Sunday, March 04, 2012

Langkawi


This island off the northwest coast of peninsular Malaysia in the Andaman Sea and near Thailand is where the bulk of the riding will be during the tour; good roads, not much traffic, and with an island attitude perfect for vacation and cycling.
The island gives name to Le Tour of Langkawi, the largest race in Asia. A 10 day stage race through all Malaysia that, despite its name, only starts from Langkawi every two years.

We spent our days riding the island, and getting some good training for the start of the season in Girona. Jaume did the ¨Rocacorba¨ of Langkawi: Guning Raya at 881meters. 13km climb with steep sections up to 14%. On the top, the views of the island are well worth the effort. 
The tour will start here and will be the perfect place to get used to riding on the left side of the road. After-riding activities can include a cable car ride up to Mount Cinchang and the 2,300ft. above sea level Skywalk Bridge. If you are not wild about heights, you can go island hopping on a small boat, get a treatment at the spa, lounge at the beach or pool and there are water sports available right at the beach.

Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands, 4 of which are inhabited. It is duty free and probably the most popular tourist destination in the country. The main island, Palau Langkawi, consists of coastal plains, dramatic limestone ridges rising in the north end of the island, with beaches dotting the coastline. Two thirds of the island is forest-covered mountains, hills, and natural vegetation and was given Geopark status by UNESCO in 2007.

The islands resorts and hotels run the range from the ├╝ber-luxurious to laid-back beach hangouts. We will stay at a place that has the best of both, a good place to recover and have a real vacation.