Tom and Tessa

South East Asia 2016-17


Our time in Thailand had come to an end, next stop: Malaysia.

We decided that our first stop should be Langkawi, which is an island located at the very north of Malaysia, very close to the Thailand border (Grenze). Travelling from Ao Nang, we were quite a way away from Malaysia, so we had a long journey ahead of us. We got picked up by a minivan 20 minutes late at the very early time of 6:20am. By the time we had picked up (abholen) everyone, every seat in the van was taken (besetzt). Seeing that there was no boot (Kofferraum), we started to question how all of our luggage was supposed to fit in. No problem for the Thais! The bags were all squeezed (quetschen) in the aisle (Gang), giving Tom even less legroom than he already had!

The bus ride itself was quite a journey indeed. Not so much for me, as I was asleep pretty much the whole time, but I imagine it must have been rather uncomfortable for Tom (thanks for always letting me put my head on your lap to be more comfortable :)).

Our first bus took us to Hat Yai where we had to change into another bus, which then took us to the pier (Hafen) in Satun. This bus was just as full as the last one but with one great addition (Ergänzung): a little baby boy. Now, that wasn’t too much of a problem the first half of the journey as he seemed to be a very happy Baby Boy, laughing with me and handing me lots and lots of candy. After being forced to have a little nap (Schläfchen/ Nickerchen) though, Baby Boy decided to be grumpy (miesepetrig/ schlecht gelaunt) and he started whinging (jammern/ quengeln), which then turned into endless screaming! His parents didn’t really seem to know what to do, as they kept handing Baby Boy back and forth (von einem sum andern reichen). After having screamed his lungs (Lunge) out for about 30 minutes his parents started to get quite impatient (ungeduldig). His father tried to cover his mouth and as he realised that’s not going to work, he handed Baby Boy over to the mother. She apparently was very annoyed, as she started hitting Baby Boy which as a result (Ergebnis) made him scream even louder (not a big surprise). Their last try was getting Baby Boy to look at me, as he was very pleased with me pulling faces before. But, what the hell am I supposed to do when a strange baby is crying?! I can’t do magic! Obviously not very pleased (zufrieden) with my performance, they then decided to leave the bus (I’m not sure whether they had arrived at their destination or not!), which gave our ears some peace and quiet.

Thinking that the worst was already behind us, we arrived at the pier at 1:30pm to hear that we had JUST missed the ferry (Fähre) by only ten minutes! Now, if only the guy in the morning would have arrived on time… The next scheduled ferry was at 4pm which meant two-and-a-half hours of sitting around, waiting for the time to pass.

After the 1.5hr ferry (Tom: “where we got to watch a film which seemed strangely like a Thai version of Full Metal Jacket including a fat, hapless version of Private Pyle; an evil drill instructor called Number Two and a principled peacemaker version of Private Joker. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the end of this cinematic masterpiece before our journey’s end”) and a total of 11 hours on the road, we finally arrived at our accommodation for the following four nights: Tubotel in Pantai Chenang.

The next “morning” we got up at the late (not really late for us) hour of 12:30pm. Due to me not feeling very well, we just had a wander around the main Chenang town and then headed to the beach. Not much to report!

Smart (Schlau) as I am, I bought a big package of tissues (Tempos), as I started to get a cold. It seems that proper tissues aren’t really a thing here in Malaysia. All I could get was a package of eleven 2ply (zweilagig) paper tissues. As you can imagine, after having to blow your nose every 2 minutes, it can become quite painful after a while.

The following day (US election day) we rented a moped to explore the island properly. Our first stop was the Seven Wells Waterfall, which was the best waterfall we’ve seen on this trip so far (compared to waterfalls in Australia, waterfalls here are quite underwhelming). Seven Wells waterfall has several pools and Tom dived straight into the cold water. I, however (jedoch), stayed in the dry, within reach (Reichweite) of my vital (lebensnotwenig) supply of tissues!

Our next stop was the Langkawi Cable Car, which Tom was looking forward to very much. By the time we got onto one of the ski lift-style gondolas (Gondel) though, big clouds had started to descend (herabsinken). “I hope they won’t ruin our view up there”, I said, right as our gondola disappeared into mist (Dunst). Once at the top, our view from the panorama platform was absolutely spectacular: a wall of white clouds was all we were able to see! 45 Malaysian Ringgit (~10€) well spent. The whole situation got much better when we reached the bottom, located some wifi and found out that America had elected Trump as their next President (seriously?!)!

Finally, we headed to Tanjung Rhu, which was recommended (empfehlen) by our dorm mate Matt. Tanjung Rhu is a stunning beach right at the northern tip of the island, which is rather isolated (isoliert), meaning that there was hardly anyone there. We chilled out for a bit on the quiet sands; enjoying the view of the bay and small collection of islands just offshore but decided to make a hasty ride home when we were scared by the big black clouds that were coming our way!

Our next and final day on Langkawi was entirely spent on Chenang beach and, even though we thought we had learned from previous mistakes (Fehler) and made sure we topped up our sunscreen regularly, we still managed to get a bit of a sunburn, which in my case wasn’t very helpful, as my nose already hurt!

Our time on Langkawi at an end, we packed our bags for our next destination; Penang.

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© 2021 Tom and Tessa.