Sunday, November 8, 2009

48 hours in Langkawi

October 29 (by Swiss) – Apologies for delays in getting this up, internet has been somewhat scarce has been motivation :)

Continuing the tradition of writing blog entries on ferries, I am now writing on our ferry from Langkawi to Satun, Thailand. Malaysian customs, as usual, went smoothly and hopefully the Thai portion will be just as easy. It does help that we have our 60 day visa that we got in Penang. We shall see...

Two short days on Langkawi
As mentioned in the previous blog post, Langkawi was somewhat of an unplanned modification to our plans due to the instability going on in southern Thailand. Jason and I didn't really know what to expect, other than that the island is very popular with Malaysians and quite developed for the tourism industry. Like Tioman island, it's duty free as well.

We had left Penang at 8:15am, and the 3 hour ferry ride went very smoothly. This is significant in that we learned later from team England that their ride the day before was very choppy, with people literally vomiting all over the boat. But we lucked out I guess :)

We had not arranged for lodging, but knew Sally and Caroline were staying at the Gecko guesthouse, so we hailed a cab (RM 24, there are some for RM 20) and took the 30 minute drive to Cenang Beach where the guest house was located. Dorm rooms were available for RM 15 per night, and given we already knew people there and they had free wifi, we reserved two nights. Aside from having no a/c (the weather here is still in the 80's with high humidity), it was a great little guesthouse that offered food and beverages as well.

Day 1 was spent exploring the town a bit, grabbing some food, and then heading to the beach. Although the beach was nice, it wasn't as “fluffy” as we had expected, but rather hard instead. The water was very warm (think gulf of Mexico warm), and since it's still early in the season, the beaches were not very crowded.

Dinner would be spent with Sally and Caroline at a bar/restaurant directly on the beach, where a live band started playing at 10pm. It was quite a nice setup.

We were joined later in the evening by team Denmark (which included Tine, a girl we had met at the hostel in KL) as well as Rosie (UK) and Andrew (South Africa). So it was a nice little group, somewhat separated by a table that was waaaay to large, and so the night would be spent listening to music and watching people spin fire on the beach. Nifty.

Being the tourist destination it is, we couldn't help but score some western food for a midnight snack. That was achieved by ordering a four cheese pizza, which was devoured in minutes between Jason, Sally, Caroline, and myself.

Day 2, much like Penang, would be tourist day. The guesthouse offered scooter rentals, and so we rented a scooter for RM 25 per day. “If they pull you over, just tell them it's a friend's scooter”, the British sounding lady at the reception desk told me, “and it's not insured, so if you break it, you pay for it.” Yes ma'am. Speaking of breaking scooters, there was one Swedish guy with a torn up back, leg, and completely swollen foot. We found out he had been speeding along on a scooter, hit a speed bump, and crashed the thing. This is known as getting a "Thai Tattoo" among backpackers.  He also was wearing flip flops instead of shoes, hence his shredded foot. So we were very wary of speed bumps, and thankful that I've been riding motorcycles and have completed at least one motorcycle safety course. So Moms, you may exhale now.

Having gained this new found scooter freedom (there is no public transit other than taxis on the island), we were off to go look at the seven wells and a waterfall, located about 20km from our base. Attempt #1 was thwarted due to a rain storm that hit, causing a 2 hour delay which was spent uploading the last blog post. After things cleared up, we hopped on the scooter once again, this time successfully reaching our destination. A steep, 30 minute hike got us to the seven wells, where I slid down a natural water slide and some other pictures were taken.

We then hiked back downhill to the waterfall, which again was documented using our digital cameras. It was nice, and save the RM 1 parking fee, free.

There is also a cable car that takes you to a mountain peak on the island, so we decided to go check it out. This brought us to the oriental village, a very much developed tourist trap that reminded me of Disney land. The top of the mountain was covered in clouds and mist, so we opted out of the RM 30 ride and instead headed back to the hostel.

Team Denmark had been recruiting people for a soccer game that was to take place on the beach later in the evening. We were also joined by Team Scotland (Nick and Alex), who were also staying at the hostel in KL where we met Tine, as well as an Argentinian guy. Long story short, we had 7 players, and off to the beach it was for a hot and competitive game. Jason acted as the main photographer, and did some nice work documenting the action.

After the game, we all went in the ocean for a quick cool down, then back to the gecko for showers and post-match beers. It again started to rain, so dinner was had at a nearby restaurant, with bedtime coming sometime around midnight after packing for our early morning departure the next day. It was a quick stay, but quite nice. We will now be spending the next 1.5 days making our way to Ko Phi Phi in Thailand.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Anonymous said...

hi thanks for this post. find it very useful. is it safe to park the scooter and go away as in go shopping etc? thanks

Swiss said...

we didn't experience any scooter nabbing issues. i wouldn't be concerned. just don't leave the keys in the scooter :)

Post a Comment