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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Day 3 : Pen - Langkawi

We checked out early at 6.30 a.m. At the back of our hotel on Macalister Road is Restoran Zim Sum, a huge dim sum eatery that opened very early in the morning. Most of the early birds were old folks.



This is a self-service restaurant too ... just go to the counter and get the food that you want to eat. We took 4 items. Choice was limited as we were too early, and many of their food offerings weren't ready yet. Only a few types of dumplings were available .....





For the four items and a pot of Chrysanthemum tea, we paid only RM17.00. I thought it was rather cheap. We also tookaway 2 pieces of Char Siew Bao to snack in our ferry later on.

We walked to Komtar and took the CAT shuttle to Lebuh Light. There, we alighted and walked to the jetty. There, we joined the rest of the passengers to wait for our ferries to Langkawi Island. There were 2 services that morning - one at 8.15 a.m., and another at 8.30 a.m.

At about 8.00 a.m., our tickets and IDs were checked and we proceeded to Swettenham Pier, where we would board our ferry.

Swettenham Pier  

The ferry was running a bit late that morning. We we free to sit anywhere .... and we chose to sit on the second row ... after all the passengers were aboard, we set off. 

The ferry interiors looked dated - it really needed an upgrading. The journey itself was long and boring ... and took about 3 hours. It could get a bit chilly too, because of the air-conditioning. So it would be good to have a jacket on hand. 


Approaching land! 

So I was relieved when we reached the island. It was a beautiful, bright and sunny day here at Langkawi Island, and we were feeling excited!

As soon as we disembarked, there were car rental agents dispensing business cards. We rented a Perodua Viva from Rakan Kota Leisure for RM70.00 a day. For a manual drive and such an old car, it wasn't cheap at all. The standard price was RM60.00 to RM80.00 - but the agent refused to reduce the rate because it was peak school holiday season. In fact, I would not recommend this agent whom I felt was opportunistic and unhelpful.

The transport settled, we drove out of Kuah Jetty. S took the wheel first, and she was rather clumsy as this car had no power steering! Urghh!

Anyway, we thought that we would go straight to Pantai Cenang, a tourist district where we were staying .... but we made a wrong turn. Either the map was inaccurate or we read it wrongly. So we found ourselves on Jalan Padang Gaong. So since we were already there, we made a detour to visit Mahsuri's tomb.

As Malaysians, we have all read about the legend of Mahsuri and how closely it is associated with the island - how she was framed and killed, how she bled white blood at her death, and her curse of the island for 7 generations.

We drove for a long time .... but the access road to the tomb wasn't there as indicated in the map. So we found it easier to follow the road signs. They took us to a Malay kampung which felt rather isolated ... and before long, we found Kota Mahsuri. Entrance fee was RM10.00 ..... and we hesitated ........ and in the end we decided not to go inside.

Kota Mahsuri entrance

We were more interested in the sights nearby ....

Rolling paddy fields, mountain backdrop and blue skies :))

We loved the Malay kampung scenery here ..... :)) 

From here onwards, I took over as driver. It wasn't to say that the car wasn't a good drive - it was just difficult to turn. I drove for the rest of our time here in Langkawi Island. 

Next, we drove to Pantai Cenang with the help of the road signs, and we were going to check into our hotel, Fave Hotel Cenang which I had booked and paid for via Agoda. 

I had difficulty booking a hotel here as I felt that choices were limited; many of the reviews were unfavourable, and yet the prices were very steep. Fave Hotel, for example, was a budget two-star hotel, but charged RM278 per night, inclusive of breakfast. 

Anyway, we reached here about 1.40 p.m., and we were allowed to check-in. We waited about 10 minutes before the room was ready .... and paid a deposit of RM100 for the key card. 

Our room
Clean, basic, free wi-fi but we were required to get the password from the reception; kettle and cups provided, but no coffee or tea as they need to be purchased; there's a Coway hot and cold water dispenser, an iron and ironing board at the corridor. The air-con wasn't cold or at least, it took a very long time for the room to be cooled .... 

We took our car and went to Jalan Pantai Cenang ... a road flanked on the left and right by shops and restaurants. It reminded us very much of Krabi. We had difficulty finding a parking spot, so in the end, we parked at Cenang Mall. The very first restaurant we came across, we went inside as we were hungry ..... but the food wasn't commendable - nothing special and nice about them. 

 Seafood Tom Yum with rice vermicelli 

Pineapple Fried Rice

Together with 2 drinks, we paid RM25.00. Then, he headed to the duty free shops - The Zon Duty Free and Coco Valley. Both were linked, and were just next to the Underwater World. We spent some time shopping. I found that many things were cheap and I was so tempted by the luggage bags, and the sets of Corningware casseroles, Corelle dinnerware (I have a penchant for buying crockery!! Sob!!), and the liquor as well. S went for the chocolates. Lol! 

And so I bought 2 bottles of Sommersby Blackberry for only RM4.90! So cheap! Here in Kuching, I had to pay up to RM13.90 a bottle. I also bought a bottle of vodka for Bro. It only cost me RM29.00. I did not want to buy chocolates but couldn't resist Whittaker's Peanut Slab. 3 bars for RM9.90. 

Even now, I regret not buying the Corningware Casserole sets - they were selling for only RM369, compared to RM629 everywhere else! :(( 

After shopping, we went for a drive around the island ..... 

Pantai Airport 
I asked the food truck vendors what this beach was called, and they didn't know ..... hmn .... so we called it Pantai Airport because it was near the airport. Lol.

Perdana Quay

From here, we turned into Jalan Teluk Burau, and here was the location of the Langkawi Skycab. We were coming again tomorrow for our cable car ride up Gunung Machinchang. 

Today, we drove right to the end where Telaga Tujuh was. 

So many monkeys roamed this place and around the island too! 

It was a very steep climb up ... and I was so breathless after we reached the junction to the waterfall. Thereafter, a short walk on the pathway led to the waterfall ..... 

A small group of bathers were here .... we merely soaked our feet in the water for a while, and the water though clear, wasn't cold at all ... 

We were charged RM2.00 for parking .... and after that we drove off  again .... 

Teluk Burau

We turned into the road to The Datai ..... we drove and drove, up and down the winding roads, past a beautiful golf course, and reached the staff quarters. Lol. The security guard asked us to turn back as we could only access the public beach at about 5 km back where were came from. It was getting dark, so we quickly made our way out .... and drove on ..... 

 Teluk Yu

We passed by Kompleks Kraf Langkawi, Telaga Air Hangat, Galeria Perdana, Langkawi Wildlife Park and Birds' Paradise, and other attractions and ended up back in Kuah. By the time we reached our hotel, it was 8.30 p.m. 

2 doors away from our hotel was Tomato Nasi Kandar, where we ate Naan breads and tandoori chicken. The staff was friendly, and the food was not bad. :)) 

 Garlic Naan

Tandoori Chicken

I can't remember the exact prices, but we paid about RM19.00 for our meal, together with 2 cans of drinks.

Back at the hotel, I had to figure out how to open my Sommersby Blackberry without using a bottle opener. Google suggested several ways ....

(Source : http://www.wikihow.com/Open-a-Bottle-Without-a-Bottle-Opener)
And this was exactly how I opened the bottle. Lol. 

I unwound with a drink before bedtime ..... but in fact, it was really noisy at the hotel. It seemed that this hotel was popular with the Chinese nationals, who had no qualms about speaking at the top of the voices at the corridor. Late into the night, you'd hear them talking loudly, rapping on doors, banging the doors, and calling out to each other from one end to the other end .... Urggh .... I wouldn't want to stay where the Chinese nationals are staying .....

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