Monday, August 12, 2013

Langkawi Highlights


Langkawi Highlights, a set on Flickr.

Been out of town over the super-long weekend with seriously dodgy wi-fi and no way to update.

First time travelling with extended family, three tiers deep. Also for the first time, I belong to the highest ranking tier. Representing the next and subsequent generations were my niece and her hubby followed by their little 'un (my grand-nephew!) who turned one while we were there.

'There' being Langkawi. It was a trip we'd been planning since CNY and though the weather alternated between torrential rain and drab, patchy skies we still had a good time.

We rented two cars for island transport. Roads were quite clear, most drivers tended not to speed and navigating by GPS made driving rather easy. Stick shift, though, so auto drivers like me were last choice for wheel duty.

Accommodation was at the Federal Villas which was basic but comfortable enough. I did have a lot of wi-fi connection problems, considering that I had to pay for it (RM40/24 hrs), though some of my travelling companions had a better time of it with their devices.

Food-wise we opted to cook our own brekkie on the provided hot-plate: supermarket-bought eggs, bread, cheese, spreads, cereal, yogurt, spiced with condiments stolen liberated from the previous night's dinner. Lunch was usually a free-and-easy affair apart from one memorable occasion celebrating grand-nephew's birthday with eight lamb shanks(!) at Secret Recipe. And we were faithfully regular dinner customers at Fat Mum's (a.k.a. Eagle View Restaurant). The first night we had to wait about two hours to be served due to the unexpected holiday crowd, but we learned and ordered two hours early the next two nights. Why Fat Mum's? Because of walking distance from our hotel, and because the food was so very good. Of the mixed dishes and rice, most notable were the Teochew steamed fish, tofu in special sauce, noodles on fire (house specialty in which yee fu noodles are wrapped in alum-foil and flambeed) and the crispy squid rings which I don't usually like but these were deliciously crisp and so not-rubbery.

We descended upon every meal like a plague of locusts, almost cleaning out every dish, barely leaving the garnishes and overlooked crumbs behind. That attests to either the general quality of the food in Langkawi, or our terrifying appetites coupled with a no-waste policy.

Of tours we took a couple. The boat ride through the Kilim Ecoforest Park was an interesting look at the local wildlife -- eagles in particular -- in their natural habitat, plus some fish farming and natural landscape formations. The Sky Car ride was scenic, climbing to acrophobic heights from which we could look down and see practically the whole island and its neighbours in the Andaman Sea.

The first family trip has been a pleasant enough experience. If enough of us can find another common set of dates, another trip could be in the planning.

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