A new country - and some crazy characters!

Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2008

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Where I stayed
Gecko Guest House

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Monday, September 10, 2007

Out drinking til about 1am, then picked up at 6.30am the next morning for the trip to Malaysia, maybe not the best idea.

These type of transits are always interesting, you book a bus trip, expecting it to be one bus all the way there, forgetting all the nightmare trips of the past!  This one was actually not too bad.  Started on one bus, this took myself and another couple also going to Langkawi to a travel agent in Krabi.  I was put on another bus, as the last one to board I had the back corner seat, in a mini van that's the worst seat on the bus!  The other couple were left behind, it's anyone's guess what happened to them.  This bus then took me to the town of Had Yai in southern Thailand where I was told to get off and "Go!".   Go where?  To the mini bus that was going to the town of Satun.  Obviously.  I was the only foreigner on this bus and again ended up squashed at the back.  But from there it was fine, I was the last person on the bus but the driver took me to the ferry terminal where I was met by a man who sorted out the ticket for me, so all well.  An hour and a half or so and I was in Langkawi.  There were only 2 other foreigners on the ferry who had befriended a local man who had kindly offered them a lift to the beach.  I managed to be invited to tag along as well which was handy!  He even knew a guesthouse that he dropped us off at. 

The Gecko Guesthouse. They had a dorm which I was sure I would take, but no, it was nasty.  So onto the next best, a private room with shared bathroom.  Not great by any means and expensive for what it was, but I took it anyway.  Then moved the next morning to a nicer room with private bathroom, everytime I used the shared bathrooms I felt like I needed to be disinfected from head to toe, not nice at all.  Current room is acceptable if outrageously expensive!

So, Langkawi.  Didn't know hardly anything before I arrived here.  SE Asia on a Shoestring lonely planet has about a page of information which doesn't even include a map.  I'm on the busiest beach, which is pretty dead, however it is low season so that's not so surprising.  The beach is also not particularly nice.

Didn't do much at all here, there wasn't much to do and although the beaches were ok, they weren't that nice, a little bit dirty and the locals had a habit of driving cars and motorbikes along them!  So a couple of days on the beach, a short trip round the island on the most awkward and un-driveable moped ever and a visit to a cable car up the mountain which I'm sure would have had great views but fortunately for my nerves was closed for maintenance.  The highlight was probably an expensive but worth it 10 minute go kart experience in a 70kmph kart - great fun!

Probably the most interesting things that happened on this island were the characters in the guesthouse:
The barman - who took a liking to me but had a habit of making eye contact for an extremely uncomfortable length of time
The Bosnian - who I hung out with for a while til he insulted me by saying he thought I was 39, then making up a joke which wasn't funny the first time and repeating it constantly for 24hours.
The alcoholic English professor - who was drunk constantly and fell asleep in his undies on the sofa then wet himself.  Then came home another night claiming the Japanese guy sharing the dorm had stolen his trousers and his wallet, ranting about getting the federal police, having an Australian passport, they would throw him in jail, blah blah.  The guy stank so it's fairly unlikely anyone would be brave enough to steal his trousers but the poor Japanese guy had to sleep on the sofa.
The English bloke and his Thai wife - who live in England.  She finished her sentences with "innit" and converted all the Malaysian prices to pounds saying "only 3 pounds, it's cheap innit" while I'm going "200 Thai baht - that's so expensive!"

Next stop is the Perhentian Islands, on the east coast.
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