Posts Tagged With: Andaman Sea

Beach Daze and Cheap Changs

Our time in Langkawi was equally split between eating delicious food, lazing on the beach and shopping our butts off.  We woke up on our first full day on the island and were disappointed that it was kind of cloudy out.  No matter, we had an island hopping tour booked at 2pm and decided to head to the beach anyways – as it promptly started raining. Poop. We took shelter at what would become our favorite beachy place, outside the fancy Casa Del Mar resort, and watched the rain.  It let up in time for us to grab some lunch and snacks and be herded onto a bus to the jetty to catch our boat.  it was us, four girls from Syria and a whole lotta Malaysian Muslims! Our first stop was to the lake of the Pregnant Maiden, a freshwater lake on an island nearby that was gorgeous!  It reminded Micheline and I of our cottages back home and we laughed as some of the other tourists took what looked like their first swim, life jackets and all!

The second stop was cool but not to my taste, since eagle-feeding sounds all majestic and awesome but is actually taming these gorgeous animals and making them dependent on the food we give them.  It was interesting to see such a large eagle colony and of course to see them swooping down to grab the food, but made me sad since this is not a responsible thing to do.  The garbage at the tourist sites in Malaysia disappoint me quite a bit as well – if you have been given the gift of Paradise, do you seriously want to ruin it with pop cans and candy wrappers!  Smarten up, Malaysia!!
We stopped at a third island as well, for more beachy fun.  We wanted to snorkel but our conversation with the water sports guys went like this:  “Is there anything for us to see” Snorkel guy: “um, no. really clear water.”  us: “ok. pass.” We laid on the beach and befriended some other girls who turned out to be from Canada as well (french side) and I got to hear a bit about their travels in Australia, my next destination.  The weather ended up being great for the rest of the day and we loved just boating around the various small islands.  Not bad for 25 ringgits! about 9 dollars.  After chilling at the hostel for a bit, we shopped in the evening, I picked up some souvenirs for friends and family and bought cheap beers to drink on the beach since there was, once again, NO party to speak of on the beach or otherwise.  We snuck through an amazing resort on our way home, the Frangipani, and were amazed by how the other half lives – winding pools, private water park, and gorgeous villas.  Someday!!
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Love in Langkawi

I have officially found my favorite place in Malaysia!  Shes got everything I need – incredible beaches, cheap beer, great shopping and awesome accommodation. The only thing she was lacking was a good beach party!!  We took the ferry from Penang to Langkawi, since both are islands and fairly close together it made sense to hop on the ferry that connects the two.  Our tickets were 62 Ringgits, about $20 each and we managed to catch the bus there (about a ten minute ride) from out hostel on Lebuh Chulia for one ringgit (YES).  The ferry left an hour late and we got underway around 9:30 am.  It took three freezing hours to get there, seriously if you ever go on a Malaysian ferry bring both a sweater and a blanket, we had hoodies and sarongs to cover us but were still cold.  We went from cold to sweltering hot and boarded a taxi to Pentai Cenang after a quick food break at the jetty since neither of us had breakfast.

There’s no public transport on Langkawi, so taxi are the main transport for tourists if you are not renting a car.  We found our guesthouse with not too much trouble, we had found a brochure for a lovely looking place when we were in the Pehrentians, and luckily they had room in the dorm.  The place is called Soluna Guesthouse, and I would highly recommend it, its newly opened and very clean, centrally located, though not on the beach it’s quite close, and cheaper than a beachfront place, very quiet (except for the homemade Ramadan bombs going off, not much they could do about that), and run by a lovely Italian woman and her husband who keep a bunch of friendly cats around!
We dumped our stuff and had the rest of the afternoon to explore slash fall in love with this little place!! Langkawi is a pretty big island, and we stayed on Pentai Cenang, the biggest and most populated beach.  There is one loooong main road off the beach which holds all the restaurants, shopping, hotels and guesthouses, construction was going at a frantic place everywhere you looked, im assuming Langkawi will look very different in a few years with all the mid rise hotels going up!  But for now its still quite charming, we walked down the main road and found tons of interesting shops, even a shopping mall and a duty-free complex!  There was also lots of yummy looking and cheap food to be had.  We walked the whole strip before turning our attention to the beach, which was unreal. White sand, untouched tropical islands in the distance, the sky blue Andaman sea, it was just the thing this beach bum wanted to see!  We walked the length of the beach, climbing rocks and watching the parasailers as they sailed above us.  After dinner at a little Indian restaurant, we noticed that a whole new batch of shops had opened up in the evening, and did some poking around before heading back to our guesthouse.  There is NO nightlife to speak of in Langkawi – the beach bars were dead, the restaurants close early – I guess since it’s a family place we guessed everyone was at home with their wee ones.  Oh well. There’s always a catch in paradise, I guess!!

 

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Koh Li Pe and the end of the world

The next morning, a speedboat took us (quickly!) On the two-hour journey through a perfect blue ocean, we stared at the gorgeous scenery and made friends, drinking (messy) beers with them on the boat.

I have never been so amazed by a place upon first arrival as I was when we landed on the bay at Li Pe. The water was turquoise blue, the kind of blue that exists only in postcards. Green mountains rose out of the water on the neighbouring island (a national park) and a pristine white sandy beach laid before us in the water, populated only by many colorful long tails floating serenely.

Our resort was called, appropriately, Castaway, and after a short bumpy ride on a converted moto/taxi, we arrived at what I can only describe as paradise on earth. Our two-story beach hut was cosy, clean and right by the ocean, the eatery overlooked the water as well, and there were wooden cabanas placed along the beachfront with little cushions so you could lounge and relax on the beach away from the fierce sun.

Luckily for us, we had tons of friends visiting the island during that same time – the 36 day BT group, some guides having their much-needed time off, and a group of fun guys who we had gotten to know on our BT trip as well.  There was always someone to hang out with, and this made our deserted resort feel like one big house that you live in with all of your friends 🙂

Our first night on the beach, we partied right on the sand, sitting on mats and low tables watching each other spin fire and listening to music. I got to spin that night and every night after, which of course made me the happiest girl in the world! We adventured off into the night and ended up at OMG bar, run by the ever-smiling Oh and his gracious wife. The bar would end up being our local haunt, and that first night I may or may not have hit the buckets too hard…I’d like to thank Camille for helping me home that first night or I might still be wandering around the island!

The second day in paradise brought clear skies, a scorching sun, and good food at the local bakery. Since it was low season, there were hardly any other tourists there and it felt as if we were the last people on earth, sitting at the end of the world in the Andaman sea.

That night we had a handcuff party (where all the names of our friends were placed in a hat and randomly drawn out in pairs, destined to be tied together with fishing cords by the wrist for the rest of the night) and I drew Ben, a tour guide on the 36 day tour. Lol. I knew I was in for a funny night!  We all got paired off and the drinking olympics began.  There must have been something in our giant “thai-size” buckets, because we all partied like crazy people that night. I even got Ben to spin fire around me somehow while we were still attached!

That night brought an ocean dip, and a bit of bed swapping to accommodate the more aggressively competitive among us (me) who wanted to win the contest and stay tied together. DAMN YOU CHELSEEEEEAA! Her and carter ended up being the lucky winners – but we got second place!

The next day I had what might be the worst hangover of my life, but since there’s not much to do on the beach but nap, shower, tan, repeat, I did just that and felt much better. I didn’t even miss the “yoohoo” lady, who walks down the beach every afternoon calling “yoo hoo! Yoo hoo!” And carrying a tray of amazing baked goods and samosas. It was hilarious to see the tourists flock to the cheery, smiling lady as she hawked her wares, feeding hungry falang in the afternoon sun.

That night was quieter than the last, we shared (smaller) buckets at OMG and wasted the night away joking, laughing and poking fun at each other about the events of the night before. I even had a porch party!!

We were so sad to leave the next day, although since everyone was leaving it was bittersweet – not as much fun on paradise island if you don’t have some people to share it with! Our speedboat brought us back to (uuuaaaghh) Pak Bara, and Nikki, Carter,Chelsea, Alex and I took a minibus to Krabi after a tearful goodbye to Ben and his group, and my beautiful roomie/partner in crime Camille, who would be flying back to Canada (wah!)

I so wished she could have been there to be with me and Chelsea for our next adventures, but next year is another trip and another wild ride, right baby?? 😀

The rainy bus ride brought us to Krabi, and one choppy long tail ride later we were back – in Railay!!

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