Swimming at Seven Wells waterfall + one of the best cinema experiences in my life

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By now I can honestly say that Langkawi has the most beautiful nature I’ve ever seen so far! I know that I said it also about Phuket but I think it now holds the second place along with California. I wont include Estonia since it’s still my home country and it’s impossible to compare it with anything :).

There are numerous magnificent waterfalls, mountains, jungles, forests, beaches, cliffs and other naturally beautiful places in Langkawi. And in most of them there are not much people around. Today we went to see Seven Wells waterfalls and had a swim of a lifetime! There are several clear water pools on top of the waterfall overlooking the nearby jungle and the mountains. The water was very refreshing yet still warm. You could just lay back and enjoy the sound of flowing water, beautiful views and sun on your face. Once again one of the must-visit places!

In order to get to the top you’ll have to walk about 660 steps up the stairs and it’s quite a climb! Luckily swimming awaits you at the top as said above :). I’m not 100% sure about the exact number of the steps since at about half way through for the first time in SE Asia I saw a snake right next to the trail. It was about 1-1,5m long and brightly orange-brown-yellow colored.  Luckily when noticing me he slowly moved into the jungle. I tried to Google afterwards but as it turns out there are more than 400 species of snakes in SE Asia and a lot of them look exactly as the one I saw.  I just hope we wont meet them very often, especially the highly venomous ones.

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Yesterday we visited the local cinema located in nearby city Kuah. As said in the title it was one of the best cinema/movie experiences ever! We chose the movie “Jumanji” which is one the best comedies I’ve ever seen, especially lately. From 10 I’d give it solid 8-9. Although the cinema itself was a bit old and had seen better days what made it special were all the people watching it! The theatre was totally packed and Malaysian people are extremely lively while in cinemas. The room was full of laughter and emotions during almost the whole movie and it really had a great effect on the whole experience. I’ve never seen anything like that before. Either way I’d highly recommend to go and see this movie, having a good time is guaranteed :)!

 

All the best!

Lauri

 

Beach day and a huge cloud of white smoke

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Today we decided to spend most of the day just chilling on the beautiful Tanjung Rhu beach. We just liked that place so much and decided to go back. It’s everything you’d want from a tropical beach – white sand, blue water, breathtaking scenery and relaxing atmosphere with not many people around.

But our journey started with quite a adventure. About 3km from our hostel while we were driving with our scooter I gazed at the mirror and suddenly saw a huge cloud of white smoke coming from the back of our bike accompanied by an oil spill and a sudden loss of power. Just great!, I thought! Luckily it didn’t happen on the other side of the island. So we pulled over and called an emergency number given to us from the hostel. After about half an hour of waiting they came to get us… with another scooter that was basically just as broken as ours :). Either way we somehow limped back to the hostel with  both 2 scooters creating a massive hole in the ozone layer (luckily it wasn’t that bad but still 🙂 ). There we were given a substitute machine with about half a million miles on it. But hey, at least the engine was working properly :).

These kind of things can happen, especially with rental machines and since it wasn’t our fault all repair works will be covered by the hostel. Big thanks to them for such a quick reaction to come to get us and providing us with a new scooter! But still, their machine park is in a need of an update :).

In the end we got to the beach and spent most of the day there as planned. I don’t know is it due to the fact that we’re nearer to the equator but middays here are really scorching! So definitely bring sun-screen and every once in a while stay in the shadows while visiting Langkawi.

And one more thing. Maybe at first you may not like Langkawi as much as some other places but this island has a tendency to grow on you :). Just look at it…

 

 

Langkawi Cable Car and Sky Bridge

So today we visited the most popular tourist attraction here in Langkawi – the cable car, sky bridge, oriental village and other related attractions. And I can tell you right now that this place is really really worth a visit. Entrance fee is 55 ringit per person and for that you’ll get a ride with the cable car, entrances to Sky Dome (where a space roller-coaster movie is projected to the ceiling), SkyRex ( a fun 4D attraction where you’re visiting the Dinosaur island) and 3D museum (you can find really beautiful artworks and 3D effect expositions there). There is some queuing involved so it’s recommend to visit as early in the day as possible. And if you’re going alone or in a company of 2 you’re also lucky while using the cable car. Since gondolas are for 6 people they very often let up to 2 people ahead in the queues so all places would be taken.

For additional 5 ringgit (when you decide to walk a short nature trail) or 15 ringgit (special lift to the bridge) you can visit the Sky Bridge and enjoy magnificent views from there. If you have already taken the journey to the top of the mountain I’d really advice you to visit the bridge also. But be careful if you’re afraid of heights since the bridge (and of course the cable car track) is located quite high above the ground. But all the scenery there and all over Langkawi is really breathtaking, no wonder it’s called the Jewel of Kedah (Kedah is a county in Malaysia).

Here’s a an overview of our adventures in Langkawi so far. It’s unfortunate that you really can’t capture all that beauty with the camera. So you have to come and see for yourself :). Feel free to follow me on YouTube to see all the other videos from our SE Asia trip + everything yet to come :)!

Driving around Langkawi

4 days ago we rented a scooter to have a proper look of the island. There are 2 bigger areas on Langkawi – one is the main city Kuah and the other is the tourist area Pantai Cenang near where we are located. And the rest of the island is full of smaller towns, villages, beautiful mountains, beaches, rice fields, forests and jungle. In some way (of course besides the mountains and jungle 🙂 ) it reminds my of an island called Saaremaa back home. Beautiful scenery, laid-back atmosphere and just an overall relaxing place to be. Since for some reason accommodation is not so cheap here compared to many other regions of SE Asia our hostel is maybe not the dream place to stay but in the big picture it doesn’t matter. Because when you get on your scooter and start driving around then you have to be really careful to watch the road since you find yourself constantly in awe of the surrounding nature.

By now we have basically made a full circle around the island and discovered some very picturesque places. For instance I highly recommend to visit Gunung Raya mountain which is the highest peak in Langkawi and easily accessible with a scooter or a car. On top of the hill there’s a a viewing tower (RM 10 entrance fee) from where you can see magical 360 views of the whole island (since the mountain is situated right in the middle of Langkawi).

Secondly one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever been are just a bit north from the mountain at Tanjung Rhu. The sand is white, water is blue (although still not as clear as in Phuket) and there are not much people around due to it’s remote location. Of course there are still some top-notch resorts located there and some local villages but still it’s really quiet. The beach actually consists of 2 parts but I’d recommend to visit both of them. We will definitely go back there in a few days!

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Thirdly a must see place also located in the northern part of the island is Temurun waterfall where a small stream comes down from a rather high cliff into a beautiful clear water pool continuing it’s way through the forest. It’s actually quite easy to miss since there are not many signs around but when you look at the google maps you’ll find it.

By the way scooter rental here is 20 ringgit a day (about 4€) and one liter of gas is around 2,3 ringgit (about 0,48€) so driving around is really inexpensive! You have to be careful about the police though. Sometimes they like to put up roadblocks and check the documentation and as in Thailand to 100% legally drive a scooter you need a A category licence since scooters here are much more powerful.

Tomorrow we plan to visit Langkawi Cable car and Skybridge which are probably the main attractions on the island. More about that in the next posts :)!

Our Phuket budget

We stayed at Phuket for 7 awesome weeks. As before I wrote down all our daily expenses to get a better overview ourselves and share it with you. Compared to Chiang Mai for example Phuket is definitely a bit more expensive but the difference isn’t big. It’s still a really affordable place to live. Once again these are our average costs per day for 2 people. Of course there were a lot of days where we didn’t have to pay for any entrance fees for example but to simplify things I averaged everything out. So here goes

  • Groceries (this includes different food items, detergent, shampoo and all other similar things – 205 baht
  • Transport (in case of Phuket it contains only scooter rental, gas and taxis to/from airport) – 200 baht. Our scooter rental for 5 weeks was 4500 baht
  • Eating out (also includes breakfast) – 360 baht
  • Entrance fees (our island hopping trip, massages, saunas and such) – 187 baht. By far the most expensive was our boat trip 1600 baht each. Without it you could save a lot but Phi Phi is still one of the must see places 🙂
  • Shopping (clothes, new backpack, flip-flops and such) – 105 baht
  • Other (mobile internet, cash withdrawal fees, washing clothes, scooter driving fine 🙂 ) – 76 baht

Our accommodation cost in Phuket was 17800 baht. So in total we spent around 57000 baht (about 1485€). In conclusion our monthly cost was slightly under 1200€! And for that kind of money you get a very decent living, scooter for the whole time and everything else you could wish for. Well, of course we got some great prices through our friend (he is more than welcome to help so let me know if you plan to travel there and are in need of a scooter for example). I believe that actually for about a 1000€/month you could do pretty well in Phuket.

 

Sending sunshine :)!

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First days at Langkawi

Here are first comments/thoughs about Langkawi during our 3 days in here:

  • The island is really clean. There is basically no garbage lying around and trash cans are plentiful. Quite often you can see signs about keeping Langkawi clean and no littering. They’ve done a great job in this matter 🙂
  • As I wrote in the previous post it seems that the island is partly still under construction. Every once in a while you can see a huge area with a abandoned construction site and walls built around it. In some cases construction work has been resumed but if to look at the pace work is being done then I guess they’ll finish by 2050. There are beautiful pictures on the fences and walls about what is supposed to be built but if you look behind them all you see is a big hole and some pieces of early foundation. As I read the financial crisis hit this area quite hard and a lot of the companies went bankrupt without no-one taking over the projects and continuing the work. I really hope that in the near future they sort it out somehow since otherwise it’s really beautiful here 🙂
  • The life in here is really laid-back. No-one is in a hurry, there are not so many people walking around outside the main tourist street, quite often you can see workers sleeping in the tree shadows, beaches are quiet and rather empty and so on. It’s actually pretty nice :). You can definitely relax here and just lay back on the beach watching the sunset. And sunsets are quite magical here. It’s just the combination of beautiful beaches, islands in the distance and that calming serenity that creates the perfect atmosphere. (This picture represents only about 1/10 of it 🙂 )

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  • Although the beaches are beautiful and with white sands the water itself is actually not so clear as in Phuket. At least in this part of the island.
  • There are 3 very friendly dogs walking around in our Hostel area. They feel very much at home and sometimes join you while you’re sunbathing, just lying in the hammock or of course eating something good 🙂20171204_173024
  • Watersports are hugely popular here. There’s a big variety of options to choose from starting with ski-jets up to parasailing. Although they’re still relatively expensive. Yesterday we watched as they were taking tourists to parasailing and every time one of the guys arranging this just jumps aboard to steer the parachute. But they were not attached in any way. Just holding on with their hands and afterwards sitting on a piece of rope. Well.. at least they seemed to enjoy it.
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  • Since Langkawi is a duty-free zone it means that alcohol, cigarettes and other similar things are really cheap here. For example a beer costs 2 ringgit which is about 0,4€ (I know that some of you reading this last line just bought a ticket to Langkawi 🙂 ) and 1 liter bottle of Captain Morgan rum is about 35 ringgit (roughly 7€). Nice 🙂
  • They sell extremely delicious spongecakes here with different flavors. It costs only 3 ringgit (0,6€) and is a really decent size. I really hope that we don’t consume too much of these cakes and beer here….. 🙂

 

Until the next post!

Lauri

Goodbye Thailand, Welcome Malaysia + the last video of Phuket

As I’m writing this post we’re already at Langkawi, Malaysia. But only after quite a journey once again since our flight to Langkawi was postponed (although it happened already quite while back and we were aware of it) and basically we had to spend a night in Kuala Lumpur airport. Wasn’t too bad but wouldn’t want to do it again.

First impressions of Langkawi are that it’s really rather quiet here. It’s basically the same size as Phuket but a a lot less people live here plus we are not staying in the main tourist area. The nature is beautiful and a lot of discovering awaits us. It seems that there’s some kind of construction boom going on in here and there are a lot of huge half-finished buildings everywhere. The only thing is that a lot of these places look like they have been half-finished already for 10 years. Seems strange but probably there’s a good reason behind it. But you will hear about Langkawi in the future posts, here are some final thoughts about Phuket.

First I’d like recommend our by far favorite eating place in Phuket where at least in our opinion best food in Thailand is served. It really actually doesn’t have a name but here are some photos to help locate it when you happen to be in that area. Besides the tasty food prices are also reasonable and service is spot-on! (although they don’t speak very much english there). Basically we went to eat there every day 🙂

Secondly if you have time to visit only one place in Thailand we’d recommend Phuket because it just has so much to offer! One of the places we will definitely visit again :)! And finally I also made one more video of our adventures in Phuket, hope you’ll enjoy it :)!

All the best!

Lauri