Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Langkawi Island (2008)

Some green on the main island taken from a moving vehicle

Some porcelain stuff for sale. Goods are much cheaper here compared to the mainland because Langkawi is a dutyfree island. For instance, imported chocolates are about half the price and cars are about 40% cheaper.

Welcome to Langkawi Geopark, aged 500 million years. It is Southeast Asia's first UNESCO World Geopark and the only duty–free World Geopark.

The term Geopark is reserved for an area that has significant rock formations as well as unique landscapes – both of which are naturally aplenty in Langkawi.

Malaysia was voted by 20 countries to lead the Asia–Pacific Geopark Network. Malaysia was chosen because Langkawi Geopark exhibited good geological components coupled with a harmonised management system and strong academic and research support.


Views from Kuah Jetty. What a lovely day!

Langkawi Island (2008)

Easy on the eyes and no one in sight. Perfect!

The gorgeous Teluk Ewa in Langkawi Island, Kedah, Malaysia. Teluk means lagoon in Malay.

Langkawi Island (2008)

The breathtakingly beautiful Telaga Harbour. My photos didn't do it justice. Telaga means well in Malay.

Telaga Harbour Park. The Loaf (, the bakery bistro outlet which belongs to the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, is here facing the picturesque marina. See those white canopies? They belong to The Loaf. What a view! Now I can say I've been to both outlets.

Telaga Harbour

You didn't think I left the island without any purchase at The Loaf (, did you? I love Tun's Favourite breakfast set, loaves, financier and madeleines.

A brief shopping trip with my family on the beautiful duty–free island of Langkawi on Tuesday, 23 September 2008.

Langkawi Island is located less than an hour away by ferry from where we live. We skipped the usual tourist attractions during this short trip as we've been to this island several times.

Don't miss the cable car ride, and do visit Telaga Harbour Park, Langkawi Crystaal (that's how it's spelled) – the local handmade crystal factory, Sungai Kilim Nature Park (of Kilim Karst Geoforest) and Pulau Singa Besar. Pulau Singa Besar is a wildlife sanctuary for monkeys, deer, snakes, lizards and birds. The island is also rich in unique rock formations and mangrove plants.

If you're looking for a reclusive beach retreat, go to beaches like Pantai Pasir Hitam, Pantai Pasir Tengkorak, Teluk Datai, Teluk Ewa and Teluk Yu. Avoid Pantai Cenang and Tanjung Rhu at all costs.

A bit about Langkawi for the uninitiated:

Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands (some say 101) in the Andaman Sea lying off the north–western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, some 30km from the mainland of Malaysia's Kedah state. Langkawi is itself a district of Kedah under the same name. The main island, popularly known by the locals as Pulau Langkawi, is by far the largest of the islands with Kuah as the island group's main town and district capital.

The name 'Langkawi' is believed to be related to the kingdom of Langkasuka, itself a version of the Malay "negeri alang–kah suka" ("the land of all one's wishes"), centred in modern–day Kedah. The historical record is sparse, but a Chinese Liang Dynasty record (c.500 AD) refers to the kingdom of 'Langgasu' as being founded in the 1st. century AD.

Langkawi eventually came under the influence of the Sultanate of Kedah, but Kedah was conquered in 1821 by Siam and Langkawi along with it. The Anglo–Siamese Treaty of 1909 transferred power to the British, which held the state until independence, except for a brief period of Thai rule under the Japanese occupation of Malaya during World War II.

'Langkawi' means Eagle Island, it may be noted, and indeed there is a great abundance of eagles in the area. ‘Kawi’ is marble in Sanskrit (the island is also known for its marble). In Kuah, there is a huge eagle monument in Eagle Square which commemorates the origin of Langkawi's name.


Ramadhan Food

Fried firm tofu

Siput retak seribu masak cili (clams in chilli sauce)

Homecooked crab soup. Said to be a cure for dengue fever.

Homecooked lala in garlic and chilli sauce

Home–grilled stingray

Tauhu isi ketam (tofu in crabmeat sauce), dad's favourite. This was my sister's first try. Dad loved it and claimed it was better than Hai Thien's in Kuala Perlis.

Rose–flavoured soy drink with basil seeds. Will definitely get this again. Even my fussy niece loved it. Can you spot the seeds?


I am in the midst of going through over 200 shots taken during a short trip to a nearby border town in Thailand and a dutyfree island. Please bear with me as I go through 'em all.

'Aidilfitri (Eid) is less than a week away. So, I'll be busy getting ready for the celebration as well. Till then.


Tauhu isi ketam (tofu in crabmeat sauce)

Mixed vegetables

Pak tong ko salad (crispy seafood cakes with sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds on a bed of lettuce), my family's favourite.

Chilli prawns

The dips. Clockwise from top: tomato and chilli sauce, sambal belacan (shrimp sambal) and bird's eye chilli slices in soy sauce.

Tasty squids in garlic, tamarind and chilli sauce

Some seafood dishes we had for iftar at Hai Thien, a popular seafood restaurant in Kuala Perlis recently.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Homemade Ramadhan Fare

Lengkong/cincau (grass jelly drink)

Ketayap/kuih dadar (pandanflavoured pancakes with grated coconut filling tossed in palm sugar syrup)

Roti jala (lacy pancakes), served with curry.

Bandung (rose syrup and milk) jelly

Honey roast chicken

Gulai tulang rusuk (beef rib curry)

Jeruk buah (fruit pickle)

Egg sambal

Daging bakar (Malay–style roast beef)

Beef meatballs

Perut rebus (boiled cow's stomach)

Jeruk ikan masin (salted fish pickle)

Anchovy sambal

Mushroom tempura

Kerang rebus (steamed cockles)

Ayam masak merah (chicken in chilli and tomato sauce), my all–time favourite chicken dish. Finger licking good!

These were homemade fare made for iftar over a span of a few days.