Five go slightly mad in Langkawi
22.10.2009 - 23.10.2009
View KL conference 2009 on Dirkly's travel map.
I forgot to say that for the cab ride back from Precious (see last blog), we went in 4 or 5 cabs. Our driver did not know where the Westin hotel was, so I told him to follow the cab in front which had some colleagues in, in true movie cliche. Only problem was at a set of lights the driver in front got out and asked our driver how to get to the Westin. I showed our driver where it was on a map. He said he had been a cab driver for 16 years and had never been asked to drive to the Westin before. He also said he only knew where the 5 star hotels were, implying we were staying somewhat down market, which was not the case. We eventually arrived back after everyone else.
Thursday morning and I was on 2 days leave and with 4 colleagues from the UK we set off for the island of Langkawi, almost as far as Thailand in the north west of Malaysia. We flew Air Asia from the low cost carrier terminal, which looked like it must have started life as the main KL terminal and now had a slightly neglected feel. It was also full of Malaysian people rather than the international business jet setters at the newer terminal, with the cheaper air lines opening up Asia.
We arrived on time in Langkawi and transferred straight to the Westin hotel (having negotiated a deal linked to the conference in KL). It was the other side of the main town of Kuah. We were welcomed in the lounge with cold towels as the sea breeze gently blew through the unglassed windows. We were all a bit tired after the conference and felt the stress oozing out in such an idyllic spot. We cooled off by and in the infinity pool with its swim up bar. We ate in the hotel and I had a back massage in the spa afterwards, using my $25 voucher.
Friday was our only full day in Langkawi and we packed a lot in. We went up in the cable car in the morning to the second highest peak on the island and you go from virtually sea level to over 700m up in a scarily short time. It was cloudy when we first got to the top, but the clouds suddenly parted and suddenly spectacular vistas opened up. The journey back down was even scarier as we hurtled over the edge. At the bottom was a slightly tacky tourist trap that we had to steer through back to the taxi, that had waited for us. We also saw some wild monkeys on the way there.
In the evening we went on the sunset cruise on a schooner, with a barbecue and drinks. Whilst not cheap, it was a great way to spend our last evening on the island, sailing close to some of the smaller off shore islands before capturing the sunset digitally. Having run out of clean clothes, I bought the cruise tee shirt for RM30.