The cruising world is getting smaller. Low-cost airfares now reach places the others couldn’t, and inter-continental flights are common-place and relatively cheap. In this, and future issues, Cruising World will feature residential and marina developments which offer new possibilities of enjoying the sea, from a boat, balcony or both.

The Malaysian government has launched a programme ‘Malayasia: My Second Home’ to promote the advantages of property ownership in a country that is just beginning to recognise its potential. Langkawi, an island off Malaysia’s west coast near the Thai border, is only now being recognised as the potential jewel it is. The setting is breathtaking: magnificent palmfringed bays of white sand and brilliant blue seas set against rolling peaks covered in lush tropical vegetation. The people are charming, friendly and welcoming. “Malaysia is a very stable country,” says Datuk Ahmed Zahid Hamidi, Deputy Minister of Tourism “It is becoming increasingly popular as a place for a second home because we have political stability, speak English, have a modern infrastructure, and a cost of living one of the lowest in Asia.” Indeed costs can be a quarter of those in the U.K. Excellent meals at the leading restaurants like The Lighthouse and the Bon Ton cost less than fifteen pounds a head.

Langawi also has the advantage of being a duty free port, which makes it cheap to buy products locally, and also easy to import goods from abroad. “Our three bedroom, two bathroom apartment cost £40,000, including all the furniture,” says Cambridgeshire farmer Tom Reynolds. “Clearing the foreign investment side of things was just a formality, which our local solicitor dealt with. It’s all been easier than in the U.K.” Many people also choose Langkawi because the island is conveniently situated as a meeting point for relatives from Australia or New Zealand, with direct flights to London.

There are several new developments on the island to attract buyers, including the Langkawi Lagoon, within a few minutes of the airport. This combination of resort and apartments has been built on a manmade lagoon, but has no access for boats, which can be kept at the Rebak Marina, on an island opposite. This was severely damaged during the recent tsunami, but should be up and running again shortly.

The largest and most luxurious development about to start on site is Telaga Harbour Park. Designed by French-trained architects in a Mediterranean style, with just a dash of Asia, this new community will surround the existing Telaga marina, just a few minutes walk from a coral beach. The project includes 150 yacht berths, allowing property owners to keep their boats close by.

“The development is set in 30 acres of landscaped parkland and will have the feel of an intimate French provincial port,” says Graham Woods, executive director of the developers, Burau Bay Holdings. “It will be ‘tropical French’ and will be a secure community without gates or fences.” A range of apartments and villas are on offer in different areas of the development. One to four bed waterside apartments range in price from [Ringit] RM400,000, to RM1.4 million for the penthouse (£50,500-£200,000). The villas will be clustered in different areas around the beach and the lagoon, as well as nestling into the hillside with stunning sea views.

Many supporting facilities are already in place. “Amongst oth- ers we have Thai, Brazilian, Cuban, Japanese and Russian restaurants, with more planned, plus shops and office units. We are also building a mini-hospital, with a day surgery and an international primary and secondary school. The flats will be on a 99-year leasehold, and we will rent out properties for owners so that they can be self financing. Through our site management team, and our partner tourism companies, there will be fully managed holiday, short and long-term lettings to ensure good returns.” Work is planned to start on site in November with first occupancy is due in fifteen months later.

AdmiralWhilst Telaga is a whole community, the Naga Dua Apartments will be built as part of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Overlooking the island’s main marina, this 50-unit apartment project is awaiting final approval from the local council. Construction is due to start in six months and is expected to be complete within 18-24 months. Wicky Sundram, general manager of the RLYC, has already sold 25 of the 50 three-bedroom apartments which range from RM1.525 million (£219,900) up RM2.350 million (£327,430). All the flats face the sea, and owners will be allocated berths according to the size of their apartment, with a minimum length of 12 metres. All apartments include membership of the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. Other facilities will include a restaurant, swimming pool, gymnasium, owner’s private lounge and sensitive high security. As with Telaga, the company is currently working on an investment scheme for owners, allowing them to lease back the apartments and any unoccupied berths.

At prices like that, these developments deserve serious consideration.

Malaysia My Second Home:
Langkawi Lagoon,Tel: 0039 4955 7861
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Tel: 0039604 9664078;
Telaga Harbour Park, Tel: 0039 604 9591999;