Malaysia - Langkawi: a big island, a scooter, a skyride, monkeys and lots of fun
Here we go - back to Malaysia. From Koh Lipe we took the slow ferry for 2 reason: we do not like speedboats, especially those where you have to sit inside which is horrible with a rough sea. And second: it is simply cheaper. And it was a good choice! The sea was indeed a bit rough (in my opinion - as you know, I do not like shaking boats). But we could sit on top of the ferry with fresh air and a great view.
We met an amazing travel guide - well it was not our travel guide, but we just saw each other and started laughing right away. Let's say sympathy at first sight. We had a lot of fun giggling for 3 hours. She told us that she was from Kuching in Sarawak - and we remembered why we loved the malaysian part of Borneo so much. Because the people there are so incredibly friendly. And she was exactly the same. We did have a really fun time on the boat and were sad to leave her - but she had to work. Well, we were lucky to meet 2
backpackers and we shared a "teksi" to Pantay Cenang. There is no local transport in Langkawi, so we were forced to take a taxi. Just by arriving on Langkawi you immediately see and feel that you are in Malaysia. And this felt great. We do like Thailand a lot - do not get us wrong. But Malaysia is somehow different. Here, there are a lot of locals travelling, too. You kind of meet people "on the same level". In Thailand the locals often are just servicing you as a tourist. Malaysia is different (well, this is what we experienced in our approx. 8 weeks we have been travelling in Malaysia so far) - they do not treat you as a better person just because you are white. And this is nice because we do not want to be treated any better or worse just because of the colour of our skin.
We arrived in Pantay Cenang with a cheap, shared taxi ride. We had no clue where to stay. I remembered the AB Motel to be cheap and clean (some friends told me about that). And it was cheap! That is why we took the room. We had a street bungalow but far in the backyard. It was quite and ok clean with a fan. After the nice natural bangalow in Koh Lipe it was strange to be in a motel-style place. But hey, this is for sleeping only. We did some much needed washing and than went to the beach. Pantay Cenang is far away of the famous Langkawi beaches with water bungalows and silent tropical flair. But the sand is really white and nice. The beach itself is busy with water scooter, cars music and lots of people from alle over the world. You see topless europeans burning in the sun, muslim women fully covered and malaysians taking a bath fully dressed. It was a nice mixture and very entertaining to watch. And this is what we did for the rest of the day. We had a sundowner and went for dinner. The Pantay Cenang strip has lots of restaurants of varying quality - not really cheap but ok. Well, the beer was cheap. For the next day we rented a scooter. As Markus is terribly scared of scooters, it was a perfect day for me: with him in the back I was having great fun driving around the island. That was just so amazing. Even Markus started to have fun after a few minutes. Away from the touristic
beaches, Langkawi has a very nice rural village life and wonderful hilly surroundings. We crossed the island in the middle and drove through rainforest to the north part of the island: Pantay Tanjung Rhu. From here we had a nice view around the bay. In a typical malaysian street restaurant we took a lunch break. Afterwards we looked around a mangrove area and continued to Pantay Pasir Hitam, the black sand beach. This was not really fascinating. The huge industrial site on the other side of the bay was more interesting. We continued our trip to Pantay Kok, a wonderful and empty beach on the west part. Here we enjoyed some time on the beach with cows grazing under palm trees. Than it was time for the famous Cable Car. This is one of the touristic attractions that are really nice despite beeing crowded. Well, we were lucky that it was not too crowded. The views from the top are simply amazing. By walking over the skybridge we had some fog which made it even more interesting. It was nicely cool in the fog up there and we enjoyed the noise of the jungle, the views and the fresh air and of course the views when the fog moved away from time to time. We saw lots of eagles flying through the sky. WOOOOWWWW! After this really nice trip to the top of Langkawis most famous sight we went to Telaga Tujuh to take a bath at the Seven Wells. We were quite disappointed of them. Normally you can slide from one pool to another (there are 7 pools). But, as it was dry season, there was not enough water and the water was really dirty. There was a lot of rubbish around. It is just horribly to see people leaving there rubbish in such a beautiful natural place. There were even recently changed diapers lying in the plain sun with lots of mosquitos around. We decided not to take a bath and went to Pantay Tengah. It was a funny drive us there were lots of monkeys on the streets. I had to drive extremely carefully not to hit one. And they were really curious. Sometimes a was afraid that one of them jumped on the scooter. A sundowner at the relaxed Pantay Tengah was a nice way to end a perfectly fun day on the scooter. Well, we do like Langkawi even though it is a touristy island. It has kept its malaysian heart. We did not see any of the luxury resorts, but the islands interior did compensate for that.