Cruising around Langkawi island

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Langkawi is a great place. The scenery is outstanding, prices right, people are friendly. Unfortunately our first 4 weeks were spent tied to a dock in the Langkawi Royal Yacht Club while we were busy with boat projects. The compressor for our water cooled freezer/fridge-system broke down and that particular model is not manufactured anymore. The alternator for our service batteries kept blowing fuses and there was a bunch of other important items on the to-do-list. Some of these projects will be described elsewhere on this site in due course.

Condensing unit ready to go back on board.
Broken switch
Alternator fuse box cover

We finished the most critical projects in time for sister Annika's visit, but a couple of days before, when letting go of the dock lines in the marina, we managed to get one line around the propeller. It took me an hour in Scuba gear under the yacht to free the prop. The impact also resulted in a slight misalignment of the engine, which I haven't been able to correct yet.

Annika arrived in Langkawi 30 hours late, due to Lufthansa. The loss of a day and a half of a two week vacation is quite a lot for the working class, but she appeared to take it well. Fortunately the lost luggage miraculously showed up after all, and the adventure also got her a lot of attention on Face Book!

After a couple of days anchored off Kuah, the main town of Langkawi, we set off for a cruise around the island.

Super yachts at RLYC
Aku Ankka is Finnish for Donald Duck
Langkawi's Sea Eagle land mark
Five star Super jail?
Face booking
Pool Pot

The Langkawi group consists of the main island and 103 other islands, offering plenty of beautiful and protected anchorages in all wind and sea conditions. The holding is good in mud and sand, and in all but a few cases, is free from coral and rocks. In some areas, however, it may be difficult to get ashore at low tide. The only draw back is that the water is not clear, probably due to the muddy bottom and tidal waters.

Leaving Kuah we encountered yet an other misfortune: only a mile out, the engine died. We were still in only five metres of depths and therefore dropped the hook before I started to do the trouble shooting. The reason turned out to be dirty fuel. After a change of the primary and secondary fuel filters, bleeding of the fuel lines and switching to the other fuel tank, the Perkins was again up and running. Fortunately the stopping of the engine did not take place in some tight and heavily trafficked spot or while trying to negotiate a reef passage. Insulting yes, but no injuries this time.

Kuah anchorage in the distance
Dinghy landing at high tide only
Dirty diesel stopped the engine

Next day we revisited the area called The Fjords, where we found our first anchorage in Langkawi one month earlier. We hiked up to a fresh water lake, popularly called the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden. According to a legend it has magical fertility powers. We walked to the lake early in the morning to escape the hundreds of tourists that start arriving in local long tail boats around ten o'clock.

Annika acted our boat bunny for two weeks
The fresh water lake "Pregnant Maiden"
Anchored at Dayan Bunting
A beach for ourselves
A restaurant for ourselves
Independence Day flag
The following week we sailed clockwise around the main island and usually had our anchorages for ourselves, except for maybe a five star resort on the beach. On the photo above (middle) we are the only guest at the luxurious restaurant of Sanctuary Resort, with Scorpio parked in the background. Below is a view across the beach of Tanjung Rhu Resort, with Scorpio the only yacht around.

A panorama at Tanjung Rhu. Scorpio rests at anchor in the centre background (same spot as photo on previous row, right).

On the north east coast of Langkawi is a gap in the towering cliffs, where the Kilim river joins the sea, called The Hole in the Wall. The river continues for several miles in many mangrove creeks, but we anchored Scorpio about one mile inside of the gap in a spectacular anchorage and then spent some time exploring the passageways by dinghy, visiting a fish farm and spotting several eagles and plenty of apes.
Hole in the Wall, outside - in
Hole in the Wall, inside - out
Getting out of the hole

Rahmad's floating restaurant and fish farm.
Mantis prawn (right)

Good size phone.
And the prawn isn't even a Tiger prawn.
The Hole in the Wall is best enjoyed early in the morning or after four o'clock when the day touists have returned to their various hotels otherwhere on Langkawi. Fortunately there are no hotels or settlements in the creeks and the only way to experience the place during the quiet hours is aboard your yacht.
Sign warning monkeys for vehicles?
Monkey swimming for peanuts
Ready to take your line!
Breast feeding
A collection of exotic tropical fruits
Annika's two-week vacation was over all too soon, and it was time for her to get back home to the land of Santa Claus.

Santa, however, already paid us an advance visit by helicopter, as he is going to be very busy up there in the north during the holidays.

The crew on Scorpio wishes everybody a Merry Christmas.

The photos on this page and some additional ones on a (manual) SLIDE SHOW.