Mutiny in Langkawi

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
On a boat
What I did
I Worked!! and I escaped!!

Flag of Malaysia  , Kedah,
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hiya everyone

The last time I was in Langkawi I stayed at the Westin resort, delivering a 3-day course in their honeymoon villa, with my own private pool and a butler on stand by...

Ah how times have changed. I felt a huge wave of nostalgia as I rubbed oil in the boat's galley (that's kitchen for me and you) in 40 degree heat, dripping in sweat and about to collapse from exhaustion. How did I end up here?

Well the thought of living on a big beautiful boat for a few hours work had really got Paul and I excited. And sure enough, on the first day we were picked up by the boat's owner, let's call him Popeye, we thought we'd struck gold. His boat is absolutely beautiful and our cabin was luxurious. We didn't do much on the first day except chat, drink and get to know each other. This was going to be great! 

The next day the real work started, and that's when we found out this wasn't going to be a breeze at all. We were both working in the sun, doing manual work in very hot conditions. What a way to re-enter the working world. Still, we were happy to do the work and put our heart and soul into it. 

Things started to go a bit awry that night when we heard Popeye drunkenly shouting 'stupid, stupid fool', to someone he was chatting to over the phone. There was definitely a darker side to this man.The next day after another hard day's work we went to have a drink from a bottle of rum we'd bought and found it gone. Our boss had helped himself to all of it! Cheeky! 

Suddenly Popeye became less and less communicative. Barely speaking to us at all, except to tell us what to do. As his conversation lessened, our hours increased. And we quickly found ourselves working an 8 hour day with increasing requests for more from Popeye. On our fourth day there we sailed into the marina as we needed to re-charge the batteries and Paul and I took the opportunity to get off the boat. Paul was extremely unhappy about the situation, we felt slightly exploited since we were doing all this work just for a free bed. I really wanted it to work out so I tried to convince Paul to give him a second chance. My opinion soon changed as we went back on the boat. After a hard day's work I was also expected to cook for us. Popeye's reaction to a beautiful Thai curry I'd made was, 'It's good but tomorrow you MUST make a salad'. And with that he got up and returned to his beloved laptop. So that night Paul and I packed our bags with a firm decision to leave the next day. I was slightly scared of what Popeye's reaction would be and even had a nightmare where I saw him in our room with dishevelled hair and a crazy look in his eye telling us 'I know vot you are doing!' It freaked me out!! 

Paul took charge in the morning, and told Popeye we were leaving as I quavered behind him. Popeye seemed surprised but luckily didn't attempt to tie us up and keep us prisoners as I was fearing. And with that done we got off the boat, our sailing career over in just 4 days. Sob! 

FREEDOM!!!! Ah the sense of relief was amazing. It was such a shame as we really wanted it to work out. We really did not mind the work, in fact we both really enjoyed doing it but when you feel like you are being taken advantage of, then you have to make a stand. Also, there is one thing you do not do to me and that is STEAL MY RUM! 

So we left the boat, jumped into a taxi (as there is no public transport on Langkawi!!) and headed to the beach. A few hours later, we were watching the sun set over a few beers as this little 5 year old sang Metallica on stage! Now this is more like it. 

We found an amazing place to stay.We had our own living room, kitchen and huge bedroom. As it was so hot we spent a lot of time in that lovely place, catching up on True Blood mainly. We stayed in the most popular area of Langkawi: Pantai Chenang and it is lovely. It's just a long road really that runs along the beach but there is a great vibe about the place. The local eateries are just amazing. Really delicious food at rock bottom prices with warm service. The beach itself is huge with hardly anybody on it but the sea is slightly disappointing. It's a bit murky, although we could be feeling this way after being spoilt in the Philippines. 

After chilling out for almost a week with hardly seeing anything of the island (hey we did work for 4 days!) we decided to rent a car and have a drive around. Now normally I would never consider driving in South East Asia but the Malaysians drive really well so it was a breeze. I am glad we did it too as Langkawi is beautiful. I actually preferred the interior to the coastline. We went up to some cold springs in the mountains called the 7 wells. It was a hard slog to get there and they were slightly underwhelming but the views were nice. We also visited some other beaches and frolicked in the sea. To be honest I just enjoyed the feeling of driving again even if it was in a small rental car. Oh, one other small fact. The jungle in this part of the world is a mere 130 million years old, making it the oldest jungle in the world. Just thought I would drop that in. 

So that was our time spent in Langkawi. It started with sweat rolling down our heads and it ended with rum swirling down our throats. Oh well, all experiences are fun in the end. Langkawi is worth a stop if you are in this part of the world but be warned; the beaches are no way as good as Thailand especially the Trang islands which are just up the coast.  

We are now off to the old colonial town of Georgetown in Penang. It is meant to be a right foodie heaven so we will see you at a hawker center. Yum yum.

All our love Karen & Paul xxx 
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MOM on

Amazing pictures and a great read x

Bob Adams on

Hey Paul and Karen, still haven'tfigured out problem with my facebook! Your travels sound great and no snoring talking spaniard in our ger. Hope to be in Phillipines within a few months --work and weather permitting. Hope you get this

mary tsiterou on

langkawi just as u described it we visited some years ago no comoparison with thaylands beaches, have some health problems with my husband hope everything will be ok we are all the time in hospitals. brgrds

paul_karen on

Hi Bob!

Good to hear from you!
You will really enjoy the Philippines. It has a lot of variety and great diving. Swimming with Whale Sharks was a massive highlight!

We still talk about Mongolia a lot to other travelers and yep we do mention the snoring!

We hope you are well?

Paul & Karen

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