Why I Don’t Love Langkawi
For 98% of humanity, Langkawi would represent paradise on earth. What’s not to love: tropical beaches, soaring karst mountains, emerald waters? What’s the problem?
Langkawi is beautiful, there’s no doubt about it. I can enjoy a nice drink in a relaxed beach-side bar as much as anyone. But when beaches are backed with nothing BUT bars and resorts and duty-free shopping centers and aquariums and over-priced restaurants and tacky souvenir stalls – I think you get the picture – my vision of paradise starts to fade.
The problem is that I belong to that other 2% of humanity who likes his nature – well – natural. I like emerald waters minus the banana boats full of screaming teeny-boppers. Yes, I know, I’m a dinosaur.
It’s the same old story, the world’s perfect places are too beautiful for their own damn good. Humanity is loving its nature to death. Blah, blah, blah.
But even here on Langkawi at the epicenter of the island’s overdevelopment, Pantai Cenang, I managed to find a calm corner to take in the spectacle of towering karst in the distance. A moment of peace in my bubble of tranquility. Although that bubble burst when I turned around to discover the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort was setting up a beach-side buffet.
The vision of elite guests sitting down to a luxury buffet struck me as an ominous sign of things to come. Will the earth’s last few natural spots become the playground of the wealthy? Will I one day be forbidden to step foot in the world’s most beautiful places? Maybe that day is right around the corner. Maybe that day is tomorrow.