Langkawi (March 13th & 14th)

Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
Trip End Dec 29, 2008

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Where I stayed
Sky Eagle Inn

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Immigration into Malaysia must be the fastest we have ever experienced anywhwere we have ever been.  It took less than a minute to get through -  including the checking of the passport and logging our entry.  First impressions of the jetty terminal and of Malaysia screamed efficiency (nice in some ways but worrying in others!).  

We jumped into a taxi and decided to stay in Kuah (the nearest and largest town on Langkawi) as dusk was almost upon us.  The taxi rank manager told us that the driver will just drive us around until we found some accomodation that we liked the look of, for a flat 6 ringits fare.  We dismissed the first and second hotel  on sight and Clive jumped out at the third to have a look whilst I stayed in the air-conned car.  It was full (and more grotty than anything ever seen), the next one was also grotty  (and dirty and expensive) and so it went.   In the end I spotted a brashly lit hotel called The Sky Eagle Inn, which, whilst also grotty it was less grotty than those previously seen and was 60% of the cost of the last grotty place. The Sky Eagle was on the edge of the business area, rather than the tourist area, so we settled on this one. 

With hindsight, we thought the previous hotel prices were inclusive of the taxi-driver commission, which doubled the normal cost.  Or maybe the Sky Eagle was priced lower as it was opposite a really loud and late night club......    It was a good job that we had our sheet sleeping bags with us as there were some (dried blood?) marks on the hotel linen .Eeuww........

We walked back towards the town (past a dentist shop belonging to Mr Chew !) and found what we were looking for -  a great restaurant, on the outskirts, away from tourist menus.

The open air restaurant (called Teo, I think), was busy with locals  -  one Malay woman and her elderly Brit husband told us they ate here once or twice a day as it was so good and she "couldn't be bothered to cook anymore!".    We were hot and needed to cool down with a Tiger beer. The beer was very cold, the service great and the food fabulous.  Clive proclaimed that the roast pork (chinese style stir fried with a dark soy based juice) was the best pork he has EVER had and I thought the Char Keow Tay noodles were divine  (wet noodles with egg that included prawns, fish, meat and beansprouts all mixed with the wide rice noodles).  We ended up having 6 Tigers with this and the total bill came to 38Malaysian ringgits  (about US$12).    Pretty excellent.   

We bought a bottle of Chilean wine to drink back at the room our first glass of wine in months and settled down in fron of the TV to watch some hilarious wrestling which took our minds off the grim surroundings.

The cost / quality ratio of accomodation in Langkawi encouraged us to move on.  (We stayed at the lovely Datai  which is one of the top rated hotels in the world  in 1997 (& probably still is) and we did not want to sully the memories of Langkawi by slumming it in a backpackers ghetto on a noisy beach this time).  Langkawi will always be a special place because of the perfect time we had when we got married here.     One of the first and last buildings that we saw in Langkawi was the place where we actually got married.  In 1997 it was the newly opened council/government building and we were the very first people to be married in the new premises  (previously the registrar - a honour bestowed on the head man of Kuah - had used his own timber built traditional home). 

 We bought tickets at the harbour to Penang on the fast ferry  -  a sleek and comfortable boat this time, although a bit chaotic at first after boarding with the workers shouting at people to sit in their allocated seats and to behave.
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