Monday, August 18, 2014

Langkawi - Part 8

Sayonara Langkawi! 

The night before I hit the sack, I prayed for a morning without rain.
And it was answered!
We had a lovely and cloudy morning, it was breaking dawn as we rolled out from the motel with our gear.
The plan was to head out towards Kuah town and have a hearty breakfast there.
Even with the miserable night in Kuah, we've had a blast!

The motel

Cycling to get our breakfast!
We found a local shop serving breakfast.
They had roti canai and nasi lemak bungkus.

I wasted no time in scooping a plate of nasi goreng, a piece of fried chicken and a piece of frid egg.
Michelle had a light meal, fearing sea-sickness on the way back to the mainland.
Langkawi was just waking up from slumber on an early Saturday morning.
Our goal was to get to the Kuah ferry terminal before 10am.
And after a good fill, we rode towards the port area.
Upon reaching the entrance of the complex, we began to fold up the bikes and bagged them onto our carry on cover.
This takes at least 10-minutes and by the time we entered the departure gate, it was already 09:30am.
We had to pass through the Customs counter and while I was moving my bike and pannier, a Senior officer there asked what I was lugging.
"Apa ni?" (what is this), he asked.
"Basikal lipat encik", (it's a folding bike) I responded.
"Baru ke?" (is it new?), he continued.
"Bukan, saya bawa dari tanah besar" (nope, I brought it over from the mainland) I replied.
We struck a conversation and the Customs man revealed that he came from Kampung Pandan in Kuala Lumpur.
There was a lady officer in the background.
She was laughing.
"Ingat kamu ni orang Jepun", (I thought you were a Japanese) she said.
Jokes aside, we were screened and passed through the checkpoint to the departure hall.
We set our gear aside and feeling the something was amiss, I went out again to the Starbucks face to get cup of coffee..

Packing up the bikes

Waiting for our ride.. 
While I was waiting for my coffee, the barrista placed a cup of coffee belonging to Mr Wong.
He is an elderly Chinese guy, waiting for his brew.
There were some Starbucks mooncake for sale and this became a small chat.
Mr Wong is resident of Langkawi and he's seen much of the development taking place on the island. 
Ending the conversation, I wished him well and headed back to the departure area.
The coffee was strong enough to kick-start my day.
We waited a bit and when the boarding call was made, we lugged our bikes to the vessel.

Good deckhands - some guys you rarely encounter..

We inched our way to the ferry and on the gangway, a couple of deckhands had offered help to load the bikes onboard.
They never asked a thing, and were very helpful.
I thanked them and told one of the deckhands that the bikes must be standed upright.
We found our seats and chilled out till the boat had left the jetty.
There's one and a half hours to kill and the weather was fine as the sea was not as rough like the day we got in.

All aboard! 

Back on solid ground - mainland.. 
Bad in-cabin entertainment - a source for brain rot..

I must say that ferry operators show the darnest movies.
We didn't mind the Jabatan Laut safety video featuring a pretty actress, but the movie that came after that was utterly aweful. 
They showed some local Malay comedy that actually drove me to tears because it was so stupid.
Now, the strange thing was this, even when the vessel was moored at the jetty, some folks were still glued to the TV.
Our cue to hit the shore was when half the passengers have alighted.
Slowly, we lugged our bikes to the car. After three nights, it was still in one piece and the spring tide did not submerge our ride back to Subang Jaya.
I went to pay the parking fees and was charged RM45. 
Then, fired up the engine and we were on our way.

The best crab rice in Bukit Tambun

The legendary Hai Wong Fan.. 
The plan was to head towards Butterworth and have lunch at Bukit Tambun.
Our choice makan place was Cia Xiang restaurant.
This place is well-known for their crab rice and we've been going there since 2011.
Lunch break was about an hour or so before we hit the road.
It was purely a five hour drive from Butterworth to Subang Jaya.
But since we entered the outskirts of the Klang Valley rather early, I suggested to Michelle that we drop by at her parent's place and have dinner with them.
After all the public relations exercise, it was time to head home.
We missed our kids and spent the rest of the weekend with them.

Summary

Langkawi is an interesting place to bring your bicycle.
But, there are a lot of cars and crazy drivers.
So, that said, I wouldn't recommend it for novice cyclists. 
If you have at least two years of experience on the road and are physically-fit, Langkawi is yours to take on.
With this island crossed on our checklist, we will be concentrating on exploring the east coast of the Peninsula.
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