As I sit here, staring at my screen, I’m trying to come up with something to write about Malaysia. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t that big of a highlight. Now, keep in mind, this is the one and only place that I’ve ever been so I guess I should make it clear that we weren’t a huge fan of Langkawi.
The boat ride over from Koh Lanta was really simple but expensive. We paid 200$ each way for two people. So all said and done with conversion it cost us 400$ just to go to Langkawi and back. I think if we had realized this sooner, we would have changed our plans. There was talk of going back to Vietnam cause we really missed the food, the kind people and the cheap prices but unfortunately our ferry tickets were non-refundable.
Now, when you pay 400$ just for transportation, you expect a decent ferry, especially when the website is called Tigerline Ferry, but we should have known better. On the way there it was pretty good, the ferry wasn’t anything special, smaller than i thought but it wasn’t bad. It took about 6 hours but you spend 4 of those sitting at Koh Lipe waiting for the next ferry to leave after going through boarder control.
On the way home was where i got angry about the costs. We were squished onto a small speedboat full of plenty of other people. The water was extremely rough and the boat driver must’ve been a tuk tuk driver with a day off cause he was insane. Instead of slowing down for waves he drove at them at full speed and swerved around them. I’m sitting here typing this with mid back pain from that ride. There were 3 small children who looked as though they were going to vomit as their parents held them so tightly to their chests i thought the kids heads were gonna pop off. And make no mistake, the ride did not have to be this bad. Standing at the front beside the driver could only have been his drinking buddies as they all looked back at us smiling and talking to each other in Thai, probably finding a lot of humor in our reactions.
Now this boat ride lasted 8 hours….I’m not even exaggerating!! EIGHT HOURS. Cause unlike on the way there where we got to stop and relax and eat some food, we didnt get this luxury on the way back. We stopped at what must have been every single island between Malaysia and Koh Lanta. We changed boats 3 times, and by changing boats i mean, in the middle of the water we pulled up to another boat floating there and hopped over onto its deck. Insanity. So needless to say, by the time we got to Koh Lanta, we were pretty cranky. We had left at 7am that morning and didn’t arrive until about 330pm. The only food that was offered to us was pre-cut and bagged death fruit that I absolutely refuse to eat. But its over now right? Im not still bitter about it at all.
Well i guess i should talk about Langkawi now. Its a main hub for whats called “Visa Runs”. As a tourist in Thailand you automatically receive 30 days to stay within the country, once your 30 days are up, you have to leave the country for a certain amount of time before you can re-enter for another 30 days of travel. So because Langkawi is a day trip, a lot of people use it for this. The island is full of duty free shops and supposed cheap shopping. The only discounts i saw were on alcohol and cigarettes. Food was pretty expensive and shopping was exactly what you would see at the shops in every city in Thailand. So it was nothing new to us.
We spent 10 days right on the main strip in Pentai Cenang, a bustling tourist area on whats supposed to be a very nice beach area. We managed to find some really great food places to eat at that were really reasonably priced. Unfortunately the only thing cheap was noodles or rice so we spent 10 days eating 3$ rice and noodle dishes. We did find a really great Indian place, Spice and Rice, right next to our restaurant and as long as we shared a rice and a naan and didn’t get a fancy drink, it was really good prices.
We had read about a restaurant called “The Kasbah” that had really good reviews online so we made sure to try it out. The prices were higher than we wanted to spend but the food was really good, so we ended up splurging a bit and going back twice. We just follow the water and no appys rule.
During the course of our 10 days we honestly didnt do too much, which was the plan. We were just looking for a nice beach area to chill on for a bit and just relax for our last few weeks of our trip.
We decided to check out the Sky Bridge, a 125 meter pedestrian cable bridge suspended 660 meters above sea level. To get to it you have to take a taxi or Grab to the Cable Car at the Oriental Village at Teluk Barau. This place is sort of like a mini entertainment complex with 3D art museum, a small rabbit petting zoo, a couple small rides and plenty souvenir shops and restaurants. To get into the village as well as all the way up to the bridge you can expect to pay about 30-40$ per person for the basic package, which isnt too bad as it includes free entry to a couple other attractions.
The bridge was pretty cool with some gorgeous views on the way up on the insanely steep cable car that i completely kept my cool on and wasn’t scared at all. (How i ever jumped out of planes is beyond me these days lol) You can expect some more amazing scenery from the bridge as well. Parts of the walkway are Plexiglas so you can stand on them and look through right to the ground, it makes for some cool pictures. The bridge actually sways giving it a very real and terrifying feel of a suspension bridge.
We spent some time at the bunny petting zoo of course, cause its me and took a walk through the 3D Art Gallery which is really cool! Lots of fun interactive paintings to take photos in front of. We really enjoyed it.
We also booked a day trip to Pulau Payar Marine park for snorkeling. We were pretty excited as the pictures looked beautiful. Sadly we were disappointed when we got there by the state of the beach. Theres a fair amount of garbage laying around despite it being a protected marine park. The snorkel area was incredibly small so you really dont need 4 hours. There is no where to walk on the island, the ends of the beach are covered in huge rocks so you have no where to go and the beach itself is very small. So you’re stuck in a small spot for 4 hours with alot of other people. The weather got really bad a couple hours in so you couldnt snorkel cause of the crappy visibility and you couldn’t swim cause of the rocks and protected coral. The food was a packed lunch and was not good at all. Needless to say, we were really disappointed in our day.
We did get to see some pretty fish and one baby black tip reef shark which was really cool but other than that, a pretty hum drum day.
I’m not going to say, don’t go to Langkawi cause for a younger crowd it may be more appealing. There’s a lot of shopping, plenty of water activities like parasailing and renting seados along Cenang beach. Theres some great restaurant choices if you have the money also. But if you’re looking for culture, snorkeling or diving excursions or a really good beach I wouldn’t recommend it here.
We were pretty happy to head back to Thailand after our 10 days and finally start heading in the direction of home. We have a couple more stops before we jump on that plane and are incredibly excited for our 5 star hotel in Phuket.
As always, thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far ❤