After a rather disappointing day in Penang yesterday, we woke up early today to set off on our next island destination: Langkawi.
After a rushed breakfast, we hired a taxi and headed to the terminal to board our ferry to Langkawi. We bought our tickets yesterday itself, and its advisable to do so; our boat was full.
It’s air-conditioned inside and there’s a “first class” upstairs as well
The ferry leaves at 8:15am every morning
Soon after the ferry set off, we decided to get up from our seats and go ‘upstairs’…
… and then outside. The mushroom cloud from yesterday was still there.
Goodbye Penang, until next time
On one side it was clear sunny skies…
…on the other, dark clouds with some pockets of rain
In this wide panorama shot, you can see the pockets receiving rainfall in the distance
There were some lovely cloud formations along the way
The fumes are coming from the ferry
With a cool breeze, calm waters, and sunshine…
… it’s perfect for a nap
It was cool to see rainfall like this
I wasn’t the only one on board donning our company t-shirts (Photograph by Loiyumba)
By 10:30am, we were nearing Langkawi
The water was getting clearer
At this point, we were asked to go back to our seats
This was our ferry (Taken using my phone camera)
Hello Langkawi! (Taken on the Nokia E72)
(Taken on the Nokia E72)
(Taken on the Nokia E72)
Plenty of yachts out here (Taken on the Nokia E72)
We hired a taxi to get to our hotel, which was on Pantai Cenang beach. (Cost us RM24)
There is a pre-paid taxi booth outside the terminal
The main town in Langkawi is Kuah (Photograph by Loiyumba)
By the way, if you wondering where the iconic symbol of Langkawi (the eagle statue) is, you can find it near a park very close to the ferry terminal. We passed it while driving out of the terminal but didn’t bother stopping to take photos… as there isn’t much to it.
The drive takes around half an hour
We were quite happy to see all this
By 11:30 we were at Pantai Cenang
We could see a sign on the main road pointing to Sweet Inn Motel, the place where we had reservations. Problem is, the sign was pointing to the left side, into the mainland and not to the right, where the beach was.
We were a *bit* disappointed upon seeing the place
This I’m guessing is the motel owner’s house (Photograph by Loiyumba)
When we made the booking via Agoda.com in August, the description read “on Pantai Cenang beach,” and though it is only a 2 minute walk away from the beach, it’s not a sea facing hotel. Oh well, at least it was cheap. Our triple room cost us Rs. 2360 ($52/€37) for two nights — that’s under Rs. 800 per person for 2 nights!
The rooms were also quite decent. The triple room was one double bed and a single bed, a TV with mostly local channels, wardrobe and a clean enough toilet with hot shower.
We couldn’t check in yet because our rooms weren’t cleaned and kept ready. So instead, we dumped our bags in the office room and hit the beach.
Is there any beach on the planet that doesn’t have a Jamaica-themed bar?
Langkawi’s most popular beach — Pantai Cenang beach (panorama comprised of 15 shots)
We couldn’t hand around for too long at the beach. We needed to convert currency as we were running short of Malaysian Ringgits. Loi wanted to sit at the bar, so myself & Ramesh headed back to the main road in search of a money exchange.
When we first came across a money exchange center, they were closed for lunch. We had to walk quite a bit before we came across one that was open. There really weren’t that many money exchange centers on Pantai Cenang road. Not as ubiquitous as I noticed in Thailand. My advice is to convert money either prior to landing in Langkawi or outside the ferry terminal if you come by boat.
Money in hand, we headed back to the beach.
Judging by the flags, Indians and Arabs form a large chunk of the tourists in Langkawi
Villa Idaman Motel, I couldn’t find their official site so you’ll just have to Google for more info
Despite being Langkawi’s most popular beach, it wasn’t very crowded
After we checked in, we freshened up and then stepped out again for lunch.
I had Nasi Lemak, pretty much the Malay-equivalent to India’s ‘meals’
Considered to be the national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak consists of some rice, roasted peanuts, papadam bits, small dried anchovies, boiled egg and and sambal, a spicy sauce (in the above photo, it’s the red one with calamari in it). The meal is filling and is usually very reasonably priced.
Ramesh had the one on the left; Loi had the one on the right
After lunch, instead of taking a nap, we decided to rent bikes and head to the Langkawi Sky Bridge while the sun was still up.
We rented 2 scooters at RM22 (Rs. 325/$7/€5) each for 24hrs.
The bikes that were the most common were Modenas. This model is called the Karisma.
The rental shop made a note of all the pre-existing scratches and damages before handing it over to us.
It’s best you inspect the bike as carefully as possible, so that they cannot point at any scratch or damage on the bike claiming you did that when you return it.
Helmets on, we set off. Ramesh rode solo while I rode with Loi sitting behind me.
Photograph by Loiyumba
Photograph by Loiyumba
Photograph by Loiyumba
We stopped to fuel up. Filled up petrol for RM8 (Rs. 118). (These are self service stations by the way)
Quite a scenic drive
… and it kept getting better
This is one end of the Langkawi International Airport runway
This is the route we took. ‘B’ is Pantai Cenang beach and ‘A’ is the Langkawi Sky Bridge.
We had to stop to take a few photos. (Yes, I was aware of how big the helmet was on my head)
Panorama comprised of 3 shots
He’s fishing… not anything else
We moved ahead and then stopped again. I don’t remember why though.
Ramesh ridin’ solo
We stopped here on the bridge to take a few photos.
We moved on.
You reach a T-junction, from where you’ll see this fruit stall. Take the right.
Then, up ahead is a signal. From the signal, you have to take a left turn.
You’ll pass the Langkawi Yacht Club
The road to the sky bridge goes all around the marina
After setting off at 2pm, by 4pm we were at the Langkawi Geopark. It’s not that the journey takes that long, we just stopped on the way quite a bit.
There’s ample parking available for cars & bikes
There are stores and restaurants below
You buy the tickets from here
Tickets cost RM30 per adult (Rs. 440/$10/€7)
There are few mini-waterfalls here
This is the first station, there’s another leg to the trip to the top
The view is amazing even at half-way point
That’s the sky bridge
Panorama comprised of 10 vertical shots
We got into the cable car and continued up.
Once you get to the second platform, you have to take these steps to get down to the sky bridge
That’s how high the sky bridge is above sea level
By the way, there are gaps in between the platform you walk on
Apparently the final scene of the Hindi film Don (starring Shah Rukh Khan) was filmed on the sky bridge. I didn’t see the film, but that’s what Ramesh & Loi said.
There were steps leading under the platform. Being curious, I took it.
Apparently you can trek all the way down too. But you need prior permission.
Walked a few steps down and saw this. So went back up again.
That’s the second highest observation deck
That’s the marina of the Langkawi Yacht Club
This observation deck was closed for maintenance
So we went to the other observation deck
Me showing Loi where we were staying (Photograph by Ramesh)
The first wing of the beach you see in the distance is Pantai Cenang. The one further up is Pantai Tengah.
If you want a video of the sky bridge, watch this HD capture by Ramesh:
The sun was setting, so we decided to head back down.
Ramesh took video of our journey back down:
(You can view it in HD for better clarity)
Once down, we checked out the Oriental Village.
The Oriental Village mostly comprises of shops, restaurants and other services like massage spas. We were a bit hungry so we sat in a cafe to have something to eat.
This is what I had: Roselle flower juice (L) & beef burger (R)
It was was past 6pm, which is also closing time for the cable car ride. We wanted to make the most of whatever sunlight was available while heading back. So we set off…
…buuut we ended up stopping again near the Langkawi Yacht Club
A beautiful evening to close out a lovely first day in Langkawi
There’s a Petronas gas station near the yacht club
Yes, me and my big helmet (Photograph by Ramesh)
As darkness fell, we still managed to get back to Pantai Cenang beach road in around 45 minutes. Instead of heading back to our rooms, we decided to make the most of the bikes while we had them. We drove straight, on to Pantai Tengah beach and past it as well, until we hit a dead end which looked like another docking bay for boats.
So we made our way back and decided to return the bikes tonight itself.
This is the place where we rented our bikes from
The reason why we returned them is because the next morning we had booked ourselves for an island-hopping tour which would last until afternoon. So by the time we would have gotten back to our rooms, it would have been past the 24-hour limit.
For our early dinner, we went to this restaurant which had a sizable crowd
It’s lovely place and isn’t that expensive
(I kinda wanted to try it though)
But Loi & I ended up ordering this interesting looking butter pan-fried tiger prawns
We had a large plate of fries, some beers, and some pasta; all of which came to around RM44 (Rs. 650).
For dessert, and in my quest to try out new things, I had Kit Kat ice cream. It was okay.
With that, day one in Langkawi came to a close! We had woken up early in Penang today morning and tomorrow, we had to wake up early again for our pick up for the island-hopping tour.
This entry was posted on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 1:51 AM and is filed under Malaysia, Travel.
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