1st - 11th March
01.03.2009 - 11.03.2009 33 °C
We left Bali on cheap AirAsia flights to get to the island of Langkawi in the north west of Malaysia. Our first flight, which only cost £6.50, took us to Kuala Lumpur and from there we had a few hours wait at the airport then another one hour flight to Langkawi. We got a taxi to our hostel but it was quite late when we arrived so we didn't do anything that night.
We ended up staying on Langkawi for four nights and had a very relaxing time on the island. There was a beach about five minutes away from our hostel which we went to everyday to soak up the sun and swim in the sea. As with most places in Langkawi a lot of space on the beach had been commandeered by expensive hotels and people on package holidays but there was always enough space for us to put down our sarongs and use the beach for free.
Apart from going to the beach we would go for walks and see more of the island but Langkawi is of sufficient size that a car or moped are needed to see anywhere near all of it. We tried to hire bikes on one of the days but gave up after hearing a variety of explanations as to why this wouldn’t be possible.
We found a good restaurant called Cactus which we ate at a few times that had a lot of, mostly European, football memorabilia on the walls. Ellie donated a mini Cheltenham scarf that she has had with her on the trip.
From Langkawi we went to Koh Lipe, a small and beautiful island in Thailand. We decided not to get the more expensive speedboat (which takes one hour) and instead caught the ferry to Satun, three different mini buses to Pak Bara and finally a ferry to Koh Lipe followed by a long tail boat to our beach. This took much longer but saved a bit of cash.
We found ourselves a nice hut on Sunrise Beach which is a quiet and extremely pleasant strip of white sand which faces an expanse of crystal clear turquoise water. We stayed on Koh Lipe for six nights, with the pattern of our days not varying too much from that of Langkawi. We spent a fair amount of time on the beach, in the sea and relaxing in hammocks. We would also go out every evening to enjoy the Thai food at various restaurants and street stalls.
Koh Lipe is small enough to walk around in a couple of hours so we were able to stroll across to the other beaches and explore the interior of the island where the locals live in a village and there is a forest of sorts.
Despite staying on Sunrise Beach we never got up in time to see it but we did venture across to Sunset Beach later in the day a couple of times to take in the views there.
Mike visited Koh Lipe in 2006 so it was interesting for him to see how it has changed in that time. It is much more developed than it used to be with lots more shops, restaurants and accommodation options popping up to cater for the increased number of visitors. Another noticeable difference is that the roads that run through the centre of the island are now paved rather than being dusty tracks.
On the Saturday night one of the bars, Cozy Cove, put on a party at their place which is a small beach that they have to themselves and is set apart from the rest of the island. They were playing a variety of tunes from breaks to psy-trance on a fairly good sound system. They added to the atmosphere with fireworks, fire poi and a ring of fire that some people jumped through. It was a good night and it was funny for us to go back to drinking the potent cocktail of Thai whiskey, coke and Thai redbull.