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Penang to Langkawi


I had spent the last couple of days unfortunately distracted by the need to acquire a new camera and so it was only on my last day around town after long deliberation that I finally bagged it. I promptly gave it its baptism of fire with a repeat whistle stop tour of the colonial sights. That meant sacrificing a visit to the little known Penang War Museum which lay tantalisingly close to the airport. In the end I ran out of time though and just had to make a beeline for the terminal and my impending flight to Langkawi. It didnt help any to appease my frustrated mood these days and a couple of overzealous taxi sharks, one not even legit, pushed it too far and got both barrels, tuned to F with a middle finger thrown in for free. Firefly was a new budget airline start-up which had only just begun accepting online bookings, and so in the promotional fanfare I had managed to secure a ticket up to Langkawi for a measly 54 Ringit, that being all of 8 quid. Combined with the set fare taxi charge to Cenang Beach it wound up costing exactly the same as the alternative boat trip and certainly afforded better views. Unfortunately, although the weather was surprisingly good and I was blessed with a fine panorama of the whole of Penang, the stubborn stormy nature of the impending monsoon had churned the sea up so that where turquoise blue and coral reef should have been, a swirly carpet of mud soup replaced it. Still a nice trip though and Langkawi Island materialised looking suitably tropical from my near empty Fokker 50. It was another bonus in that though an old design I had never flown one and offering seating for 60, I counted us to be only 11 passengers. Little distraction upon landing then, my bag was already there to meet me and with no public transport on the island, the monopoly taxi service was at least commensurately civilised. Upon pulling up at Gecko's Guesthouse I was a tad disappointed to find it obviously away from the beach and very quiet, but then this then later proved to be symptomatic of the whole resort area. With a reputation for being a true paradise with duty free pricing thrown in to boot, unfortunately it seemed to be compromised by the weather as elsewhere and after a few very cheap beers I then failed to sleep despite my fan blowing on max. Besides the heat and humidity, we got treated to an all night thunderstorm of earth tremouring severity and the rain hammered on the tin roof like firecrackers going off. Then I woke to find that I'd left my pretty irreplaceable lightweight travel towel in Penang, a serious mistake.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Malaysia

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