The Coolest Spot in Langkawi

By Eric Chong

For visitors to Langkawi unaccustomed by the heat and humidity especially during the bright sunny days, an afternoon spent with a picnic basket at the coolest spot in Langkawi is indeed a welcome relief. Look to the highest spot in Langkawi and you would see the place – Gunung Raya.

It remains the coolest spot in Langkawi as it is relatively untouched. Its towering trees provide the much needed cover and cools the air around the hill before the monsoon winds reaches the peak to cool it even further.

For the new visitors and for those who’ve never been up Gunung Raya, this is one of the areas where few tourists go for a day of R&R. The view is outstanding. You actually see clouds rushing up to see you during the rainy season. During the rainy season, Gunung Raya gets the most rain. Being the highest peak in Langkawi and situated exactly in the middle of the island, any stray cloud that passes by the island eventually gathers and starts moving up this hill. As it moves up, it cools. Like a chilled glass taken out from the fridge, water condenses around the glass. When there are enough water droplets, they start dripping from the glass. The same thing happens with the clouds. At the peak, you often feel moist and pleasantly cooled just like the chilled glass due to the condensation effect. This is a natural phenomena that most locals truly appreciate living in such warm climates.

Gunung Raya is the only place you can go in a few hours and say “Yeah, I’ve seen all of Langkawi.” You truly get a feel of Langkawi from going up the hill. The road is actually built somewhat spiraling around the hill. By taking a trip up, you will actually see the whole island of Langkawi plus all the other little islands. Not only that, you get a taste of what Langkawi’s natural state is like. The tall majestic trees, and the wildlife – monkeys, birds and snakes being the most common – can all be enjoyed without much sweat as this “trek” can be made from the comfort of your vehicle. However, if you do choose to walk, there is indeed no better way than this to get rid of some of those extra calories. Do keep in mind that you are walking uphill all the time. Therefore, it takes twice the amount of time to reach your destination.

On your way up, wind down your window and drive slowly. This will enable you to see and hear the dozens of hornbills which live around the area. You will know when you see a hornbill. It has a horn-shaped bill, hence its name, which makes up one third of its size. Stop your vehicle if you see any. Get off your vehicle and listen to them fly by. They are the only birds which make the unique whooshing sounds when they fly. The sounds are caused by the wind flowing through their huge feathers. Also note the 3 different species.

Half way up, you will pass a tiny waterfall. Taste the water. It is guaranteed to be free of chemicals as there are no inhabitants on the hill. There is also a small pool under the waterfall. Take a shower by all means. It’ll be the coolest water you can find on the island.

From this mid-point to the top of the hill, the road will start to spiral around the hill. This is the best place to start walking as the temperature here starts to cool off and you will get a glimpse of the different parts of the island at your own pace. (Please keep in mind that your are still a good six kilometers away from the peak.) To get your sense of bearing, look to see where the sun is unless you are one of those who carry everything on you and you happen to have a compass.
 


The highest tea-house in Langkawi sits on the peak of Gunung Raya.
On the southern side, you can see toy-like ferries busy loading and unloading their ant-like passengers and paper-like speed boats taking tourists island hopping. With a good map , you can even identify the islands that you have gone on your sea excursions.

On the western side, you can make out Pantai Cenang and the rows of restaurants, chalets and hotels. You can also see the airport. The rest of the flat swimming pool-like areas are paddy fields.

On the northern side, you are actually facing Thailand. The islands blocking the horizon are the Thai islands. They are only twenty minutes away by speedboat. On the north western side is Koa Adang, formerly inhabited by pirates. Now, they longer run raids to Langkawi. Reformed, they run a few chalets and diving operations on the island!

On clear days, you can actually make out the Malaysian mainland on the eastern side. Trace the ferry route slightly left, and you are in Kuala Perlis. Trace the Ferry route slightly right, and you are in Kuala Kedah.

At the very top of the hill, there is a Television Booster station. You will also see beautiful though rarely used hill chalets used a couple of times for dignitaries. When it started years ago, it used to be a tea house operated by the now defunct Delima Resort.

There is a lookout point where visitors are allowed to go. Look for a steep cement road on your right as you are nearing the very top of the hill. Do not miss this lookout tower which offers a panoramic view of the island. This will cap your 13 kilometer journey up Gunung Raya.

Even at mid-afternoon, the temperature here is very comfortable. If you are looking for a place to cool yourself off for the afternoon, Gunung Raya is the place to head to.

About The Writer

 
Places of Attractions

Kuah
CHOGM Park
Dataran Lang
Taman Lagenda

Air Hangat
Air Hangat Village
Durian Perangin Waterfall
Galeria Perdana

Tanjung Rhu Beach
Gua Cherita

Bohor
Black Sand Beach
Craft Cultural Complex

Ulu Melaka
Gunung Raya
Kampung Buku Malaysia
Ancient Tomb
Makam Mahsuri

Kedawang
Underwater World Langkawi
Laman Padi Langkawi
Mahsuri International
Exhibition Centre

Atma Alam
Pantai Chenang
Pantai Tengah

Pantai Kok
Telaga Tujuh

Padang Mat Sirat
Temurun Waterfall
Taman Buaya Langkawi

Other Island
Pulau Dayang Bunting
Pulau Tuba
Pulau Timun
Pulau Singa Beasr
Pulau Beras Basah
Pulau Langgun
Pulau Tanjung Dendang


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