Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Hello, Langkawi! - Day 2

As promised, here I am again; continuing where I left off with regards to my Langkawi trip. I do apologise, if I do end up babbling non-stop again. Now then, lets get back on track.

Its day two in Langkawi. My brother took a morning flight home alone as he was unable to take a day off due to certain technical issues at his workplace. Yeah, everyone was pretty pissed about it but there was nothing that could be done. Well, actually alot of things could be done. But my brother didn't want to involve his superiors in the matter. Pfft. So my folks had to wake up super early to send my brother to the airport while I was snoring away in the hotel room. It eventually got super cold and I ended up waking up anyway.
Around 9.30 am, once we were all freshen up, we spotted a Indian Muslim Family restaurant a short distance away from the hotel. We decided to have our breakfast there and wow; it was so satisfying. We had different types of prata, thosai and chapati; plus the usual stuff like fried rice and mee goreng. There was different types of curry to choose from as well. It was pretty yummy. And I dont know about you guys but I love eating prata for breakfast.

I realised that my previous post was really dreary-looking, so I'm gonna try and make this one more organised.

Activities:

My parents outside the place

Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri's Tomb)
This place is basically the crypt of the famous Princess Mahsuri. Legends say that she was accused of adultery by her mother-in-law who was jealous of her beauty and despite her innocence, she was deemed guilty and sentenced to death by stabbing. It was said that white blood was spilled, symbolising her innocence. In her last words, she apparently cursed the island with 7 generations of bad luck. Frankly speaking, I found the folklore very mysterious and eerie in a way. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to visit her grave as not only was the place packed with people but the showcase of the legend would only start in the afternoon and sadly we had no time to spare. Here is the picture of the beautiful maiden:


Cultural Craft Complex and Heritage Centre
This place is just brimming with culture. Langkawi is well-known for its batik and this is one of the places to get your hands on them. I personally recommend buying them batik sandals which are beautifully made in different designs, colour and beading for RM45 only. For authentic batik clothes, be prepared to have money on you as they can be quite pricey. Another part of the centre featured batik paintings made on the spot. We had a heart to heart talk with the young lady who was painting. The little miss had just graduated and received a diploma in business and is planning to further her studies. However, she is from Kuala Lumpur. When asked what she was doing here, she said that she had been painting batik for the owner since she was around 4 years old. This is merely a hobby and part-time work that she could not bear to let go yet. I was told that the owner draws while she paints and the duo sure come up with impressive works. We were so captivated by all the paintings. And yes, you can buy their works and a reasonable price. We bought one too. Interested in such arts, I decided to buy a small kit for batik painting to try out back home.
My first try at batik painting

Besides batik, they also have an array of beautiful crystals. All handmade of course. If you have the time, do take part in their batik design and crystal making workshop where you can observe live demonstrations and even give it a try yourself. I didn't have time but I would recommend people go for it. Another eye-opener would be the cultural part of the museum which covered mostly traditional forms of musical instruments and other forms of entertainment such as the ever popular Wayang Kulit. Apart from that, they also had an exhibition featuring weddings which showcased the unique ethnic costumes and music play. There is also a "Wedding Experience" whereby a live wedding would take place. This is definitely a must see!


Beras Basah Island 

Island Hopping
After signing the guestbook, we had to take our leave and head off for our next activity, Island Hopping. This was probably one of the most memorable experience for me as we actually rode in a speed boat. So imagine sea breeze, hair flying everywhere, jerky and bumpy waves plus a captivating scenery. Fortunately, my grandparents were quite sporting with regards to riding a super fast boat despite their health. Anyway, there are generally only 2 time slots for island hopping, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. There are many vendors/stalls available at the jetty where you can purchase the tickets from and they are relatively cheap, around RM25-50. The ride is about 3-4 hours with approx 1 hour at the 3 different pit stops which consisted of Beras Basah Island, Pregnant Maiden Island and the Eagle Feeding site. Normally, about 2 families would share a boat. However, due to my grandpa's leg, we were given a boat of our own for convenience which I felt was very thoughtful of the staff. Also, before riding the boat, the staff will take a picture of you which turns out was printed on a souvenir plate which could be purchased for RM10 each at the end of the ride. It was really cute and the picture quality was awesome so we decided to buy them all. haha.

During the ride, I had made a bad decision of letting my hair down which left me with messy hair and blocked vision. Furthermore, due to strong winds, we had to put on our shades in order to enjoy the sights better. But wow, the jerks were more than regular jerks. It felt like I could be thrown out of the boat at the sudden movement. Oh and if you have motion or sea sickness, I strongly discouraged you to go for this because having someone puke on your shoes is not a pretty sight. Trust me, my mum has seasickness. Nevertheless, I still can't get enough of the sea breeze, the clear waves and the wonderful sight. The first stop was at Beras Basah Island. Once We  reached the pier, I instantly climbed out of the boat and took in the sight. The waters are seriously clear and the sand are a stunning cream color unlike the beaches in Singapore. I took a short stroll along the shore, soaking my feet and kicking at the sand while I'm at it. Meanwhile, the rest of my family were looking for a shady spot,shifting some logs to sit on while we're at it. Many families were making full use of their time, swimming and playing in the clear waters. Anyway, once we settled down, we fished out our MacDonald meals which we had bought earlier on. Some passers-by gave us strange looks as we sat and eat our burgers and drink our cokes. A group of teenagers even asked if there was MacDonalds on the island. haha. Once our driver came, we went to the next stop, the Eagle feeding site.
Our super unglam faces while eating Macs
Grandparents first time riding speedboat

We didn't really stop at an island. More like in the middle of the sea nearby an island. Strangely, this particular island was surrounded with eagles. And wow were they huge, and I'm not just talking about those typical brown eagles in the zoo, there were even white eagles. The sky was filled with eagles. Suddenly, out of nowhere, our driver throws some large chicken into the sea and swooped!- An eagle came flying down clutching the piece of meat with it claws. It was so spectacular, I've never seen anything like it. I was left in awe. Soon, more and more eagles came swooping down for the pieces of scattered meat floating in the seas. It was really fast too so you cant even blink or you just might miss out.
Pregnant Maiden Island. Do you see it?

After that unique experience, the driver brought us to the very famous Pregnant Maiden Island. If you look closely, you can see that the island is shaped like a pregnant woman lying down on her back. There are many tales regarding the mystery of the island and I got an eerie feeling just from hearing them. Contradictory, the island is a popular place for tourists. If you take the time and energy in hiking up the long long long stairs to the top, you will find that there is a natural 100% pure lake located at the belly of the pregnant water. And I thought Beras Basah Island had clear water; this lake was crystal clear, literally! There are many activities you ca do at the lake, from eating at the side restaurants to riding paddle boats and even dipping your feet in the water for some fish spa. Unfortunately, due to my grandparents old age, we weren't unable to explore the place ourselves. These were merely what I heard from the other tourists that actually went up there. Many also mentioned the sighting of wild monkeys though. On the bright side, our driver suggested bringing us to a bat cave but for RM30 of course. Since we weren't able to visit the lake, we decided to give the bat cave a chance.  The cave was located at the base of an island and the boat, surprisingly could drive straight into the cave. As we looked up, the ceilings were filled with bats. At first glance, they looked like black little holes or natural indents made in the ceiling; until we saw them flying around that is.
In the bat cave

Yes, those black spots are actually bats.

Even though we had an hour left, my grandparents were exhausted so we headed back to the jetty. After collecting our souvenirs, we decided to rest up a bit at the hotel. However, the boat ride really sucked up our energy and somehow we fell asleep til past 6pm. At around 7 plus, we were busy looking for the bazaar that opens which opens up at different places on different days. So do take note of when and where the bazaar takes place. When we finally found the bazaar and what seemed to be the shopping district, our stomachs began to grumble and in the end, we had dinner first. We settled on eating at an Indian Muslim restaurant nearby. I was full from MacDonalds so I mainly helped to clear the leftovers. At a nearby shop, I had spotted a batik bag from afar which I had taken liking too. However, when I went back to buy it, it had already closed for the night. Adding to my sorrow, most of the shops were either closed or already closing then. So I was quite disappointed that I was unable to shop as much as I hoped.


Well, that pretty much sums up Day 2. And I'ms ure you noticed that I was rambling on again. But at least it looks more organised. i think. Maybe I'll organise my previous post when I have the time.
Next post: Goodbye, Langkawi!- Day 3
Stay tuned. :)

Wanna see more photos, click HERE!



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