We’d heard mixed reviews about Langkawi and were unsure whether to make the trip there, but on researching travel options into Thailand we decided that it would be a natural break in the journey and would a sensible stop on our route to Ko Lanta.

Being a typical holiday resort the accommodation costs are typically higher than the mainland and after reading contradictory reviews on Trip Advisor we decided to find accommodation on arrival.

backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

Swimming with Daddy

After finding a shady base at a beach café for ‘the boy’ and I, my other half went off to hunt down a room. We’ve stayed in many different places over the last 10 weeks. Hostels costing £7 a night containing nothing but a bed, basic beach huts with no hot water and guesthouses with communal toilets and showers. All different, but with one thing in common – they’re all clean.  We often opt for the budget options as I’ve never been a fan of mid range establishments. I find they offer the worst value and often lack care and attention, particularly when it comes to cleanliness.

Unfortunately in Langkawi the hostels tend to cater to the younger partying crowd so didn’t seem like the ideal option for us late thirty something, early to bed, early risers.

backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

An afternoon at the aquarium

After only half an hour the other half hit jackpot finding a modern chalet close to the beach and with mod cons – a TV, fridge and air con (mod cons on this trip anyway!). Housekeeping were in the process of cleaning it so we were told to come back in an hour. It all felt very painless.

An hour later we check in.  It all looked very nice on first glance, in fact a step up on our ‘normal’ accommodation, that was until my other half noticed that the bed cover looked dirty and pulled it back to reveal that the bed sheets hadn’t been changed. Now, I’ve experienced this before when living in India, bed sheets that look clean, but don’t smell fresh, but these were different. These were covered in hairs, sand and smelt of the previous holidaymaker’s body odour.  Now I’m no expert on the hospitality trade, but surely changing the bed sheets is a basic requirement and if they can’t manage this simple necessity, then what hope is there that ANYTHING has been cleaned properly?

backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

Sunset cuddles

Unfortunately we’d had to secure the room with a deposit, so after some stern complaining and some fresh bed sheets (which had to pass my sniff test before being used) we had to stay the night. The next morning I was out of the door at 8am to search for somewhere who had a clean sheet policy. I found somewhere tucked off the main road, basic but spotless and far cheaper.

If you’re ever in Langkawi and you appreciate clean sheets then never stay here.


Rant over! And breathe…

Top tip of the day:
I would highly recommend doing thorough research on the beaches you plan to stay at. Cenang beach is marketed as a family friendly beach. However, we found this not to be the case. The beach had no demarcated safe areas for swimming and therefore the sea was a chaotic mix of swimmers, speedboats, banana boat thrill rides and jet skis. It was an accident waiting to happen. It also meant that later in the day the beach became a thoroughfare for vehicles collecting their boats – not ideal with children or babies toddling around.