My first introduction to Langkawi’s abundant nature was with Dev Dass, of Dev’s Adventure Tours. A simple evening walk around the lush Berjaya Resort grounds was a real eye opener. There were critters everywhere! But I wouldn’t have even noticed them if not for my knowledgeable guide. Picasso meets Houdini with some of the magnificent camouflage!
Nothing is more contagious than a person’s passion for nature and being in Langkawi is a nature lover’s paradise. I’ve since run into Dev’s tour guides around Langkawi sharing their passion with visitors from around the world. From cycling through rice paddies and kampongs, trekking through jungles, touring the mangroves and even sharing their knowledge of local fruits and vegetables found at the wet markets.
It was only recently that I heard about a new tour scheduled: Dev’s Adventure Tours’ Untold Stories of Langkawi. A unique idea for a Langkawi tour and led by local expert Selva (the mastermind of this original idea). I had wanted to learn more about Langkawi and Malaysian culture and I was graciously invited to tag along with the paying guests.
We started our adventure at Bon Ton and Temple Tree Resorts, where the back drop of multicultural architecture gives Selva an opportunity to point out the various features from Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Colonial influences. The adjacent resorts are an amazing tribute to Malaysian History. Did you know that once upon a time, the number of stilts a home had was directly related to the occupants’ social standing?
Next on the list was a countryside drive through back roads of Langkawi. We stopped several times in various villages (kampungs) where Selva spoke of local culture and history, from the British rule to the origin of the rubber industry and Langkawi’s own colorful history. Did you know that Langkawi was once a place where ‘certain’ lawbreakers were exiled?
He also pointed out numerous plants and flowers, which were either used in local cuisine or for medicinal purposes. Selva’s knowledge of local plants is amazing and I certainly cannot do it justice in a few sentences. You have to experience it first hand to appreciate it. He pointed out one nondescript little roadside plant that could even save the life of a snakebite victim! And, I had no idea that Dragon Fruit was grown locally and part of the cactus family.
I thought this tour was coming to and end at this point, but we continued through the back roads of Langkawi and suddenly, we pulled onto a small rocky road. There in front of me was a huge white limestone cliff with a golden statue. We had arrived at a Thai Cave Temple, that I had no idea existed in Langkawi. As an artist, I could appreciate the eclectic colorful touches, but spiritually (to me) there was also something quite magical about it. Again, I cannot do it justice with a few sentences.
From there we made a brief stop at a Kuah night market, where Selva enticed our taste buds with local flavors, before taking us to his home. It was difficult to resist all the food but as Selva’s ‘VIP’ guests we were able to sample small bits here and there, leaving plenty of room for our home cooked meal to come.
When we got to Selva’s home, his wife Alma and his daughters were waiting for us with open arms, greeting us with smiles and the aroma of homemade Indian food. It was an excellent meal with an excellent local family that I now feel part of. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Langkawi, I can tell you that this
‘ tour ‘ is much more than just a tour. It’s a true cultural experience. Presently it’s only scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so keep that in mind. You don’t want to miss it.
*Selva is also quite a community advocate for GREEN awareness, click HERE
Dev’s Adventure Tours
Rumah Kedai No. 1, Tingkat 3, Lot 1556
Pantai Cenang, Langkawi
Tel: +60 (0)19 4949193
Fax: +60 (0)4 9554892
*Can read about Dev’s Adventure Tours : Nature Cycling Trip HERE