Weekend respite in Langkawi
There is not much in the way of entertainment, other than the enthusiastic cover band at Mutiara’s Seashell Beach Cafe, but watching the prolific number of eagles, monkeys and monitor lizards that scour the bay can be a fabulous way to pass the time.
Burau Bay’s culinary options can also be a bit limited, with overpriced Western food making up most of the standard fare. For a far more pleasant dining experience, a 15-minute walk east from the bay along the picturesque Pantai Kok beach leads to the stunning five-star hotel, The Danna. If you can, stay there. If, like most people, you cannot afford to, then it is a sublime place for people watching, a bite of gourmet Malaysian cuisine and -- if you are feeling really cheeky -- a dip in the infinity pool, which provides sublime and uninterrupted views of the surrounding rainforest and out to the glistening Andaman Sea.
For the more adventurous weekender, a nerve-jangling journey by cable car awaits at Oriental Village, a colourful complex of souvenir shops, spas and tour operators located only a short taxi ride from both Pantai Kok and Burau Bay. The trip will take you 709m up Gunung Mat Cincang, one of the islands peaks, for a birds-eye view of one of Langkawi’s most mythical stories.
Langkawi is an island steeped in legends, and none is more dramatic than the story behind Gunung Mat Cincang and its neighbouring peak Gunung Raya. According to historical tales, the two mountains were once two giants who were close friends. At the wedding of their children they fell out and had a tussle, spilling gravy and breaking pots and pans. The gravy spillage became the coastal town of Kuah (which means gravy in Malay), and the neighbouring village of Belanga Pecah (or broken crockery) was born from the pots and pans. Eventually the giants came to the senses with the help of a third giant and mediator, Mat Sawar. They were ashamed of their behaviour and, remorseful, chose to be turned into mountains. Mat Sawar was turned into a small hill, and to this day he lies wedged between the two peaks, keeping a watchful eye over them.