Travels to Langkawi, Malaysia – Dec 2018

December 2018 is my first time flying or travelling to a destination via airplanes. Okay, that might sound “ancient” to some people. I am the type who prefers to travel via cruises instead of airplanes. Not sure why…but the idea of travelling via cruise is always pleasing to me than to travel via airplanes! Okay, the furthest I have travelled from my home country (Singapore) is to Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket, Patong). I have gone to many destinations in Malaysia (Malacca, Penang, Muar, Pahang (Tioman Island), Selangor, Langkawi, Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Johore Bahru and more) via cruise ships, private cars or big coaches. Hey! Malaysia still has many places for me to explore…and I intend to do that more often soon, I hope.

Saturday, 15 December 2018 I flew to Langkawi. That was my first flight to Langkawi! In the past, I travelled to Langkawi via Star Cruises. Was I excited to fly for the first time? Yes – to a certain extent…But the big part comes in planning, isn’t it? I went for both relaxed and private guided tours.

Below are the details of my trip. I learned and benefited from some other people travel blogs. Now, it is my turn to contribute on my travels. I have listed the places and the companies I have used to make my trip to Langkawi a memorable one. It is just my part of sharing my travel experiences…

Let me just add – I do not get any commission or special benefits by mentioning any company contact details and services.

Happy reading and Happy travelling with me… 🙂

Trip Duration: 15 till 19 December 2018

15 December 2018, Saturday: On the way to Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 4


Place Name: Atma Alam Batik
Address: Padang Mat Sirat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: http://www.atmaalam.com/
More information from The Smith House website: http://thesmith-house.com/langkawi-attractions/atma-alam-batik-art-village-langkawi/

If you are keen to see how batik drawing and colouring is done, this is the place for you. If you are keen to try to draw and colour yourself a batik piece, then you will enjoy their workshop too. We went there first on our first arrival day as this was within walking distance from we were staying, “The Smith House”. They seem not to entertain individuals or small groups. I think they are more suited for tourists groups who wants to take their workshops, etc. All items are expensive as they mention it is unique and hand made. If you want an unique batik piece, then this place is fine. You will not find similar batik piece elsewhere as it is hand made in one to two quantities only.

It was raining as we were walking to this place. I could not snap much pictures…


Place Name: Field of Burnt Rice
Address: Kampung Raja, Mukim Padang Mat Sirat
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_0000ab.htm
There is not much to see in this place, except a small ground where the rice was burnt. You have to pass by a row of souvenir shops to reach this place.


Place Name: Mahsuri
One can say your visit to Langkawi is never complete without knowing Mahsuri and her legend.
I ever visited this place 10 years ago and it certainly was well-maintained then. Now, I find it is totally in an unacceptable condition, with little lights and not even coordinated (not sure where is the entrance and exits too!). Toilets need maintenance too – it is not well kept!

Legend of Mahsuri and Langkawi:
http://iws.punahou.edu/user/cshigemitsu/worldlit/dialogues/6/LegendofLangkawipage.htm

More information on her generation:
http://www.malaysian-museums.org/mahsuri.htm
http://muzzalifahmustafa5b.blogspot.com/p/the-end-of-7-generations.html


Place Name: Taman Tugu Keris (Mahsuri Executed Premise)
This was the place where Mahsuri and other prisoners were executed those days – it was more like execution ground. She was executed at this spot and her tomb in another place.


Place Name: Mangrove / Bat Caves / Crocodile Cave / Eagle Watching
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_000019.htm

One of the main highlight of Langkawi. One should never leave Langkawi without experiencing a boat ride to the mangroves. It was a great experience for us to invite Zamri, our tour guide along for this ride. He was explaining to us the various features of the island. Our boat driver was a former fisherman (67 years old who has retired from fishing, but now he is doing the boat rides).

Sure, we had lots of excitement when a monkey jumped onto our boat looking for food. The boat driver has some biscuits in a bag. The monkey snatched that and ran away!


Place Name: Gunung raya (mountain)
Information found from web: http://www.langkawi-info.com/attractions/gunung-raya.htm
Address: Jalan Air Hangat, Langkawi

Note: The D’Coconut Hill Resort is closed and so is the viewing tower. No reasons were given. When we were up there, we found a notice pasted on the front door, with no further access to the eight storey-tall viewing tower.

It is the highest mountain in Langkawi. The Gunung Raya peaks at 881 meters in height. It has wildlife such as leaf monkeys, flying foxes, macaque monkeys, squirrels, mountain hawk eagles, white bellied sea eagles, and great horn bills. We did not get to see any horn bills, except to hear their noises while there. Of course, along the roads, we saw monkeys!


Place Name: Langkawi Craft Complex
Address: Kompleks Kraf Langkawi, Jalan Teluk Yu, Mukim Bohor, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: http://www.kraftangan.gov.my/kompleks-kraf/kompleks-kraf-langkawi/

Not many tourists or people in this place. We saw the traditional crafts, fishing stuffs, batiks and more…There was a glass blowing place too. But it was too far to walk – we did not get to visit that place. Things sold here are more pricey than the regular marketplace souvenir place. But it was a clean and well maintained place.


Place Name: Four Seasons Hotel Lunch @ Kelapa Grill
Address: Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
Website: https://www.fourseasons.com/langkawi/dining/restaurants/kelapa_grill/?_s_sit=card%20carousel|More%20Dining%20Options%20details%20click|Kelapa%20Grill&c=t

Food was fantastic or should I say we were hungry and everything tasted great! 🙂 Customer service was excellent and the views were calming.


Place Name: Langkawi Wildlife Park
Address: Lot 1485, Jalan Ayer Hangat, Kampung Belanga Pecah, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: https://langkawiwildlifepark.com/

Honestly, I do not like this place. I found the animals were either overfed or disturbed. But it did excite young children. The ticketing counter staff was encouraging us to purchase some food to feed the animals, but I refused. True enough, when I entered the premise, I felt that some animals were overfed. My son was excited as he had some close encounters with some animals. For me, it will be a place I will not visit again.


Place Name: Underwater World
More information from The Smith House website: http://thesmith-house.com/langkawi-attractions/underwater-world-cenang-beach/
No pictures were taken as I felt it was almost similar to what Singapore has.


Place Name: Air Hangat Village
Address: 16, Jalan Air Hangat, Ayer Hangat, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_00007d.htm

We went to this place very early in the morning. We were the first there and we had a good soak of our feet in one of the hot springs. It was a great experience soaking the feet in the hot springs. Other than that, that place seems not to have that much activity or life in it. They have a Jacuzzi there too…


Place Name: Black Sand Beach (Pantai Pasir Hitam)
Address: 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Information found from web: https://www.langkawi-insight.com/langkawi_000014.htm

According to our tour guide Zamri, the sand found in this beach is black due to the minerals Tourmaline and Ilmenite in the granite of Gunung Raya. These minerals flow down by the spring water from the mountain and cause the color of sand to turn black. He mentioned to us that the locals considers this sand to have healing properties.


Place Name: Waterfalls
More information from The Smith House website: http://thesmith-house.com/langkawi-attractions/seven-wells-waterfall/

We went to the small waterfall as we did not wish to climb any further than that to view the other waterfalls as we had to travel to some other places.


Place Name: Legenda Eagle Park


Place Name: Sunset Cruise
As for the Sunset Cruise, we went through QQ Holidays to get it booked for us. They arranged for us two way transport. This cruise is coordinated by Crystal Yacht Holidays. The sunset cruise experience in a small yacht was great. And if you are the type who will enjoy saltwater Jacuzzi, then this one is for you. Food served was good too. There was free flow of drinks throughout the cruise. A memorable experience.

If you wish to book directly with Crystal Yacht Holidays, https://www.crystalyacht.com/
*I did not book directly with them…


19 December 2018, Wednesday: Back to Singapore from Langkawi


Accommodation / Airlines / Tour Company we used for this holiday

Accommodation Name: The Smith House
Address: Lot. 297, (HSM. 772), Bandar Padang Matsirat, Bandar Padang Matsirat, 07100 Kampung Padang Masirat, Malaysia
Website: http://thesmith-house.com/
Duration of stay: 15 Dec – 19 Dec 2018
Room type: Twin room with extra bed

Room was spacious without the extra bed. Once the extra bed has been put, there was little walking space (you can view that from picture 3). To give us more space to move, we told them to remove the extra bed frame and retained the extra mattress. Only when we needed to sleep, we put the mattress on the floor. We were fine with that.

Plus Points:
(a) Very near the Langkawi International Airport
(b) Hygiene level is great
(c) Highest level is second level
(d) Breakfast spread is good, but repetitive. If you are not the fussy type, this will suit you well.
(e) Staff from the front desk, chauffeurs to cleaners are polite and cheerful. Most importantly, they are friendly and helpful.

Minus Points:
(a) This small “hotel” has two blocks. But it has only one lift. That means to say both passengers and service lifts are the same. But priority is given to guests. If there are guests waiting to go up and down, the service staff lets the guests to use the lift.
(b) And if you are staying at block B which is not located at the main block, you have a long walk to do passing various guest rooms. Again, it is a matter of preference. If you prefer the room very near the lift lobby, indicate it to them. For me, this was a small issue.


Tour Company Name: QQ Holidays Travel & Tour Sdn. Bhd. (Comp. No.861517-M) (KPL/LN 6037)
Address: No.77, 1st Floor, Persiaran Mutiara 2, 07000 Kuah, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Website: http://www.LangkawiTour.com

I was in communication with a person named Shan Ooi. She was very helpful, prompt and professional in her dealings with me. She gave us an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide Zamri. In fact, they will book accommodation too. As I had already done my accommodation booking with The Smith House directly, I only made bookings via them for 2 days private tours and also for Sunset Cruise.

Feedback on our tour guide: Zamri was helpful and patient to our many queries. He was very experienced in his knowledge of the trees and of the medicinal and healing properties. In fact, we learnt lot from him on the tree species and on the wildlife of Langkawi. He was also understanding to our dietary needs and ensured we were taken care of during our time with him. He also ensured that we did not have to queue to purchase tickets at certain attractions. He gave valuable advice such as which sightseeing places to go to taking into consideration of the weather and also of the crowd. Most importantly, he speaks good English.

Additional information from Zamri: He is a freelance tour guide serving many tour companies in Langkawi. He mentioned among the many tour companies in Langkawi, QQ Holidays Travel is great as they take efforts to provide good service to their customers. He too added the vehicles they use is well-maintained and every tour guide needs to get the vehicle cleaned up first before returning the vehicle to the company at the end of the day (after using to ferry customers).

I would recommend anyone to QQ Holidays as they cater to the customer needs and are professional in their dealings too. The different vehicles provided for our two day tours were clean.

The first day: we got the mini van as Zamri did not know it was only 3 of us. The second day: he got for us a MPV. Both were spacious and clean.


Flights – Airlines: AirAsia
Website: https://www.airasia.com/booking/home/en/gb

After checking various reviews over many websites, Air Asia seemed to be the best for trip to Langkawi. No issues. Flights departed on time. I feel the air crew team returning back to Singapore from Langkawi was much better than the team when we were going to Langkawi. We purchased Premium Economy and we were given priority check in. Flights were full – both going and return trip. The meals distribution needs better coordination. Even though we selected coffee at the time of web booking our flights, we were just offered standard plain water. We had to ask for coffee and then only they offered to us. We booked our flights via their direct website.


 

Website: Reiki Rays, 2019 Reflection & Intention Workbook

If you are into Reiki, Self-healing or a Reiki practitioner, this is a useful website of free articles, downloads and more.

To know more about this website, visit this link: https://reikirays.com/about-reiki-rays/

In addition, they have a free download for welcoming 2019 with reflection and intention: https://reikirays.com/thank-you-newsletter/create-your-year-reiki-workbook.php

There are also many other articles by various Reiki Masters and Teachers. I am sure you can find something useful here.

Blessings,
Esther

close up photo of person holding crystal stone
Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

Sharing the music pieces I love…part 1

Sarah Brightman – Smile Schiller ft Sara Brightman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiMF2Wy6Chk&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk&start_radio=1


Sarah Brightman – “Whiter Shade Of Pale”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ToU5OshV4g&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk&index=2


Youssou N’Dour – 7 Seconds ft. Neneh Cherry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqCpjFMvz-k&index=3&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk


Enigma – Return To Innocence
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk_sAHh9s08&index=7&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk


Europe – The Final Countdown
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk&index=4


Sarah Brightman and Antonio Banderas – The Phantom of the Opera
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ncjGq9fm_E&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk&index=27


Enigma – Beyond The Invisible
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8mMWh62XpU&index=31&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk


Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Goodbye (1997)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3ENX3aHlqU&index=30&list=RDMiMF2Wy6Chk


 

My life is like a dandelion…

life-cycle-dandelion-9350001

My life is like a dandelion.

Why do I compare my life to a dandelion? I am sure that there many other things out there than just dandelions? Yes! Definitely. A dandelion brings out feelings of freedom, emotional release and more. It is more like a “release” feature than to hold.

BBC.com describes the life cycle of dandelions (https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/clips/zhrb4wx),

“A look at the life cycle of a dandelion including wind-aided seed dispersal. Once fertilisation has taken place the plant will produce seeds. Plants such as dandelions often use wind to transport seeds. Each dandelion seed comes with its own individual parachute. This device works very well and only a slight wind will carry seeds high into the sky. As there are so many adult plants in one place there is no space for the next generation of plants to grow. The dandelion therefore needs the wind to carry the seeds far away. New plants are formed and the whole process starts again.”

Website, “Flower Meaning.com” describes dandelions and its symbolism beautifully.

http://www.flowermeaning.com/dandelion-flower-meaning/

What Does the Dandelion Flower Mean?

The common and humble Dandelion has a surprising amount of different meanings. The Dandelion means:

  • Healing from emotional pain and physical injury alike
  • Intelligence, especially in an emotional and spiritual sense
  • The warmth and power of the rising sun
  • Surviving through all challenges and difficulties
  • Long lasting happiness and youthful joy
  • Getting your wish fulfilled

Since the Dandelion can thrive in difficult conditions, it is no wonder that people say the flower symbolizes the ability to rise above life’s challenges.”

And no wonder I prefer dandelions!

I have encountered and survived many difficulties in my life. I am at my present stage of my life here because of my hard work. There were no short cuts offered to me. All was with hard work sprinkled with determination and courage. After surviving so many ordeals in my life, on and off I feel lack of self-worth and self-confidence. I realise feelings of self-love and self-worth has to continue in any person as long as one lives. You cannot put a brake on those. Over the years, there were many occasions when my determination and courage was tested. I managed to get through those. The one thing I failed in the past is to take good care of myself! I took care of others, their needs and their future – but I did not do anything for myself specially and thoughtfully. At the same time, I know that it is no use blaming others. The truth is that I should not blame anyone for the negative feelings or emotions I have created in my life.

A quote by Nicole Bailey-Williams puts it beautifully,

“I was a dandelion puff…Some saw the beauty in me and stooped quietly to admire my innocence. Others saw the potential of what I could do for them, so they uprooted me, seeking to shape me around their needs. They blew at my head, scattering my hair from the roots, changing me to suit them. Yet still others saw me as something that was unworthy and needed to be erased.”

I also found a beautiful YouTube video of the life cycle of a dandelion by Neil Bromhall. View it to enjoy the transformation.

In addition, there is more information on dandelions at Building Beautiful Souls website by Bernadette King

https://www.buildingbeautifulsouls.com/symbols-meanings/flower-meanings-symbolism/dandelion-meaning-symbolism/

Video of Time lapse Dandelion flower to seed head by Neil Bromhall

qqu

Manage Stress

stress

Ayurveda offers simple and easy to follow ways to reduce stress at any time. It is important to do regular self-checks for stress. If we ignore the stress symptoms, our body slowly develops illness and/or other negativity. The more we delay self-checks and self-management of stress, the harder and longer it becomes to achieve a balanced and calm state of mind and body.

Banyan Botanicals has shared an article telling ways to control stress. Do take time to read…to benefit your body and its systems.

An Ayurvedic Guide to Stress Management by Banyan Botanicals
Click here to go the article

In addition, Banyan Botanicals also has a page where you can take quiz to know your Ayurvedic compositions, etc. Feel free to visit the other pages for information on herbs, yoga and more.

Let us spread love and joy not only this holiday season, but all the time! And let us begin with ourselves…

Peace and Blessings.

peace