A short ferry ride brings us to our next destination; the Malaysian island of Langkawi. The developing island has plenty for your stereotypical tourist to see, do, eat and shop, but thankfully the gorgeous countryside has been left mostly uninhabited and therefore beautifully scenic.
There is no public transport at all on the island, Uber doesn’t exist and taxi services are somewhat pricey for Asia – so a scooter or motorcycle is the perfect way to navigate the roads. You may remember we previously rented a little scooter at the beginning of our trip whilst in China. You may also remember that I left the driving to James and merely attempted a little journey up the road and back. This time however, I wanted some of the fun myself.
Within 5 minutes of driving away from the rental shop (/side street newsagents with convenient scooter hire) I was wondering if this had been a poor decision. I was a little nervous on the roads and hesitant pulling out as I either creeped on the throttle or alternatively shot the whole scooter out into the road with more power than necessary. Perseverance (and experience of Asian roads) paid off however, and within no time I was nipping about on my new friend, Kevin.
It certainly was a brilliant idea. Not only have I thoroughly enjoyed biking and having the sun on my skin and the wind whipping my hair, it has been the perfect way to see the island. You can drive from one side to the other (with very little speeding) in just over an hour. We’ve seen beaches, forests and waterfalls as well as wild monkeys and straying cows. We even spent a few nights in a local old wooden house which was surrounded by a compound of cows, dogs and cats. Obviously we were in our element here and only wish there was vacancy for us to stay longer!
We have also had the opportunity to meet up with some long lost pals! Elliot and Harlie who we met whilst in Halong Bay happened to be passing by Langkawi as they work their way to Bali and Australia. As Harlie had managed to step on a plug and rendered herself slightly incapacitated, they rented a car and we often went in convoy with my Kevin and James’s Kenneth.
A day and night together ended up as us sharing a four bed dorm and spending three days in each other’s company and therefore further delaying our departure for Thailand!
It was lovely to catch up and exchange stories about all of the crazy things that have happened in the relatively short time since we last saw the pair in Vietnam. So much has changed for both couples, but as previously plenty of laughs were had and standard British sarcasm was exchanged, and more importantly understood without a confusing language barrier.
It was actually really sad saying goodbye to them as we head in totally opposite directions, however Harlie definitely mentioned that if we didn’t want to travel down to them in Devon or vice versa then we could meet half way – therefore I think it’s safe to say they had been thinking the same as us – We sincerely hope it’s a friendship that continues long after backpacking.