There IS a heaven on earth! It's on a little island called Pangkor Laut, located off the northwest coast of Malaysia. And the good news is.. we are in driving distance to it! Ryan and I both have had a rotten week (too many things gone wrong to list..) and decided we need to get away for the weekend. Our friends suggested Pangkor Laut because it's only a 3 hour drive from KL, then a 15 min ferry to the island. So we hopped in the car and headed north.
It's impossible to describe this place, the service, the whole experience. It really is paradise. I've never seen such a beautiful place.. and once there, I didn't want to leave. We booked our room in-route (which is a typical practice here - no one plans anything in advance), and as we arrived to the dock the butler was waiting for us with the BEST chilled fruit & flower drink I've ever had (we still don't know exactly what was in it), some chilled towels, and a snack for Madison. We are ushered to our private speedboat, and off we go!
As we arrive to the island the dock is lined with staff waiving hello, and waiting to escort us to the lobby. It was like a welcome parade, but just for us. Talk about feeling really special! They lead us down the long dock to the luxe open-air lobby where we relax on comfy couches while sipping more of that fabulous juice and are once again offered cold towels and apples. However, Madison and I couldn't sit still.. we were too excited to explore. While Ryan checked us in, Mads and I explored the grounds, gift shop (where a nice lady rubbed some aromatherapy oil on Madison's mosquito bite, which thrilled her), and found the koi pond. It was dark by this time so we decided to have dinner then go to bed so we could get up early and explore the resort.
The Malay-themed restaurant was awesome! Ryan & I both ordered a tasting of various Malay dishes, and they were presented on this beautiful wooden board with carvings and "pockets" for all the tapas to sit in. It was delicious. Madison ordered spaghetti but was too excited to actually eat anything and opted to be chased around by the waiters while we ate. The restaurant is an open-air building, with just a roof, and right in front of the beach so we could hear the waves cracking as we ate. The kitchen is enormous, an open design, so we watched the chef's prepare our meal.
After dinner we were escorted to our villa. There are various types of villas here - hillside (highest, most private and quiet), garden (central to main building, and surrounded by lovely gardens), ocean (nearest to ocean, by pools), and sea (on stilts over the water). We chose the hillside villa for the privacy and for the best views. It was perfect.
The next day we woke up early and went down to breakfast. Madison enjoyed making friends with other kids running around, and the wait staff enjoyed given the kids buckets of fish food so they could feed the koi. Everyone in Malaysia is always mesmerized by Madison - she's SO blond, and has such BLUE eyes, and is just SO different from them.. so they just follow her around and giggle at her when she talks to them. It's really cute. The best part of breakfast was when she saw the peacocks (they just roam around the resort), and started shrieking "I'm going to catch it" - ha!
We then headed to the beach. I'm not kidding when I say I could just stay there forever. Enormous old trees line the beach, and the comfy lounge chairs are parked perfectly under them to provide natural shade. The water is crystal clear, and flanked on each side but huge rocks and forest. Monkeys are playing in the trees to the left of me, and a waiter is walking towards me with a bucket of ice cold water and fresh fruit plate. Like I said, heaven.
I'll let the pictures explain the rest of our adventure on Pangkor Laut... but stayed tuned because I know we'll be back again in the not so distant future! Oh and by the way - if YOU come visit us we'll take you to experience it for yourself. So whatcha waiting for???
The "Elevator Treehouse" to the Hillside Villas (view from our villa)
Breakfast the first day - view of Koi Pond, Massage Huts, and Hillside Villas in the distance
Enjoying a scrumptious Malaysia breakfast!
Mads "suggesting" he share his bowl of fish food... how do you think that turned out??
The friendly staff.. they were suckers for Madison, and she ate it up
Emerald Bay beach - aka: heaven
Life is rough...
Feeding the monkeys pineapple - watch out, they're quick!
Beautiful Hornbill in a tree by the pool. They are everywhere here, and can grow to be enormous!
View from my pool chair. This is the large pool, with the Sea Villas in the distance.
The staff brought all the kids fresh squeezed juice freezes. A HIT!
Running along the step below the pool. I like this shot, it looks like she's running on the water.
Our Villa balcony - breathtaking views
Madison couldn't spent the whole trip in our bathtub, ha!
Morning view of the main buildings from our Hillside Villa
A Hornbill trying to steal my pear! (look close, he's on the planter)
Dusk view from the villa - so relaxing
This treehouse-type restaurant was built around the huge rocks on the beach. The rocks come up through the floors. Nice entertainment for kids while waiting for our meal : )
Daddy & Madison at dinner
Enjoying a Malay feast on a wooden "plate"! It was too delicious for words!
We came back to find a rose petal-filled bath, candles, and fruit plate waiting for us in our villa after dinner. Quick, put the baby to bed! haha
My view - clear water ahead, large tree shading me from above.. no better place to be
Nap time in the lounge chair on the beach. She slept so peacefully listening to the waves crash
Is that..could it be.. james bond?? hehe
Fresh coconut water anyone?
Momma peacock and babies strutting around the restaurant
The BAT TREE! I thought it was gross. All the boys liked it. There were hundreds of bats, and they were huge! No thank you...
Our Hillside Villa
Sea Villas (adults only)
Our spiffy ride (the furthest boat) - Mads loved the boat ride to/from the island
Spa Village - view from boat
Goodbye Pangkor Laut - see ya again (very) soon!
This one is a bit out of order, but this was the nice welcome building at the dock. When we got back to the dock after our visit we were again greeted with juice, towels, and a snack for the road. Really great service.