Today Liam got up first and sat outside reading on the patio and Chelsea woke up thinking he had been stolen.... The tables had turned. We decided to rent a motorcycle today to see some of the island. Langkawi has no bus services so you either have to rent your own vehicle or grab a taxi. Renting a bike is easy when staying at Pantai Cenang. There are so many different places to chose from but we decided to rent one from our guest house, Rainbow. It was 30 ringett (£6) with no big deposit and we know they are safe because people have been using them all week. We strapped on our helmets and drove about 200m for some breakfast. We had a roti and a coffee, Chelsea had hers with egg in it for a change. Once we were fed and watered we set off in search of a petrol station. This time we knew where the fuel cap was so we thought we wouldn't have to embarrass ourselves but no fuel would come out of the pumps. Someone noticed us looking confused and came over to tell us we needed to pay first.
We decided to drive south out of Pantai Cenang and along the southern coast road. As soon as you leave the resort the landscape becomes rural excluding the huge hotels that we kept coming across around the coast. The roads are lined wih trees or fields and the houses are dotted at the side of the road. They are small one story bungalows and some just look like little shacks. There are restaurants on the side of the road but often houses put out a table at the end of the garden and sell what they have. Some sell drinks, others sell fruit and some sell food, mainly simple rice or noodle dishes. The coastal road has some great views of the sea full of small islands through the trees and we pulled over a few times to admire the view.
We then headed north to Gunung Raya, the tallest hill on the island. The road up here is full of bends and is steep but the views are fantastic. On the way up you head through thick jungle and as you climb the air becomes instantly cooler and more humid. The road surface wasn't great so we took our time as we have seen too many people with injuries and major gravel rash down the full length of their body from where they have fell off the bikes. The hill is full of little grey monkeys that sit in groups on the road and watch you ride past, they don't move out of the way they just stare at you which can be a little unnerving. There are some pull in points on the way up where we stopped and looked at the views. The views from the hill are beautiful. You can see the island, the fields and the hills, right down the the coast. The panoramic views of the coast with all the little green islands is gorgeous.
At the top of the hill is a fenced off area, we weren't sure if it was an armed forces area or something but there was a radiation warning sign and a sign that said no trespassing with a man shooting another man so we though it best not to linger. We made our way back down the hill and carried on heading north up to Tanjung Rhu beach. We stopped off at the first car park we saw and had a little walk on the beach. The beach was nice and it was quiet but in the distance on the left is a HUGE cement works. The guide book had said that if you do one thing whilst on Langkawi it was to visit this beach as it was the best on the island, especially at sunset. We decided it was nice but can't be the right place so carried on north along the same road.
We came to a barrier with a man guarding, who waved us forward. When we approached he asked us what we were doing and Liam said we were going to the beach. He said we needed to go thought the barrier and turn right and gave us a list of 'rules' that we need to follow to be able to go on the beach. The picturesque part of Tanjung Rhu beach has been bought by a huge luxury hotel so is now a private beach for hotel guests. They have cordoned off the east part off the beach for visitors with a small rope fence but only so many are allowed in and you must follow the rules. The list of rules is long and says things like, if you are asked to leave you will abide, You will stay away from the resort, you must not enter the resort or use sunbeds towels etc, no pets, vehicles, noise, camping, alcohol, parasols and you must not take anything from the beach including shells. Basically no fun. Haha. There is a space on the rules so you can sign to say you agree.
We bought some sprite from a stall in the car park and walked down to the beach. We sat in a quiet spot not too close to the barrier to admire the view when a guard came over and asked us what we were doing. We said we were just sitting on the beach for half an hour and he told us to move further on. You cannot sit or swim anywhere near the barrier to the hotel, the guard kept moving anyone who went close away. we sat down five steps further away and relaxed with our sprite. The beach is beautiful, it is sweeping sand that curves into a bay and out to sea are small islands, much closer to shore that the ones in Pantai Cenang. We can see why the guides would recommend it for sunset however unfortunately everyone who is not a hotel guest has to leave the beach by 7pm. You can do boat trips from here and they look really good as only your party is on the boat so you are not crammed in.
We then drove west to see one of the three waterfalls on Langkawi, seven wells waterfall. This is the biggest one on the island and we had read was the most spectacular. The roads in Langkawi are really good mostly, they are all tamacked and there are loads of road signs so it's easy to find your way around. We pulled in at the waterfall carpark and paid our RM1 to park. This car park can also be used to access the cable car and we could see it in the distance. It is terrifyingly high and goes right to the top of a huge hill, towering above the trees. The top is in the clouds it's that high. The waterfall is up some really steep steps so we got an icecream to prepare and set off. It started to rain but it wasn't too bad and was quite nice and cooling. The waterfall area is really nice, the biggest waterfall we have seen. There is one big one which splashes into a pool you can swim in and this cascades down to other pools you can swim and paddle in. Even though it was raining there were lots of people swimming and we explored and paddled in to cool water. Some of the rocks are really slippery but the place is lovely. There are changing rooms if you want to swim and the water is clean and clear with little fish swimming around.
After we explored for a bit we walked back down to the car park and set off home. The nice men who work at the car park had turned our bike helmets around so they hadn't filled up with water from the rain. The drive home was straightforward and we just followed the signs back. After about five minutes driving the rain got a lot worse until we were driving head first into torrential rain. Since it hadnt rained whilst we had been on Langkawi we didint think to take our rain macs and we got drenched. Liam decided to put his sunglasses on to shield his eyes whilst driving into it but they needed windscreen wipers. A few people overtook us in cars and had a good laugh.
Once it stopped we dried off quite quick, we put a bit more petrol in the bike and arrived home around tea time. We would definitely recommend hiring a bike on Langkawi, it's a cheap and fun way to see sme of the sights.
We showered and went out for some food. We went to a place we had been for lunch earlier in the week and had some rice and mutton and potato curry of the serve yourself section. Liam also had a chicken curry as well as the mutton and he picked up a bowl of spicy pepper chcken he thought looked nice (he said he was really hungry). When we got it to the table there was one peice of chicken which looked normal and the rest of the cuts turned out to be a load of cut up chicken necks. Liam ate it but it was far too weird for Chelsea to stomach. We went to a bar we haven't been in yet that looks like a big wooden shack made of driftwood and had a beer.
We have the bike till 11am tomorrow so we might go out again tomorrow... Or we might just relax on the beach, either way the plan is to save money so we go out and celebrate the new year.