Langkawi Travel Guide. The Career Break guide to Malaysia & the REAL Langkawi Tourist Information
Flight to Langkawi
Right, so I had a bit of a panic getting to Langkawi. Timed everything perfectly from the hotel and so as not to rush I took the expensive high speed train to KL international airport, the one that doesn’t stop for 30 minutes until you’re at the airport. It was while on the train when I had a thought that maybe KL has more than one airport as surly for an hour’s domestic flight I wouldn’t need to go through immigration again. I looked at my booking and for goodness sake I was hurtling along to the wrong airport, with only 90 minutes to go before my flight closed. Somehow in my head and reading through the lonely planet guide, which mentions nothing of a 2nd airport, I came to the conclusion that the airport was back in the centre of KL where the train had come from (I remembered seeing something that looked like a place to check luggage for flights). So in a panic I jumped off the train at the airport, rushed to get another expensive ticket back to KL thinking I can just make it.
Just as I bought the ticket I thought I’d better ask the attendant, who promptly said that the airport I was looking for was only a 15 minute bus journey away. He quickly refunded my ticket and I dashed out of the airport (which is not an easy thing to do in a short space of time – it was massive). A very kind man from Air Malaysia gave me perfect directions to the bus stop (before I forget, the people of Malaysia are amazing: so happy, so friendly and helpful; I’ve totally dropped my guard and have met some amazing people – I’ve even started learning Malaysian, which the local people find hysterical but are so impressed that I try ……. bless. The usual first questions from both men and women are, Where are you from? Do you have a girlfriend? Followed by lots of laughing when I say no – it’s a dangerous place to be single, male and British, so I’ll be adapting my answer for that one). Anyway, got to the bus and got to the airport 30 minutes before the flight took off.
I flew with Air Asia – AMAZING, they put Easy Jet to shame – mega cheap, clean cut brand new planes; the staff are dressed in clean cut uniforms, 10/10. The aircon was so good you could see the chilled air floating down; it was like an 80s music video. Which reminds me about planes on the way from Dubai to Asia: the staff have to spray the whole plane (with what I have no idea but because of the threat of bird flu I guess) and walk up and down the with mini gas canisters and tell you to cover your mouth if you think it will bother you. It’s required by law of the Malaysian government – I really did think we were getting gassed, very weird! Anyway, getting back to Air Asia – who were better than Emerites but then again the flight was only 60 minutes. It was a bit of a bumpy ride but it was great stepping off the plane into wonderful sunshine.
Then jumping into a taxi and on to the Bella Vista hotel. It was a great transition and looked like a castle. The pool was amazing as it overlooked the sea where you could watch the sunset. Breakfast was an interesting combo of curry, eggs, and noodles; I’m trying to get better with the spices over here but it’s hard. Wherever I eat I get told to try the sauces in front of me, which is then followed with giggles as I choke. I guess it’s local entertainment: choke the Brit with crazy spices. I had a great dish today which was fried rice for less than a pound and I thought I spotted 2 green beans. “Jackpot” I thought and gobbled them up only to find they were chillis!!!!!!!!!
So to get around the island and for my main source of entertainment I’ve hired a motorbike and boy does it fly. Not normally something I’d do but as the island is empty I spend my days flying around here at high speed (don’t worry mum, I gave it back this morning). It’s been amazing and I’ve explored every part of the island, which has been an amazing experience.
The tourist trade has been hit hard in Langkawi. Normally loads of people from Europe and Australia come here and so far they’ve not appeared. I feel sorry for the locals as there are 1000s of empty restaurants in the evenings. Hope things pick up for them!!!
Monkeys are everywhere and I had no idea of this; you can imagine the fright I got when one ran out in front of me, firstly because I nearly hit it and secondly it was a monkey, crazy!!!!! Crocs, big mega lizards and snakes too, you see them all at the side of the road, which makes for an AMAZING ride through the jungle being surrounded by animals. Today I went to a waterfall and had a shower in it; then went on a path back through a jungle. Amazing, you can just go wherever you like. I met a car and two other bikes on the way, which made me feel better as I had no idea where I was going and ended up at another waterfall where all the locals were swimming. I then got to drive back through the jungle – what a life to be a local on Langkawi!
The sunsets have been amazing, just sitting watching the pink sun hit the sea and slowly sink away as the oriental looking boats switch their lights on for the long night of fishing ahead.
So after my lovely 3 star hotel I thought it was time to start the transition to guest houses. I booked a 2 star hotel for 10 quid a night with no aircon – it was a hellhole! I met 2 Dutch guys next door who had been travelling for the last 2 months and it’s the worst place they have stayed in and said all the guest houses they had been staying in were so much better and so much cheaper. It would appear all the guest houses on Langkawi are full and all the hotels are empty. They have given me some websites and tips, which will help me get on with future experiences. I have a nice hotel booked for Penang, which is my next destination tomorrow and then I’ll find a guest house and start saving money. Also I met an Australian guy who is touring for a month and booked every part of his trip last year. It turns out that the Dutch guys, the Australian and myself are all going to Penang on the same day but in different ways. The Dutch are going by boat, the Australian is going by Malaysia Air and I’m going with Air Asia – we’ll all probably meet up on the Friday evening. Think I may get a single room at the guest house where the Dutch guys are going, only £8 a night.
The hellhole in fact gave me a great night’s sleep once I got under my mosquito net and in my sleeping bag liner: what a combo. Also brought some stuff you burn to get rid of bugs and didn’t get bitten once. Can’t wait to leave and find somewhere else though. My next hotel, called 1921, was built for the officers of the British army in that year. Plus it has a pool and hot water, which will be nice after the cold wash in a bucket at my current place.
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