Malaysia : January 12 - 18 : Langkawi Island

16-18. January

Langkawi Island


We woke up in the morning and had a really nice breakfast at a restaurant nearby. I had French Toast Malay style (do not ask me what that is) and we actually realized that Langkawi wasn't so expensive. Our guardian guide "Lonely Planet" had warned us that Langkawi is actually quite expensive but we couldn't support that. After an obligatory stop at the internet cafe we chose to rent a scooter (~$5 a day) and explore the island. In a magazine we saw a picture of a woman sitting in a stream that was running over smooth washed rocks looking out to the sea down below. All we knew was that it was here on Langkawi but we didn't know where exactly. Off we went and after consulting a local map saw that there were only 3 waterfalls on the island something we could easily cover in one day. We passed the airport and a few lovely bays: one served as a safe anchorage for a bunch of sailboats.  We arrived at the first waterfall and got lucky as it was the one we were looking for. At the bottom, we saw an interesting interaction between monkeys and humans. There was a tribe of monkeys living in the region and they seemed to be pretty used to human presence and their food. These monkeys must have developed some cunning methods of acquiring what wasn't meant for them. So people there had slingshots with which they would shoot the monkeys if they got too close to the stalls. You could see that these monkeys had tremendous respect or fear for these slingshots and could recognize them right away. The scene went a little obscure when we witnessed some tourists actually feeding the monkeys with peanuts but at the same time firing them at the monkeys if they got too close. What a prime example of what twisted behavior the human mind is capable of and it was very different behavior toward the monkeys compared to those ones we saw in Ubud, Bali.  

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We had to hike and climb over 380 stairs to the top of the falls to reach the swimming holes, pools and slides. Once there, I slipped into my swimming shorts and enjoyed the refreshing water in the little pools while soaking in the grandiose view of the ocean. It was here when I realized how many different amazing views of the oceans of this world we have seen and felt very grateful for this experience. Later the scooter took us past rubber tree plantations and through the center of the island where it was easy to see how the locals lived their lives away from the tourism of the coast. On the way to the second fall (driving on a smaller, paved side street) we ran into another tribe of monkeys who scuttled off very fast into the woods upon our arrival. That fall wasn't quite so special so we left and enjoyed a calm reminder of the day with a dinner at a German run restaurant called the Green Tomato, where I was able to still a craving for pizza. It was interesting to talk to the owner of this place who has been living there for over 9 years and seemed to be experiencing a severe case of island fever. I guess that is the flip side of living in paradise.

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