Strictly: Serenade – Part #2

It’s been slightly longer than I said it would be (isn’t it always?!) but I’m finally back to round off the retelling of my trip to Langkawi. Hold onto your hats, folks. I might have said this already but, thanks to it being entirely duty free, Langkawi is a very cheap holiday destination. Therefore, we were able to go for a very posh dinner on the beach on Monday night, at a Michelin star awarded restaurant (La Sal at Casa Del Mar), eat two courses and drink wine and spend the outrageous amount of S$30. I love Asia. Post dinner it was time for a drink or two before bed, and so we ended up at a bar with a very dodgy live covers band playing, who then proceeded to move around the room serenading each table with their own choice of song. It was really weird and uncomfortable, and I didn’t really know where to look so ended up alternately staring at the table or off into the distance. I can’t even remember what they played, I just wanted it to be over. I have now learned that I never again want to be serenaded in a public place.

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I flew solo on my last day (up until this point I had a travelling buddy, I’ve not just developed a complex that means I can only refer to myself with the royal ‘we’, don’t worry.) and decided that, as I couldn’t be bothered to get up early enough to go on the all day mangrove tour, I would do the ever popular island hopping boat trip. As with most things in this part of the world, we set off roughly an hour later than we were supposed to, and I had to hang on for dear life as the boat pelted through the surf and water pelted me in the face. Somehow, up until this point I’d expertly avoided large groups of loud and annoying Chinese tourists, but on this trip I hit the jackpot and ended up being surrounded by roughly a dozen of them. One in particular enjoyed shoving her hand in the water as the boat sped along, meaning that I got even more sea water in my face and suffered temporary blindness from all the salt. Anyway, despite the annoying nature of most of my boat companions the sun did actually decide to come out for this particular trip, and I was finally able to enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the various islands the boat stopped at. It was, unfortunately, a bit of a tourist trap, and the beautiful remote islands that are popular stops on these tours seem constantly overrun with tourists and people trying to make money from said tourists, which is a real shame, but it was nice to get out and see a few of the sights that make Langkawi famous. The main stops on the boat trip are the islands of Dayang Bunting (Island of the Pregnant Maiden) where a stunning geoforest park and lake has been taken over by a massive floating jetty and a pedalo rental company, and  Beras Basah island which was your typical white sand tropical beach, but filled with people. I like my beaches empty so, as much as I enjoyed the experience, I was a little let down by the volume of people. And I didn’t even go in high season, so I can only imagine what it’s like then. There was also a stop to see the sea eagles. This was amazing, expect that the boats feed them to ensure that they put on an impressive show for the tourists, so I’m not sure how ethical it is. I’m putting a big old downer onto the end of my trip now, so let’s bring it back with some nice pictures.

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On my final night I dined out alone. This doesn’t seem like that big a thing, but I have a weird aversion to eating alone in public and have only recently started making myself do it, so it was a pretty big deal for me. I’m very glad I did however, as I went to an amazing restaurant which had eluded us on our first night (mainly because it was closed) and ate two whole courses (I was feeling pretty fly). It was so good.

I don’t think I’ll get any more travelling in before I go home for Christmas, so this will be the last outside of Singapore post for a while. I’ll have to think of somewhere exciting to go next.

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Leah Out X

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