Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia

The best you could say about the room was that it's close to the beach. With décor in the style of the Tok's crack den school of interior design, it didn't exactly live up to Lonely Planet's “good value for money” review (I know LP can't help it when guesthouses change their tariffs after being featured, but it's annoying all the same). We politely handed the key back, and asked the man on the effnick jewellery stall to tell us more about his friend's resort with nice rooms for five ringgit more.

We had arrived by speedboat directly from Ko Lipe, where we'd had our passports stamped at the palm-thatched box on the beach which passes for an immigration station. The 45 minute speedboat ride brought us into a swish marina. Arriving in Langkawi is a return to civilisation – it's got real buildings and real tarmac roads with proper road signs, and petrol stations and everything! It doesn't even feel like an island – or at least not the islands we're used to.