Malaysia Trip Part 1: Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi

Greetings from a hazy Kuala Lumpur. It’s my third visit to this airport in less than 48 hours! I’m writing this from the Plaza Premium Lounge, landside at KLIA2, my first ever visit to an airport lounge!

I first arrived to KL Sunday night after a 5+ hour AirAsia flight from Perth. As my flight to Langkawi was early the next morning, I stayed the night in Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s modern Terminal 2 (KLIA2). With its shopping centre, facilities and KL Express rail link, KLIA2 is dramatically better than its predecessor, the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT).

My accommodation for ~7 hours at KLIA2 was part of a shipping container at the Capsule By Container Hotel. The place was noisy and crowded but the sleep and shower were much appreciated.

My 'room' at KLIA2

My ‘room’ at KLIA2

Langkawi, a Malaysian island is not far from Thailand and less than 1 hour by air from KL. At the airport I paid MYR 120 (~AUD 40) for 4 hours of taxi and was directed to Yousoff and his taxi van, my companions for the next 6&1/2 hours (I paid Yousoff for the extra time at the end). First stop was a restaurant for breakfast. Yousoff’s choice was excellent with Soto (soup with rice cubes, chicken and peanuts with spicy sambal) accompanied by ginger tea with condensed milk being both delicious and excellent value at less than 3 AUD.

Soto in Langkawi

Soto with a side plate of sambal

Next we headed north to a really nice beach which I wandered along, observing the shells and flotsam including two cowries, my favourite shell from childhood. Langkawi is surrounded by smaller islands which reminded me of the islands in Vietnam’s Halong Bay. Thailand is visible on the horizon and Langkawi has some Thai influence. At the beach I bought a coconut from a cafe run by Thais.

Beach at Langkawi

The beach, north Langkawi. The darker blue on the horizon is Thailand

Cockle shell, Langkawi

This cockle was one of many shells lying on the beach

After the beach Yousoff drove me to Seven Wells where I climbed hundreds of stairs to get to the waterfalls. The waterfalls at the top were placid and small compared to the impressive waterfall off a side track further down.Monkey sign, Seven Wells, Langkawi

Monkey sign, Seven Wells. Monkeys are common on Langkawi and I saw several during the day.

Waterfall, Seven Wells, Langkawi

The larger waterfall part way down the Seven Wells track

Seven Wells is close to my next destination and Langkawi’s biggest tourist attraction, the Langkawi cable car, otherwise known as SkyCab. Along with Izmirli Ozgur and Russian Anna I paid 85 MYR (about AUD29) for a glass-bottomed gondola and skipped ahead of the queue lining up for normal gondolas. The ride and views are impressive and I recommend paying the extra for the glass bottom and to skip the line up. I also skipped the first stop part way up the mountain.

View down mountain from cable car, Langkawi

View down the mountain from the cable car

Getting to the suspension bridge (SkyBridge; 5 MYR) at the top of SkyCab involved taking many more stairs. When I first arrived it was shrouded in rainy mist, reducing visibility.

SkyBridge, Langkawi The suspension bridge at the end of the cable car ride

A blooming tree at the viewing platform on the opposite side of the bridge was a big hit with butterflies.

Butterflies, Langkawi

Butterflies at the top of SkyCab

Butterflies, Langkawi

The flowering tree covered in butterflies

View up mountain from cable car, Langkawi The view back up the mountain with the mist visible at the top

I had enough time remaining before my flight for a meal and Yousoff took me to another excellent choice, Jom Ikan Bakar, where I ate delicious fish and cockles.

Meal at Jom Ikam Bakar, Langkawi

Clockwise from the left: rice, cockles, whole fish, pineapple, fried chicken, fried fish pieces

The AirAsia flight back to KL was delayed slightly. At KLIA2 I took the KLIA Ekspres train (MYR 35) to Sentral before the LRT train two stops to Masjid Jamek (MYR 1.30) from where I walked to my accommodation, the funky BackHome Hostel. It’s great to be hostelling again!

In KL I’ve had a fantastic time catching up with friends Kim (last night, Pappa Rich), Christine (lunch today, Indian restaurant) and Yin Li (tea at Starbucks, Sunway Pyramid).

South Indian meal, Kuala Lumpur

Today’s lunch on a banana leaf (no prizes this was at an Indian restaurant – great choice Christine)

Flight number four to Penang is due to leave in two hours’ time at 10pm. I’m looking forward to seeing George Town’s architecture and, more importantly, eating its food!