Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lazy Langkawi - part 1

Way back in March...

From Penang to Langkawi may have been the shortest flight we've ever taken...but I'll have to research that a little further. In stark contrast, the island is quiet and sleepy and HOT!

From the airport we taxied to the AB Hotel, which is divided into two sections by the coastal road in the beach area Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach), not the township. After checking in with the gals in the under cover, but outdoor reception area (protected by barred windows!) we were pointed across the road to our lodgings, roll of toiler paper in one hand (one per room) and the keys, in the other.

The hotel complex consists of duplex villas and your usual hotel style rooms on different levels. We spent our few days in a villa. Clean, basic, ample room, quiet (but no sat TV) with refurbished bathrooms and cute furry locals that liked to hang out on our balcony.
For an island that would seem to rely heavely on tourists, it was not what we expected, nor what we were accustomed to. There was no usual banter of sales people trying to entice you into a store or restaurant, or stopping you for chit chat, instead it was quite the opposite.

And, before anyone nay nay's me, I was not alone in my conclusion...there were 4 of us and the opinion was unanimous. They just don't like us much! We've travelled to over 12 countries and even more regions and islands, and I'm sad to say I won't return to Langkawi.

I reflect on what it must be like to be a tourist in my own country, and where I don't imagine our guests are greeted with rolling red carpets, I hope they don't leave feeling that we're unfriendly.
Near the township
Only about 1 out of 10 business owners showed any interest in welcoming us or attempting to assist us...usually just pointing us away, down the road, from their shop. Some even lowered their heads, ignoring us, pretending we weren't standing in front of their counters.

I really did break out into laughter when I tried to withdraw funds from one of the few ATM's and the machine spat my card out twice. Looking up I saw the 'Bank of Islam' sign...could have something to do with it!?

It's not all negative though. We enjoyed a great meal at a beachside restaurant (STEAK) owned by a foreigner and lovely breakfasts' cooked by a beautiful local lady and her family.

The island was VERY quiet, considering it was school holidays...but that come's back to bite us in the butt, so to speak, in a couple of days.

To be continued...

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai