Published: February 1st 2012February 1st 2012
Having met several people in the bar of Reggae Penang heading to Langkawi I decided to check it out. After all what more could you want from an island during west coast dry season than paradise beaches, giant waterfalls AND a duty free status?
The island didn’t fail to deliver on the high praise everybody I had met had given it. Days were spent zipping along quiet roads on mopeds and the evenings filled with incredible Malay Indian food, duty free beer and games of pool on a table so ragged no excuse of poor play put down to beer was required.
The island was big enough to keep us all entertained for the 6 days spent there. We had expected a journey to a waterfall to take 20 minutes, however with our poor map reading and non existant time constraint we spent most of the day trying to find it. My inept bike skills continued, trying to keep the dam thing in a straight line whilst avoiding monkeys and locals as my mate Chris would speed past, waving with both hands or head down racing a local. I was happy being Captain Slow.
The Seven Wells waterfall
was an incredible sight. Hours were spent at the top sliding down the river on slippery sheet rock between each of the 7 pools above the 90 metre drop into the pool below where, at the bottom, we would jump with the locals, sampling their version of tomb stoning.
My Swiss friend Aline and I headed out one day in a bid to conquer the various tourist traps that we hadn’t yet seen, a day of disappointing sites but very amusing nonetheless. Arriving at the bat caves we realised they were asking for twenty quid and turned round for the next place, Black Sand Beach.
Why we wanted to see the beach I’ve no idea, who wants to chill out on black sand when every other Langkawi beach has white sand and crystal clear water? Especially since a large factory pumping out brown smoke marred the opposite bay. I was never sure whether the beach had simply been polluted and the tourism board had come up with an ingenious way of attracting tourists.
Next stop - the crocodile farm, housing hundreds of salt water crocs submerged in green stagnant water in ram shackled concrete cages. Interesting at
first but once you’ve seen a few of the beasts bobbing around in a cage your interest wanes. Especially since we weren’t allowed to feed them with chips or jump across them like stepping stones.
Limbs intact we headed back to Chenang, caught in a down pour, sheet rain with large blinding drops slowing the journey. I hadn’t told my passenger that I’d spent the 30 minute drive sightless and without brakes.
I was very impressed with the tourist map; what made up for the lack of roads it showed was the cheerful small print in the corner, ‘The punishment for smuggling drugs is death’.
Brilliant. How many drug smugglers grab a tourist map when they’re doing their rounds? Upon arrival to Langkawi do they grab a map and think, “Awesome, I’ll head up the cable car before dropping off this large aluminium briefcase handcuffed to my wrist.”
And so, after 6 days of sandy beaches, waterfalls, island hopping and evenings in Babylon and Sunba it was time to, reluctantly, move on.
There are more photos below