Sunday, 10 March 2013

A vacation to mythical and legendary archipelago, Langkawi Island


Peace be upon you

Hey guys !! I'm back. Miss me?


SELF-REWARD 

What’s up everybody? May all of you are in the pink of health. I was quite busy in a couple of weeks back. I had to pay attention to end of semester examination to make sure passing 4 postings which include otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology and psychiatry. After having gone through all ups and downs during semester 8, eventually I could breath a sigh of relief as my end of semester examination has over and result has been released out. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to my lovely mom, supervisors namely Dr Roslenda Abdul Rahman (ENT specialist), Dr Othmaliza Othman (an ophthalmologist), Assoc. Prof Dr Joanna and Dr Wan Rahiza (Anaesthesiology consultant and specialist respectively) and Dr Fairuz Nazri Abdul Rahman (a child psychiatrist). Thanks for your kindness to serve your roles in bringing me up to this stage. Your contributions are significant and meaningful to me and my friends either. Again, I could breath a sigh of relief as I managed to pass for this semester. Nothing is more important for me than being told by Kak Rose, a clerk in psychiatry department that I pass psychiatry posting the day before departing to my anticipating archipelago, Langkawi Island. At least I do not have anhedonia (due to intrusive thought about what my result would be) which will disrupt my immense joy during vacation. Actually, the motivation that inspire me to pass for this semester is vacation to Langkawi which I regards it as self-reward. For months I have set in my mind that I need to enjoy the vacation after the exam has over without even thinking about the possibility to fail. To have confident in making my aim a reality, I should be able to answer exam questions. Praise be upon Him as I managed  to self-reward. Hopefully, none of you would label my statement as boastful. I'm just sharing my happiness and my self-reward approach which might be applicable to some of you. 

Let me tell you regarding my five days vacations to naturally amazing and deceptively calm island. For years I had been dreaming of having a romantic vacation to this internationally renowned island. No more fantasy rather it has become a reality. I went there together with another 6 friends. They are Nazrin, Zhafir, Qazreen, Shawal, Ikhwan and Azrul. Basically, all of us spent RM 500.00.

We were waiting for our ordered breakfast at Kuala Lumpur Central. They would become famous because their face are displayed here ^^.



Where on earth this hot tourism spot is located?


As Malay idiom said, “tak kenal maka tak cinta” (means you wouldn't have fallen in love if you don’t know). Therefore, I think it is better for me to share about geography knowledge with regards to this ‘Diamond of Kedah’. The reasons why Langkawi Island has been called as Diamond of Kedah I think predominantly lies in the fact that the tourism industry of this island acts as a driving force that boost Kedah economic growth. Development and modernization of this island began during Giant of Asia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad administration. In fact, Kedah is the state where he came from. As Langkawi is transitionally modernizing, it is the ultimate holiday paradise that offers modern accommodation facilities and amenities set against the natural backdrop of sun-drenched beaches and ancient rainforests teeming with exotic plant and animal life. In the plane, I sat beside a tourist from Saudi Arabia whose name is Rasheed. He was very gentle and kind as he repeatedly gave me some of his foods which I had refused to take but he persuaded me to accept his offers. He asked me about the location of Langkawi geographically. I was sort of hesitant to answer but i did. Unexpectedly, my geography knowledge was still intact as my answer was absolutely correct. Langkawi Island is lying in the north western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The exact location of these tropical islands is at the site where the Straits of Malacca meets the waters of the Andaman Seas.   


   
Located in the uppermost north western coast of peninsula

Map of legendary island
When he (Rasheed) revealed that I'm a Malaysian, he told me that Malaysia is a beautiful country surrounded by greenery scenery. Hardly to see greenery scenery in Saudi Arabia, recalls him. Nothing made me proud of my own country than being told by him that Malaysian people are kind, polite and upholding courtesy. Hopefully, most of us are like what he claimed about.


What does ‘langkawi’ means?

Langkawi is coined from the Malay words Lang and Kawi. Lang is a brown eagle and Kawi is a local manganese stone.The ancient fishermen must have seen eagles flying clutching the manganese stones! A giant monument of a brown eagle clutching the manganese stone greets all visitors to Langkawi near the Kuah Jetty. 



This is the great monument that greets millions visitor from all over the world each year. This picture was taken on our last day.


Myth and legend about langkawi

This island is unique in the sense that it has so many legends and myths associated with it. Langkawi Island is therefore also commercially known Pulau Lagenda or Legendary Island.

The most talked about legend is that of Mahsuri who is said to have laid a curse on this island for seven generations. Luckily the period of this curse is over now and Langkawi Island is fast becoming an internationally recognised tourist destination. Those who are interested to know more about this beautiful and charming lady are recommended to have a trip to this legendary island. 



Chronologically explained.....

Day 1 (February 26, 2013)

At 9.30 a.m., we took taxi in front of UKM Medical Center lobby to Bandar Tasik Selatan Integrated Terminal (TBS-BTS). I count ourselves as fortunate because soon after we reached and purchased KTM ticket, the train had just arrived to this station and it wasn’t time consuming indeed. Around 20 minutes duration, we reached KL central and having breakfast at food court. I ate a plate of nasi lemak and chicken rendang. For drink, I drank a cup of white coffee ice. The aroma of white coffee excites me. The price was reasonable and affordable for us. After that we took a non-stop SKYBUS to Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). The fare was just RM 8. 


 6 cute boys in the SKYBUS were smiling while their photo were snapped. The duration from KL Central-LCCT took approximately one hour.

Due to boredom while waiting our flight, I randomly snapped their picture.

As Tony Fernandes says, 'with Air Asia now everyone can fly'. This is my third time having a chance to be air-lifted by Air Asia plane. My first and second time was during form 4. It was 7 years ago. At that time, free seat principle was practiced which means you are free to sit anywhere you wanted to. Now, it has changed whereby every passenger was given the number of their respective seat. Hours waiting, we were boarding around 1.30 p.m. Our flight was AK 6302.

 Boarding time

Our AK 6302 flight on sunny noon



Hi. I'm Kamarol. The owner of Therapeutic Masterpiece.


We safely landed at Langkawi International Airport located in Padang Matsirat around half past three. Then, we were waiting for Aini, my batchmate who live in this breathtaking island. She helped us to find a family-sized car and a homestay in Pekan Kuah. 



Above picture signifies our arrival and our very first footstep to this beautifully unspoilt hot tourism spot. 

After that, we were directed by Aini to our 5 days-to-be rented terrace house which is based at Jalan Nilam, Pekan Kuah. House was amazing in the sense that it was fully furnished with sofa, dining table, cupboard and beds. Apart from that, it was completely equipped with electrical devices such as electrical kettle, refrigerator, television, air-conditioner and shower heater. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 toilets. Absolutely comfortable.

Dining table in our house


I slept in master room with Qazreen.

Zhafir and Azrul were enjoying the sofa's sponginess.

They were posing confidently in front of mirror like supermodel.

Then, we went to a town to have our evening light refreshment in a roadside cafe. My patience was exploded by a dishonest person.  Shocking when a plate of pasembor was charged  RM 12. It was illogical to be charged that much because I can be charged much lower for the same amount of pasembor taken in Metropolitan City, Kuala Lumpur. To be blessed by God, the cafe owner have to practice noble deeds such as honesty. Remember, 'honesty is the best policy'. I was the president of consumer club when I was in secondary school. Therefore, for me I need to fight for my right. It is not because how much the amount that really matter but the way he (cafe owner) treated and cheated his customer. I had confirmed with him about the price and it actually cost not more than RM 6. However, he insisted to charge me RM 12. Despite being charged RM 12, the service was poor.


RM 12. He might be thinking that I hire a monthly attractive remuneration. In fact, I'm just a student.


After having our light refreshment, first place that we went was Cenang Beach where AB Motel Travel Agency is located. Cenang Beach is like a beach that never sleep and is the beach of choice among European tourist to stay. I felt like travelling abroad while spending about an hour at the beach. The best way to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of island is of course via Island hoping. Our purpose going to AB Motel Travel Agency was to book for island hoping which was scheduled to be on second day. AB Motel offered a reasonable price for us to hop the island.


Tourists at Cenang Beach


At night, we went to see a giant monument that greet the visitors who come to Langkawi at Eagle Square. Eagle Square is located near Kuah Jetty.  


Sorry guys, your picture at Eagle Square is obscured.




Day 2 (February 27, 2013)

Our anticipated island hoping began by first being propelled by a motorboat to Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of Pregnant Maiden). I was leaving the safe enclave of Langkawi Island around 10 a.m and in a matter of minutes I would be in the region of most talked mythical lake. While I was pushed on to Lake of Pregnant Maiden, I took the opportunity snapping beautiful panorama of small islands scattered around Langkawi Island. 


We were hoping the island together with tourist from China



Deceptive calm greenery scenery of island and water is crystal-clear.

Finally, we safely arrived


To be there in Tasik Dayang Bunting, we have to walk for 15 minutes across the jungle because the lake is located deep in the jungle. Don't worry, staircase is provided. Beads of sweat started to form on my forehead after 15 minutes walking across the jungle. Mythologically speaking, women have married for years without offspring and wants to get pregnant should take a bath using the water in the lake.

Lake of Pregnant Maiden isn't that wide but naturally amazing. 

Synopsis on how this lake derive its name

Paddling around the lake using paddle boat is among activities that can be done here.

After an hour spent in Tasik Dayang Bunting, we were hop to Pulau Singa Besar where we can see many eagle feeding chicken skin.

An eagle was trying to clutch chicken skin using clawed foot.

Fifteen minutes was spent in Pulau Singa Besar by just seeing a troop of eagles feeding. Then, we hop to Pulau Beras Basah where  we took bath there.

No toilet at Pulau Beras Basah.

At noon, we went back to main island, Langkawi to perform our prayer and to have lunch. In the evening, we went to Beras Terbakar to see the evidence of historical fact. Apart from that, some good items are available there at reasonable price.

Burnt Rice


Next destination was Kota Mahsuri. We dropped by for a while to enjoy Padang Coconut Milkshake soon after we saw the signboard.   


Syok giler

Mahsuri Mausoleum 

Inside view of Mahsuri's house 


Mahsuri's well

Mahsuri's beauty was well known throughout Langkawi. It was said none others equaled it. Poetic expressions became the ultimate expressions of Mahsuri's beauty. 


Day 3 (February 28, 2013)


Life of marine creatures has caught my eyes ever since I become addicted to National Geographic series. I loved watching National Geographic mainly on oceanography. All this while I just had glued to in front of television to see the almighty of our creator.  I feel so lucky to be alive at this moment of history. Day 3 was historical as it marks the first day which I had the chance to snorkel in crystal clear sea. Around 9.30 a.m., we gathered near Pekan Kuah Jetty and we took ferry to Pulau Payar for snorkeling purpose. There were so many tourists all over the world came to Langkawi. Obviously can be seen when there were so many people spoke in different languages while sailing to Pulau Payar from Pekan Kuah jetty. 

Get on the ferry. 

Inside view of ferry

Finally we arrived after an hour sailing from Pekan Kuah Jetty to Payar Island.


Naturally amazing view. I could watch corals as well as other marine living creatures from a few feet high.


Snorkeling time. Ready to see marine creatures with my own naked eyes.


There was a tagging band given for each person to be worn on forearm. It was to certify that we have paid for snorkeling. I wore it on my right forearm. After five hours of snorkeling, my untanned^^ Asian skin become tanned with a brighter band across the distal forearm. 

Tanned skin with a band of brighter skin across my distal forearm.

In the evening, we went to a beach located at Padang Matsirat. There were a few mobile hawkers who used to sell north Malaysian famous cuisines for instance Pasembor, Laksa, Cendol, Rojak, Fruits Rojak, and some flavored drinks. Some dining tables were provided for customers to experience the wind blow while enjoying the dishes. Dining tables were set up at the shore. To be specific, location of this place is just near to Langkawi Police Training Center (PULAPOL). Foods price were so cheap. 



Mine were Pasembor and Cendol. This Pasembor was so cheap even with cuttlefish.



Drools


Around 5.30 p.m, again we went to Cenang Beach. It was my first experience to ride on banana boat. All my friends were screaming while being pulled by motorboat few miles away from shore. Water sea splashed onto our eyes. At night, our anticipated grand dinner had come true. Nelayan Restaurant was our choice as it was suggested by my friend Qazreen. He had been surfing the best restaurant in Langkawi to enjoy seafood based dishes for weeks before coming. Here you can choose fresh seafood and can ask the waiter for any kind of recipe that you would like to have.


We used to call these fishes as Jenahak, Cencaru and....???


Our masterchef, Nazrin was choosing cuttlefishes. 


Partially done. Waiting for other dishes to come.



Day 4 (March 1, 2013)

To have an eagle-view of Langkawi, we decided to go at second highest point of Langkawi where Gunung Mat Cincang is located. I was lifted up the mount by cable car. There are two stations, middle and top station. It will be better to disembark at the middle station first as to avoid overcrowded at top. After having spectacular view of the islands, we took another cable car gondola to the top station. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to walk on the Sky Bridge as renovation was in progress. It is expected to be publicly opened in July 2013. Gunung Mat Cincang is probably Langkawi’s best-known mountain, aside from its neighbour Gunung Raya. At 850m high, it is the second highest mountain in Langkawi and offers some pretty spectacular views of the island. It is home to the famous cable car that carries passengers 709m above sea level to the apex. Besides enjoying the spectacular views of the forested and craggy sides of Mount Cincang, on a clear day you can see all the way to the mainland and southwest Thailand. Besides that, at the top of Gunung Mat Cincang you can also have a buffet dinner at the restaurant.


A glimpse of history
The histories of Gunung Mat Cincang and Gunung Raya are deeply connected and firmly rooted in legend. The story goes that once upon a time there were two giants named Mat Cincang and Mat Raya: though they were extremely close friends, one day at the wedding reception of their children, the two got into a squabble. Each grabbed items nearest to them (pots and pans) to throw at the other. In the middle of the mêlée a number of famous spots around Langkawi were created. A pot of gravy fell in Kuah town, thus resulting in its name (which means gravy in Malay), a bowl of hot water fell in Ayer Hangat (hot water) and a jar was broken in Belanga Pecah (broken crockery).When the two giants finally came to their senses and realized what a mistake they had made by fighting with each other, they decided to atone for their mistakes by being turned into mountains. Mat Sawar, the mediator for the warring duo, was turned into a small hill (Gunung Mat Sawar) and placed between the two great mountains to ‘watch’ over them in the years to come.



To Mat Cincang

Finally arrived at the middle station

Top station

View from top station


Many European tourists coming to Langkawi


After spending a quality hours at Langkawi Cable Car, we continued our journey to Telaga Tujuh (Seven Wells). Seven Wells is basically a recreational area where waterfall is located. However, the waterfall is not like what I had expected. Not much water falling down to the ground. Thus, we didn't take bath under waterfalls but just sitting watching flora and fauna instead. 


On the way to Seven Wells Waterfall


Waterfall


Flora at Telaga Tujuh

In the evening, my friend and I bought some chocolates to be brought back home. Our shop of choice was Haji Ismail Group. Most of chocolates were sold at relatively lower price.

Do you like chocolate?


Day 5 (March 3, 2013)

03.03.13 was our last day in Langkawi Island. It is customary among Malaysian who come to Langkawi not to miss the opportunity to buy a dozen of sea cucumber based massage oil.  We headed to Nusantara Maju Enterprise where you can buy the products made from natural herbs and sea cucumber ranging from traditional preparation to cosmetic. 



Sea cucumber


Many good items are sold here

Last but not least, again we went to Eagle Square for photography purpose. We would like to find the best angle to capture the clutching eagle monument. Nearby to Eagle Square is Legendary Langkawi. We also went there to capture some pictures before leaving Langkawi. It was at noon and beads of sweat started to form on the glandular part of our body. 


This is the best angle for me


Lagendary Langkawi


Our departure time was at 5.30 p.m. For this flight, I was sitting at the back of plane. When I was flown to Langkwai, I was sitting in front seat. Contradiction !!!! Goodbye Langkawi.


Sayonara!! Goodbye!! Selamat Tinggal
THE END






2 comments:

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  2. Thank you Mahesh Kumar for your constructive comment.. I really appreciate it.. The room for improvement is spacious... I'm just start to crawl as my skills in blogging is budding a few months back... I didn't expect that people will love to read my blog... I blog just for my self satisfaction.. Regards, Kamarol..:-D

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