Do they speak Thai in Malaysia?

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
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122
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Trip End May 01, 2013


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Flag of Malaysia  , Kedah,
Sunday, January 13, 2013

Checked out, nobody really noticed or cared, after all the room hadn't been cleaned for six days!
 
The transfer picked us up just after 8am and after two car ferry's, an annoying ditzy German woman and the appearance of five random Thai travellers (picked up on the roadside) we soon arrived at Trang bus station. Exiting a cubicle in the ladies toilet Paula discovered a would-be stowaway, in the form of a large and ugly cockroach dropping from the hem of her shorts to the floor. Once the mental anguish had dissipated we bought some noodle pots for lunch and boarded the 'Orange' bus, local transport to Satun.

It was climbing into an American diner on wheels. Salvaged from the 50's it was complete with stainless steel interior, original leather seats and cushioned dashboard. A dodgy wired TV and sound system was flanked by a 'Flux Capacitor' - (Capacitator) which we think was a novelty fire extinguisher, and with no hope of reaching the critical 88mph we got underway. With a chain smoking driver and a screeching Thai woman ticket collector responsible for us for the 'about three hour' bus journey, the seats soon filled up by picking randoms up by the side of the road, following no distinct route and never achieving a speed of over 40kph. We wondered if we would make the last ferry to Langkawi at 5pm.

Question of the day: Do they speak Thai in Malaysia as well? (Source: Paula Chandler)
Answer: No they speak Malay (with a chuckle)

After about three and a half hours, lots of Thai screeching, each seat rammed with three passengers and thankfully no chickens, we arrived at Satun bus station. Using our best negotiating skills we asked the lady at the information desk to help us get a transfer to the ferry port, she rang a tuk-tuk and overheard the words 'Ferang' and '200 baht' and we knew we were being set up for tourist prices! The ten minute tuk-tuk ride ended up costing the same as the three and a half hour magical bus ride from Trang...

No matter, we arrived at the port in time to get through, what turned out to be, the easiest immigration process ever (no more concerns about overstaying): Window 1 - hand your passport over and buy a ferry ticket. Window 2 - receive stamped passport and boarding pass and speculate on the final score between Man United V Liverpool tonight...job done!

We made the 4pm ferry and were greeted with the joys of the 'inflight' movie 'Kill 'Em All' which definitely wasn't PG rated. After one hour of being mesmerised by the inappropriate film selection, lots of swearing and gratuitous violence, we arrived on Langkawi - disembarking at exactly the same time as the annoying German girl who had paid more than double our cost for a complete travel package to the island, and she didn't even have the pleasure of the magical bus.

One illicit taxi driver and 27km later we arrived at Zackry's guesthouse to find we had been upgraded as their standard rooms were full - result! We wondered what we would be finally moved to if the room we were in was an upgrade - maybe the broom cupboard...

We dropped our gear and headed out to El Nino restaurant for a well cooked steak and a whole grilled red snapper. Returning to our hotel 'common room' the Liverpool match had just started, so we got a couple of beers from the honesty bar and settled in to watch, that's when we met Sam. He was a larger than life Malaysian ex-rugby player with a passion for life, fried chicken, traditional healing and gratuitous sex with anyone and everyone - we also found very quickly in our exchanges that he was partial to being with two ladies at the same time! Interesting infromation to impart when we had only just met!

We were joined by another Sam from San Diego and invited to share her shisha pipe. We experimented with vodka and cranberry which was actually pomegranate jelly with the texture of frog spawn, and we talked shit well into the night. Running low on nicotine Paula scurried off to Sun Ba where she sang impromptu karaoke to a guy who said he was J-Lo's brother and then hurried back with twenty Marlboro Lights.

Several more free-poured vodkas later we retired to bed very tipsy having enjoyed our first night on Langkawi.
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