After spending a few days in Penang I decided to go to Langkawi. Langkawi is another Malay island close to Penang. I think the ferry from Penang takes 3-4 hours, but I decided to fly as I found a cheap ticket and the flight was only half an hour. I don’t think I’ve ever been on such a short flight, it was very weird, pretty much just up and down.
In Langkawi I stayed at a backpackers called Rainbow Lodge in the Cenang area, I’d read about it before and had some people recommend it to me. Luckily I had called them a couple of days in advance to reserve a bed (they have no online booking), cause when I got there it was fully booked along with many of the other hostels in the same area, probably because of Chinese new year holiday. I met a couple of people walking around looking for a room, they eventually found somewhere, and we decided to meet up the next day and maybe hire some scooters to explore the island.
The next morning I bumped into another person I’d met the other day, he was getting a group together to go on a boat tour to explore a river and some caves. It sounded like a great idea so we decided to join them. After waiting for ages trying to get everyone together and on the same page we set off in two big taxis to a river in northern Langkawi where the boat tour would start.
At first we went to a spot to see eagles. The driver had brought some food he threw in the water to get the eagles close to the boat to that we could see them better. I’m not really a fan of this kind of “animal tourism”. I’d heard about this eagle feeding before and how it’s not only good as it can make the eagles dependent on handouts from humans. Anyways, it was too late to withdraw from it now and I enjoyed seeing the big birds up close.
After eagles it was time for more animal feeding, this time monkeys! As we went into the mangrove forest they started appearing and we stopped for while to watch them while people were throwing them nuts that they would pick up from the water and sometimes dive for. One even got onto the boat which just scared most of us! After giving him what he wanted (food!) he took a short swim back to the trees.
We continued down the river towards a tiny cave that the boat could just about enter and then back out of again. After that we went to a fish farm and restaurant. While we were waiting for the food some of the boys working there showed us the different kind of fish they were breading. The food was ok, we actually didn’t have fish, just noodles with chicken.
After food it was off the the bat cave, a pretty common attraction in Langkawi. It’s basically a (pretty small) dark cave you can walk through by following a path. You get a torch and can see loads of bats in the ceiling of the caves. There were also monkeys around on the footpaths around the swampy bits.
The tour all in all was pretty good I think, I mostly enjoyed just being on a boat and the nature and good company.
We finished on a nice, quite beach on the northern coast just before sunset. We went for a swim before we walked back to the river where the tour started, just across the road. The water was warm and it was so nice to go in since I hadn’t actually been to a beach since Sydney.
The next day we had plans to get actually get the scooters and drive around the island, buuut, I got ill and was in bed feeling sick and with fever for two days. At least this cute cat joined me so I didn’t have to be completely alone. He scared me at first, I woke up in the night and felt something big and soft on my leg, but obviously when I realised it was a cat he was welcome to stay. I had seen him walking around the area earlier and he seemed clean and healthy (except for that cut on his leg..).
I started recovering towards the end of the second day and decided to go to Jakarta the next day, or I wouldn’t get enough time in Indonesia. It’s a shame I didn’t get to see more of Langkawi, but I can always come back later if I want to.