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.
We hired a taxi to get to our hotel, which was on Pantai Cenang beach. (Cost us RM24)
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.
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.
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.
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.
After having a beer to cool ourselves, we went back to Sweet Inn to check in to our rooms.
After we checked in, we freshened up and then stepped out again for lunch.
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.
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 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.
We stopped here on the bridge to take a few photos.
We moved on.
Then, up ahead is a signal. From the signal, you have to take a left turn.
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.
We got into the cable car and continued up.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
(I kinda wanted to try it though)
We had a large plate of fries, some beers, and some pasta; all of which came to around RM44 (Rs. 650).
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.