Langkawi : Sea, sunsets and silhouettes.
Langkawi Travel Blog› entry 102 of 268 › view all entries
January 17th, 2009 – by: Stevie_Wes
With all this in mind once our passports have been gathered up at the small immigration office at the eastern extremity of Pattaya beach and weâve been Long Tailed to the Langkawi speedboat, I practically pounce on the âLonely Planet Malaysiaâ that the nice American lady (Dotty) is flicking through besides me. Cue half an hour of desperately trying to get a mental image of Malaysia, its wonders and sights engrained upon my mindâŚ I rapidly, rabidly scribble down notes on the geography, logistics and accommodation possibilities for Langkawi.
Once docked at one of Langkawiâs pier points, the boat load of us shuffle about on shore with undue nervousness. Our passports bagged up in Ko Lipe and not yet returned, this is the longest I (or probably many of us) have been physically separated from this most sacred of travel documents so far in my journey. You can have my credit cards, my money, my vaccination recordsâŚ you can even have my last remaining clean pair of underpants, but woe betide you should you make a grab for my little burgundy-red proof-of-travel-life!!!
Dotty, Tabatha and I hail a taxi to get to Cenang Beach.
Our initial glimpses and feeling for the place are not good! This is an understatement. Cenang Beach (not yet seen) is backed onto by the parallel Cenang drag of of eeeeeendless westerner-targeted bars, eateries, shops and restaurants. I mean, several kilometres of the stuff.
Our initial enquiries in pursuit of affordable accommodation are dispiriting. Canât find anywhere for less than 80 - 100 Ringgit a night (ÂŁ16 -20!). Budget panic ahoy!! Word on the street is that if you havenât booked one of the budget options ahead of time, they may as well not exist. With this in mind the girls head one way giving up on this possibility whilst I hold onto the dogged hope that someone might have âroom for a little oneâ the other way; the cheaper end of the strip. By an absolutely wallet-preserving stroke of luck, Gecko Guest House, despite its prominence within the Lonely Planet pages (usually a traveller curse; a guarantee of being fully booked) has one final dorm bed that I can squeeze into for 15 Ringgit (ÂŁ1.
All thatâs really left to do now is that favourite travel past time of relaxation. Orientation first. Food next. A yummy pastrami stack sandwich and then a long, slow amble end to end and back again of the substantial stretch of Cenang Beach. Itâs a nice beach too. Long and languorous. Huge palm trees stand as if perfectly corralled, an endless straight-backed line of brown and green soldiers, well trained in the discipline of the perfect symmetry demanded of package holiday photographs. People flop in hammocks and sit in deck chairs reading books. Another day. Another beach. Topping up their tans and Martinis.
The waters of the sea looks pleasant enough but I dunno, and am not inclined to get my head wet today.
The day is growing long, but the sun is unrelentingly hot. At this time of day, any vestige of shadow and shade is chased by the angle of the sun way back off the beach to hide where it is of no use to me.
I place the shells I have collected at the waters edge back into the sands. Their colours and my interest in them slightly faded now. The sun is dipping. Chilled out tunes are wavering out of the obligatory rasta-themed âBabylon Beach Barâ behind me. I resist the primal urge for a cool, cool sunset beer. I watch people pass one way and another along sandy Cenang. A small boy having gathered a green plastic bag up from the waves attempts to gather now within it as much of the ocean as its within the bags capacity to contain. He runs up the beach, away from the waters edge, wishing desperately (I imagine) to show his mother the waters of the world he has captured and now proudly possesses.
A catamaran is de-masted by its crew. I have fine sand all over me and everything here in my possession. The sun continues to slide down. Still resisting the call to sundown beer. Itâs a hard life trying to keep that budget under any semblance of control I tell ya! I bury one of my wristbands - purchased from a street girl at sundown in Dahab, Egypt several months before - in the Cenang sands.
âŚ but it (the sun) reappears ten minutes later. Turns out it had retired behind the curtain of cloud cover merely to more modestly change wardrobe for the remainder of the evening. Pale buttercup yellow set aside in favour of a racier, burning neon orange number the colour that maybe my hair would match in brightness and hue were a million volts of electricity to run its course across my ginger scalp. More silhouettes dance for my eyes along the shoreline. I love this consequence of a sunset, or a dawn! Peoplesâ lives in little paper-cut, black silhouette moments of happiness. A little paper-cut girl walks along the beach, stooping frequently to gather little paper-cut shells to show her paper-cut mother as they stroll along. Plenty of young ladies in Hijabs have appeared for sunset and to remind me I have shifted through a cultural boundary once more in coming to Malaysia.
The night is spent in the company of some nice guys ânâ gals from England, Ireland, Wales and theres aboutsâŚ latterly, unfortunately involving too much beer, live football and conversation limited only to this latter subject. This serves to remind me about several aspects of the often banal quality of (social) life at home that Iâm happy enough to be far enough removed from to have begun to have forgotten for nowâŚ and Iâd always rather end things on a sunset and paper-cut silhouettes than other more mundane thoughts. So good night.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!