Misc

Leaving Penang

posted by Stu 0 comments


The decision to come to Langkawi was not an easy one. It was really a tossup between here and the Perhentian Islands which are off the West coast of Malaysia and look like paradise on earth. The problem was that since from there we would be heading to Thailand it would have meant either spending a day travelling back to the West Coast or travelling through the seriously unsafe South East Thailand. Added to the fact the Perhentians are still basic in that there are no ATM’s, the only transport is boats and costs are about 50% higher and suddenly the attraction of Langkawi seemed all the more, well, attractive.
There are a couple of ways of getting to Langkawi from Penang, the easiest been the direct boat service at about 8am. It takes a couple of hours and costs 60MYR for adults and 45MYR for kids (£9) The problem for us was that it would mean we were in Langkawi far too early and so a last minute decision meant that we went to get the ferry, but decided to get the one back to Butterworth, on the mainland, for free. It takes about 20 minutes and once at Butterworth you literally are at the bus station.
I knew there were two ferry ports further up the coast for Langkawi – Kuala Perdis and Kuala Kedah. So we tried to get a bus. There were none direct and instead we had to get the bus to Alor Setar was 9MYR for adults and 6 for kids, which is less than 2 quid each.
The bus was the typical Malaysian VIP style with business class seats and so an hour or so later we pulled into Alor Setar and literally got kicked off right in front of the local Kuala Kedah bus. Straight onto that and it was about 1MYR which is pence and 20 minutes later we hit the ferry port of Kuala Kedah.
The boat was 27MYR for an Adult and 17MYR for kids (£5.40/£3.40) and was leaving in 15 minutes (there were regular departures throughout the day) The boat was like a Catamaran style thing and had obviously been pimped by Xzibit on series one of Pimp my Ride. It was ninja fast and despite the very rough crossing we arrived safely into Kuah Jetty, Langkawi about an hour and half later.
The journey was boring for the most part in the it was just sea, but toward the end it became amazing. Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 Islands in the Andaman sea. Basically it’s as though a rainforest existed on one huge island and it was nuked and then whilst the larger island remained it was split and loads of smaller rainforest filled islands landed around it.
It was beautiful and we were all in awe at the beauty. It looked just like Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam in places.
Off the jetty in Kuah you are about 25km from the main area of Langkawi – Pentai Cenang. There is no public transport on the island and so it was a taxi at 24MYR (£4.80) which by SE Asian standards is a bit steep but really is the only option.
The first thing we noticed about Langkawi was its beauty, it literally is a rain forest on an island surrounded by clear emerald green waters, white sandy beaches and is pretty much deserted.
We got to our hotel and as soon as we dropped the bags off I was at reception ask how much to stay for a few days longer than I had originally planned.

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