Birds Eye View
Trip Start Jul 16, 2012
201Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
There is a boat from Penang to Langkawi, but having read reviews that it could be fairly rough we decided that a flight was probably the better option, this was possibly one of the funniest flight experiences ever. We flew Air Asia which is a budget airline but was actually very nice and new and comfortable. The plane took off, the seat belt signs were turned off, the cabin crew walked the length of the plane and the seat belt signs were turned back on and the pilot announced that we had started our descent to come into land. I actually think we were in the sky for less than 10 minutes. Brilliant.
Accommodation in Langkawi is not particularly cheap compared to Thailand so as we were paying a little more than normal anyway we decided to stay in a more novel hotel. We found The Cabin Hotel and just could not resist. Each room is a shipping container, with air con, sky tv and all the luxuries of a hotel room. The air con was certainly worth every penny as my legs were still burning with heat rash!
We stayed on Pentai Cenang which is the main beach with the most shops, restaurants and nightlife. The beach was huge with pure white sand, but the sea was quite murky and unfortunately hid an underworld sea of jellyfish which decided to give me some kisses and add to my already extensive collection of itchy rashes! Having later researched it I discovered that Langkawi is packed full of box jellyfish. Funny enough I went off swimming in the sea on Pentai Cenang after that.
Langkawi is almost entirely Muslim, so it was quite strange to see the beach totally empty all day with just a few tourists toasting themselves in the midday sun, but then suddenly at about 4pm the beach fills to bursting point, especially at the weekend, with Ninjas. I have never seen so many people so overdressed going in the sea fully clothed, on jet skis, banana boats and paragliders
After two months of Thai food, the food in Langkawi was such a treat. We found one restaurant called Tomato, which had the Thai style of garden furniture and general look of a refugee camp, but they made the best curries and roti breads I have ever eaten and dinner was cheap as chips. Yum.
There is not a huge amount to do in Langkawi and my heat rash restricted my desire to be out in the sun too much so we took a day trip to the Langkawi Cable Car. This also has a James Bond style sky bridge but that has been closed for the last year as they cleverly made it from wood and it is starting to deteriorate. Before we went to the cable car we were taken to a Bird Sanctuary and like many places in Asia this was quite a sad animal park with lots of beautiful animals that should be out in the wild in small cages. We scooted through and gave the food that they gave us to the waiting animals. We did see an animal we have not seen here before, a deer mouse. The most tiny perfect Bambi style deer ever, adorable. We also had some fun feeding the porcupines but I was not convinced that they were not going to fire their quills at us so we kept our distance. On our way to the cable car we stopped off at the 'Black Sand beach'
We had time for one more day trip in Langkawi and opted for the island hopping tour, this started like most tours in absolute organised chaos. We were dropped off at a pier and given an orange sticker and entered a sea of people all wearing different coloured stickers. Eventually you would hear a shriek of Orange, Orange, Orange and a surge of people would send you to the end of the pier. We managed to safely get into our little boat. I didn’t really pay much attention to what sort of boat we were in until the front of the boat popped out of the water and we were speeding out to sea at a rate of knots. There was a Chinese family with a small boy sat next to us who had been happily eating his breakfast roti until the boat took off and the next thing he is holding onto his roti like there is no tomorrow crying his eyes out
Onwards to Pulau Singa Besah bay. Langkawi has a huge population of eagles. Just lying on the beach you can see them swooping and hovering overhead
After some time out relaxing, watching sunset, eating good food and some good tours it was time to bid a fond farewell to Langkawi and make our way back into Thailand. The only way to do this is in style by a speedboat to Koh Lipe. Usually when you take a land crossing into Thailand you only get a 15 day visa on entry but as we had a 60 day visa we were good to go
2 hours later after a perfect crossing we were in Koh Lipe. Hello Koh Lipe, you cheeky little islet.