Life Begins At...

The Retiree Magazine Summer 2011-12

Life Begins At.....

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Responsible tourism The givers and LASSie Petra O'Neill reposts on responsible tourism and a recent trip to Malaysia. Just a 30 kilometre ferry ride from the north-west coast of Malaysia lies an archipelago of 99 pristine limestone islands collectively known as Langkawi, with abundant wildlife, mountains, caves, waterfalls, lush tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches, night markets offering a spicy array of inexpensive Malay hawker cuisine and some of the most luxurious resorts in Asia. Only two of Langkawi's islands are inhabited. The islands remained surprisingly insular through the last century, home to local fishermen and rice farmers. Schools, electricity and roads came only in the 1960s and Langkawi remained off the tourist radar until recently. It is laid back and some say it reminds them of Bali or Phuket in the 1970s. You can hop on a small boat to visit the islands including Beras Basah with a beautiful beach and warm jade tinted water, then watch Bhahminy Kites and Sea Eagles dive for fish and visit an island called Dayang Bunting or "Pregnant Maiden" with hills resembling a woman's reclining body. You can hire a taxi to explore the beautiful white sandy beaches to the north of the island, drive by traditional villages, with mango, papaya and jackfruit trees cultivated in neatly tended gardens and you can hang out at Pantai Tengah, hiring a pushbike for leisurely rides past rice paddies and grazing water buffaloes to explore nearby beaches. But holidays can do more for you than provide a great time. They can provide a sense of purpose. This time,

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