A short break: 48 hours in Penang and Langkawi

Guests staying at Parkroyal Langkawi Resort get to enjoy meals at one of its seven sunken seats in the shallow pool. — Photos: FLOREY D. MIKIL/The Star

Curious eyes watched our every move as we cautiously walked past some long-tailed macaques perched on the railings, our own gazes averted in order to not provoke the animals.

They continued watching. A few more of them gathered further front, this time joined by the relatively docile dusky leaf monkeys aka langurs that the Langur Way Canopy Walk which we tread upon was named after.

“As long as we don’t disturb them, they won’t disturb us,” our guide, a knowledgeable naturalist named Avinash, assured us of our safety.

We only had roughly an hour to take in as much as we could of The Habitat Penang Hill, including appreciating the sweeping views of the rainforest from the said canopy walk and part of the island from the Curtis Crest Treetop Walk. But this simian encounter – along with Avinash’s warning to not touch any of the plants or “you’ll go blind” – sure made our brief visit to the nature preserve an unforgettable one.

Our rushed itinerary that bright morning was due to the fact that we had a plane to catch in the afternoon, which would transport us from Penang to Langkawi Island in Kedah, where we would spend the remainder of our media trip.

Let the enrichment begin

It was just the day before that we flew aboard Malaysia Airlines to Penang – the flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s Terminal 1 took less than an hour.

Prior to boarding our KUL-PEN flight, we were treated to a hearty breakfast at the Domestic Golden Lounge. Fast-forward to a few hours later, after we’d landed in Penang, we found ourselves getting comfortable in our abode for the evening: G Hotel Gurney.The hotel is one of the accommodations that can be easily booked via enrichhotels.com – an online portal under the airlines’ travel and lifestyle loyalty programme, Enrich.

The Penang Hill funicular railway is one of Asia’s longest funicular tracks.The Penang Hill funicular railway is one of Asia’s longest funicular tracks.

Before calling it a day, we first headed to Gurney Paragon Mall to shop at Kapten Batik, Enrich’s lifestyle partner offering modern artisanal batik wear. Here, we utilised our EnrichMoney Visa prepaid card, which was launched concurrently with the EnrichMoney app in 2023. It can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted; the card works like a regular debit card.

Any purchase made with the card will be converted into a reward that could later be redeemed for “cashback” using EnrichMoney Points. You could also have the option of earning points instead, should you opt to forgo the cashback.

Kicking off

The highlight of our second day in Penang was a tour of The Habitat. It was a short visit, kind of like a teaser, enticing us to return for a longer, more comprehensive visit next time.

Should we wish to do so, we may easily book a tour through Enrich Xperience, powered by Klook. Enrich members will earn points when booking holiday tours, activities or transportation with it.

Once in Langkawi, we had the opportunity to enjoy a couple more activities that were booked through this service. One was Dream Forest Langkawi, an enchanting night attraction that brings the mythical tales of Langkawi to life through light projections and interactive activities. The other was a mangrove tour that showcased the island’s tropical beauty.

The mangrove tour kicked off from a jetty at Tanjung Rhu, where we boarded one of the many boats gently rocking on the waves.

It may be labelled as such, but the tour does feature more than just mangrove forests. In our case, we also encountered eagles (at a designated spot for eagle-watching), bats (whose sleep was frequently disturbed by loud visitors traipsing through their dark cave), and more macaques – who were aggressively territorial when it came to their turf among the mangrove trees.

It was also an informational tour, with our guide rattling out one interesting fact after another as he drove the powerboat through the waters of Kilim Geoforest Park, even pointing out the Malaysia-Thailand maritime border on the Andaman Sea.

Have fun learning about local legends and folklore at Dream Forest Langkawi.Have fun learning about local legends and folklore at Dream Forest Langkawi.

A rewarding trip

All these outdoor adventures meant we needed a relaxing accommodation to wind down and recharge afterwards. This requirement was met in the form of Parkroyal Langkawi Resort, a five-star beach retreat with 300 rooms and suites, along with seven beachfront villas – some of which we had the chance to wander through during our private tour of the place.

Equipped with a full kitchen, private swimming pool, spacious living area and cosy bedrooms, the villas are perfect for large gatherings whether with family or friends. Meanwhile, in the suites, guests may choose to luxuriate either in the bathtub or in the private pool as they enjoy the sea view from the top floor.

We’d rested well in luxury hotels, rejuvenated in nature and expanded our knowledge of our country’s natural wonders. We’d also satiated the foodies in us with scrumptious spreads that ranged from nasi kandar to fresh seafood servings. All that was left for us to do was spend, spend, spend! (Wisely, of course.)While we bought batik in Penang, in Langkawi we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to buy chocolates in bulk. Duty-free shops lining the streets of Pantai Cenang, which was within walking distance from our accommodation, helped us achieve this easily enough.

Our fun-filled trip came to an end the next day, as the plane we boarded from Langkawi touched down at Terminal 1. That may be the end of this particular journey, but armed now with the knowledge of how easy it is to plan and go on a hassle-free trip using a single app and card, we’re off to mark our calendar for our next easy-breezy vacation.

>For more pictures, check out the media gallery below.

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