Asia,  Malaysia

Langkawi – does the world always has to be a paradise

Vacation. Faraway, exotic destination equals a beach straight from the paradise, right? If the landscape doesn’t look like your laptop’s wallpaper it doesn’t count, does it? Especially if you’re on an island and it’s named Langkawi. The name itself sounds exotic, wild and like from the other side of the world.

Vacation in the tropics have to be like from a postcard: white sand, crystal blue sea, empty beach and this funny leaning palm tree. Well, maybe one local inhabitant is ok. Another tourist would destroy this heavenly atmosphere of instagramable vacation. Let’s stop here for a moment and talk about Instagram.

Picture perfect destination

We’re taking photos of beautiful places, looking at photos of beautiful places and we’re so insanely disappointed when it occurs that Langkawi is not a desert island, but a top tourist destination. The question is: is this really bad? Are pretty views on Instagram bad? The tourist hot spot? I’ll take a risk and say: no. Let me elaborate on that with the abovementioned Langkawi as an example. Langkawi is no paradise island. It’s very touristic. And I have nothing against that.

Langkawi can be divided into the resort – Pantai Cenang – and the rest of the island. And yes, I was mentally stable when I booked a hotel in the resort part. There’s no public transportation on Langkawi. Sure, you can choose a hotel by a remote beach on the other side of the island. And you’ll be stuck. Not fully stuck, you can always take Grab (local Uber). Personally, I’d feel stuck walking around this heavenly beach. Vacation without a spontaneous walk for a coffee? Oh come on. So Pantai Cenang it is.

Ok, and what about this beach straight from paradise? Well, the Pantai Cenang beach can look like this:

Sitting at the Langkawi beach

And it also looks like this:

Plaża w Pantai Cenang na Langkawi

Is it wrong? No. Does Instagram lie in this case? No. It’s the same beach after all. Just the point of view (literal) depends on where you are. We can keep complaining about Instagram misrepresenting the reality, because hey, there’s a cement factory right next to this beach (true story), but the World will still be pretty.

The beauty of having a choice

Is it really bad, that the biggest beach on Langkawi is so lively? For those Robinson Crusoes, seeking and afternoon on a remote island (but not a night) it is very bad. For the environment not that great – pollution and co., but let’s be real. Pantai Cenang is relatively ok. And as an old saying goes: you either go to a tourist hot spot and have 20 restaurants to choose from or you eat what you have and don’t complain. I like having options. Even if I end up eating in the same place for 5 days straight, because other places weren’t that great. At least I had options.

A variety of restaurants is a huge advantage, but so is a variety of hotels. You can stay in a crowded town and still enjoy the silence. You can go in Pantai Cenang and stay at Panji Panji – a place with the nicest owner on earth.

Wejście do restauracji Smiling Buffalo na Langkawi

Azmil created this peaceful oasis which you wouldn’t want to leave. He welcomed us with the biggest smile, kept practising our names (and Polish names are tough!) and kept asking us every day on Whatsapp if everything is ok. He showed us our cars collection and claimed that people from all over the town were coming for breakfast at his restaurant – Smiling Buffalo. That was a bit hard to believe, but we changed our minds 2 minutes into our very first breakfast. This breakfast it’s a must when you’re in Pantai Cenang. Or lunch. Everything is amazing.

So? Are you #teamresort or #teamremoteparadise?

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