Langkawi, Malaysia

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For our joint 50th birthdays we had an amazing holiday on the island of Langkawi off the coast of Malaysia. This was our first trip to Asia and what an incredible cultural adventure.  We stayed at the luxurious, five star Andaman Resort Hotel located in an idyllic tropical rain forest setting. It is cosily tucked away between a 10 million year old rainforest, the tranquil Datai Bay and an 8,000 year old fringing coral reef.

The wonderful thing about Langkawi is the abundance of fauna & flora.  In the hotel grounds we regularly saw families of Dusky & Macaque monkeys and the gardens also have an array of lovely flowers attracting lots of species of butterflies.  We opted for a luxury sea view room which had a fantastic view across the bay. The Datai beach has the prestigious National Geographic accolade of one of the top 10 beaches in the world and it did not disappoint us.

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One thing to bare in mind is that you have to keep your windows and doors closed to prevent the cheeky monkeys from stealing from your room. We regularly had them visit us on our balcony and try to open our door!

Sharing the beach with a very large monitor lizard was initially unnerving but we quickly realised there was nothing to worry about and seeing and watching this amazing prehistoric like giant creature in it’s natural habitat is a sight we will treasure forever.

During the devastating Tsunami of 2004 the coral reef off the shores of Langkawi was destroyed but with the help of the marine conservation team based at The Andaman hotel a coral nursery has been set up to help re-build the coral again. It was really interesting to see the work the team are doing to help the natural environment.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tranquility of the Datai beach and surrounding area. The isolation would not suit you if you like a busy resort with lots to do.  For us chilling out and being able to relax and read a book or two was a rare treat. Twice a week there is a courtesy bus to the tax free capital and another resort so we took advantage of this. We also took a taxi to the Sky Cab cable car.

The Andaman has a nice spa, extensive well equipped gym with personal trainers, swimming pool complex and water sports hut on the beach.  The morning & evening free nature walks with an experienced guide (http://www.junglewalla.com/) are a must to go on and highly recommended.  We learnt so much and saw flying lemurs (Colugos), flying squirrels, bats & lizards we would not have seen had we not ventured on these outings.

The hornbills were fun to watch and we were able to get very close to them and take photographs and videos.   We also enjoyed an afternoon UNESCO tour by boat to the Mangroves with a guide which was out of this world.  We will always cherish some truly unforgettable sights and experiences.

The hospitality and service at the Andaman Hotel is first class.  The breakfast buffet is amazing. We were spoilt for choice with everything we could possibly want on offer. The main restaurant offers an extensive menu to suit all tastes in the evening so we visited on a few occasions and enjoyed local and international cuisine.  Our favourite restaurant was the open air beachside Jala restaurant. The taste and presentation of the food was spectacular and the view across the bay as the sunsets is out of this world.

Everything you would expect from a high end restaurant.  During our stay, we also enjoyed meals at the Japanese & Malaysian restaurants.  Opting for half board proved to be worth while because we could have a 3 course meal of our choice every night at any of the restaurants at hotel.

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