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|12th November 2007, 21:42||#1|
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Pulau Langkawi- A small piece of Paradise on earth.
The last leg of our journey was Langkawi, an island off the coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Had done quite a bit of research about this tiny island on the net and decided that it is a cool place to hang out.
We had booked our air tickets via the net on a domestic budget airline Air Asia. The fares came to just over 6000 rupees return fare for two.
Air Asia operates from a different airport from KLIA, it is called the LCCT or Low Cost Carrier Terminal. This is adjacent to KLIA but a good 20 minute drive between the two.
When we had visited KL Sentral the previous evening we had found that Air Asia had shuttle services from KL Sentral to LCCT every 15 mins starting from 5 AM. KL Sentral was not so far away from our hotel so we booked a cab for 5 AM.
The cab was at our hotel doorway exactly at 5 AM and we checked out and hopped into the cab. Reached in time to catch the 5.45 AM shuttle and a good one hour snooze till the airport ensured.
On reaching LCCT, we checked in our baggage and proceeded to the boarding gates.The sun was just climbing over the hills and the colourful Air Asia planes made a good foreground.
Nothing about Air Asia seems like a budget airline, yes you have to buy your own meals, but other than that it can be compared to the best of airlines. The crew were the friendliest we had encountered in all our journeys, the planes were sparkling clean and new.
Our domestic budget airlines surely need to take a leaf out of Air Asia's books.
One hour later, which was again spent on catching up on lost sleep, he captain announced that we'd be landing in Langkawi. The descent was a bit bumpy owing to turbulence and the landing was aborted the first time around. It was easy to see why, the runway was a small strip of land extending into the sea. Lovely sight.
Landed at a small but beautiful airport and the friendliness around was proof enough that it was a good place to be in.
There were many counters offering cabs and island tours, we checked out a couple and decided to hire 2 cars for the four of us.
The formalities of hiring a self drive car could not be simpler, just fill a form which only asks for passport no., hotel where you'd be staying and driving license no., if you have one. A 50 RM deposit and you are handed over the keys.
We hired two Proton Wiras for 90 RM each for 2 days. Worked out to about 525 rupees a day plus petrol. The Proton Wira looks vey similar to our Ford Escort. We had asked for manual transmission and so got a discount of 10 RM.
Asked the lady at the counter how much petrol I'd need for 2 days and she said put in for about 35 RM that should suffice. Petrol is 1.92 RM/lt ie. about Rs.22.50/lt.
Went to the parking lot to check out the cars, both the cars were identical but for the reg. plates.The guy who showed us the cars gave us his mobile number and asked us to call him for any assistance. He directed us to the closest petrol station which we found after a bit of difficulty as we kept getting our orientation wrong and there was nobody on the roads to ask.
Filling petrol is by paying at the counter and the pump will dispense fuel for the amount paid, no attendants and we have to do it ourself. My car refused to start at the pump as all electricals seemed dead. Called the guy up and he was there in less than 3 minutes, he checked the car and discovered that the battery was the culprit.Profusely apologising he
went and got another battery again in under 3 minutes. That's what I call service. Filled up for 30 RM and we were on our way.
Our friends were staying at a different resort from ours, though a short distance away.We stayed at a place called Sunset Beach Resort, it was a lovely place run by ladies (I did not spot a single male staffer) who were very friendly and were shown our room. The resort like most resorts in Langkawi is situated on the beach.
We checked in and went out to hunt for something to eat. Like most beach hideaways Langkawi also wakes up late, there was breakfast available at 12 noon, gulped down whatever we could find and went to check on our friends. They still had not checked in because their room was not ready yet.
Once they checked in, we decided to drive out to the farthest corner of the island. I had spotted a secluded beach via wikimapia and had heard good reviews. So off we went.
We first stopped for some photo ops of the quaint harbour.
Next, we travelled to the cable car at Gunung Machinchang. This is an exhilarating experience. I have never been on a cable car ride which goes so high up the mountain. This is definitely not for the people with a fear of heights. The incline is very steep and we are really high up in a small glass bubble.
Once on top, we get to the viewing platform from where a panramic view of the entire island can be had.
A steep downward climb takes us to the bridge hanging between two peaks. Another heartstopping walk over the bridge which sways ever so slightly.
I think this place is picturised in the movie Don (the newer one).
Returned back to the base and a mad drive to catch the sunset at Tanjung Rhu beach.
This is one of the most amazing beaches I've ever set my eyes upon. Pure white sand and crystal clear water with absolutely no waves.
Scenes straight out of discovery channel.
Sunset at Tanjung Rhu
After splashing around in our own private paradise, we started back to our hotel for a quick shower and then headed out to Kuah town, the inland settlement of Langkawi.
Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 12th November 2007 at 21:44.
|12th November 2007, 22:55||#3|
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The whole island is duty free, beer retails for 1.5 RM. The shopping centres in town had the widest range and had the best prices compared to all our other shopping sprees.Liquor, was even cheaper than any duty free shop of airports.
Dinner was at a street cafe called Wonderland, which was suggested by the nice ladies of our resort. The waiters were extremely friendly, jovial and sugested some lovely dishes.
What was on offer
What we ate
We hogged till our insides were bursting and when the final bill was presented it came to only 38 RM, this was for some 3 types of rice, 2 chicken dishes, 1 prawn dish, beer and soft drinks for four of us.
Very satisfied we headed back to our resorts ending a fruitful day.
Woke up to persistent knocks on our door to find the resort lady telling us that the van for picking us up for the mangrove tour was waiting.
Hurriedly got ready and rushed out to find 5 firangs waiting gnashing their teeth.A hurried sorry sorry ensued and we were off.
We were driven for half an hour and deposited at the river side where a boat was waiting.
A guide, again with a wacky sense of humour (must be all that sea air) took us first to a fish farm, where we saw some unusual sea life.
feeding a stingray
A Horseshoe Crab
Then onward through thick mangroves, again straight out of Discovery or Travel & Living, to stop by at a clearing to feed eagles.
Then we were handed out life jackets and the pilot announced that we'd make a high speed dash into the sea.
The ensuing snaps describe the scene best.
Returned into the mangroves for a peek into the bat cave. Saw some ancient Stalacites and Stalagmites.
The boat docked at a quaint theme restaurant called Barn Thai. This is set deep inside the mangroves and can be accessed by land via a 450 m long wooden walkway between thick foliage. Else, get dropped off by boat.
After lunch we were dropped back to our resort and we headed to our resort's beach which we had not yet set our eyes upon.
The Beach at Sunset Beach Resort
Evening saw us heading back into Kuah for some more duty free shopping and good food, unfortunately the restaurant was closed and we had to come back to our resort where we went to a nearby cafe for dinner.
Next morning it was time to bid goodbye to the most enchanting place 've been to. Dropped off the cars back at the airport, collected our refund, and boarded the flight back to KL.
We had 5 hrs to while away at KL before our flight back home, Wani my friend was there with her parents and we just sat in the food court and chatted away those hours.
Caught the flight back home to reality after one splendid vacation.
Next - Corbett National Park(hopefully), Udaipur, Jaipur and a mini meet at Delhi
|12th November 2007, 23:33||#4|
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superb stuff bro. reminds me of my phuket trip.
only problem with air asia is that the veggies can only have coke and water!! and our aircraft was a 17 year old 737 sponsored by solartron. only crew clothes said air asia. rest everything in the plane was solartron branded
|16th November 2008, 11:13||#6|
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I was looking for details on Langkawi and Team-bhp didn't let me down...
Excellent write up with pictures, Lukeskywalker. Thanks a lot!
Lesson learnt - Search Team-bhp before Google
|19th November 2008, 09:13||#7|
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Beautifull pics Luke and nice narrated. I vaguely remeber Langkawai from my cruises but your travelogue has given me a vivid recollection.
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