Castle Howard (near York)








Malaysia: Langkawi

Malaysia

I went on a four-day trip to the island of Langkawi in Malaysia in 2005. What an amazing place for nature! I stayed in the Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort, which is advertised as being in a spot where the jungle meets the sea (website here). The beach is beautiful and the resort itself is teeming with wildlife, most notable of which are hornbills, monkeys and huge monitor lizards.

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On one of the days, I took a boat to the marine park at Pulau Payar (another island) and enjoyed several hours of snorkelling above a coral reef that was so full of fish that it was like swimming in an aquarium. The highlights of that day were swimming with sharks and a barracuda, as well as meeting a few little clownfish. This day-trip only cost about 4,000 yen (including lunch) and I would recommend it to anyone.

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On another day I went for a hike through the jungle - VERY hot and hard work!! It was worth the effort though because I found a pair of big black forest scorpions. I also came across a beautiful green snake (dead unfortunately) and plenty of interesting insects.

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One thing I should say about Langkawi wildlife is that the monkeys are a bit of a pest. If you have a bag (especially a plastic shopping bag), then the monkeys will attempt to steal it and they are very aggressive. On the plus side, Langkawi is a quiet and friendly place with an abundance of nature. It's very easy to get around the island (by taxi or rental car/scooter). I enjoyed a couple of days riding a scooter and there was almost no traffic. I loved stopping to look at the buffalos with egrets perched on their backs. I will certainly be going back to Langkawi before long.

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