Langkawi

Trip Start Oct 15, 2008
1
8
Trip End Nov 14, 2008


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Flag of Malaysia  , Kedah,
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So our sadness to leave Thailand was replaced by anticipation and travel arrangements to Malaysia.  Realising we had decided back in England we would extend our time in Asia by 2 or 3 weeks, as we have arranged to meet Ali's Mum n Dad in Borneo, but hadn't told anyone of our great plans, including the flight companies or indeed Ali's Mum n Dad we find ourselves on a whistle stop trip through Malaysia! Bugger... However, that being said, the longest we have stayed in any one place is 4 days, so it's not any great change of pace really.  In Koh Phi Phi we made the decision to cross the Thai/Malay border from Satun in Thailand and go straight to the island of Langkawi; we understood it was a little used border crossing and could be frought with problems of having your visa properly stamped or problems when you actually make it to Malay main land... However, what we found was a multitude of companies and buses offering the route, so we thought 'sod it' and bought our ticket... A 6.30am start from Krabi to Hat Yai (6 hours on a mini bus), a 1 hour wait for connecting bus to Satun (another 2 hours) a 2 hour wait in the port, a 3 hour boat crossing to Langkawi and finally a half hour taxi to the area we were headed and we arrived with no real problems, passports checked and stamped, visas granted, a little tired, at about 6.30 pm... time to look for a place to stay!
We found a nice little chalet on the west coast run by an overly helpful Japanese lady and her very intense Iranian husband, although they both saw us right for anything we wanted.  We both enjoyed our time in Langkawi and it was a real eye opener for different cultures, there is a big mix of Indian, Chinese and Malay.  So curry for breakfast and a wander along the beach, Malay for lunch and a bit of investigating and, no Italian actually, for dinner! We managed to hire a small bike, and for half a tank of petrol at 80pence we explored pretty much most of the island, even managing to drive to the top of the highest mountain and catch a fleeting glimpse of the main land before it was swallowed by the decending cloud.  With the rainy season approaching the sea is getting rough and is no longer the crystal clear we have become accostomed to (!) or that is shown on all the adverts, so, short visit though it is, after 3 nights we fell ready to move on.  We do, however, feel we didn't take enough of an advantage of its tax free status (a can of Tiger beer being about 25pence!).
So from here we head to George Town on Pehang, still no main land yet.  A 4 hour boat trip should see the end of Ali's supply of travel sickness tablets though...

P.S. Happy Birthday Mum love you lots Jon; and Happy Birthday Dad lots of love Ali; hope you got the birthday cards!
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