Yesterday we went to visit a friend of mine who’s been living in Bali for the past 4 months. His place is about 2-2,5 hours drive from our accommodation so it was quite a journey. Getting there was without a hassle but driving back home in the dark was quite an interesting experience. Wouldn’t want to do it too often :).
The area that he is staying is called Balian beach and it’s quite remote place with not many people moving around. Beach is covered with beautiful sparkling black volcanic sand and there’s a nice place to eat right near the sea. Food is delicious and prices are very reasonable :). After lunch we drove around in the area, discovered a cave with thousands of bats and majestic cliffs and rocks carved by the sea through the years. But the main highlight of the day was definitely a perfect scooter driving road and the walk to nearby waterfall. Honestly, if all roads would be like this, I would just keep on driving with a huge smile on my face until I’m out of gas since it’s quite difficult to imagine a more scenic place. The narrow but with a perfectly smooth surface road winds through mountains, jungles, majestic views to rice terraces and small villages. All the people by the road greet you with smiles and children want to high-five you :). There’s hardly any traffic and all this combines into one of the best driving experiences ever!
At one point when you’re nearing the waterfall the scooter-friendly (if I say scooter friendly I mean about 1m wide narrow pathway between rice fields) ends and a picturesque walk begins. You most likely will get muddy, there’s a lot of climbing and balance exercises but the road and the views are totally worth it, not even mentioning the magical waterfall that waits you in the end. Since it’s quite off the grid and not easily accessible there was nobody there besides ourselves and I presume that it’s the case most of the time. So now don’t you all go flocking there together :). You can have a refreshing swim and just enjoy the nature at it’s finest. A truly memorable experience is guaranteed! You can really fall in love with Bali like this…
But as usual it’s best to see it with your own eyes (even if it’s through a laptop or a mobile screen). So here’s the third video of Bali 🙂
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.
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!
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 :)!
Here’s the second volume of our ideas and thoughts about Thailand:
- Thai people love to smile 🙂
- When you are driving a scooter and NOT zig-zaging between the cars in a traffic jam or behind a traffic light you will be looked at weirdly. It’s totally normal to go through even the narrowest places between cars 🙂
- During the day all the garbage will be left at the roadside in big bags and every night garbage trucks (where people are sitting on the roof sometimes) will pick them up. There are quite few trash bins around (except in tourist areas)
- It’s totally normal to drive in the back of an opened pick-up truck. I counted 16 people today, a record so far 🙂
- Most of the cars have really tinted windows (even the windshield) so you really can’t see into them. I don’t know is it because of the sun and the temperatures or is there some other reason behind it…
- You can get a decent and very tasty lunch/dinner for 50-60 baht (1,3-1,55€) in a lot of places. And water is mostly free.
- Beer costs about the same as back home (about 50 baht bigger can or a bottle) and it’s pretty good. Only thing is although there are several brands to choose from they taste rather the same
- There are natural coconut, banana etc. trees growing everywhere in here
- Fuel prices are considerably cheaper compared to Estonia. 91 (that is used in case of scooters) costs about 27 baht (0,7€) per litre.
- Thailand is (understandably considering the weather around here) very tourism oriented. There are hundreds of massage salons, guesthouses, hotels, tour offices and other similar facilities everywhere!
- As the weather, water is also warm all year round. No need to be afraid to get the chills
- Thai people hold family very dear. Very often you can see the whole family sitting around in a circle having a meal, laughing and talking to each other. I would say we have a lot to learn from them in that sense 🙂
- After the sun sets hundreds of small lizards come out, find the nearest light source and start to catch mosquitoes and other small bugs. They’re really cute 🙂
- Soy milk based drinks are extremely tasty here. You can find a lot of different flavors to try
- A small bag of buckwheat around here costs 18€!
- Thailand is blessed with one of the most beautiful nature I’ve ever seen 🙂
To be continued… 🙂
This time a very short post. I made a video of our visit to Doi Suthep mountain and temple + yesterday we went for a small hike near the Huay Keaw waterfall. I must say that the trail around the waterfall is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. And it’s very easy to get there. Just use a local B1 bus to the zoo (15 baht per person) and from there it’s about 5 min walk to the beginning of the hiking trail. I have to mention that technically the whole area was closed due to the potential flash floods but we decided to take the trip anyways. We were just a bit more careful. And all in all due to the higher volume of water the scenery was even more picturesque. Have a look for yourself 🙂
Chiang Mai area really has a beautiful nature. Just outside the city Doi Suthep mountain, temple and natural park are waiting to be visited. Today we spent most of the day there. Straight in the morning we hired a songthaew (local red coloured pick-up truck where there are 2 benches in the back, used for everyday transport) which took us up the hill to the temple. The temple itself was also gorgeous but the main attraction is still the view to the city and neighbouring mountains and villages. After looking around for a while we went for a little hike to the main viewpoint, the nearby village and the waterfall. It seemed that everyone else was either riding a scooter, driving a car or sitting in the back of a songthaew. But as said before we like walking. It has had quite an effect, during the 10 days in Thailand I have already lost 5kg’s and I definitely have stronger leg muscles :). But the views from the mountainside were something special (there will be a lot of pictures coming to my Instagram/FB + also a video). And so was the nature, we had never been in such a jungle before. Greenery, bamboos, beautiful flowers and trees everywhere. And some sort of funny insects (we presume cicadas) who live in the treetops and make really really strong electric alien voices. You just have to hear it to understand! We also passed by Hmong village where you should supposedly see how the local culture of the tribes living in those mountains look likes. But it still was greatly a touristy place. Nevertheless the village was interesting to see and a short walk from the village a picturesque Doi Suthep waterfall and flower garden was located. Once again would definitely recommend a visit!
On the way back from the mountain our driver stopped at a small temple middle way down to the mountain. Right next to temple was this beautiful waterfall and all in all this was one of the most beautiful temples and locations we have been so far. It seemed that the reason why we stopped was that one monk (who was also in our songthaew) wanted to go there for a moment. And how could you say no to that. Either way we were very happy that we had an opportunity to see this place :).
Besides these adventures we went to the cinema and one of the biggest shopping malls in the city yesterday. We took a long walk through the city to catch a glimpse of how the locals are living. So on the way we saw for example a woman walking her goat with a nice pink collar near downtown Chiang Mai. Why not! 🙂
The movie which went to see was Blade Runner 2049. It was pretty good although rather dark. But the ticket was 100 baht each (about 2,55€) and the cinema was really fancy. More like being in a theatre, not watching a movie. And who doesn’t know yet – before every movie in Thailand anthem is played and you have to stand up to show respect.
Shopping mall was huge. Really can’t compare shopping malls in Estonia to the ones in here. Every one of them has at least 5-6 floors and numerous shops and dining areas. After the movies we went for the first non-local food so to say and had a pizza. It was good but compared to local dishes very expensive.
I can say already that if you plan to visit Thailand, definitely come and see Chiang Mai :).
Once again sending sunshine back home!