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Colin and Sue’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 26 Apr 2007

Location: Langkawi, Malaysia

MapIt was a mistake - we should never have gone to the Perhentian Islands - several "tropical paradises" later ( this internet cafe is on the beach in Koh Samui in Thailand with waves lapping about 10 m away) we are still saying "yes it's nice but not as nice as the Perhentian Islands" - we suspect the amazing beach and sea there have spoilt us forever. Many years ago in our camping days we travelled the north coasts of Cornwall and Devon travelling east which was a mistake because however nice Devon was, it was never as good as Cornwall and it's the same effect now.

Anyway, we left our luxury hotel in Georgtown and caught the ferry to Langkawi, an island at the top of the west coast of Malaysia. We took a taxi driver's recommendation and stayed at a really nice place (AB Motel) in a beachside bungalow at Pantai Cenang. The beach was good - powdery white sand, palm trees etc but the sea wasn't particularly clear - possibly because the rainy season has arrived and there were quite a few storms. Despite the rain, we enjoyed Langkawi - we hired a Perodua Kancil for the day to tour the island. Perodua also make the Kelisa which Jeremy Clarkson apparently described as the worse car ever and destroyed one on TV causing much consternation in the Malaysian parliament - we felt like phoning them and saying - "look, it's just TV - no-one takes any notice of Clarkson in the UK so you shouldn't either". Anyway, the Kancil didn't inspire but did get us round the island for all of 7 pounds in rental plus 1.50 in petrol. Unfortunately the cable car was closed that day but we saw the "Seven Wells", went to the highest point and to the main town, Kuah, to suss out the ferries to Thailand.

We also had a tour of the two of the local islands which was good - one had a big freshwater lagoon where you could put your feet in with a pool of catfish - quite nice feeling them swim over your feet (and for Red Dwarf fans putting us to in mind of the theme tune "goldfish shoals nibbling at my toes" etc). There were also lots of monkeys which launched themselves at plastic bags, clearly associating them with food and snatched bags of crisps from people's hands. They were very aggressive - but despite this some people were still feeding and teasing them (why was this not a surprise?). They also tried to open our backpacks when we were swimming - they can manage zips but fortunately were chased away. The trip also included eagle or possibly kite feeding - fish was thrown from the boats and attracted lots of brahminy kites (we think) which was impressive - although possibly no better than feeding the monkeys.

Next stop Thailand.