Formula 588 at Langkawi

Langkawi Travel Blog

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Steph and our trusty speed demon

As much as we've enjoyed each and every one of the days we've rented out mopeds we felt that it was time to upgrade and go for a car. Car hire here is ridiculously cheap and you get a little local make vehicle with airconditioning for RM50 a day (GBP7.50) . The moped cost us RM25 and with the car we didn't have to mess up our hair wearing helmets! We basically had two sights on our agenda and headed off towards the highest point on langkawi called Gunung Raya. As with our experience hiring the moped; the free map we were using required quite a bit of abstract interpretation and of course we didn't bother buying a proper one, that would be far to sensible. So as an added bonus to our day we got to drive a very narrow partially paved path with hidden speed bumps that runs beside a chain link fence around the airport.

Tanjung Rhu Beach
We like to think that we explore sides to places that mere tourists overlook!!

We pretty much gave up with the map after two roundabouts marked on it failed to materialise and so we just drove along the biggest road we could find until we saw a sign  that had a name that appeared on the map in the vicinity of where we were heading. Eventually with some deft directions from Steph we saw a sign for Gunung Raya. At the base of the road up the mountain there is a little booth for you to pay a toll and we both thought we were going to get stung for some serious money. Out came the wallet but the little man in the booth wanted just 50sen, that's just 8p in UK terms. Great value until you see the state of the roads. Lots of rock falls, blind hair pin turns, loose tarmac, gravel etc.

Tanjung Rhu Beach
It was fantastic. We strapped ourselves in and then like some Scandinavian rally god and co-driver we roared off. With our 580cc engine at full belt with about 8hp we soon caught and passed a dump truck. The 12km to go sign flashed by as we screeched around a bend. Up, up we climbed at breakneck sped until the inevitable happened. We caught up with someone driving a Proton. Jeremy Clarkson would have had a fit.  So we tucked in behind and made it to the top in one piece camera at the ready for the views to rival all views. Except that with the thrill of the drive up we'd failed to notice just how cloudy it was and the glimpses we caught of the scenery below us from the top wern't even worth a digital photo!! Secretly though we were quite pleased as we managed to head down in front of the Proton and are seriously thinking of changing our names to Mika and Helga or something that is suitably Scandinavian to match our rallying skills.
Tanjung Rhu Beach and the limestone karsts in the distance
We were hoping the little fella in the booth would look at us in awe at having been to the top and back so quickly but we don't think he even looked up so that was a let down. Next time we hire a Subaru.

Our plans were sort of thrown out by our speed as it was still early and we'd hoped to hit our second destination, a beach called Tanjung Rhu a bit later in the afternoon. Our driving and navigation skills honed we made it there without any detours and parked up on the most beautiful stretch of beach we've so far encountered. Of course the main section had been taken over by a resort of the four seasons type but there is still a huge area left over for us poor folk. The bay has limestone karsts in it much like the area around Phi Phi, Guilin and Halong bay.

Apparently, the set for a music video on the beach
It was a truly awesome setting and if we were the type to lay out on the beach we would have stayed there all day. As it was we had a fantastic swim in quite a strong current but it was taking us along the beach not out to sea so it was really fun. You could basically swim but stay in the same spot a type of water treadmill. No stings this side of the island either so even the jellyfish seem to have been banished by the resort. There was a group of local musicians trying to film a pop video on the beach which as you can imagine was chaos and very amusing to observe. Firstly they were fully dressed in black clothes, heavy jackets, the ubiquitous long straggly hair and loaded up with their instruments. Secondly not a note was coming from them as they were given instructions as to their movements through a megaphone by the director standing six feet away.
The only shady area on the beach where we hid from the sun between swimming sessions
Every now and then a fat wealthy westerner from the resort would get washed down the beach by the current and emerge in the back of their shot to much shouting and gesticulating by the crew and directors minions. We had a great time watching it all unfold.

By this time we were turning a very pretty shade of pink, much like most of our locally washed laundry, so we headed off home via more back roads and Kuah town which really doesn't warrant any mention other than that. Oh except there's a Starbucks there for  those in dire need!!

We eventually made it home and it was such a hot day that at one point we seriously considered parking the car outside the room and leaving the engine running to take advantage of a nights sleep in air conditioning but thankfully there was a little rainshower which took a bit of temperature out of the air and was our first rain for what seems like ages. We had to go outside and marvel at this strange natural phenomenon.


Virginiagoodings says:
Having driven the roads in the UK with you two, I can only imagine the speed in Malaysia!!!

Love the story of the musicians!
Love you both
Posted on: Feb 27, 2008
barrieandann says:
Not going to look at pictures any more it makes us too envious! Only joking! Loved them all. Drive sounded hairy, nice little car though by the look of photo.
Lots of love M and D (Ann and Barrie) xxxxxxxx
Posted on: Feb 27, 2008
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Steph and our trusty speed demon
Steph and our trusty speed demon
Tanjung Rhu Beach
Tanjung Rhu Beach
Tanjung Rhu Beach
Tanjung Rhu Beach
Tanjung Rhu Beach and the limeston…
Tanjung Rhu Beach and the limesto…
Apparently, the set for a music vi…
Apparently, the set for a music v…
The only shady area on the beach w…
The only shady area on the beach …
Friendly/hungry cat who hung out w…
Friendly/hungry cat who hung out …
photo by: Mezmerized