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Published: February 17th 2020
Lovely Susu from Noi Guest House, always smiling, always wants to give you a lift!
So on my last night I abandoned the local eateries and went to Elephant, hankering (maybe) after a burger. This was after discovering in no uncertain terms that jungle formula extra strength mozzie lotion is not an eye-enhancing product, even when wearing contact lenses. After accidentally misdirecting the spray I spent the next 10 minutes silently shrieking and trying to rinse my eye under the tap, however bad an idea this was in retrospect. With glasses on and one piggy red eye I went out. Elephant is a cool hangout joint with definitely uncool prices, 350B for a burger. So I went for loaded curly fries at 220B (£5.50) for a very small portion. They were tasty but at London prices, not the best idea. Not the best night’s sleep either, with my neighbours having a tuneless singsong until after midnight.
My speedboat was from the Bundhaya aresort at the far end of Pattaya, not in the middle, where I’d arrived. I got a lift and Susu carried my bag to the front of the queue, ignoring the people patiently waiting for check in to open. I shuffled back apologetically and slotted in behind a Romanian couple. First you hand
Waiting to get on boats at Bundhaya Resort
in your ticket, mine was a print out but you didn’t have to, just show her your reference number on your phone. Get there at 9 as 15 minutes later the queue for immigration is very long. She checks your passport, that you haven’t overstayed, and then gives you a coloured boarding card with a number on it, and they will call out the numbers in order for you to get on. There were about 4 boats leaving before ours. You leave your bags in a heap after attaching a bag tag to them (but this is, disappointingly, not the last you see of them) and queue round the corner to the left for immigration. The guys all had masks on. The computer was playing up when it got to my turn so he bashed his mouse about and I had to do my fingerprints a few times until he was satisfied. Then he keeps your passport - passport on boat- which I wasn’t keen on, but others said this was OK. Nobody seemed sure what size boat we were getting, it said ferry, but there wasn’t one in sight. Eventually we were told to get on a long tail
boat, which meant we had to take our bags down onto the beach and then wheel along the bouncy pontoon ourselves. We were taken out to a large floating platform with seats and had to get onto it. They helped with our bags and then we kept them again. After about half an hour everyone was on the platform and a big speedboat arrived and unloaded, presumably coming from Langkawi. Everyone got off it and there was some help with bags but the rucksack people were struggling a bit. I was one of the first to get on, which meant my bag was at the bottom of the pile, but I got a seat right at the back. We left on time. As soon as we left they came round with the passports in bundles from the various countries, which they hand over and you go through them to find your own.
Unfortunately my neighbours were Spreaders, which had me pushed up against the metal armrest. They went to sleep and nobody was sick as it was a smooth 1 1/2 hours. You are not allowed to go on deck, everyone stays down in 2 cabins but it was
When we got to Langkawi and we all scrambled about getting our bags, the first guy was in medical scrubs and a mask and took our temperature from our foreheads with a probe. You had to say if you were coming from China. The immigration guys also had masks and I was through in a minute or so, oh joy. There were a couple of taxi guys but I wanted to change my baht for ringgits and get a SIM card. The SIM card was first, 55ringgits for 6GB, top up available. There’s only a couple of ringgits actual phone credit on it but I want it for the data. I changed my baht, the rate was pants, and then looked on Grab for a taxi. The price was the same as a regular taxi, 30ringgits to Cenang Beach, so I didn’t bother. There was a guy in charge of the drivers and they all know what the set price is, so no need to worry about the meter. It took 20 minutes or so.
I got dropped off where the new road hits the beach road near UnderwaterWorld, and as it is now a one
way street I just walked the last bit Or he’d have had to go all round the ring road. I haven’t stayed at the Langkapuri Inn before, and was booked into the big modern block. I knew there were beachside rooms available in the garden so had a quick look and rashly asked if I could have one, even though they are quite old. Didn’t look carefully enough, just saw how close the beach is. So when I got my bags in I saw that there are a lot of mosquitoes and it’s very basic, hardly any sockets, nowhere to put your stuff in the bathroom. But the WiFi is good and it will hopefully be quieter than being in the big block. Breakfast is included.
After reluctantly unpacking and wondering whether I’ll be asking to move tomorrow I hopped along to the Yellow Cafe, which I remember really enjoying last year. I had a large beer and a pizza for 58 ringgits as I was starving and asked some girls next to me how much the sun beds are. They are run by different people and I’d heard one guy quote 100 ringgits to an enraged German couple.
After eating I went to see the people on the end and a lady said I could have one bed and an umbrella for 30, it’s 70 for 2 beds, so that seemed like a bargain not to miss. She is there from 8am to 7pm, bless her.
Out later to find a money exchange or an atm, some snacks and to browse the night market, if it’s in the same place. Really pooped, could go to sleep right now but it’s only 7pm!
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