The southwestern corner of Pulau Langkawi is a favorite destination for tourists who come to explore its many attractions — both natural and man-made, writes ALAN TEH LEAM SENG
LOCATED on the southwestern coast of Pulau Langkawi, Burau Bay has many precious secrets waiting to be uncovered.
The beachfront resorts that hug its powdery white beaches have long been favored as world-class getaways. These, together with the nearby attractions of Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok, Oriental Village and Langkawi Cable Car, make Burau Bay a holiday destination of choice for many.
The bay is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. In the early mornings, breathe in the cool refreshing air cascading down from Mt Machincang while the sounds and sights of the crashing waves and the awakening residents of the jungle will excite your senses.
It is hardly surprising therefore that conservation is high on the list for the locals, including resort operators who adopt an environmentally friendly concept when it comes to waste disposal treatment.
Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort general manager Maxson Abdullah asks: “If we don’t take care of our lovely island, who would?” The resort is located right next to Pulau Anak Burau, a little island about the size of two football fields and covered with primary jungle.
“Although there are many animals, insects and plants on the island, interestingly, no one has seen snakes here before,” says Maxson.
If no holiday can be complete without shopping, take heart, as the Oriental Village is located right here at Burau Bay. Apart from some 30 shops, it also offers some of the finest dining on the island.
Over at Pantai Kok, the Telaga Harbour Park is another place for you to let your hair down at clubs and restaurants.
What To Do
Shop and dine at the Oriental Village. Set against the backdrop of Mt Machincang, it has top-end shops and restaurants set within landscaped gardens and lakes with oriental-styled bridges. Pick out local crafts like hand-printed batik and paintings or cart home duty-free chocolates in all flavors.
The village is a bustling self-contained Malaysian and Asian-styled tourist attraction that offers excellent local and international dining and entertainment.
View remnants of Anna and the King’s Summer Palace. The original Summer Palace built for the 1999 Hollywood film, Anna And The King, was located at Pantai Kok but was badly damaged during the 2004 tsunami.
The film starred Jodie Foster as English governess Anna Leonowens and Chow Yuen Fatt as King Mongkut (Rama IV). The set owner, LADA Eco-Tourism Sdn Bhd, then relocated the content’s of the palace to the Oriental Village. Fans of the film can still see the items that were used during filming here.
Take a ride on Langkawi Cable Car. The base station, located at the Oriental Village, is where visitors can catch a ride on one of Asia’s most exhilarating cable car rides which spans a distance of two kms with a vertical rise of 680 metres.
There are two stops at the Middle and Top Stations where tourists can alight and take in the panoramic views from different vantage points. At the Top Station near the peak of Mt Machincang (713m) are two platforms offering visitors “a view of the world”. On a clear day, mainland Kedah and the nearby islands of Thailand are visible to the naked eye.
Discover the Seven Wells (Telaga Tujuh). This magnificent cascading waterfall can be approached from the foot of Mt Machincang near the Oriental Village. The Oriental Inn at the village offers guests guided tours to the waterfall as well as nearby attractions.
The more adventurous can get to the falls from the Top and Middle Stations of the cable car ride by trekking leisurely along a 3.2km trail that will allow you to have a close encounter with the various plant and animal species that thrive in the relatively untouched Machincang Forest Reserve.
Where To Eat
Mutiara Burau Bay Resort’s Seashell Beach Cafe offers western and eastern fusion cuisine. Guests and locals gather here to watch the sunset while enjoying drinks, snacks, meals and listening to soothing music by the resident band. It is open daily except on Tuesdays.
Berjaya Langkawi Beach & Spa Resort offers local and international dishes at its Oriental Pearl (Chinese cuisine) and Teppanyaki Corner at the Pantai Beach Bar & Restaurant (Japanese Grill). The resort also operates a Japanese restaurant, Mizumi, at the Oriental Village.
The best kept secret here is a mobile hawker stall that opens every afternoon on the beach between Mutiara Burau Bay Resort and Pantai Kok. Its laksa and pasembor are favorites with locals and resort employees.
Where To Stay
Adopting the tagline “…in the forest by the bay”, Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort has 150 cabanas nestled between a beautiful beach and virgin tropical rainforest.
While there, make a trip to Pulau Anak Burau which is separated from the resort by a narrow strip of water. It can be crossed on foot at low tide. The walk takes only a few minutes. The trail has ample, easy-to understand signboards explaining the various life forms found there.
The resort’s eco-marshals patrol the island regularly to ensure the safety of holiday-makers. Visitors are advised to first register with the Recreation Department. It is important to keep track of time and to leave before the tide turns to avoid being stranded. Wear proper shoes and bring a notebook to record observations. A bottle of water will come in handy to combat the heat. Avoid slippers and footwear with smooth soles.
The island is known for great fishing. Gloves are good options when examining sharp rocks or shells.
For details, contact Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort,
Tel: 04-959 1061, Fax: 04-959 1172
Other places to stay include:
Oriental Inn at Oriental Village
Tel: 04-959 2300
Fax: 04-959 4200
Berjaya Langkawi Beach & Spa Resort
Tel: 04-959 1888
Fax: 04-959 1886
Getting To Burau Bay
By Air: Langkawi, referred to as Junk Ceylon by ancient British mariners, comprises 104 islands, many of which are small and uninhabited. It is about 50 minutes flying time from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Airlines and AirAsia make several daily flights. There are also several scheduled international direct flights from various countries to Langkawi’s International Airport. Burau Bay is just a 30-minute drive from Kuah town and 15 minutes from the airport.
By Road: The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kedah is five or six hours while the journey to Kuala Perlis is about seven hours. High-speed ferries operate from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis throughout the day. There are also regular ferry services from Penang as well as from neighboring Satun in Southern Thailand.
On the island, getting to Burau Bay is easy as there are taxis and cars for hire.
By Rail: Keretapi Tanah Melayu provides comfortable and fast rail service through its Express Langkawi to Alor Setar (Kedah) and Arau (Perlis). From there, just hop on a taxi or bus to either Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis and board a ferry to Langkawi.
All photos here are sourced from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickburcher/ & http://www.flickr.com/photos/trekker308/
Visit their websites for their excellent photography work.
Driving Direction, Map and Location of Burau Bay, Langkawi: