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The long school holidays in Singapore and Malaysia are here again. This time I have decided to visit Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur or commonly called as KL. My plan was to go to Langkawi first and then to KL. As usual, I booked my coach tickets in JB. The main reason is there is huge saving due to exchange rate of Singapore dollar to Malaysia ringgit.
Randomly, I picked Damai Rai for the coach trip. It was a overnight trip from JB to Alor Star which we paid RM45 each. It was comfortable but very cold 10 hours ride. I always find the overnight ride in the coach very cold. So be prepared if you are taking it. It is also wise to bring along some edible stuffs for such a long trip.
It was a relief when we reached Alor Star bus station in the morning.( I am not sure it is called Alor Star bus station as I write from memory). There were a few taxi drivers around touting for customers. Finally we got into one that took us to the jetty for Langkawi. It was about less than half an hour ride. We paid RM12 for it.
After reaching the jetty, we had our breakfast at the nearby coffee-shop. Though, it looked a little run-down, the food was quite delectable. I also noticed that the car-park in front of the jetty was full. Well, looks like Langkawi is a popular place for holiday-makers.
Ferry schedules from Alor Star to Langkawi are many and convenient to book. Once you are at the ferry point, there will be some guys coming to you asking you to book the island trip; car rental and so on. I made a mistake by booking it on the spot without scouting around. When you arrive in Langkawi jetty, (I think it is called Kuah Ferry Terminal)there are many such shops touting customers to patronise them. Scout around before you pay any deposit.
The ferry trip took about an hour and half to two. Approaching Langkawi, you should able to spot the huge statue of an eagle, all ready to fly. You can also take a ferry from Penang or Kuala Perlis to Langkawi. Kuah is a hub of activities. There are tourists arriving and departing. Taxi is easily available. Car rental is very cheap and abundant here.
I was in Langkawi two years ago, and had decided to do two things this time around. First, I wanted to rent car. Second, I wanted to pay a day trip to Pulau Payar, the marine park of Langkawi. I did both. Car rental of an 1.3 litre Proton Saga costed me RM60 a day. I had not driven for more than 7 years!! You can imagine how ‘frightening’ experience my wife and daughter had to endure while in the car driven by me !!!! But it was fun. I fulfilled my wish, they got the thrill.
For the first two days, we stayed at Mutiara Burau Bay Resort. The package at RM358 comes with 3D 2N with breakfast for two. The setting at Mutiara is quite beautiful and quiet. The beach is not great, though. Next to Mutiara is the Berjaya Langkawi Resort which originally I wanted to stay. However, it was fully booked at that time. For the next two days, I chose Hotel Central, Langkawi at RM79 per night which included breakfast for two. Central is quite near to Kuah jetty, about 10 minutes drive.
One frightening epsiode that we had was to do with monkeys. Yes, monkeys…. One evening, we had decided to walk from Mutiara to Berjaya for our dinner. It was about 15 to 20 minutes walk. Before reaching Berjaya, there is a shopping cum eating areana( I think it is called Oriental Town). We spent some time there. It was a beautiful place. Later, we decided to go back without dinner as it was getting late. It was getting dark too.. On our way back, to our amazement and fright, there were many monkeys loitering around the road pavement. Not too sure they were staring at us… we did not dare to look at them. I picked up a small trunk, ready for a showdown. I did not want to know what would happen if the monkeys would attack three of us at once……..
Another highlight of this holiday was the Pulau Payar trip. It was a expensive trip costing RM500 for three of us. Surprisingly, the response was overwhelming. I must say the buffet lunch was very nice. We also saw some baby sharks swimming near the shore. They were attracted by the blood of fish used as bait to lure them to shore. Visibilty of the corals and fishes was quite good. To be frank, I still prefer Redang.
Being the capital of Malaysia, KL is the modern city with mixture of world class tall buildings and old shops. We stayed at Hotel Federal, at the junction of the shopping belt of Jalan Ampang. Though the hotel is quite old, the facilities in the room are excellent. It is also about 20 minutes walk to Putraya bus station. We hailed a taxi to bring us to Federal from Putraya when we arrived. The driver asked for RM10 which I refused. Hence we asked for direction and walked.
Not too far away from the hotel, we patronised one Teochew Porridge for our dinner. The price was reasonable. The food was very good that we came the second night for our dinner again. You can find good food in KL if you know where to get it. We also liked the shrimp dumplings sold along one of the noodle restaurant along Jalan Ampang.
If you have money and time to shop, this is the right place. There are so many shopping centres around here, all within walking distance. Because I did not bring enough cash, I had to constantly remind myself not to overspend