY FREE! This means (unlike the freaking rest of Malaysia) liquor and chocolate are super cheap! 

But how do we get there?

Well! From Tanjung we can’t go directly, so I was researching the internet like crazy looking for bus schedules. Which don’t exist. The Malaysians should be shot just because of the shitty status of their bus system. There were about 3 different names for the stations in Ipoh, and none of the buses from Tanjong seemed to match up with buses from Ipoh, so Wednesday night we’re like “fuck it” we’ll just go to KL.

We leave Thursday about 5PM and get to KL around 7. Now, we wanted to sleep over on the bus so we buy tickets for the 11:30. Plenty of time, right? We go into the city to get pizza, and on the way back we some how end up a station away at 11:25. So we get off the subway and we are sprinting to the bus station.

Wait a second…I just got deja vu…did you? Yeah you did! This is not the first time I’m sprinting down the exact same station for a bus. Of course, we get there about 11:45, and when does the bus come?

1 in the morning! That’s right. An hour and a half late! 

We’re sitting in the bottom of the station with a bunch of other sweaty Malaysians in this piss-smelling dungeon, until finally some guy leads us out. To a bus? Nope. I think it was just to placate us (and get us out of the way) because we go up outside, are told that a bus is coming, and then wait another 30 minutes for the bus. We passed out, not comfortably, on the bus and slept into the morning.

We took an early ferry across to the island and then got motorbikes for the weekend.


I hadn’t mentioned, but this weekend the group was Me, Lenny, Sarah, and Emilie. It was Spring Break round 2 (plus Emilie). 3 Americans plus a Canadian.

The ride to our hostel was in the rain. The sketchy Malaysian restaurant we got food from served us starfish legs! Unbeknownst to us, until we saw a starfish on the beach later like …”isn’t that what we ate?”

The hostel was nice and chill. The owner, a big guy with dreads. Langkawi is kind of a resort area. There aren’t many hostels or guest houses for cheap. We ended up having to get an actually room, but it had a fridge, the first place we have ever stayed at. I think the island was too posh for college students. The food was expensive and so were all the activities. 120 ringgit for 15 minutes on a jet ski.

The highlight of the trip was the cable car ride up the mountain. We take the 45 minute ride to the other side of the island and arrived to the giant mountains at 12. We buy the soonest available cable car which is at 1:30 and spend our time playing with bunnies.


So after an hour and half of waiting, it’s our time to go right? False. We still have to go through another line for another hour and a half. This means we essentially waiting 3 hours to go up. But it was worth it.


This is truly paradise. The ride was slightly terrifying at points. But the view was incredible. It was chilly up in the mountains and you could see the whole island and the sparkling water all around it.


From there we spent a lot of time on the beach. Then we got some seriously stellar Korean food. I got this spicy kalamari salad, and Lenny got BiBimBap (some mix-up Korean dish) and separate they were good, but together they were amazing! So I stole most of his BiBimBap. I mean…hungry Janet stole it. My multiple personalities are completely out of my control.

That night we nearly died. We went out to the beach at night, and of course because it’s Malaysia it starting pouring. We hid under this big two story concrete lifeguard tower and thought “oh let’s climb up to the top”. So we’re up on the second floor looking over the balcony and I swear Emilie was climbing over or something, but next thing we know a bolt of lightning flashes down in front of us and it feels like it’s 2 feet away and the thunder is so loud and we all just scream and jump around and huddle around each other, freaking out. Then finally cracking up. We spend the rest of the storm on the ground.

The last night we got some yummy Mexican food, so hungry Janet left the trip just as satisfied as Brenna.

Moral of the story: Langkawi is beautiful, but probably not for backpackers. I spent too much!


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