Langkawi, Malaysia


Who wouldn’t be excited to spend the New Year holiday in Langkawi with family? Langkawi lies amidst over 100 mountain islands just off the coast of mainland Malaysia. The interior of the main island is a fusion of paddy fields and jungle-clad hills. Despite attracting luxurious 5star hotels, the island has managed to maintain an idyllic rural Malaysian island vibe.

Getting there…

We travelled from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur, spending two incredible nights visiting street markets and temples such as the Batu Caves – an iconic Hindu temple and shrine.

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Alor Street Food Market
Try the street food at Jalan Alor street markets

Langkawi is just a short 2hr flight from KL. An alternative route is via Thailand. Ferris, from as little as £20 sail from KohLipe Koh Lanta and some of the other southern islands of Thailand.Langkawi

Langkawi…

Waking up on our first morning to beautiful white sandy beaches, it was hard to drag ourselves away, so Day 1 was spent literally lounging around.

The Datai Bay, Langkawi
The Datai Bay, Langkawi

Feeling rested, we visited local shops, restaurants, craft stalls and our favourite night market in Pantai Cenang.

Langkawi night market

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Visit Cenang for local food, cheap massages, reflexology and local gifts to bring home.

Langkawi night market food

Most of the beach front hotels collect their fish deliveries every morning from local fishermen. We were able to pick our fish straight from the boat and book our table from the beach.

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Try the fresh fish at the seafront Jala restaurant within The Andaman hotel
Local fishermen delivering food to The Andaman hotel
Local fishermen delivering food to The Andaman hotel

A not to be missed attraction is the Langkawi SkyBridge; the longest free-span and curved bridge in the world!  The SkyBridge can be accessed via a cable car ride 2.2km up to the Mount Machinchang escarpment to the summit at 708 metres above sea level to see the incredible views of the island and UNESCO Geopark.

Cable car to the Langkawi SkyBridge
Breathtaking views of 550 million-year-old sandstone outcrops, waterfalls and Langkawi’s rainforest – one of the oldest jungles in the world.

Langkawi skybridge cable car views

Skybridge - Langkawi

Explore some of the beautiful beaches. We recommend visiting the Tanjung Rhu beach located in the north of the island and our the idyllic beach at the Datai Bay with white sands and crystal clear waters.  Take lunch at the Andaman Hotel or The Datai and visit the Geo Spa at the Four Seasons hotel on Tanjung Rhu.

The Datai Bay beach
The Datai bay beach
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Four Seasons spa

If you are looking for activity and water sports then head to Chenang Beach where you can find all the usual water sports, including a jet ski adventure that takes you through some of the island caves, mangroves, eagle feeding and dophin spotting. The only way to see some of these cast away beaches is by jetski or boat, so you really need to book on a local trip and go see.

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Play golf at the The Els Club Teluk Datai, arguably one of the best courses in Malaysia. We had to chase monkeys from the greens before putting out, and a friendly dog kindly chased off a monitor lizard from the fairway! Where else can you find animal adventures on a golf coast?!

Monkey Langkawi Els Golf Club

monitor lizard langkawi

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London Insider Guide

London

London has an annual 17.4 million visitors, which makes it one of the most visited cities in the world.  London can be quite overwhelming, so it’s always handy to have a quick checklist of things to do in the city.

Having lived in London for 8 years, it has to be on our list of top travel destinations. London will always have a place in our heart, a treasure trove of great things to do & see. Remember though, that London is forever changing and offers a different experience for each person. Discover some of the amazing places London has to offer, here are a few of our favourites…

1.Spend an afternoon in Hampstead Heath, Hampstead.

Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient London park, covering 320 hectares (790 acres) with great views across London. The Heath is rambling and hilly, embracing ponds, woodlands, a lido, playgrounds, a modern training track, and the adjoining stately home of Kenwood House and its grounds. Put together a picnic or cheat and order one from Melrose and Morgan, Primrose Hill and Hampstead, (Hamper from £39.95). Open a bottle of Prosecco and spend the afternoon people watching – London is bursting with great characters!

2. Lunch at The Spaniards Inn

The sun isn’t shining? No worries, cancel the picnic and break for lunch at The Spaniards Inn

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do

As one of London’s oldest pubs, The Spaniards has earned itself a place in the history books, quite literally. Dickens immortalised it in The Pickwick Papers, and it is said that Keats wrote the Ode to a Nightingale here over a claret or two. Indeed, the characterful 16th century inn is a romantic idyll in itself, with a few tales of its own to tell.

3. Catch some of the best views of London at The Shard, London Bridge Street.

Ranked in the world’s most beautiful skyscrapers, The Shard is the tallest building in the UK and towers above the London skyline.

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do

4. Dine at one of our favourite restaurants – Clos Maggoire, Covent Garden.

Renowned for its outstanding French-influenced cuisine and one of the world’s finest wine lists – Clos Maggoire is the 2015 winner of London’s most romantic restaurant. Enjoy!

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do

5. Enjoy a truly authentic Arabic dining experience in the heart of London at Mamounia Lounge

After an indulgent shopping spree, we recommend that you take a moment to stop off at Mamounia Lounge. With venues in both Mayfair and Knightsbridge, the opulent Arabic restaurants offer the very best of traditional Lebanese and Moroccan cuisines and delicious cocktails. Top tip: complete your Middle Eastern experience by trying an authentic shisha! In the evening Mamounia Lounge comes alive with beautiful belly-dancers and traditional musicians, evoking the energetic buzz of Marrakesh for an unforgettable Middle Eastern experience right in the heart of London!
Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do

6. Or treat someone special to a traditional afternoon tea at The Ritz

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is a quintessential British experience; a rare and wonderful tradition that has stood the test of time.  Indulge in the finest sandwiches with classic fillings together with freshly baked scones, strawberry preserve and clotted Devonshire cream, followed by a delectable selection of afternoon tea cakes and pastries.

7. Visit Little Venice

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do
Little Venice is London’s answer to the famous Italian city. Home to various waterside cafes, pubs and restaurants, the area comes alive in the summer months. Jump on a canal boat or walk along the riverside to nearby Camden or Regent’s Park.

8. Shopping on Sloane Street, Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 

Sloane Street is internationally recognised as one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious shopping destinations, situated in London’s Royal Borough.

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do9. …or shop vintage at Camden Passage

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to doTucked behind Upper Street in Islington, Camden Passage is a real treasure trove of cute cafes, independent boutiques and vintage shops. You’ll find everything from exquisite one-offs to unique fun party outfits, as well as an antiques market selling furniture, curios, war memorabilia and various bric-a-brac.

7. Ciro’s Pizza. Eat the best pizza in town (in our opinion, anyway😜)

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do No airs and graces pollute this cute and cosy Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge. Unashamedly kitsch, this isn’t the place for a sophisticated, quiet candlelit schmooz with a loved one but it’s the perfect place for a fun, sociable soiree set to a colourful backdrop of live music. From Elvis one evening to belly dancing or flamenco the next, the entertainment is varied and decidedly exuberent. Popular with locals, celebs and passersby alike, the food here is surprisingly good and reasonably priced. The perfect place for a birthday bash or a fun and friendly night out.

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do

8. Spend Sunday afternoon at Chelsea Farmers Market

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do
Chelsea Farmer’s Market is a little gem tucked away on the King’s Road end of Sydney Street SW3. Packed with several restaurants and shops in an outdoor complex it’s the perfect place to hang out on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Make sure you check out the rest of the Farmer’s Market – there’s a Pet Pavilion, a Nail salon, a Pizzeria and Gelato parlour, along with an organic food store.

9. Spend an evening at Ronnie Scott’s legendary jazz club

Alphabet Lifestyle Visit London Top tourist attractions and things to do

Opened in 1959, this legendary jazz club made its name as the first UK music venue to host American jazz artists. Find it on Frith Street, Soho and make it a must on your itinerary! Are you a true jazz head? Check out the weekly late-night sessions at The Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs Jazz Jam!!

We hope our insider guide to London is helpful. Let us know your favourite hotspots!

Resort Review: InterContinental Danang

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Da Nang, Vietnam

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort 

Embedded in the mythical hills of the famous Son Tra Peninsula in Vietnam, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula is surrounded by breathtaking jungle landscape with panoramic views of the East Sea. The uber luxurious 197 bedroom resort was designed by star architect Bill Bensley, and is firmly placed within our Alphabet Lifestyle Bucket List!

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Dinner with a view! Enjoy breakfast with panoramic ocean views over the East Sea.

From the moment we arrived at Danang Internataional Airport, we were pampered by the InterContinental’s personal service and the 30-minute airport collection service escorted us along the breath-taking coastal road to the resort ensuring a stress-free arrival – essential when travelling with 3 super-excited boys aged 1, 3 and 6 years old!

The Resort

The resort is split across 4 levels; Heaven, Sky, Earth & Sea, with an enchanting sky-line tram to transport you between each level. Within the grounds you will find Michelin 3-star Michel Roux’s La Maison 1888 (although no children are allowed, parents should note that you can book a complimentary child-minding service through the hotel’s concierge),  plus four additional restaurants offering breakfast-style buffet featuring every food imaginable! (Top tip: The Vietnamese Pho is a delicious local dish and an absolute must-try!)

View from the Citron restaurant

During the stay our inner fitness freaks made most of the gym facilities with free morning yoga and fun beach activities throughout the day…whilst also splurging in the evenings on the delicious 2-for-1 happy hour cocktails with optional free shisha and bar snacks. Not forgetting treating ourselves to the extra-special “World’s finest pedicure” at the award winning PEDI:MANI:CURE Studio by Bastien Gonzalez to ensure that we were beach ready!

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Shisha and cocktails at The Long Bar

 

The Rooms

The chic rooms with Vietnamese inspired decor and contemporary design elements were to die for, and the rain shower, couple’s vanity basin, double granite bath (big enough for two) & over-sized bed promised a serene, relaxed stay.

Apologies as my shakey handheld video footage does the room no justice!

Monkey danang vietnam Intercontinental resort
Monkey spotting on the way to our room 🙂

Feel free to comment below if you have any further questions about the resort.