Saturday, March 21, 2009

Langkawi in 24 Hours

At the Kuala Kedah Jetty

Abang's weary look

On Thursday, upon reaching Langkawi at about 2pm, from afar we saw stormy weather ahead.

But when we arrived, the rain had subsided, and it was sunny all round.

We had lunch at the restoran mamak in the jetty mall itself. Ikan keli goreng dia fuwallauuuu sedap mak datuk! Selalunya, kalau saiz besar mesti tak berapa sedap -- tawar la, hanyir la. Tapi yang di restoran mamak ni, ikannya besar DAN sedap!

We took a cab ride from this really friendly cabby... a Rantau Panjangist turned Langkawian by the name of Osman Ismail. He married a local islander some 17 years ago, settled down in Langkawi, and through sheer hardwork and honesty, he now owns his cab and sometimes chauffeurs tourists - local and foreign - around Langkawi. His English was quite impeccable... kalau kat KL, dia lebih sesuai jadi limo driver. Rupa-rupanya before he decided to become a cab driver, he WAS a limo driver at one of the hotels in Langkawi. The long drive didn't feel like it was one 'coz he shared so many stories about his experience with his passengers and also a thing or two about the island itself.

We reached the hotel, Nadia's Inn Comfort (NIC) in Pantai Chenang, sometime around half 3. A 10-minute walking distance away from the almost-dead Aquaria. I asked the cabbie about the fishes yang ada orang sabotaj mati last year... he just laughed at my question. He said, alah, biasa la, ikan dah tua, insurance pun dah nak habis. And he stopped at that. So, faham-faham aje lah kan.

Don't ask us how or why they think by putting the word 'comfort' in the name could prolly make it sound anymore grander or 'comforting', when it really wasn't. The reason why we were there was because the hotel where the rest of Abang's staffs were in, Best Star Hotel, which was just across the road from us (and mengadap laut, too) was fully booked.

We were definitely fooled by the tourist agent in Kola Kedah, the Peak Link Agency (last counter at the ticket counter), when they told us NIC has better rooms than Best Star and has a pool. Ya betul ada pool, tapi kera pun segan nak mandi dalam pool tu sebab kangkang dorang pun lagi besor (hence the word 'sekangkang kera' comes in mind).

[Also, the same Agency told us that it would take us RM40 or R35 at least by cab to get to the resort, so, it was highly recommended that we should just rent a car -- RM70/day and buleh pusing satu pulau. Abang berdegil tak nak rent a car. RM40 one way pun, RM40 lah, Abang kata. Rupa-rupanya, it was only a flat rate of RM24 dari jetty ke Pantai Chenang. Hamlak betul. Mujur Abang berdegil tak nak rent a car. Sorry la kan... kau buat pianggg dengan akak yang ada blog ni kan. Terang-terang nama agency kau keluar... Peak Link Agency.]

Our room, 236, was a loooo-ong walk in the corridoor, aircond lambat nak sejuk giler barbie, bathroom no water heater, tuala kepam semacam (yet again), bilik no telephone and TV no remote control. Wait, TV no remote control tu, akak boleh lagi tahan la.... cik abang aje yang tak tahan. Tapi, takat TIGA aje channel, tu yang tak tahan tu. TV1, 2 and 3. Not even TV8, 7 nor 9. Apatah lagi channel-channel lain (like the usual Vision 4 that you get in hotels), kan.

Ok lah, tak pe lah. Kami pun letih semacam. So, benda-benda macam ni seolah-olah secondary aje. All we needed back then was a place to tidur.

And so we did that evening. From 4 till 6.... ZZZzzzzzzz. Koma terus, kau.

And then, at 6pm, aku gerak Abang.... Bang, bangun. Jom ar pi pantai. This is our 1st and last evening in Langkawi, tau. Esok nak balik dah.

Ya, noks. Esoknya nak kena balik dah. Dok Langkawi less than 24 hours je, datang jauh-jauh gitu. And to top it, this is the FIRST TIME cik abang Zunar kita yang orang Pendang dan pernah dok kat Kuala Kedah ni menapak ke bumi Langkawi. Boleh? Aiyoh, aku HARUS paksarelakan suamiku ini berjalan melihat dunia Malaysia at least, lah. Bukan takat turun Jakarta untuk beli rare albums aje.

And so we put on our swimming gears. Well, me la, at least. Kot aku traser gatal nak lompat masuk dalam laut ke.

But by the time we siap-siap, crossed the road and reached the beach, it was almost 7pm. The sun was still up, though.

But the sea looked a bit murky by then, as it always does in the evenings (through my observation of the west-coastal seas lah kan).

They say my Umi looks like arwah Rafeah Buang,
Ayah looks uncanny like Latiff Ibrahim,
Abang like hero Tamil... and I, look like Fauziah Nawi. Ada ka.

For the life of me, I been wanting to do this eversince my Pangkor Trip in May 2000...

...but not only that the service was almost close for the day, I also saw terror in Abang's eyes. Not wanting to worry him, I scouted for the next best thing to do on the island at least for the next day... and I saw that 'island hopping' only cost RM40/person. In fact, we were offered RM35/peson if we were to register our names on the spot. Abang was quite berat hati to do the 'island hopping' bit -- to Pulau Dayang Bunting, Eagle feeding in Pulau Singa Besar, and swimming on another island -- , 'coz I think he prefers to have his sleep. Aku cakap, datang jauh-jauh gini, dah la duduk tak sampai 24 jam, tapi tak buat hapa. Mula la muncung aku nak start panjang sampai boleh gantung sauh kapal, kan. Abang said we'll just confirm about the trip tomorrow morning, and the guy manning the booth gave us a card of his friend, Ismail Kayak, just in case we're interested to go.

That night, we had dinner at Best Star where the rest of SK staffs were. And the SK had a 'mini gathering' of introducing one another from four departments (admin, main editorial, chinese section and tamil section), and a word or two from the Chief i.e Abang and the Chief Chief i.e YB Tian. They were supposed to check-out at 11am the next day and catch the 3pm flight out to LCCT.

Tian sharing his thoughts,
Abang pakai 'tudung' sebab hujan serintik-dua

That only, finished around 11 something. And while I was hoping to walk around the joints by the roadside after that with Abang, Abang pula sibuk nak bercakap hal pejabat dengan one of his new staff.


Datang jauh-jauh gini, dah la duduk tak sampai 24 jam, masih nak bercakap hal pejabat.

Akak bengang la jugak, kan.

Abang suruh aku tunggu kat lobi Best Star. Tapi oleh kerana hangatnya malam tu (macam nak hujan) campur dengan hangat hati, aku terus balik bilik kat seberang jalan without telling Abang. Half and hour later, Abang called me and I told him I've gone back to the room 'coz kat luar nu sangat panas, I wouldn't want to be walking around alone and I've changed into baju tidur hence malas nak keluar balik. Dah la bilik kami jauh terperuk giler.

When Abang came back, aku rasa, out of guilt, he called that Ismail Kayak at around midnight and booked for a island hopping trip the next day.

Hehehehehe. Ada la jugak hikmahnya dia pi bercakap hal pejabat -- dapat le aku tarik muncung, and terus dapat pi island hopping, hehehe.

Esoknya, we had breakfast at the inn's diner. They only served nasi lemak yang hampir tak dak lauk (only sambal and telur), and two types of cereals. First time aku pi resort yang tak serve roti bakar, at least. Aku kesian ke foreign tourists yang dok inn tu -- ada breakfast tapi practically macam tak dak apa-apa served, unless they can makan nasik lemak, or order something else that they'd have to pay separately for.

Tapi oleh kerana aku tahu akan ada aktiviti swimming pagi tu, aku makan cereals and minum air kosong aje. Takut nak terbuang-buang. Dah le pakai swim-suit overalls yang seluar sampai takat peha tu, mau kenaya nak kena buka segala kalau rasa nak terkucil, kan.

At 9am, Ismail Kayak waited for us across the road with his scooter. A well-built young(er) man, with sun-kissed hair and skin... nampak la ke-Kayakan and Life-saving character nya. And the very the peramah, with very thick islander accent. Tak da orang yang lalu yang dia tak tegoq (tegur). Kebetulan pula malamnya tu was going to be an opening for Beach Soccer, so, ramai la orang-orang kampung turun menolong.

Soon, at around 9.25am, a van came to pick us both to the Awana Malai which is just across the Pulau Dayang Bunting. We were not alone in the van -- there were another young couple with 3 small kids that the van had picked from Pelangi Beach.

Eh, tetiba aku dah letih nak bercerita, lah.

Let the pics do much of the talking la pulak ya.

Behind Abang -- the islands that we were about to hop

To my surprise, this is also Abang's first time to go on a speed boat and visit small islands.
Macam bawak anak 'teruna' berjalan gitew, kan... hehe

The profile of the Dayang Bunting -- head on far-right, bosom, and bulging tummy.
Macam profile aku yang sedia ada, aje?

The penduduk tetap

The Tasik Dayang Bunting

Average depth -- 15m

Dugong dalam Tasik Duyong.
Pardon the cik avang seksa bercelana merah kat belakang tu. 18SX betul.

The air tasik is very 'berat' for my liking, ok. Masa nak climb back onto the floating platform, mak-laa-tokkkk, macam ada 10 kilo tarik aku ke bawah. And quite deep too... average is 14meters deep. Urat-urat betis aku baru nak terasa sakit hari ni sebab vigorously mengapung diri dalam air tawar yang berat. Tapi aku tengok matminah saleh lepaaaaak aje pi swim and apung lelama ke tengah tasik. Termasuk yang pakcik makcik tua-tua bangka, tau. Malu, siut. Tapi, aku memang ada sedikit cuak kalau masuk dalam air yang dalam-dalam dan tak nampak hujung pangkal, ni... aku cepat panik. Macam ada benda menunggu nak tarik kaki aku. So, aku hanya masuk terjun 2 kali aje. Memang elok la Abang tak masuk langsung. I don't think he could handle the depth, with him not having rested well.

Ikan keli therapy

Gila babi besar ikan-ikan keli ni, siut! Dah la makanan favourite aku, kan. Aku pun masukkan kaki gak -- idak le sesakit kena 'ratah' macam therapy ikan-ikan kecik tu. More like if you have berbelas-belas ekor anak kucing menggesel-gesel betis and tapak kaki.... lama-lama jadi geli!!!

Ler, bila Nazim, Celi and Amir datang ni? Tak bagitau kami, pun! haha

The jetty at Pulau Dayang Bunting. Ada sajaaaaaa orang yang spoilkan gambar

I didn't take any photos of the Eagles at Pulau Singa Besar, 'coz my handphone camera couldn't cope with their speed. Had the videos, though. It's really 'meghalikkan' watching them soaring and swooping down to the chicken skin that the boaters threw into the water for the eagles to feed on. Abang said, this was his best part of the island-hopping trip. He wished he could stay there longer.

On the way to the last island in the trip

And Abang didn't take photos of the beach that was part of the island hopping that we were brought to. Clear waters, fishes, corals, but very many sea urchins too. Swimming in that secluded beach was fantastic, though not as fantastic in clear waters of the east-coastal islands, but fantastic enough nevertheless -- the sea-bed melandai dan tak lah tiba-tiba aje jadi dalam, and the sand was so fine. Best.

Abang tak turun merasa mandi juga kat sini. Rugi kan? Dia takut gelap kot, hehe.

We went back around 12.20pm, and reached land around 12.30. We rushed back to the motel, 'coz they called to say that there will be a late charge of RM10/hour. Punya la kedekut, kan.

So, macam halilintar aku kemas barang. By 1.30pm we were out of the door, late charge was charged, and flagged a cab yang drivernya tak pi solat Jumaat... haha kantoi. Standard rate to jetty was RM24, and we asked if he could stop by at the Duty-Free Mall beside the Aquaria for us to buy some chocolates as buah tangan. He did, without extra charge, since we told him it's gonna be less than 15 minutes sebab nak beli coklat aje. Fuh macam ribut taupan aku dalam kedai duty-free tu -- packets of Dime chocolates, hershey's, choc bars, Cloud 9, etc. RM160.00 keluar macam air.

By the time we reached the jetty, I was so eager to have the mamak's ikan keli. Malangnya, habis!!! Siut betul. Kempunan aku. Kalau aku tau, aku terus tangkap aje sekor dua ikan keli kat Dayang Bunting tadi, kasi mamak tu masak jap.

We boarded the ferry at 3. Abang booked seats paaaaaaling depan. Best gila!

As we were leaving, we saw the clouds coming in onto Langkawi on the horizon.

Apparently the sun followed us wherever we go, ey...? Alhamdulillah.

Kononnya Abang nak tidur dalam ferry... but since they put on Forbidden Kingdom on the video, he ended up watching the movie the entire ride while I took a snooze.

We reached mainland at 4.45pm, Alhamdulillah. And straight away bertolak balik ke KL.

On the way down, we made another music video (the original melalak version here and overlay version with lyrics here. The first music video, done early last year while driving up to Perlis, was Iwan Fals' Dongeng Sebelum Tidur -- melalak version here and overlay version here), to the song of 'Lepen' (Lelucon Pendek) by Gombloh. One of our favourite traveling songs, sampai aku pun dah hafal. Aku bagitau Abang, if this is not enough proof that aku sayang dia by memorising lagu-lagu pelik kesukaan dia, I don't know what else is. Haha.

We stopped twice -- to rest at Tikam Batu stop, and to have dinner at Tapah R&R. We reached Sri Permaisuri at 11.20pm, Alhamdulillah.

Bloody 'ell. That was a loooo-ong 24 hours, ey....

But yeah, I missed the island, lah. The locals are quite unassuming and very friendly, and time just passes by slower -- you could do so many things in a day, that the slower days pass you by a wee bit too fast for your liking, know what I mean.

At least now I've made Abang promise to go on more holidays to other islands. Man does he really need to go and see places more often!

Perhaps I should tarik muncung sauh kapal more often too? hehe



Afiq Deen said...

takdela macam fauziah nawi tapi fazura dalam 10 tahun lagi. hehehe.

nik awin said...


Naz said...

I enjoyed reading this!
Jom next time pi dgn Kak Naz?!!

kay_leeda said...

Woo..Langkawi in 24 hrs!!! Mak aiii...hebat!! Kalau akak lah, mau tercabut lutut.

Glad you had a good holiday. Boleh buat repeat visit lagi deh..:)

Jumper said...

I enjoy the narration. It's great to see you guys finally got out of your den in KL and had quality time out, out of that 24-hour stint.Going to places can get addictive. So start to strategize and scheme a plan to get your reluctant man out for the next adventure....

Amy said...

Kak Lin, you've been tagged.Please visit my blog ehehhe. Jgn tak buat

Roti Kacang Merah said...

so, are you also indicating that if Kak Lin kurus banyak, i CAN look like Fazura too? hmm ni yang nak pi kurus badan nih. heh heh

kalau dok lama sket dari 24 jam, best lagi kottt!

Roti Kacang Merah said...

kak naz
Jom jom jom!!!! I've an uncle on the island that has a surplus of kereta that we can borrow for free!!!

kak kay
KALAU alin dapat tarik muncung panjang lagi, mesti dapat buat repeat visit...hehehe

Roti Kacang Merah said...

deghian meloncat
that was my original plan -- every 1 or two months, wajib travel keluar berehat mana-mana. but that man ahh... aiyoh, i need to take leave in the middle of the week to accommodate to HIS break, which is a max of 3 days straight only!

again??? ok ok nanti kak lin pi visit blog amy otey? mwaks!

Zetty said...

memang berat kan air tasik dayang bunting tu. lenguh2 kaki. i pegi hari tu pun paki lifejacket, so tak la jenuh nar to stay afloat.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

itu la, dah nak balik baru tau buleh sewa life-jacket...ish. kalau dak, buleh lepak dalam air lagi lama lagi...

Naz said...

Next time, you should try Burau Bay and then I can make a recording of you singing *Bercanda di Pinggiran Pantai*...haha!

Roti Kacang Merah said...

kak Naz
eiii lagu 'gedik' tu... takut kak naz muntah ijo je tengok alin nyanyi lagu ittewww!

F manchester said...

24 hours! wow, don't think I could do that. I think both of you so deserve and need a really laid back easy going type holiday. No pragrammes, room with a view, Big windows and balcony that you can open and welcome the sea breeze, laid back strolls on the beach, mid-day naps, romantic dinners,.... Though Langkawi is brilliant- its way too far to drive, fly le next time. But good to hear that you did have a lot of quality time together ;P

Roti Kacang Merah said...

kak ilush
yups, you are SO right. i told him lepas ni i want us to fly somewhere to an island in a decent hotel and a more relaxing mood!

Shabar said...

Faszt, isn't Nadia's Inn owned by tengku mansor's family? I thot so all this while...

Roti Kacang Merah said...

tengku who da funt?

tak kenai. and do not intend to know who he is coz tak penting to my life. i really hope dia or suku sakat dia read this entry and LEARN.

elisataufik said...

Weren't there food stalls depan Aquaria tu? When we went there (entah berapa tahun dulu.. Anis kecik lagi, Izani tak dak pun), we had berkeping2 roti canai at the stall.

The walk from the dayang bunting jetty to the lake tu creepy, kan? I took a canoe around the lake. Creepy gak. hee hee.
But you're right. The Island hopping trip was the best part of langkawi. 2nd would be naik the cable car up Mt.Machinchang.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

tak sempat jenjalan, arr...tak sure pun depan aquaria tu ada foodstall ke dak, hehe. i wanted to take the canoe, too... tapi zunar macam tak nak buat apa-apa activity, so, i takmoh la naik canoe sengsorang, kan...


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