I came to Langkawi during Chinese New Year as a solo backpacker. Bringing only one small backpack, a hostel reservation, and a “just wing it” itinerary. I wanted to avoid all the touristy spots such as the popular Sky Bridge and Cable Car that were overpriced, brimming with rude tourists, and queues hours upon hours long. So, I did what I always do, I simply got lost and stumbled upon hidden adventures.
1. Visit Eagle Square then take the local ferry from Jetty Point to the mainland. With plenty of picturesque opportunities and a more than affordable ticket price the only setback is dealing with the crowds and the absolutely disgusting squat toilets on the ferry.
2. Train with pro Thai boxers at Cenang Muay Thai and watch them compete in Penang. I’m a die hard fan of combat sports, traditional team sports just don’t interest me for whatever reason. So, when I found out my hostel was walking distance from a Muay Thai gym which had two fighters getting ready to compete, I didn’t hesitate to train with them and even decided to sponsor them for a total of six-hundred ringgit because I remember my days coming up in mixed martial arts when only a handful of people truly supported me.
3. Go fishing with the locals. Randomly, I pulled up to my hostel and the owner asked if I liked fishing. I replied that I used to go freshwater fishing quite often when I was younger. He responded if I had ever gone fishing for barracuda. I retorted no. So he asked if I wanted to. I simply said why not and that’s literally how I was convinced to go fishing around the islands for dinner. For a full day you can expect to spend around seven-hundred ringgit but a special Chinese New Year discount cut my price nearly in half for four-hundred ringgit which was then split between myself and the owner of my hostel who had invited me along.
4. Eat everything Malaysian at Temonyong Night Market on Thursday nights as well as local eateries. I was fortunate enough to make a lot of local friends during my time in Malaysia, whenever they asked if I wanted to go out and eat I’d say why not and whenever they asked what I wanted to order I’d just reply I’ll have whatever you’re having – easiest method to eat authentic Malaysian meals. Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of Malaysian food because spicy food and especially curry doesn’t agree with me normally and I like to eat clean such as fresh fruit, lean proteins, and grilled vegetables mostly. That being said, I had to try new things otherwise I wasn’t truly trying to learn and understand the culture which has so much to offer in terms of cuisine. Another thing I always do in a new country is go to a McDonald’s. It’s always a little different in every country and their menu reflects this so I am always curious to see and try.
5. Rent a motorbike and go marina and beach hopping. For an average of thirty ringgit a day to rent a motorbike and an average of six ringgit to fill up your gas tank it’s a very affordable and worthwhile way to spend your a day. The roads are clean, safe, and traffic is much less hectic compared to other cities in southeast Asia such as my current home in Ho Chi Minh so much so that it’s easy to get from one end of the island to the other in less than an hour. Some suggested beaches are Cenang Beach, Tengkorak Beach, and Tanjung Beach.