Jethro: Langkawi was the biggest island we had been to yet. A few built up areas on the coast are surrounded by island speckled water on one side, and rice fields and hills on the other. The French colonial architecture of the northern countries has finally given away to good proper British colonial architecture. After being in the 4G shop for over an hour trying to get a SIM card working, we headed to the west coast to find some drainage pipes to sleep in.
The drainage pipes turned out to have aircon and a very comfy double bed, and were in a very cool location. It’s certainly the first time I’ve seen a hostel/hotel like this!
We got hit hard with the weather, we knew the dry spell on this coast was due to end. And end it did. The drainage pipes were set on a dockyard facing out west to the strait of Malacca, and the storms which rolled in were like walls of water. Walls of water which were also walls keeping us huddled in our drainage pipe.
Our timing entering malaysia was very cool because we stayed there over Eid El Fith , the end of Ramadan. No big festivities were visible to us, as most celebration is done with family at home. However the percentage of guys wearing colourful man-dresses was greatly increased, and it added a beautiful charm to the place. Most local restaurants closed sunrise to sunset. Signs advertising massive 30 dish banquets after sunset were everywhere. And the food market (this one moves around each day – only found it twice!) was packed. I played pointy pointy lucky dip and got some lovely food. Peach was still getting sicker, but the hospital was emergency only over the festive period. We were starting to work out a diet which helped reduced her nausea a bit, but we were running out of drugs. The next big island along, Penang, is well known for it’s medical tourism, and we were planning on going there anyway.
Eventually a big bit of storm came through, cleared out the cobwebs, and we would have a few days of partial dryness. The afternoon it cleared up we drove up the Gunung Raya mountain, and were glad we didn’t try it in the storm.
The recently felled tree must have come down that morning, and we’re glad we weren’t under it!
The view from the top was something special, gorgeous shaped islands and boats puttering about and buildings sprinkled on the land.
I’m glad that these views still astound me and put me in that appreciative mood where everything is meaningful and beautiful. I try to not let myself take the gorgeous things in life for granted, but every now and again I’ll realise I’m engrossed in reading/gaming/daydreaming… and missing something. Like when you’re on a plane flying over somewhere beautiful and don’t even look out the window at the world below.
Going up mountains and looking down on the world is a common activity for us now, but so far it’s not become so normal that we can’t appreciate it properly. We always enjoy a good view.
Especially when there’s a skybridge at the top.
This was a few days after the mountain, and I’m glad we did it in that order as this was the highlight of the island and made everything else seem insignificant. It was hard to not just sit up there for hours looking out over the world and being content. It’s even harder to leave when they have a £1 burger which was incredible, a veritable mountain of happiness. Well organised, soundly constructed, and inspiringly architectured(sic), this is a truly brilliant project. Apart from the best cable cart I’ve been on and the gorgeous mountaintop viewpoints, there is a theme park style area at the base with amusements and a 3D art gallery. And I t was all brilliantly asian-cheesy.
Peach: We almost skipped the 3D Art Museum, mostly because it’s called a ‘museum’ and I wasn’t feeling particularly museum-y that day but our tickets for the cable car included entry so we thought we’d give it a go anyway. Totally not what I expected, there were loads of 3D paintings across the walls and floor where lots of people were standing in bizarre poses to have their photos taken on these paintings. After a few minutes I was sold and ran around with Jethro taking photos of each other looking like we are balancing on precarious rope bridges or walking into a life sized book.
Jethro: A few days later we were cruising along the north coast checking out fancypants road. It’s filled with golf courses and the kinda private resorts that have gates and guards to stop people like us getting in and selfie-ing all over the place. Perhaps the wealthy neighborhood and many guards put us into a false sense of security, but we fell right into the trap set for us.
This guy was innocently sat on his own by the road, we didn’t think anything of the monkey we now know as the sentry of the operation. He scattered as soon as we parked the moped and walked up some small waterfalls.
It’s a good location to stage a monkey-heist, slow to traverse and full of of blind corners.
And when you go up the stairs and find a whole family of monkeys waiting for you, it’s very distracting. They started goofing around and a mum with a baby clung onto her came pretty close. We hung around for a little while taking photos, but when I tried to leave the mum with the baby came super close and crossed my path, enlonging the distraction. Baby monkey only a meter away? I had to stay longer to take a video (which unfortunately we can’t track down now).
It was peach further down the stairs who raised the alarm that we had been hoodwinked.
Thankfully we recovered all the items! If you look closely you can see he has our room key in his hands.
Peach: To get over the monkey thief ordeal we decided to go find some nice food for dinner. We were recommended somewhere to eat called Wonderland food store so on our last night we went searching for it (it was only 10mins walk from our hotel) and we found it, but it was closed. Unfortunately the next place we tried was also closed, and the next place too… We finally found a Korean restaurant and seeing as neither of us really knew anything about Korean food, thought we might as well give it a go. Even my relatively plain ‘safe’ meal of rice, veggies and egg, was super delicious and Jethro’s tofu and fish stew was out of this world, let alone all the free side dishes and kimchi. Ever since then we have had a mild obsession with Korean food.
Jethro: We had really wanted to go to the Cameron Highlands next, but heavy thunderstorms were forecasted, and we had learnt not to screw about with the monsoon weather. So we skipped that and headed straight to Penang, to get Peach medical help!