The forms and existence of water
04.07.2013 - 09.07.2013
We were lucky enough to escape the floods in Krabi Town and catch our 5 hour mini bus ride to the border town of Satun. A quick songthaew ride to the ferry terminal brought us to the border control where they took our passports and cleared us for departure to Malaysia. Langkawi, a fairly big island not far off the coast of the mainland was our destination. We sat atop the ferry and were engulfed in sprays of saltwater with the swells getting bigger as we watched a new storm rolling in. As we reached the port the rain had begun. A 20 minute taxi ride to Pantai Cenang(the main beach) revealed that every flood plain we passed was full to the brim with water from the latest monsoons. We knew right there that we were in for it.
It took us nearly an hour to find our guesthouse which was tucked away off the main roads and side roads. The owners, friendly enough didn't speak a lick of English. We were able to communicate that we would need a motor bike and a bike to eat. Before I knew it I was riding backseat on the bike of a man with one tooth! I couldn't help but wonder if maybe a bike incident was the reason for the lack of teeth. Without my passport or license I was able to negotiate a bike with the rental company. I sped back to the guesthouse to pick up my girl and we shot into town to grab a bite to eat. Mee curry was served with a plate of rice. After a long day of travel with more than a few speed bumps we were stoked to get to the room, have a shower and put our feet up. It sounded like a good plan. Megan turned on water and I heard a spitting noise coming out, and then it stopped. There was no water! Smelly, annoyed, and exhausted we decided to deal with it in the morning. Upon further investigation the following morning we found out that the entire island was without water. The recent floods had broke one major water pipe. We were forced to wash with buckets of water from the owners personal supply. We took turns pouring the water on each other, having a quick wash and pouring some more to rinse. This went on for 3 days. We kept our heads high and smiles on our faces and enjoyed the ride.
Langkawi is an island of many landscapes. There are mountains reaching 1,000 meters shooting up from the sea. Untouched virgin jungles. White and black sand beaches. Waterfalls are in abundance, but don't plan on seeing everything unless you rent a motor bike or a car for $10 a day. We went to a couple different waterfalls and soaked in the crystal clear pools at the bottom, ignoring the swim at your own risk signs. Each waterfall we went to took at least an hour there and back on the bike. Our bums were sore at the end of each day. There were 2 days where it rained and never stopped. We used that time to catch up on current events from back home, playing uno, and working on our blog. One day driving home from the black sand beach it rained so hard that it literally felt like someone was shooting bb's at us, to say the least it did not feel good. We used one of our sunny days to ride to the northern part of the island and visit the oriental village at the base of the cable car. We found some decent food in the oriental village before riding the cable car to the top of the mountain. The cable car was a fun 15 minute ride and 2.2 kilometers over some of the falls and untouched jungles of the island. I don't know exactly how high it was but I wouldn't recommend looking down if your afraid of heights. When we arrived at the top the clouds rolled in and ruined our view, seems like this is a reoccurring theme on this SE Asia adventure. We enjoyed it nonetheless.
Half way through our week on the island we switched guesthouses to a place up in the countryside. To get there we had to bike 7 kilometers on a bumpy drt road full of potholes, dead snakes, cows and water buffalo blocking the road. Once you finally get there it is quiet, cool, and peaceful. The owners were so nice and helpful that we decided to book an extra night up there. They told us to take a small path behind the guesthouse to go watch the locals gathering fruits falling off the trees. It was neat to watch the locals and it even gave Megan an opportunity to run this little path.
Langkawi is a place with much to do, assuming your not stuck inside because of the torrential downpour. We were happy to see it and thought it was a great place to start our malaysia trip, but were just as happy to be moving on. We jumped on a ferry and headed to the next island, Penang.