Woke up at 6am in preparations for our flight at 1055am to Langkawi. This is Junior’s 2nd escape from the little red dot, courtesy of his wanderlust parents. Unlike our usual trips, we have to wake up way in advance to prepare, mostly due to the addition of our baby. These include preparing for his milk before leaving home, while at the airport and on board the flight and my wife had to schedule her milk expression too, such that there was enough to last the whole journey, since she wasn’t comfortable breastfeeding in public.
Our parents sent us to the airport and checked in was done pretty quickly, with one 29 inch luggage weighing about 16kg for the 3 of us. Normally, we would backpack for a 3 day trip but with the baby, that was too challenging for us to consider as we found in the last Bintan trip. There was time for us to take some food before we went through immigrations. My wife then went to the nursing room (which looked comfortable, had a sink and hot water dispenser but room was only for one person) within the terminal for milk expression while me and the baby chilled in front of the TV where he eventually dozed off. Met up some half an hour later and proceed to waiting area at the gate. There were initially some questions on the contents in the bag but later acknowledged upon seeing the infant.
While waiting at the gate, baby got a little cranky and quickly we popped a bottle to his mouth. The boarding soon commenced but we waited till Jr. was done. We had booked the so-called premium economy seats, supposedly to have wider leg space but didn’t really felt that way. Left the diaper bags on the space underneath the front seats for easy reach to the bottles and the diapers. As we didn’t pay for an extra seat (not necessary for babies under 2 years of age but with a cost of 25 SGD) and Jr. was given a infant seat belt which was secured to the main seat belt. As the door of the plane shut and the plane started to taxi to queue, we were feeling anxious, wondering when Jr. will become cranky and cause a nuisance. Luckily, all was good even after the plane lifted off, which was when we gave Jr. a pacifier that could help him swallow some saliva and remove the ear pain from the air pressure.
Throughout the flight, baby wasn’t sleeping which meant that we had to entertain him in order that he maintained his composure. This included playing with him some of his toys that we had brought along and even showed him the inflight magazine. He pooped and we thought we could wait until arrival, unfortunately he got cranky and so we did the diaper change on the seats itself. We had to lift the arm rest to create more space and lay him across the 2 seats. It was cramped but we managed, cleaned him up and threw the diapers into the puke bag, which we left with the air steward as he went around collecting rubbish. Just before landing, we gave Jr. the bottle again to help with the air pressure and also to keep him full.
Sitting at the premium economy provided the perks of getting off the plane first and clearing immigration, which was about 5 mins. As we proceeded to the luggage collection belt, we saw a line of car rental counters. Since we had to wait for the luggage anyway, I proceeded to these counters first. The people behind the counters were as if they have not seen a living soul for years and quickly call out to me when I came within sight. Fortunately, they stayed behind the counters and I did not feel that pressured to engage anyone.
I was scanning for a Kasina car rental which was recommended online as a bigger, more reliable company, instead I went to a Langkawi Discovery counter. The friendly sales person introduced the few car options and recommended I take the Mitsubishi Mirage, which he claimed was new and not too small for us, especially when I had a 29″ luggage. There was a further 60% discount on the 200RM published rates, bringing the total costs of rental to about 240RM for 3 days and a 50RM deposit. Only problem was that they only accept cash, which we didn’t bring alot. I was given the paper to make the collection outside the airport, exact location wasn’t clearly given.
After the we retrieved the luggage, we left the arrival hall and stepped out of the building. This was where there were more agents ushering for taxis and car rentals. I wasn’t sure where to pick up the vehicle until one person actually recognise the slip and brought me across the road to the carpark and then the car itself. Did the usual checks, paid, given some instructions on returning of vehicles. And the car was really new, done only 10k in distance. Set up my GPS, even though the car rental personnel told us that it was really easy to get around Langkawi. As a Singaporean, I was kiasu. Punched in the end location and we arrived 10mins later at the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa. We parked at the carpark and walked to the main reception area some 100m away, dragging a luggage and carrying a baby, in the hot sun.
Checked in was done at one of the tables and the staff introduced the location of the villa and the available restaurants. We asked for late check out but was informed to ask again closer to the date of departure. After the administration, we were told to wait for a buggy but no one came to us until we asked another staff. The buggy brought us through the walk path to our beach front villa at number 46, together with our luggage, something similar to what we had experienced in Bintan.
The beach front villa was part of a bigger building of another 3 rooms, with 2 of them on the 2nd level. We had a small balcony that faced the beach but wasn’t exactly in front of us. It was more like a beach side villa. Tough luck.
The room itself was pretty big, containing a day bed, a king size bed and another single bed. However, there was only 1 air-conditioner which was not enough to cool down the entire villa in the sweltering heat. The presence of a ceiling fan only aid so slightly in the air circulation. Compounding to the problem was just like any hotel rooms, this was powered by the one and only magnetic door card. This guaranteed a warm room everytime we return from outside.
Bathroom was quite big, containing a long bath tub which we looked forward to utilise giving the baby some swimming time. There was a separate rain shower for the bathing. The only con was that there were only one sink, and if that was used for sterilising the bottles, we won’t be able to do any washing other than at the shower or the tub.
Jr. didn’t really like the room, becoming cranky after staying indoors for a while. So while my wife had to pump, I brought Jr. out to enjoy the warm sea breeze and the view of turquoise waters while trying to stay in the shade and he became calm. After strolling a while, I brought him back and looped the inflatable infant buoy around Jr. neck and gave him a dip in the tub. There was more than sufficient hot water here which was great for the dip. He became cranky, and figuring that he could be hungry, we fed him while in the tub. This was like bar side pool for babies!
After the tub dip, we packed to get ready for our first place of attraction, the Eagle Square. Strapped the baby on with a Ergobaby carrier (left the stroller back in Singapore, carrier was offered far more portability) waited outside the villa after calling for the buggy. It took forever to arrive, even after a call back to the reception. We stood almost 15 mins before the buggy finally arrived, something so unlike what we had encountered previously in Bintan. It took us straight to the carpark.
Punched in the destination on my GPS and it was a easy 20mins drive to Kuah only single lane roads consisting of light traffic. We arrived at the carpark but it was filled to the brim, apparently so many people was out and about this good Friday. Cars parked anywhere and everywhere and so I followed suit, found a slot behind a car along the sidewalk and parked there. Before heading out, we fed Jr. in the car and changed his diapers since he had pooped.
As we needed lunch, we walked towards Jetty Point mall and into the food court. In the sweltering heat, the air-conditioned place offered some relief but the Nasi Lemak was only just normal. After lunch, we went to the Baskin Robbins nearby for some ice cream before heading towards the square, some 5mins walk towards the port.
Eagle Square has a huge ass eagle statue looking out to the sea and apparently, Langkawi was named after these types of eagle. Since this was one of the most noticeable Langkawi landmarks, tourists were there to take photos with it. We tried to take a selfie with it but it proved challenging because of its size.
There were a couple of shops nearby selling clothings and souvenirs but nothing really interesting. We left for the gas stations some 2km away and pumped 10litres for 19.50RM, dirt cheap! Then it was an easy drive back. There was a shopping mall nearby but we weren’t really interested.
Backed at the hotel, the wife went for her pumping while I entertained the baby and bathed him. As the sun began to set at around 730pm, I brought Jr. out for his first overseas sunset and took some photos. The balcony had a nice sunset view, pity it was a little too far off from the sand.
Used the room wifi to Google for dinner places (wifi was fast enough only for googling and nothing else) and Tripadvisor recommended a restaurant at nearby Casa Del Mar resort. Knowing the speed of buggy service, we called for the buggy in advance and still it took some time to arrive.
As we drove out, a mere 2mins got us to the start of a long stretch of road lined with restaurants and eating places, called Pantai Cenang. We parked at the roadside opposite Casa Del Mar and walked around to check out the places. We didn’t walk too long before returning to the resort. Went straight to the La Sal restaurant which had Alfresco dining by the beach but was disappointed that it was fully booked. The staff asked if we were interested for dinner the next day but we didn’t want to commit first. In the end, we ended up in a Restoran Almaz opposite the resort where we ordered Maggi Goreng Chicken and Roti Canai. It was a humid night and it was a sweat to eat in the coffee shop but the food was pretty good, even though it might be MSG filled. We weren’t completely full and further ordered Roti Canai with egg and I had a crispy and delicious Roti tissue, which made us very full. Returned back to warm room and it was all about getting the baby to sleep and subsequent rest.