Wednesday, 6 June 2012 4:54 PM
With its tropical climate, fascinating culture and pleasant, yet challenging, sailing conditions, Malaysia is an exciting destination to explore by yacht. Although there are a plethora of islands you can travel to, the Langkawi archipelago is a particularly magical place.
Situated just to the north-west of the mainland, this part of the state of Kedah consists of 99 islands, encompassing a vast array of terrain from pretty golden beaches to tree-covered mountains. All this can give you plenty of choice over the places you can go and what activities you are able to do, with taking a yacht charter break giving you the opportunity to sail around at your own pace and see the destinations that interest you the most.
Featuring vibrant rainforests and amazing views of the Andaman Sea, Datai Bay is a great place to relax and connect with nature. Once you have moored your vessel and stepped on to dry land, you can hike through the maintained jungle trails where you'll come across lush plants and exotic wildlife. Taking the route that leads to the Temurun waterfall will be particularly rewarding. The tallest fall in the region, it consists of a number of rocky tiers, with the water flow most dramatic in either September or October. Nearby, you'll find a crocodile farm where you can see these fascinating reptiles perform in exciting shows.
Datai Bay is also a great place for sports enthusiasts, with the crystal-blue waters creating exceptional conditions for swimming and snorkelling. Alternatively, you can play a round of golf at Datai Bay Golf Resort. The 72 par course was designed by South African Ernie Els, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and one of the world's most successful golfers for the past 20 years, so you can be sure a game here will test your skills.
If you would rather take things a little easier, you can make use of the facilities at the two five-star hotels – the Datai Bay and The Andaman. As both of these establishments can be used by non-guests, don't worry that the fact you're staying in a yacht means you won't be able to visit them. You will, of course, need to pay for any services you use, while a smart-casual dress code is strictly enforced in both hotels at all times.
Pulau Beras Basah
Not only is Pulau Beras Basah one of the most westerly islands in Langkawi, but it is also among the most beautiful, something that can be partially attributed to the fact it is largely uninhabited.
Whether you decide to trek through its verdant rainforests or simply relax on the white sandy stretch, so you will soon feel at one with nature upon arriving at the pristine isle. Alternatively, you could go parasailing or take a banana boat ride before settling down to do nothing more than sunbathe and relax.
As the second largest island in the region, Dayang Bunting has beautiful beaches and limestone hills in abundance. The geographical feature that you might be most interested in though is Tasik Dayang Bunting, the lake that the isle takes its name from. Known as the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden in English, this is the biggest lake in Langkawi and when viewed from above is said to resemble a pregnant woman lying down on her back.
According to folklore, infertile women who bathe in the waters here will be soon become pregnant, with many locals claiming that it has worked for them. You can see if this legend is true by go swimming in the lake yourself or head to the shore for a spot of snorkelling.
Kilim Nature Park
Head to Langkawi Island and you'll have the opportunity to explore the Kilim Nature Park's vibrant mangroves. With dozens of creatures – including many endemic species – living here, this is the perfect place to see exotic wildlife that you're only likely to have spotted at a zoo before.
As the forest area is only accessible by navigating winding streams, it's best to come here in a small boat. That way, you can roam around freely and will be able to pull up to explore the secluded caves that are scattered throughout the region.