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10 reasons why you need to hop on a plane to Langkawi right now

We’ve got 99 problems but these islands ain’t one.
An archipelago of 99 islands off the coast of Malaysia, Langkawi is the perfect place to escape the mundane 9-5.

1. Beach life

The beaches in Langkawi look like paradise. Top up your tan and sleep off a hangover on secluded white sandy beaches with no one else in sight.

2. Insta worthy sunsets

Kick back with a cocktail or beer and watch the sun go down over Langkawi. It’s also the perfect opportunity for an Instagram snap to make your friends and family green with envy back home.

3. Swim with sharks

Explore coral gardens, and snorkel and scuba dive with black-tipped reef sharks, turtles, barracudas and much more in Pulau Payar Marine Park – which is only a quick boat trip from Langkawi.

4. Chase those waterfalls

Jump around. Jump. Jump. Jump around.

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Slide down natural waterslides and jump into the cool water – which is THE best feeling after a pretty sweaty and sticky walk. The two waterfalls not to miss are Terjun Temurun and Seven Wells.

5. Loom over Langkawi

Suspended 2,170ft above sea level, the sky bridge on top of Gunung Mat Chinchang is hard to miss. Ride a glass-bottomed cable car to the top, spot the coast of Thailand on a clear day and ogle at the rainforest beneath your feet, as well as taking that all important photo with the beaches below.

6. Feast on traditional Malaysian food

Someone could not wait #nasigoreng #foodporn #foodie #bontonlangkawi #langkawifood

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Dine where the locals do, and tuck into fresh seafood, tasty peanut chicken satays, incredible banana fritters and regional delicacies at one of Langkawi’s many night markets.

7. Hot to trot

Langkawi is pretty close to the Equator which means it is hot all year round. Plus, when you plunge into the turquoise waters of Langkawi you will discover that they are lovely and warm too.

8. Explore deserted islands

Many of the islands remain untouched as Langkawi is protected by UNESCO due to its unique geological heritage. Venture into the mangroves in a kayak, trek through the jungle and take a boat around Kilim Karst Geoforest and its limestone formations to discover this hidden gem.

9. Go wild!

Watch the walking fish, spot the flying monkeys and kingfishers and catch a glimpse of a monitor lizard swimming. With nearly 65% of Langkawi being made up of rainforest there is enough wildlife to keep even David Attenborough busy.

10. Beachside living

It's horrible here #pooltoourselves #floatingvillage #langkawi #malaysia

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If you’re looking for a bit of R and R then Langkawi’s beachside hotels will not disappoint. Watch the sunrise from your balcony and chill out in an infinity pool with a view.

Want to learn a little more about Langkawi? Then check out our page dedicately solely to it!

FOOD PORN: 15 Malaysian dishes to lust over

Ahhh Malaysia, an absolute foodie haven, where you’ll want to be eating six meals a day just to try everything on offer! With fusions of flavour from neighbouring countries and street vendors putting their own spin on dishes, you can rest assured your taste buds will never be bored. So get your baggy top/ stretchy shorts at the ready and prepare to indulge in some of the punchiest flavours of Southeast Asia….
1. Curry Laksa

A street food classic, this spiced coconut broth is packed full of flavour and topped with noodles, tofu puffs, shrimp, egg, fish balls and cucumber. Definitely getting bang for your buck!
2. The Roti Canai

Roti Canai (cha-nay) transcends all meal times. This flaky bread-pancake hybrid is perfect at any time of day (especially appreciated at 4am), and is used to lap up fragrant daal or is a delicious dish in its own right. Bit of a sweet tooth? opt for a mango, banana and honey version as an indulgent breakfast.
3. Satay

Yep, you’ll find this pure-peanutty heaven in the markets of Malaysia too! Skewered, seasoned meat is grilled and served with (hopefully a mountain of) spicy peanut sauce on top.
4. Nasi Lemak

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When in doubt choose Nasi Lemak. This Malaysian staple will keep you well fed through eight-hour bus journeys and beyond. Coconut rice, crunchy peanuts, fresh cucumber, crispy dried anchovies and spicy sambal make this the ultimate comfort food.
5. Beef Rendang

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A definite must-try for any meat eater. The rendang fuses slow-cooked tender beef with turmeric, ginger, kaffir lime and chili, creamy coconut and some added tang from the asam keping fruit.
6. Sambal Udang

When it comes to Malaysian food, you can bet your bottom dollar there’ll be a shout out to sambal: a blend of chilies, shrimp paste and calamansi lime. Juicy fresh ‘udang’ (prawns) are smothered and stir fried in this tasty paste for a simple yet tasty meal.
7. Hokkien Mee

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Like a lot of Malay dishes, Hokkien Mee varies from region to region, and vendor to vendor, making sure you come back for a second try. The main ingredients are sliced pork, prawn and squid with egg and rice noodles. Kuala Lumpur serves it up dark and sticky whilst Penang go for a more broth-based option with a little added sambal (of course)!
8. Popiah’s

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Similar to a fresh spring roll, these thin and crispy wheat crepes filled with shredded veg and sometimes tofu or meat are a flavoursome snack or accompaniment to a Malaysian curry.
9. Kaya (coconut jam)

This is the kind of spread that you want to get a giant spoon and eat straight out of the tub it’s that tasty! Made from coconut milk, eggs and sugar, buy a tub from your nearest supermarket and turn that hostel free toast breakfast from zero to hero in minutes
10. Fish Head soup

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Not for the faint hearted. This dish delivers what it says in the title: a whole fish head stewed with vegetables, tangy tamarind and coconut milk.
11. Char Kuey Teow

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Woken up ever so slightly worse for wear? No worries, this national favourite is the answer! Thick, flat rice noodles are stir fried in pork fat, dark soy sauce, chili and belacan with prawns, beansprouts and egg. Stodgy enough to soak up all the efforts of last night, and yummy enough to finish the whole plate and then some.
12. Yellow watermelon

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Who knew? Just as refreshing as its red sister, this tropical holiday mascot can be picked up at most Malaysian fruit markets, ready to be chopped up and teeth sunken into on the go.
13. Salak (Snake fruit)

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Not only is this bizarre ‘snake-skin’ fruit fun to peel all in one go (waiting for a bus type entertainment) it contains the sweetest, fleshy segments inside.
14. Teh Tarik

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What the pumpkin-spice latte is to Starbucks, Teh Tarik is to a Kopi Tiam. Black tea is poured back and forth from two vessels to give it a frothy top before being mixed with condensed milk. The perfect accompaniment to your morning Roti Canai.
15. Cendol

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For a sweet snack, give a cup of this a go! Shaved ice, brown palm syrup, coconut milk and the star of the show: small strands of green dough made of rice and tapioca flour aka the ‘cendol’.

Has this got your little foodie heart desperate for a taste of Malaysia? Then head on over to our travel guide to a destination that is so hot right now… Langkawi.

Inspiring, immersive, intoxicating India.

Today’s blog comes from Tom Barber over at Bamba Experience, he’s a pro on all things Asia and he’s here to tell us a little bit about India…

India is a vibrant mix of a thousand cultures packed together shoulder to shoulder, all intensely humming to the tune of a different beat. It is a place that on immediate arrival assaults all the senses and bombards the brain. It is quite simply impossible not to be swept up in the beauty, the chaos and the adventure. Limitlessly kind and abhorrently cruel, scenes of the most majestic beauty vie for your gaze amongst pictures of squalid heartache. The impossibly tranquil and calm sit aside the horn-tooting buzz of the hectic. India is travel. India is exploration and India is one of a kind.
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Made in Taiwan: 8 things you didn’t know about Taiwan

One of our favourite new travel destinations, here are 10 Taiwanese lessons on life, love and garbage trucks. It’s time to embrace the strange.

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Taiwan’s top 5 themed restaurants

When a city is a melting pot of some of the world’s boldest cultures – China, Japan, Southeast Asia and America – you can bet a few bob that something weird might come out of it. In Taipei, Taiwan’s eclectic and altogether gorgeous capital, it comes in the shape of their now iconic themed restaurants. Some come and go (you can no longer drink your beer through an IV drip at the hospital-themed DS Music Restaurant – boo), others are standing the test of time. Fun, colourful, tacky, bear-shaped… it’s all here.

Modern Toilet

For anyone who’s ever wanted to eat curry out of a toilet bowl. So you come in, you sit down on a toilet, you eat off a sink and you drink out of colourful urinal-shaped cups (for an extra fee). So far, so gross? Believe it or not, this is actually one of Taipei’s most popular themed haunts. And though they do their level best to make the food look like you’ve just passed it (the chocolate ice cream is a delight), credible sources tell us it’s not all that bad. Appetisers include poop meatballs.

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