15 years on and still amazing
12.11.2013 - 15.11.2013 32 °C
Nick knew he wanted to return to Langkawi. He had visited once before with his parents 15 years ago and he still raves about the island and the hotel he stayed at and how wonderful it was. Our hotel in Ao Nang had a good deal on a mini-bus and ferry ticket (300 Bhat, £15 each) so Langkawi was set to be our next stop much to Nick’s delight. The mini-bus took an uncomfortable and crowded 6 hours to travel from Ao Nang down the Thai coast to Satun on the border, where we had an hours wait before boarding the ferry for the two hour journey to Kuah Port, Langkawi. Luckily, the ferry was really quiet so we were able to spread out and both fell asleep (we had been up since 05:00!!)
We docked at about 16:30 (Malaysia is 1 hour in-front of Thailand) and shared a taxi with a German guy met on the ferry who was staying fairly close to us in Pantai Cenang - the main beach resort on the island. The White Lodge Motel was a little more money that we would normally pay, but Langkawi is not exactly on the backpacker trail so prices are higher. The hotel was lovely though, almost like an American Motel set around landscaped gardens and minutes walk from the beach.
By this time it was already getting late, so we dumped out bags and went for a walk to explore the "town" (one road lined with shops, restaurants and the beach) and stopped at a beach side cafe for a drink and soak up the last of the evening sunshine before finding some food at a restaurant close to our hotel. By 21.00 we were both exhausted and crashed out for an early night...however at 02:00 we were both woken up by the most amazing thunderstorm right over head. The sound of the rain hitting the roof was so loud as it was so heavy!! It lasted for a good hour before starting to slow and before we managed to get back to sleep.
Next morning and the rain was still around (much to Nick's annoyance - although he was handling it very well I must admit!). We grabbed our brolly and went for a walk in search of some breakfast; finding The English Tea Room where we had some nice Croissants and pot of tea, while we waited for the rain to slow. We figured we may as well use the time to sort some stuff out, so booked our ferry tickets to Penang (84 RM, £16 each) for 2 days time, reserved a car (80RM, £15) for the next day to allow us to explore the island, booked an extra nights stay at our hotel and I went bikini shopping! After all of which it was still only 13:00 and the sky had started to clear and the sun was already beating down drying the pavements, so we headed back to the hotel, grabbed our beach stuff and spent the rest of the day relaxing in the sunshine, swimming and being lazy, watching the sun-set and eating at another beach side restaurant.
We had picked up our car the night before (a tiny little silver thing we named Polly) so we could set straight off and make the most of our final day on Langkawi exploring the island. Nick drove an Automatic for the first time and picked it up really easily and quite enjoyed being back behind the wheel after 6 months of not driving!
Our first stop was to drive up the winding road to the top of Gunung Raya, which Nick remembered doing with his parents, however had forgotten that there is nowhere to stop at the top as it is a private communications base. There were a few roadside pull-ins where we were able to get some good views though, so it was not a completely wasted journey!
We then drove to Tanjung Rhu Beach, stopping for an early lunch at Scarborough Fish and Chips!! And spent the next couple of hours relaxing on the gorgeous and deserted beach!
Once we had too much of the sun we decided to stop at the Temurun Waterfalls measuring 100 feet with a large pool you can swim in. Although we were hot and the water was cool (after a small test with our toes) we decided not to jump in as we didn’t want to get our car wet. The waterfall was surrounded by jungle and lots of monkeys hoping to steal a snack or two from the locals.
Since Nick last visited Langkawi a cable car and sky bridge have been built and boast fantastic views of the island and Andaman Sea. Knowing it was a must see and also knowing that the bridge was unfortunately closed for repair we drove to the other side of the island via a small not very nice beach, Pantai Kok.
Upon reaching the cable car we could see this was a huge tourist trap with a holiday camp style village at the bottom, selling tacky souvenirs, food, pony rides and ice creams. Really not our scene but we bobbed and weaved round the tour groups to the ticket booth. The ticket was still full price even though you couldn’t go to the bridge but at £6 pounds each (30 RM) we couldn’t grumble. Luckily we had timed it right and didn’t have to queue, unluckily though the weather had changed and was threatening rain. The car holds 6 people so we had to ride to the first level with a large family who’s children squealed every time the car moved.
This wasn’t the best viewing platform we have been to on our journey. The views of the sea and islands were good but then you had lots of jungle and not much else.
Once down we drove back to Pantai Cenang, said goodbye to Polly and walked back to the beach for our final beautiful sunset.
On our last day the weather was baking hot, making Nick rethink leaving the island. We had breakfast at the English Tea Rooms again and went for our last stroll along the beach, it was now time to leave the island for Penang.