After having been gone for just over two weeks and visiting 3 different cities I realized my vacation was still missing something. I'm not sure if you've noticed but aside from the few stops at Bake National park, I'd yet to have some quality beach time. In order to change this I decided a visit to the island of Langkawi was in order, so Wednesday morning I packed up my bag and hopped on the ferry - 3 hours later I found myself arriving in paradise. I departed the ferry to find a cab to take me to Pantai Cenang where I planned to spend a lot of time on the beach. I got lucky with my driver, but although he was speaking English I had a hell of a time trying to understand him - pointing out countless hotels, shopping centers and other things he deemed important and we wound up and down the streets of the Island. After checking in (with more friendly staff) I dropped my bag and headed for the beach, which is where I stayed all day.
Aside from wandering the shops around the beach and grabbing some food I didn't really leave the beach all day. I usually get bored after a few hours on the beach but with no one to bother me, music and a good book I was able to manage.
That night as I returned to my room I realized the one big error I had made that day - sunscreen and I were not friends, and because of it I was on fire. Literally my skin was steaming, but nothing a little aloe couldn't fix. The next morning I had a lazy start, coffee and reading on the beach while I waited for John who decided to join me on the Island. Lucky for me he decided to rent a car so we were able to explore more than just the beach - probably a good idea seeing as I looked like a tomato. Our first stop was at the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls (seven wells) which according to legend fairies used to come down to bathe and frolic in - well consider me a fairy :
When we were done with our fun in the pools, and my skin was seriously screaming, we made our way to the cable car which takes you to the top of Gunung Mat Chinchang. When we were at the waterfall I could see a glimpse of the cable car and didn't think much of it - didn't really look too exciting. Well, after climbing into our little glass box and leaving the platform I realized I hadn't really thought out what we were doing - we were soon floating in the middle of the air seemingly floating up the side of the mountain I told John it's a good thing I don't have a fear of heights or I would've been freaking out.
After coming down from the mountain I was ready for a nap but decided I'd settle for a quite ride back to the beach and definitely a good meal. Well the universe had other plans for me because as John went to open the door (passenger side - the key didn't even work in the drivers side door) the key snapped in half, splendid. The rental car employees were less than apologetic and actually wanted us to pay for the key...I really wish I could've spoke Malay so I could complain but I think John did a decent job. It took them forever to come meet us but thankfully there were a few restaurants around so we grabbed something to eat while waiting.
That night we took advantage of the beach and duty free beer prices (about $.70 US) can't beat it. Then on the way back to our room we passed one of the Dr. Fish spas, I've been wanting to visit the one in Seoul almost the entire time I've lived here but never got the chance, so when John suggested we try it I was all for it.
All too soon my vacation to paradise was over. Friday morning I enjoyed a banana pancake breakfast, did a little shopping, and got my last dose of beach time but before long it was time to make our way back to the ferry and Penang. Being my last night in the city, and Friday, we decided to meet Johns friends and head out to the club - I barely even go to the club in Korea, but why not? It wasn't exactly what I was expecting but I had fun and was pleased they played a fair share of Korean music, actually I spent a fair share of time trying to scope out any Koreans that might be in attendance...no luck :/
Just like that and my visit to Penang was over, time for me to move on and head south to Kuala Lumpur. Being the gracious host he was John wanted to make sure I had a good last meal and took me to little India for lunch before heading to the airport. I had a traditional banana leaf meal (on my list of must tries) and left Penang with a full stomach and feeling of content
I got lucky picking this as my first major, solo=backpacking trip. The locals that welcomed me into their homes and taught me about their culture fueled my fire for travel. The food is diverse and delicious, as is the country itself. With heavy influences from both China and India there is a lot on offer.