Monday, April 12, 2010

Langkawi Island - Oriental Village

We woke up bright and early (not because we are early risers, but coz we were still jet lagged :P) and headed to the hotel's coffee house for some breakfast. It was great that we could dine al fresco, since the sun was just rising and it wasn't that hot yet. Ahhh, having breakfast by the sea, with the cool breeze blowing on our faces and sounds of waves crashing on the shore. What a life! It's great to be on vacation. Oh and for those of you planning to stay in Frangipani in the future, you HAVE to check out their omelet station. The chef makes the most awesome omelets ever! If you don't believe me, ask Ashley. She told us that she was planning to get TWO helpings of omelets the next day! Anyways, after filling up our tummies, we headed out to explore the island.
For our first stop, we decided to check out the Oriental Village. The Oriental Village is located in the Burau Bay area, at the foothills of the (Gunung) Machingcang Mountain Range. The Machincang Mountain Range is the oldest rock formation in Malaysia and is the first UNESCO GeoPark in South-East Asia. The Oriental Village is made up of small shops and restaurants, built around a beautiful lake and is also the base station for the Langkawi Cable Car ride. The Langkawi Geopark Hotel is also located inside the Oriental Village. How much does it cost to get in? Well, entrance to the Oriental Village is free! However, you have to buy tickets to participate in various activities offered inside the village.
Ahhhh, here is the map of the Oriental Village. So, what's there to do here? Lots! Of course the main attraction is the cable car (will blog more about that in the next post). Apart from that, you can also visit the Langkawi Geopark Information Center. It is a small air-conditioned gallery where you can find pre historic stones, dating as far back as one billion years (I personally don't agree with this fact, but that's what the sign says). If this is not exactly your thing, you can also find many shops selling all kinds of duty free items and souvenirs in the Oriental Village. There are also many 'entertainers' walking around the village, ranging from snake charmers, silat (Malay martial art) masters, jugglers to caricature artists. If you are an animal lover, you can also visit the mini zoo where you can feed deer, rabbits, fishes and ducks. Entrance is free and you can buy a packet of animal food for RM1 (approx US$0.31). Oh and for those of you seeking a little adventure, you can go for an elephant ride in the secondary forest of the Matchingcang Mountain Range. Quad bikes and ATVs are also available for rental.
Are there any food available in the Oriental Village? Sure there is! There are all types of dining choices available in the Oriental Village. If you are looking for a snack, you can pick up drinks and ice cream from the many souvenir shops. There is also an inexpensive food court called "Kopitiam" where you can get noodle or rice dishes for around RM3 - RM8 (approx US$0.90 - US$2.50) per plate. There are also some nice sit down restaurants available in the Oriental Village. Among the more popular ones are Krathong (a Thai restaurant) and Mizumi, a Japanese restaurant run by the Berjaya Resort and Spa.

The Oriental Village is indeed a well planned tourist attraction. There is lots to do for everyone. If only the weather wasn't so hot and humid, we would have done so much more (maybe we should have rented a segway and zoomed around, instead of walking :P). Check out the Matchingcang Mountain Range and the beautiful lake behind us. It looks almost like a picture out from a postcard. Ahhh well, it's time to take the cable car up 708m above sea-level to the viewing platform at the top of Mt Matchingcang. Will blog about it in my next post. Stay tuned!

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