Our taxi driver arrived on time at 7.30am and we caught the ferry to Langkawi as planned. The ferry ride took 2 and a half hours but it went quite quickly and Ali enjoyed watching the Jackie Chan film showing on the way.

My first impressions of Langkawi from the ferry are good and it looks beautiful. I’m sure we will have a good time here. We get in a taxi which costs 20 ringitt to Pantai Cenang, this is the main tourist area and we decide as it is early we will check out a few beach bungalows to make sure we get somewhere really nice.

Eventually we settle on a bungalow which is right at the end of the beach, it’s a really good room with air con, 2 double beds, hot water, a TV, a fridge and a kettle. It will cost us 110 ringitts which is just over 15 pounds a night. As we are checking in an English family arrive and we get chatting to them. They are from Essex and have a 14 year old son and a 10 year old daughter, Barney and Lois and are also travelling for a year. It’s a great coincidence to meet them and they tell us we are also the first travelling family they have met since they started in September.

The kids all get on well after an initial bit of shyness and all go and play in the sea. Maisie and Lois play cards and Ali and Barney and buy a squid to use as bait and then go fishing. Its really great to swap stories, they also started in India but ended up staying for 4 months as Jon became very ill and needed 2 major operations. They then spent a few days in Singapore and have just spent a month in Thailand. We sit having a few beers and chatting all afternoon and I really enjoy it.

We have a toast to travelling with kids and all agree we’re having a fantastic time. As Jon put it “Why wait until your kids have left home and go travelling, it’s nice to look out of your window and admire the beautiful mountain but much better to get out there with the kids and climb it” I admire his sentiments and although I don’t think mountain climbing is on my agenda quite yet it might be sometime and I never thought I would say that in a million years!

This must be the loveliest beach place I’ve stayed in; the beach is fine powder white sand and stretches for about a mile. There are beach shacks, A frame huts and bungalows along the back but it isn’t crowded and although there are very small clusters of sunbeds it is quiet and peaceful. There are small uninhabited islands in the bay and the water is clear and blue. What a perfect place! It was my choice to come to Langkawi as I had heard good reports from friends Nicky and Amanda and I’m so glad we didn’t head straight up to Thailand as I think we would have missed out on somewhere really great.

We have a quick shower and head off out for some food, unsurprisingly its expensive to eat here as Langkawi is deservedly one of Malaysia’s finest tourist destinations and we wander along for a while before settling on a Pakistani restaurant where we have a cheap enough curry, rice mixed vegetables and naan bread meal. We visit the 7- 11 on the way back and get a few supplies and then have a drink at a The Submarine Beach Bar. We make our way back and are all asleep by 10.30 have a busy day on the beach ahead tomorrow.