ARENAL: THE COSTA RICA VOLCANO!

The Arenal Volcano is one of the main touristic destination in Costa Rica. It is in the North of the Country and around this area, you can do, lots of things! From the relaxing massage to the trekking to the top of the volcano…. there are several tours that take place in the area surrounding the volcano, and for good reason! You can have access to the rainforest, waterfalls, the country’s largest lake...

First, explore Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal, is without a doubt, the most popular and well-recognized of Costa Rica’s volcanoes. When you arrive there…. You will be impressed by the huge symmetrical cone that dominates the fertile landscape at his foot. From San Jose you can simply take a bus that will bring you to Arenal. For the accommodation, no worries! I arrived there and I searched for a place to stay. I found a nice woman that also had an activity to sell Tour, but she was very nice, as I was a girl alone, so she gave me some good discount. At first I didn’t know if I chose well, but the days after spoken with several other backpackers I understood I was right… good compromise between me and her to have both the best we could from the bargain! I slept for 7 euros, and I bought a tour for the afternoon to the Park and waterfalls plus the tour of the day after to the top of the volcano and last, the passage with the jeep to Monteverde to do the most amazing zip line all for 150 Euros….

Coming back to the national Park…until recently, Arenal was the country’s most active volcano with an average of 41 eruptions per day. The Arenal Volcano is currently in a resting phase, you cannot hike up the volcano itself, but I recommend hiking through Arenal Volcano National Park with a bilingual naturalist guide in search of old lava flow and wildlife.

Slight changes in altitude create unique micro-climates and ecosystems through this region, making it home to a variety of exotic species.

Rest yourself in Arenal Volcano All-Natural Hot Springs

Another amazing thing to do here is to soak your muscles in thermal pools of water! Arenal is also home to several hot springs. Formed when water is heated underground and bubbles to the surface, Costa Rica’s mineral waters have been used as therapeutic baths for more than two hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. These natural wonders tempt even the most experienced traveler – for a good reason! What could be better than a relaxing warm bath, surrounded by jungle and shadowed by the beauty of the volcano after a day of adventure?

Neighborhood:

Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall

Close to Arenal, there is a little farming town of La Fortuna that is named for its beautiful neighbor, the La Fortuna Waterfall. As one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country and luckily enough, it can only be arrived at by foot (a 15-minute hike) or horseback, if you don’t like to walk. From the lush rainforest greenery, La Fortuna plummets 200 feet to fall into a pool of crystal clear water. Remember: the pool is delightfully cool on hot summer days!

Tenorio Volcano National Park

Tenorio has everything you could want in a tropical forest natural area.  Hiking to the sky blue Celeste waterfall is a highlight, but the hanging bridges in the rainforest and trail to Lago Danta through the cloud forest from the Heliconias entrance are equally amazing.

Celeste Waterfall: At a glance these are what puts the region around Bijagua on the list of the best places in Costa Rica.  From ranger station at the west entrance of Tenorio National Park (El Pilón) to the azure tinted cataract a couple of kilometers to the south.

Many hypotheses, conjectures and beliefs have been brought up about the rier color in a sunny day, intense blue, including that the color was due to the presence of a metal such as copper, the river’s proximity to the Tenorio Volcano or because of minerals such as calcium carbonate and sulfur. But all of those explanations are now known to be false,read more about this....

"To understand the enigma of this matter, one should know that two completely transparent rivers, Sour Creek (Quebrada Agria) and the Good View River (Río Buena Vista), converge to form the Río Celeste. It is precisely from the point of union of the two where the waters cease to be transparent and become light blue for the following 14 kilometers of river. For that reason, this point is known as The Dyer (El Teñidero)."

Hanging Bridges Hike

If you like to hike, another possibility is to hike through a private nature preserve along well-maintained trails and across a series of fixed and hanging bridges with views of Arenal Volcano. It is relaxing and it doesn’t take a long time if you don’t like long trails. A naturalist guide will point out the flora and fauna of the area like monkeys, sloths, tree frogs, and more. Don’t miss the waterfall extension trail at the end of the hike!

The Lake Arenal: the passage to Monteverde

The Arenal Volcano is also the base of Costa Rica’s largest lake, Lake Arenal. With the mighty volcano as its backdrop and the surrounding rolling hills and forests, Lake Arenal is truly a vision of peacefulness. Several activities are here possible: fishing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding are some of the most popular activities enjoyed from the lake. I pass from here with a cruise to reach my next stop… Monteverde. You can most certainly enjoy its added beauty to the scenery.

GOTHENBURG: WELCOME TO THE SOUTHERN ARCHIPELAGO

Closed to the city of ,Gothenburg reachable with a normal public transport ticket, there is a group of small but really beautiful, nice and quiet islands where you can pass a relaxing day, going from one to the another small piece of land.

There you will find a very scenic environment, where pass a memorable day outing for a picnic, swim (if you can!) and go for amazing walks.

These islands are unique and on them 4.500 residents pass their quite life in the middle of the nature. During the summer of course you will find more people on them but they are not crowded and if you are lucky you will enjoy also local events.

Everything is at a walk distance, a human scale so it is very easy to enjoy the surroundings and converse when walking the tranquil country lanes.

The major island are Vargo, Galtero and Vrango all natural reserves. Here remember that special regulations for the protection of plants and animals are applied.

Unfortunately camping is prohibited throughout the entire archipelago.

HISTORY OF THE ISLANDS

The islands were mentioned early in the Viking era. The ships waited in the shelter of the islands before starting out in their long voyages. Viking markets around the sheltered sound are also referred to. During the Nordic wars throughout the middle Ages these islands changed sovereignty.  During the 18th century, the islands became involved in organized piracy. After they changed their focus and became a base for fishing fleets, salting and processing fish oil.

In the 19th century the islands changed and started to be richer, so they became land of holidays for the population.

I was on Branno (with Galtero), Vrango and Styrso.

BRANNO

Preserved Village Street with a local history museum. Here there is a network of Nature trails leading west towards Galtero.

VRANGO

This is a fishing village surrounded by large areas of untouchable nature. There are large harbors and plenty of places to bathe.

STYRSO

It is more a mixture of island and city culture: the community is also compose by farmers and half by fishermen. Here there is also a guesthouse if you would like to pass the night on  the island.

Read my articles on Europe!

SITGES: A QUITE TOWN OUTSIDE BARCELONA

I passed 5 days in Barcelona at th end of June and as I know the city and I was with a frind we decidd to stay in the city 2 days and pass the other ones outside of it, more in the nature and in a quite sea place. We decided to go to Sitges, a beautiful coastal town in Spain towards the south of Barcelona. The small town is full of exotic beaches and leisure promenades, and in summer it becomes a tourists’ paradise.

We stayed in a camping, “Camping Sitges” that is 2km from the center of the town. You can easily find it on the main road that leave the city towards “Vilanova I la Geltru”. The price were very good, it is cheap: e paid for 2 people and the camping tend for 2 nights 36€.

To start you day you can go in a bar in front of the beach or take your breakfast with you and sit down in the sand and enjoy it! The entire passage is flat and easy to walk on. As you stroll down it, you can take in the beautiful view of the beach as well as many other sights available in the city.

If you like to go by bike and not walk, “Bikes Sitges” is a bike rental available. You can rent the bike you want to and then go out on a ride- a good soothing ride through the streets of Sitges or hills near the city. This is recommended to all those who love ‘long’ drives or rides. I found a bike rent also in the camping we stayed, so you could rent also there your bike!

The town is really nice, one of the attractiveness is the Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla, which is present near the place of a British invasion of Barcelona. It hosts an ossuary which is as old as the 1400s, making it an excellent spot for history lovers and from there you have a nice view on the beaches.

Among the beautiful beaches there are:

  • The Playa de Sant Sebastia: it has got some good cafes and bars near the sea front which make it ideal for an amazing beach day and end it up with a big mojito in your hands watching the sunset. It is not so crowded beach so you can dive into the water and have lunch quietly. It is quite near the main church too. it offers the best mixture of fun, leisure and affordability.
  • Playa del Hombre Muerto is a secluded beach at the end of the promenade in Sitges. It is a clothing optional beach. The beach is nice and clean and there are cafes to provide you with food and drinks. The only way you can reach the beach is by walking. Another amazing beach present in the city! It is an urban beach situated near the Sausalito beach, wider and less crowded.

Sitges is an cute city full of amazing beaches, with a rich cultural background and an immersive nightlife.

ROUTE TO WALK OUTSIDE THE CITY

As my friend and I love hiking we decided to ask for a nice route to do. Among the ones we saw on a brochure the tourist info gave us, some were not accessible without a car (for what they said… I have to complain because the touristic guides were not so informed on the transportation and the attractiveness outside the city) so finally we had to choose an excursion of 10 km for 3 hours. The itinerary was the following: from San Pedro de Ribes we walk through the castle, nice to visit to the Montgrós, and from there we came back. The type of exit: circulate; Difficulty: easy. The only issue was we started at 1 pm so the sun was very high… but it was our mistake!

CLAVIERE: THE LONGEST TIBETAN BRIDGE, A DAY OUT OF THE CITY

If you are in Turin and you want to pass a nice day out of the city, an hour far from the city you can walk on the longest Tibetan Bridge in the world. There are 3 bridges in total and one of them is suspended over the San Gervasio Gorge (Val di Susa) for almost 470 meters (1,540 feet). In some points, the gorges arrive at almost 100 meters (330 feet) deep.

Furthermore, the walkway has four ropes, 1440 steps and it is suspended at average, at 30 meters (100 feet) above the ground. The bridges go between the towns of Claviere and Cesana Torinese. From Cesana Torinese, you can see the Piccola Dora valley narrows that form a spectacular walk between the slopes of Sagnalong and Chamberton. You do not have to worry too much since you will be using a safety harness.

The bridges are open every weekend from in May and September ad every day from the first Saturday of July to the first Sunday of September. The minimum required height is 1m 20cm (3 feet 1 inch).

For more information website go to http://www.pontetibetanocesanaclaviere.com/

If you are a group of 10 people or more, you can book online or contact them via email or phone to book the passage (all in the footer).

Crossing the bridge may seem a little risky but the experience is surely worth! You don’t need to be afraid, the bridge is guaranteed to be safe and they will provide you secure harness. Are you looking for an adventure of a lifetime, something that will get your adrenaline pumping? Just go and try it!

After that you can pass the rest of the day in the grass all around the small town of Clavier relaxing and take a deep breath of fresh air. From there if you want, you can start with several walks of different length and difficulty. It is a perfect day out of the smog and sultriness of the big city!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO SO FAR.. TO FIND SOME PIECE FOR YOUR HEART!!

VIÑALES: THE CIGARS FARMS AND THE “VALLE DEL SILENCIO”

Viñales is a perfect example of the rural Cuban life in a nutshell. It is very different from the close Havana or from the farer Cienfuegos or Trinidad. A quite place, low key, laid back. There are almost no historical buildings in the town although there are plenty of nice cafes and restaurants to pass the time and relax yourself. The laid-back atmosphere is in front of your eyes. During the evening you can lay in one of the roadside cafes and appreciate samples of rums and see the old colored of 1950’s vehicles you prefer.

Another resource of this land are the Cuban cigars that are known all over the world. Here you can see where they are grown. Anyway, the place is nice also because of the magnificent landscape.

Despite being one of the most visited destinations outside of the Havana/Varadero hub there are almost no hotels in Viñales. In the town the accommodation are almost all “Casa particular”, where local families convert their free rooms to nice chambers. You can also ask for the dinner included, typical one and maybe you will have it with the locals that hosted you! Nice experience….

So what is there to do in the Viñales? The real gems of Viñales are outside the town.

VALLE DEL SILENCIO

Valle de Silencio, al Mogote la Esmerelda: a name that may you think that some fairy tale novelist came up with some of the places in Viñales. Although it is no fantasyland, it is a trip to the past. This land is covered by tabacco fields, and green vegetation. It is nice to walk or ride an horse.

For tobacco, Viñales is one of the best area of Cuba. The world famous Cuban cigars come almost exclusively from the Viñales area and yet life here is not much different to the way it was 100 or even 200 years ago.

The perfect time to Spend is 2 days. To really soak in the smell of tobacco, you can also stay 4 days.

You can also climb here and visit some natural caves inside the rocks.

HIKE TO LOS AQUATICOS

High up on the mountain slopes, a small community of Aquaticos was founded in 1943 when the local people used the power of water instead of regular medicines, because they didn’t have access to them.  You can walk alone up to the mountain. “Although no signs mark the path, there are plenty of homesteads where you can ask the way. From the main road follow a dirt road for approximately 400m before branching left and heading cross-country. You should be able to pick out a blue house halfway up the mountain ahead of you. This is your goal. Once there, you can admire the view, procure grown-on-site coffee and chat to the amiable owners about the water cure.”

CUBAN CIGARS

Viñales is embraced by tobacco fields.  When I arrived, the tobacco had already been harvested, so the fields were a more brown compared with the lush green of the rest of the valley.  You can visit the farm with horseback tour or guided walk from Viñales that will include a visit to one of the tobacco farms, where you can see tobacco leaves drying in barns, and watch an expert roll some cigars.  You can also buy cigars there to take home, they will let you know what the regulations are regarding exporting the cigars.

SIGIRIYA: THE “LION ROCK” OF SRI LANKA

Located in the heart of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is an enchanting blend of natural landscape and human creativity: an original human work and sometimes surreal, celebrated by locals as "the eighth wonder of the world".

Sigiriya, known as the Lion Rock, is located in the central district of Sri Lanka. To explain better, it is a spectacular natural formation, dominated by a massive rocky column height almost 200 meters. The amazing aspect is that at the top of the rock there is a fortified palace built in ancient time by King Kasyapa (477 - 495 d.C.).

THE LEGEND

According to the legend, fearing the revenge of his brother, which killed the father and usurped the throne with the force, Kasyapa decided to build a fortified palace right on the rocky massif of Sigiriya, which was considered impregnable. To better protect Himself and his people, He decided to surround the rock by two large moats defense, which fulfilled of crocodiles.

He created a residence of exceptional splendor and decided to establish the capital of his kingdom exactly there on the top of the world. After 11 years, the betrayed brother managed to take the original throne and was crowned king in his own time. At that time, He decided to report the capital of the kingdom in its original location, Anuradapura, and transformed Sigiriya in a monastery.

The rock was embellished by the realization of hanging gardens, channels and fountains. A stairway of rock still leads from the base to the top of the mountain.

However, according to new studies conducted by the archaeologist Raja da Silva, the site of Sigiriya would not have been the mythical capital of a kingdom, but a center of monk’s followers of Mahayana Buddhism, while women portrayed in murals would be nothing more than the female divinities of Buddhist pantheon.

THE EXCURSION

The excursion in the archaeological complex turns out to be quite challenging but it worth the effort. First, you will cross the water gardens with swimming pools and marble tubs, you will continue for the rock garden. When you arrive to the most external ditch, it is necessary to deal with a difficult ascent of about 1200 steps to arrive to the top.

In the middle of the path can be sighted a pair of huge paws of a lion, that once formed the entering of the upper building. Probably the complete structure of the Lion Rock was much more extended at that time and included the head and body. The whole structure reached presumably 14 meters of height.

Today you can still admire frescoes that decorate the surfaces of the rock. Originally, the frescoes occupy a surface of 140 meters length and 40 meters of height. According to the legend the frescoes included at least 500 women painted.

After visiting the rock, you can also see from the top that there is another rock not so far from there. The best thing to do is to reach also this rock, climb it and see the spectacular panorama from there. You can admire Sigiriya in from of you but not from the ground, from another perspective.

Whatever its origin, if you are willing to make a little effort, once arrived at the top of the feeling is extraordinary. Here you breathe stories and legends. Moreover, from here you can enjoy a breathtaking view.

If you want to know more about sri Lanka, see this link!

 

CHEFCHAOUEN: THE BLUE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIF

Chefchaouen (Scesciàuen the exact pronunciation) is a blue pearl nestled in the middle of the Rif Mountains, part of the national park of Talassemane. A Berber village with a particular Andalusian atmosphere and a Moroccan identity: you will remain surprised!

It is one of the most beautiful cities of the North Africa and - even if the tourism has taken root in recent years - it must be said that it is not easy to arrive in Chefchaouen, so the city maintain itself out if the most touristic tour of Morocco. It is still pure and if you want to see a good example of the Moroccan beauty enjoy this city, all painted of the various shades of blue. Alleys, stairs, doors and windows: everything is blue, turquoise, and aquamarine.

If you love to take pictures you will be in the right place, every corner is perfect and the view changes completely during the day or the night.

Chefchaouen welcomes you, embraces you, emotion you. The people is warm as it is in Spain and the city seems so small but is just the characteristic of all the Moroccan cities: you will lost yourself in the tiny streets where you can’t see anything more the walls around you!



The city is full of panoramic terraces where you can have your dinner or enjoy the sunrise in front of a meant tea with Chefchaouen that changes his colors behind you.

At some time during the day, you can also listen the muezzin call (for Muslims to prayer that resounds for the city 5 times a day).) The voice comes loud and clear just from the minaret! it was too charming not to listen it concentrated!

I arrived in the city during the evening coming from Fez with a bus. It was a long road (4 hours if I remember well) but when you can see the blue of the Chefchaouen houses you will be positively surprised… Despite the tiredness I started to feel, I decided to go in the alleys of Chefchaouen, without worrying about find points of reference useful for orientation. The risk of being lost is in fact does not exist because the Medina is circular and so, if you don’t push yourself out from the city doors, you will be inevitably back to the starting point.

You will feel yourself lost walking in a peaceful atmosphere of this village where nobody (different from the other Moroccan cities) stop you to sell something or to accompany you somewhere, where all the people you meet smile even if they see you take pictures to any piece of their city.

OUT OF THE CITY

Leaving the city from the north eastern of the medina you can find some nice pools where families love to spend many hours of the day, until sunset forwarded.

Just ask to people for the waterfall and they will guide you. These waterfalls, derive from the Ras al-Ma river, and are very good to pass some hours during the sunset. In addition to local people who take a bath in the river you can enjoy an "aperitifs" from small stalls illuminated by artificial lights. From here you can walk toward the church from where you can have one of the more spectacular sunset I ever seen!

Another activity to do is a trekking in the Rif. The easiest trek to do is in the Park of Talassemtane that can be visited with daily excursions from Chefchaouen or you can do a trekking for several days, 5 shall serve for the complete tour. You will be accompanied by guides and mules for the transport of luggage and food - and spend nights in mountain huts or camping areas. Each itinerary requires approximately 4/5 hours of trekking per day.


NIGHTLIFE IN THE BLUE CITY

When the night arrives, Chefchaouen loses in color but earns in magic. Outa el-Hammam square is the best place to pass the night. Populated by candles and tables and local people, the square will be full of people that dinner, drinking a mint tea with the mosque Tarik-Ben-Ziad that stands out among all the rest. It is truly an experience not to be missed!

If you don’t want to sit in a place and stay there, you can also enjoy the street food. The shops close late, so you can eat something walking and discovering the true soul of this place stay in contact with the local people.

WHY CHEFCHAOUEN IS BLUE PAINTED?

Anyone who has been in India, knows that there is a blue city, Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The oldest suburb of the city is still today painted blue because in the past lived there the caste of the Brahmins, Indian priests. So in India the reason is religious to differentiate the upper cast to the other ones. Starting from this and understand that Morocco is a bit different I can try to explain an historical reason. Of course, there is more than a hypothesis. We can start thinking that up to the 40th the city was considered sacred to Muslims and for this, it was forbidden entry of people of other religious faith and to foreigners.

Going back in the history, since in 1471 the exiles from Andalusia- Muslims and Jews - have founded Chefchaouen, one of the most valid hypotheses is that the Jews painted the houses and streets of blue to recall the colors of what should be their paradise.

Another theory is more practical: blue would be a color that takes away flies and mosquitoes.

The various cultures of Chefchaouen today merge together in the city just like the various shades of blue: the Berbers, Muslims and Jews-Andalusians.

If you will come to Morocco, please pass some days in this beautiful blue paradise, it really worth to spend your time here!


DISCOVERING MANUEL ANTONIO PARK

Nature, Nature and still Nature. Manuel Antonio Park is an explosion of animal, beautiful view and huge plants.  You will lost yourself among the intense Green, tropical plants and the sea.

Little Monkey in the park of Manuel Antonio

Relax, this is the rule in the Manuel Antonio Park, a magic place that includes in a few hectares the richness and beauty of a country such as Costa Rica.

I’m writing this article and in the meanwhile I’m realizing It is difficult to describe with words the feeling of beauty and peace that you breathe while walking in this park. The green of nature, the blue of the sea, the sounds of animals make up a scenography that hardly you will forget.

The park is located in the province of Puntarenas, few km from Quepos, 192 km from San Jose, on the Pacific coast and is internationally recognized as one of the Parks most rich in biodiversity on the planet. With the establishment of Manuel Antonio National Park in 1972, the people of Costa Rica decided to preserve, for future generations, one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse areas in the world. Although it is the country’s smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 683 hectares is unequaled.

Luxury tropical forests, lagoons, mangrove swamps and white sand beaches mixed in one of the most various ecosystems you can imagine. You will find suspended bridges and lush vegetation, numerous species of animals ever seen: in the park live more than 100 different species of mammals and 184 species of birds.

It is not so simple to see the animals but if you will take your time, observe the vegetation you will discover such beautiful creatures all around the park... but remember be silent, or the animals will stay far from you!

DISCOVERING THE PARK

You will walk easily in Manuel Antonio Park because it is crossed by a great system of well-marked hiking trails to allow all different visitors to explore the park in full autonomy.

If you would like to see better the animals at the entrance, you can also pay a guide and He will help you in finding animals with the right stuff.

The park is open from Tuesday to Sunday (Monday closure) from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. The best thing to do is to go there early in the morning and enjoy a full day of sun walking and chilling on the beach. Remember to bring with you food, but there are many rules on this point, so before going inside be sure of that! For example, you cannot introduce nuts because it is bad for the animals inside if they will eat this type of food. For the rubbish, it is necessary to take it with you outside the park.

Manuel Antonio Entrance

Another important point is that to maintain the natural equilibrium of this amazing place it is forbidden the entrance of more 600 people for day. The cost for one day is 16€.

The Parque is not just nature. It hosts four beautiful beaches, among the most beautiful that I could see during my trip in Costa Rica: Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio, Playa Escondido and Playita, the beaches are practically deserted and allow you to relax yourself after a day exploring the unspoiled nature.

Little Monkey in the park of Manuel Antonio

STAYING IN MANUEL ANTONIO

I stayed in the small town of Manuel Antonio during my days there. You will find several hideaway hotels and hostels and luxury vacation rentals. In this small town, you can enjoy the fresh fruits and veggies from the “feria” (weekly market), or have a five star meal at many of the restaurants, hire a private chef to cook for you or mix in with the locals and join them eating a “casado”( typical Costa Rican meal) at any of the “sodas”(little local restaurants).

The hostel I stayed, was at the top of a hill and during the sunset, it was so nice pass the time drinking a beer in front of the sea, that you cannot touch, it is far, but I could heard the wave’s movement from there watching the sun going down.

View from the hostel

View from the hostel

View from the hostel


Whether you are a wildlife lover, adventure seeker or you just want to be a beach bum, the array of activities are endless to  help you enjoy your tropical paradise vacation in Manuel Antonio, a perfect place to escape from the normal life!

And always remember: Pura Vida!!!

Little Monkey in the park of Manuel Antonio



LANGWAKI ISLAND: THE BORDERS OF MALYSIA

As in Italy is winter and I wanted to have rest on a white beach in front of a blue sea I decided to go to Langkawi Island after Pangkor island on Malysia west coast.

I just looked some pictures of the place and after that I tell myself: “ok, you have to go there!”

So I took a bus from Lumut to Kuala Perlis (6 hours) for 38RM (around 7,5 Euros). After the bus, I have to catch a ferry (1, 5 hours) for 18 RM.

At the end I arrived on the island. Off the coast of Kedah, Langwaki is not a single island. It is a cluster of 99 small islands offering different worlds: beautiful beaches, mangroves rich in flora and fauna, ultra-cheap duty-free shopping and fascinating legends.

 

  • ISLAND LEGENDS

If you go around asking to local people the history of the name they will tell you the tragic story of a beautiful young lady named Mahsuri. It is a tale of love, jealousy and a curse that was placed upon the island by her for seven generations.

Today, people still believe that the prosperity and blessings is not a simple coincidence. The mysticism of this legend can be felt in many parts of this island, especially at Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri's Mausoleum), where Mahsuri is said to be buried.

Her parents, Pandak Mayah and Mak Andak, originally migrated from a small Muslim village called Prabang, near Phuket, Thailand. Mahsuri was born and raised in Langkawi, in the early 1800s, and later married a local warrior named Wan Darus. Her husband soon left to join the fight against the invading Siamese.

While he was away, Mahsuri innocently befriended a young man who just happened to be traveling through the area (and obviously not a warrior). The village chief’s wife, who was jealous of Mahsuri’s beauty, then spread rumors of Mahsuri being unfaithful to her husband and the rest is history (or legend if you will). She was falsely accused of adultery and sentenced to death. Mahsuri was executed by knife in 1819.

The Legend recorded in the island history tell that the Siamese invaded Langkawi not long after Mahsuri’s death and razed the island to the ground with a scorched earth policy. And coincidentally, Langkawi did not become a major tourist hotspot until the birth of Wan Aishah bt Wan Nawawi, the seventh generation descendant of Mahsuri.

  • ISLAND TREASURIES

Tourism is one of the most important activities but many of the islanders are still farmers and fishermen. For this the food you will eat is really good and fresh!

 

One of the beauty of this island is the countryside and peaceful landscape of paddy fields you will enjoy by renting a moto bike and taking a leisurely drive around the island. Some of Langkawi's most rustic and memorable views are along the road that circles the island far from the most touristic places.

You'll experience small villages with wooden houses framed by palm trees, and children pedaling their old bicycles on errands.

But if you like to hike you can also do that in the island small mountains. They are for free, so you need only the willing to start and go to the top!

If you are too lazy there is another possibility: there is a new cable car that can bring you to the summit of Mount Mat Cincang - Langkawi's second highest mountain - for an unrivalled view of the entire main island and beyond.

Other popular destinations are the Field of Burnt Rice, Hot Springs, Telaga Tujuh (The Seven Wells) and the Beach of Black Sand.

You can also enjoy a Boat tour to Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), Gua Cerita (Cave of Stories) and Gua Langsir (Curtain Cave) if you will have the time!

What I wrote is not exhaustive; it is possible to do much more in this beatiful island.

So going back to my trip, I passed 2 lovely days in the island before going to Koh Lipe in Thailand.

I stayed in a hostel in Cenang, a good location to start your day and decided where to go!

The first day I was walking all around the main beaches enjoying the sun and the music. There was a blues festival on the island in those days so in the afternoon I passed my time listen good live music and drinking some beers.

The second day in change I took a moto bike and I was all around the island pausing to visit the waterfalls and the 7 wells. From there you can start to hike to the top of the Mount Mat Cincang. It takes around 2 hours to arrive to the top. Before leaving th island the 3rd day I decided to go before the time of departure to Kuah to walk a bit around the village and enjoy the Legend Park and the view from the eagle square.

See you in Koh Lipe!!