Welcome to my latest vegan travel post! We spent a magical ten days on our maplemoon (honeymoon) swimming under waterfalls, cycling through rice fields, kayaking through mangroves, indulging in daily beach walks and trekking through jungles in the dark. Looking back, it’s amazing just how much we did in just over a week!
Firstly, let me just point out that in all of my travels as a vegan, Langkawi was by far the most difficult location to eat cruelty-free in terms of variety and options. Secondly, I would highly advise staying at the Meritus Pelangi Resort whether you’re a vegan or not. Thirdly, no matter how challenging it can be for vegans in certain parts of the world, it is completely worth the travel and adventure. It has never stopped us before and never will!
SOME QUICK MALAYSIAN TRANSLATIONS!
The Meritus Pelangi Resort is located in Pantai Cenang which is a 10 minute drive from the airport and situated on the beautiful Cenang Beach. Every morning, Francis and I would walk from our garden chalet along the shore to reach The Spice Market buffet breakfast. Not a bad way to start the day! The buffet included many options for vegans including: toast, jam, peanut butter, soy milk, veggies, cereal, hash browns, fruit, juice & rice. It was nice to know we were covered every single morning!
The in-room dining service itself was excellent! The staff learned pretty quickly that we did not eat animal products and whipped us up some delicious vegan dishes whenever we called.
If you’re looking for an all vegan restaurant, I highly recommend Xin An Vegetarian Cafe which is actually 100% vegan. The owners are Buddhists and do not use any animal products in their cooking as well as onion and garlic. Situated in the town of Kuah, I encourage eating there for lunch, then strolling through the beautiful Lagenda Park and visiting Eagle Square, the famous monument dedicated to the beautiful birds of Langkawi (Langkawi translates to Eagle!) We ordered the dry chilli ‘chicken’, tofu claypot, mixed veggies, rice & delicious spring rolls.
If you’re looking for something cultural to do, there are night markets every single evening in different parts of Langkawi. We visited two during our time there and I was overjoyed to finally try fresh jackfruit. It really does taste like bubblegum! You can buy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables at the markets as well as delicious coconut drinks.
Snacks for me consisted of yummy dried mango & freeze-dried jackfruit. I would advise against eating the chips & other processed junk as not only is it super unhealthy but contains palm oil. Keep it minimal and fresh!
If you go on the Mangrove Kayaking Tour (highly recommend!), the floating restaurant can make you a veggie fried rice and vegan tom yum soup. Just remember to ask for no shrimp/fish sauce (as that isn’t even vegetarian) and no egg.
The cuisine in Langkawi typically falls under three categories: Seafood, Indian & Arabic. One of our favourite Arabian restaurants near the Meritus Pelangi was Yasmin. If you order their falafel sandwich, you do not need to customise it at all. It is completely vegan with a yummy tahini sauce drizzled on top. Their vine leaves are also vegan and filled with rice.
When it came to Indian food, we ran into some slight trouble and unfortunately ended up consuming a bit of dairy before realising the staff hadn’t understood our requests. Mumbai Palace & Taj Mahal adopt the same menu in Cenang and both have a vegetarian list of meal options. When ordering, make sure to specify you don’t want butter, cream or milk. We had a potato & cauliflower curry along with a lentil dahl, rice and plain naan bread which is vegan. They also make delicious fresh fruit juices!
Lastly, I would like to recommend two other restaurants in Cenang. 3 Amigos which made us vegan burritos (just ask for no cheese and sour cream) and Artisans Pizza (order the Supreme Vegetarian – no cheese). Everything can be tailored to suit your needs and it takes nothing to ask for no animal products. The animals, environment and your health thank you!
I hope you enjoyed my plant-based travel guide to the stunning Langkawi! We had the most magical maplemoon & will never forget the unforgettable memories made here.
Peace & Love xoxo