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"La Tahzan, InnaAllaha ma'ana" (Al- Quran: Surah At- Taubah- Verse 40)
Translation: "Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us."

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." ~Edmund Burke~

'It's not what the world holds for you, but what you bring to it' ~Anne of Green Gables~

Friday, March 13, 2009

Conquering Langkawi Island... by MYSELF.

Trip in March 2009.

Well... it all started with an expiring frequent flier points. The points that I collected was only enough for one person, therefore I took this chance as an excuse to be adventurous. I've always said that I wanted to be 'Indiana Jones', so this is the opportunity for me to test myself... hihihiii...

There were a lot of hiccups in the preparations of this trip. In redeeming my credit card points to top up the frequent flier points, in the booking of the accommodation and the most heartbreaking is in getting back my beloved E510 from the camera shop, after a service. I'm gonna write about this incident in my 'The Unsaid' blog. It was really a spoiler. But, I kept a positive mind and told myself that I'm not gonna let a rude customer service ruin my first attempt as a single traveller. I took it all as a challenge and my A520 will accompany me all the way.

I travelled light to Langkawi. One backpack and a slingpack. I put everything that I needed in those 2 bags. The trip was smooth. My sleepy brother drove me to the train station. From KL Sentral, I took ERL to KLIA. It only takes 28 minutes from KL Sentral to KLIA for RM35.00 one way. I've already checked in at KL Sentral station, so when I arrived at KLIA I still got time to have breakfast and some window shopping. The flight was scheduled at 11.05am, however it was delayed to 11.30am... hmmm...

This is how our sky looks like on a rainy season.

The MH flight was comfortable. I had a window seat. Langkawi Island from the sky was amazing. By the way, MH flight provide peanut, Loacker biscuits and fruit juice. I'm not sure whether they have been doing this all this time coz my last time flying in an MH domestic flight, they only provide fruit juice. Anyhow, this is an interesting development :)

Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands. This a sky view of a few of it.


Cenang beach from the sky. It's near the airport. There are a lot of budget hotels around here. This beach is packed with tourists, local and overseas. However, the beach is clean and water still unspoiled.

I arrived in Langkawi at about 12.30pm. In the arrival hall, there
are a lot of travel agents. So, if you haven't made any bookings for car rental or ground package, no need to worry. However, for accommodation, please book in advance, especially if you're coming during the peak season. Langkawi is a very hot spot, so accommodation could be a challenge. I didn't take a picture of the travel agent booths in the arrival hall, however I can assure you there are at least 10 for you to choose from.

The taxi from Langkawi International Airport to Grand Beach Motel took about 10 minutes and the fare was RM18.00. The ride was smooth and the driver was a quiet uncle, but quite friendly since he didn't seem disturbed by my questions :)

I booked a fan chalet for RM50.oo a night since I think I would be spending most of my time relaxing by the beach, so I don't think I need an air conditioner room. The afternoon in Langkawi was steaming hot, so if you plan to relax in your room during the afternoon and early evening, forget the fan, get the aircond. For me, I found a nice spot under a small hut and coconut trees... it was real shady and breezy and the sky so clear and blue and it was really calming. I spend my whole afternoon reading by the beach.

Me, relaxing by the Cenang Beach

Evening at Cenang Beach. It rained that evening, so no view of sunset.

However, I found that RM50.oo a night for a very, very simple fan chalet was pricey. What do you think? Luckily, it rained both nights, so I slept like a big baby... the shower and tap water pressure was also very strong that I thought I could've drowned in this much water :) My first impression of the room and toilet... errrrrkkkk...

But, this comment is only for the fan chalet. I didn't take a look at other rooms.

If you stayed at Cenang beach area, food is never a problem. There are a lot of restaurants and shops there. You won't be starving :) My first night I 'tapau' fried kuey teow with iced tea and had my dinner by the beach, under the moonlight. Second night, I bought so many
foods at Kedawang night market... you should go there. There are a lot of local cuisines to choose from.

On my second day, I rented a 'Kancil', a small car to drive a around the island. It cost me RM50.00 for a one day rental and only consumed RM15.00 petrol for the whole main island. I really mean the whole main island because I went east, west, north and south of the island. My main target was to ride on the cable car at the Mat Chinchang mountain. However, it was closed for maintenance. What a bummer! I was really frustrated. I even heard some of the visitors c*$#@%g. As far as I remembered, they didn't mentioned anything about a 2 days closing for a monthly maintenance in the website. I think this is really inconsiderate since for us who travels from far for a 2-3 days holiday in Langkawi, this would have affected our schedule. It affected mine.

A marina at Petronas Quay, on the way to the Cable Car.

Animal farm at Oriental Village.

View of the Oriental Village. There are a lot of shops here and also a food court. You will pass this area first before getting to the cable car entrance.

Entrance to the cable car. Closed for 2 days for maintenance. I'm so sad! I wish they'll put up a notice of closure for maintenance in the website. Please consider us who have to plan in early.

Burau beach.

With all my sadness, my head went crazy and I decided that I wanted to see the Datai area. So, I got in the car and started driving further up. The road there was very quiet and an uphill climb. At one point, there were jungles and no other car around. I had goosebumps and was already thinking of turning back. But, I was half way there... might as well just go.

On the way t
o Datai. It's a quiet road... but I don't feel any danger.

When I arrived at Datai, I asked the concierge there whether I can go down to see the beach. But, he told me that I'm not suppose to be there since that was a private beach and for guests only. I was disappointed again. I guess the concierge, Abang Yusuf saw my sad face that he said he can show me around. We got into a buggy and drove around Datai until the beach. I was impressed by the good customer service that he showed. So, I decided to promote The Datai Langkawi Resort. This resort is pricey, but just go and visit the website. You can see how beautiful this place is. I think I can guarantee you satisfaction. This resort is so close to nature, very private and the beach is beautiful. With a service that I received from Abang Yusuf, I can imagine how kindly they treat their guests.

Abang Yusuf, thank you very very much!

View at The Datai Langkawi Resort's beach.

After Datai, I went to Pantai Pasir Tengkorak (direct translation - Skull Sand Beach), Black Sand Beach, Tanjung Rhu, Kota Mahsuri, shopping at Kuah town and lastly... food shopping at Kedawang night market. I was so into the foods that I missed the sunset! Do you believe that?! I saw this big orangey sun setting from far, so I got into the car and sped up to Cenang beach. But, too late by the time I got there, the sun have already set. All that was left was the orangey and reddish sky.
Shopping in Langkawi... Langkawi is a duty free island *wink*. I bought a lot of chocolates (now finished) & perfumes. It's a bit cheaper than in KL, so I went a bit crazy. Hihihiii... You can find a lot of stuff at a cheaper price as well. Stuff like home appliances and luggages...

Pantai Pasir Tengkorak. The beach is so secluded, the water so clear and the area so shady. A nice place to take a dip for the shy ones :)

Here I met an English couple who spoke Malay.

'Pergi ke pantai, lalu disini?', he asked.
'Iya, lalu sini', I answered. This is one of the times when I used my standard Malay :)

Fisherman boats at Black Sand Beach. I feel that the black sand is softer than the normal beach sand.

Tanjung Rhu has always been my favourite scenery. But it was hot that day. You should come here. It's so beautiful.

Mangrove area on the way to Tanjung Rhu. I never imagine mangroves can look so beautiful. You can rent a boat at Tanjung Rhu and they'll take you for a mangrove tour and eagle feeding. Sounds interesting, yes?

A lot of 'Rhu' trees... just in case you're wondering where this place got its name from.

This is a view on the way to Tanjung Rhu. They have a watersport facilities here. I stopped here for a rest... it was beautiful and breezy. Plus, I saw there's a swing under a big shady tree.

Paddy field on my way to Kampung Ulu Melaka.

This is inside Kota Mahsuri. They built a lot of house replicas based on the Legend of Mahsuri. You can also learn a lot about this legendary beauty here. A legend that had a lot of influence on Langkawi Island.

I missed the sun setting, but this view is still as romantic.

Morning at the Cenang Beach.

Amusing view right?

The flight that took me back to KL. It was colourful inside.

Actually, there are a lot of activities that you can do in Langkawi such as Island Hopping, watersport and some other jungle activities. Just ask your travel agent and they'll be happy to help you, with some fees of course.

When I got home, my mom asked me 'How does it feel travelling alone?'.

Hmmmmm... I could do that again, if I have to. But, it's not as good a travelling with a friend or a few friends. I have had a taste of travelling alone, so I will not wonder about it ever again.

I learned a few things on this trip:
1. Get a decent accommodation even though when you think you don't need one. When you're tired from the whole day activities, it helps to come back to a nice room.
2. Always bring extra money, more than what you have budgeted. In my case, perfumes and chocolates are cheaper in Langkawi. I couldn't resist. Luckily, I brought my credit card along.
3. Always be careful and follow your instinct. If you feel something is wrong it probably is. I didn't feel anything wrong while I was in Langkawi... just telling this in general.
4. It's ok to be friendly with strangers. Not everybody is a bad person. Again, follow your instinct. I made a friend in Langkawi. Wan was a very nice person and funny. Thank you Wan for seeing me off at the airport :) Hope you enjoyed the KitKat!
5. Woman travelling alone, be extra careful and always be prepared.

I guess that's all... I'm sleepy now :) Hopefully my trip was informative to you. I try to elaborate on the Mahsuri part some other day. But you can also read about it on the internet. Just remember, Langkawi and Mahsuri is one. If you know Langkawi, you just have got to know Mahsuri. By the way, Langkawi is full of mystical places like Pregnant Maiden Island and the Seven Wells. I'm telling you, the Seven Wells is a must visit place. I've been there once. I wanted to go there again on this trip, but when I think of climbing the stairs alone, I changed my mind. Just remember to bring your bathing suit. You would be tempted to soak yourself up there :)

Okie dokie... nite nite... until my next travel story. If you need any information on Langkawi, you can find a lot of it in the internet. Or, you can also ask me. I would be happy to help.


JayEd said...

loved all the photos..niceeee.. :P
renting a kancil eh? remembered the time when we drove around the island on the last day..just so we can say that we've been to all places..haha..

The Sometimes Speechless said...

tapi still tak pergi jugak to Galeria Perdana. Takde feel nak pegi sana... heheheheee...

ceteris paribus said...

beraninye... i can imagine your mom's face..ha!ha!

The Sometimes Speechless said...

hahahaaa... betulll... tapi muka mak lagi blue black masa kitaorg pergi Cambodia :P