Day 39, Year 4: Another Whirlwind Island Tour
Date: Sunday, November 30, 2008
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day
Location: Rebak Marina on Pulau Rebak Besar, Langkawi, Malaysia

We did it again. We took the ferry to Langkawi Island intending to do a little boat shopping and then tour the island. But what we ended up doing was being lost most of the day searching for places that weld stainless and aluminum, and well after 4 pm we did another fast drive around the island. This time we drove all the way north and then back south again. It is a tiny island, so it doesn’t take long to get from one end to the other without stops. So we are learning our way around the island and have a feel for the topography, but delving deeper will have to wait for another day.

Here’s what did do. We got off the ferry at 9 am and drove south to Pantai Cenang to find a place to spend the night. After boat shopping and touring, our real reason for today’s trip was to spend the night in Pantai Cenang so we can talk to and see Sam via Skype after 10 pm. There’s no way to get back to Rebak at that time of night, so finding a place to stay was the first item on the agenda. The motel right next to the internet caf� was totally booked for tonight, so we walked up the street a bit and found another place that looked just fine. The more expensive rooms are on the beach side of the street, but we chose the less expensive rooms on the other side of the street, less than $20US per night with a refrig, air con, TV, and fan. Not bad. Once that was done, out next stop was the stainless Your Way shop. I think I mentioned in a previous log that we need to get the stanchions on either side of our gate straightened and reinforced. We followed the directions and didn’t the place, but we ended up at a great overlook where we could see the whole west end of Langakawi. We also met a very friendly Muslim family visiting from the mainland. It is school vacation time here, so the island is crawling with families on holiday. This family was particularly friendly, however, and we met the two little girls (probably seven and eight years old), the little boys (nine, four, and two years old). The mother was nursing the two year-old and we talked to her about our grandson who is close the same age. It is so heart-warming to meet such friendly local people. They always want to know where you are from and how many children you have. When we explain that we have sailed here from America (no one ever knows where we are from if we say the United States) they just can’t quite understand. But we all shook hands and bid farewell, and we continued our search for Your Way Stainless. We finally found it and left the stanchions for repair. We had hoped they would also be
able to fashion a new piece of aluminum toe rail for us, but we had no luck with that. So on to the next stainless shop to see if they could do the job. Again, we followed the directions we had, but we just couldn’t find the place. We drove down the highway, did a legal U-turn (felt like I was in New Jersey), back-tracked, did another U-turn, and went around two more times before finding the place. And, of course, Mr. Teik was not there. He is the owner and man we needed to see, so we left the
twisted piece of toe rail and said we would return later in the afternoon. By the time we reached Kuah it was noon. We stopped at the bakery and drug store, went to Peninsular Marine, the West Marine outlet, to get a new hand pump for our forward head and another fan (it is really hot and humid here), and then went to the Orkid Food Court for lunch. This is where we first had lunch in Kuah with Ben, the canvas guy, and we had another great lunch of Mee Prawn Soup. We made a stop downtown to try and buy some Schweppes’s ginger ale at a little shop where we had seen it a few days ago, but this quickly, they have stopped carrying it. Mark also made a quick stop in a hardware store and then on we went. It was just one of those days when every stop you want to make ended up to be a major expedition.

Finally around 4 pm we headed out of Kuah and drove to the north side of the island. There are breath-taking views, but unfortunately they are shared with huge concrete factories and other evidences of modern life that totally take away the charm. As we drove west across the top of the island, we saw some villages that looked interesting and we stopped at Komplex Kraf Langkawi. Yes, it is a local arts and crafts complex, but it is huge. It looks like a national monument and is full of beautiful things made in Malaysia. We didn’t have time before closing to visit the museums, but the shopping areas felt like a museum. We bought a beautiful batik painting on silk from an artist named Jasni. We loved his work and he was most engaging. Then the trek continued and we finally got back to Pantai Cenang before dark.

I am writing this log in our motel room and will send it from the internet cafe later tonight. It is now time to go out and “forage” for dinner and then we will have our Skype call with Sam and company. I’ll have to report on that in tomorrow’s night log.

081130 Day 39 Langkawi, Malaysia–Langkawi Island Tour