The jetty at Porto Malai, Langkawi
The Langkawi trip had been planned for some time because Repin wanted to use up his Leisure Holiday points. We didnt use the points for two years already and by next year it would be considered void so finally we decided to go to Langkawi during the Awal Muharam break. That was a really bad idea because the highway was very congested even though we travelled at night, after the Isyak prayers. We arrived at the Gunung Semanggol rest area late at night (1.00am actually) and decided to stay there for the night. Room rates were cheap - RM59.90 per room! It wasnt anything much -just the basics but we were only going to sleep there until morning. We pushed off for Langkawi after breakfast at 9 am.
The Kuala Kedah Jetty was really overcrowded. No place to park even and Repin had to park quite far away - with the help of the parking attendants who drove him to the car park. There were no more tickets for the 11.30am ferry so we took the next one - 12.30pm.
The ferry was okay I guess, quite comfortable and the journey took about 1 1/2 hours. But we had to wait a further one hour for the car which we had booked from Kuala Kedah. However by 3.00pm we were on the way to the Leisure Holiday apartment in Pantai Cenang. It's the same one we took 4 years ago when last we were there. Two bedrooms, a kitchen and dining area, sitting area and balcony facing the swimming pool. Not too bad a deal. After praying and a short lunch we all decided to go out for a drive round the island, more for Yatie's sake than ours because she had never been to Langkawi.
It's changed a lot this island. For one thing Pantai Cenang is now a real tourist hot spot - lots of tiny boutiques selling beach clothes and also other tropical wear, side walk cafes, bistros and restaurants to suit any budget - from the more expensive to the cheapest. It also looks a lot like Bali - a bit like the Kuta area. There are also one or two bookstores now - used books really - to cater to the tourists who want to laze about and read.
The roads are also better - more smooth and wider too so we drove all over the island. Wan took a lot of photos - photos of boats, beaches, shops but very few of us! We went to Dataran Helang and that too had changed. They look nicer somehow and there are more shops too in Kuah besides the old ones. In fact none of the wooden shops are there any longer. But I think this will be the last time I come here during a national holiday and the school holidays! If you want peace during your vacation, I'd advise you not to come here during this time too!