Travel: Rainforest luxury at The Datai in Langkawi, Malaysia

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Singapore, hot, noisy and crowded.  Great place to live, but everyone needs to escape the metropolis every now and again, or risk going stir crazy.  Luckily there are hundreds of beautiful places, many straight out of a picture postcard, within a couple of hours’ flight.


The archipelago of Langkawi lies in the Andaman sea, on the North-West coast of Malaysia, adjacent to Thailand.  The main island is a popular destination, and with direct flights into the Island from Singapore and other regional cities, it’s become easily doable as a long weekend, re-charge batteries, type of getaway.  We take advantage of a long weekend, take an extra day off, bag a decent deal at The Datai (more on that in a bit), and jump on a short one hour flight to paradise

What awaits is an island of mountains, exotic rainforest, and miles of un-spoilt beaches.  We don’t have much time to explore the Island, or much of an inclination either, as The Datai resort turns out to be as good as the on-line ratings and photographs, and with every whim catered to, there is little reason to leave.  

Rainforest wildlife

Set above the Datai bay, the report is surrounded lush rainforest.  At no other time is one more reminded of the jungle setting, than at night, when the evening barrage of night sounds emerges, led by a panoply of frogs chirping, croaking and grunting, with a supporting cast of cicadas, crickets and millions of unseen insects, providing a continuous click track through the night. 

During the day Hornbills, often in pairs swoop around the resort, while mischievous monkeys embark on evening patrols along the wooden balconies of the main hotel, hoping for a door, left ajar by the unwary, and an opportunity to mount a raid for their favourite Snickers bar (it’s the peanuts I guess).


The nearby beach is accessed by a delightful wooden boardwalk through a butterfly festooned forest fringe.   The beach is immaculate, swept daily, the sea is clear with warm waters.  Kayaking around the bay and to the little Pulai Anak Kutai island is on offer, as is sailing and other water sports.  The beach pool area is for some serious vibing and chilling, with ever attentive staff on hand to cater to already over indulged guests.  As well as a ready supply of cocktails, fresh towels, the staff even drop by to spray cooling water on your face, or clean your sunglasses.  Everything necessary to indulge your inner Diva.

The Datai also has four restaurants which provide enough variety to not get bored, including a beautiful Thai restaurant, perched up above the forest, the Gulai which is tucked away in the forest and serves local Malaysia and Indian food, and the main restaurant in the hotel, which provides a more upmarket fine dining experience.

It seems that after almost every trip to many incredible places in Asia, we come away saying we’ll go back soon.  Never more so than this slice of paradise in Langkawi.

For more on our stay, take a look at our video

The Datai, Langkawi

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