I’ll keep this brief – I spent 6 days in Langkawi, mainly horizontal, except for the bits where I was upright either eating or heading to the beach on my newly acquired moped. Yes folks, you read that right, I was on a moped. It was either that or spend 6 days moping rather than mopeding, in my AirBnB in Teriang, in a room with just a mattress on pallets. Wasn’t quite in the mood to shout ‘Vive La Difference’ after my loveliness that was my 2 nights in Campbell House, George Town, particular after I saw what I thought was a 3” floater in the toilet but then I realised that it was in fact a dead cockroach.
So I got off my arse and on my bike and slowly but surely set off, firstly stopping off for petrol as I was on fumes for the first 5km to the petrol station. Heading out at 10am was perfect, no traffic, only monkeys for pedestrians around the forest, they drive on the left (people, not the monkeys) and people don’t drive like loons and they do give you a wide berth when overtaking, unless they’re Chinese in a hire car, in which case they try to trim your leg hairs with their tyres. Having pre-paid 10Malaysian Ringgit (£2) to fill ‘er up, it was full at 8.80MR (but that’s ok, because when I refilled it again another day I spent 7.50MR and got 7.50 in change out of 10…!
Anyhoooo, I went to restart the bike and nowt happened. Shit…had I put the wrong fuel in (who’d be so daft….not anyone who drove a diesel Skoda for 7yrs and then one day put petrol in it) – nope not this time, had I overfilled it (yes, obviously, but would that really kill it?), am I cursed, because it bloody felt like it? Turns out it was none of the above, just me being a dumb arse who forgot to squeeze the brake when turning the key. Ker-nobber…panic over and off again back the way I came and on to Cenang Beach, the main resort. Parked up and success! Beach was wide, sandy, busy but not rammed with people. Sun was out and it was perfect.
After lunch I decided to head north to Tanjung Rhu, however rather than do the sensible thing and ride back the way I came, against the traffic, I went with it expecting to circle around the back of Cenang. Suffice to say I didn’t and the bonus was I got to see a lot more of the island than I bargained for, including a very nice and very empty dual carriageway. Luckily I managed to figure out that I was heading the long way around the island pretty quickly, (I see the sea – it’s on the wrong side of me!). What I couldn’t do though was go right back the way I came, so instead had to opt for heading for the airport as my point of reference. This took me on a somewhat circuitous route inland before heading back out toward the sea-line again, and later when looking at the map I couldn’t figure out how I got to where I did, but I had and it’s just best not to over-thunk it. Main thing was I had pretty much a full tank of petrol, a small island to get lost on and I got back on track.
After a quick wee stop at home I headed off to Tanjung Rhu without any diversions, where I arrived 50mins later with a numb bum and sore knees (from where they were banging against the basket at the front of the bike. Worth it though – it was stunning – proper sandy white beach, beautiful blue sea and about 4 people on the beach. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I stayed for an hour or so enjoying the scenario, had some dinner and headed home a very happy person, my only problem being I couldn’t go around a roundabout properly and steered off halfway round – a U-ey and a left and I was off again.
And thus the routine was set, I got up, I went to eat breakfast, I went to the beach, I ate a late lunch, an early dinner and came home to my mattress on pallets. Across from my gaff was a ‘hotel’ that did breakfast, popping in one morning and there were 2 guys from the mainland visiting the owner Johny Be Good, ex-hotel and bar singer and musician. They invited me to join them for a beer and a G&T but seeing as it wasn’t even 10am I declined plus didn’t want to drink and drive. Ahmed, one of the guys had 3 wives, and 5 kids, included a chubby little 7 year old from the latest Mrs A, who loved to give it some full-on Pop Idol action – luckily I only got to see the one video and then managed to make my escape, leaving them to their liver implosions. I was invited back to the ‘Thursday night is music night’ night which included Johny and some expats putting on a show, with guitars and keyboard but after another riveting meal of Nasi Ayum (basically rice with a bit of a chicken on it, the fun comes trying to identify which bit of the chicken you have got) I settled in for a bit of Netflix binging.
Friday being my last night, I went all out and had a shwarma in Cenang, actually saw my first proper sunset of the trip at the pier in Teriang, along with all the scooter boys and girls (the kids all ranged in age from about 12 and upwards and from 5pm onwards would be zooming all over the place chattering, fighting, and mucking about on their scooters, it was like a cheaperand younger version of Grease and without the leather but was still serious pouting, gelled hair and tight clothes for the boys, giggles and over-exaggerated posing by the girls).
I then wandered over to the ‘hotel’ for a beer. The intent was ‘just the one Mrs Wembley’ as I was getting down to the bare bones of the Ringgit, but Johny insisted on buying me a second, so I had to return the favour and that meant 3 in total. Johny launched into a little song routine with his guitar, some of it made sense, some it didn’t – mostly due to accent and the fact he’s missing a fair few front teeth, however he definitely could play the guitar and you could tell he was a bar-room crooner back in the day. 9pm and way past my bed time, so I headed back home, onto my pallets and then failed to sleep as I had to be up early doors to get to the airport – always the blooming way.
Taxi rocked up for 7.40am, and 15mins later I was deposited at the airport. You weren’t allowed through security until at least an hour before your flight, so luckily having breakfast at the airport wasn’t such a mad idea after all. A hop and a skip and we were back at Penang airport to await the connection to Changi, and then onto Yangon. Myanmar here we come….!
I would go back to Langkawi again, it’s easy to get about, the beaches are beautiful. It wasn’t heaving with people, was really laid back and easy-going but next time I’ll stay somewhere a bit closer to ‘civilisation’ and maybe ensure I have a proper bedstead too.