Monday, 18 August 2014


As planned, the next morning we rode to the famous cable car and took it to the summit of Gunung (mountain) Mat Chinchang.  We really should have gone the previous day though as once atop the mountain, the heavy, low clouds left us blind to the amazing views I know were there, we could see most of it from the gravity defying cable car on the way up.  

To see it from right at the summit, a 360 degree view of the spectacular island of Langkawi, would have been really special I think.  The new skybridge is still being built though and will no doubt add even more wonderment to the whole experience.  Cable car ride to the summit cost 35 myr ($11.70 au).

A quick stop at Telaga Tujuh Waterfall nearby saw a lot of steps climbed but was only mildly worth visiting, though we did have some good food there at the shops by the car park.  We then followed the coast all the way round the west and southern sides of the island, with a few detours along the way, great tight, hilly, winding roads to ride is always fun, even on a scooter!

That night we stayed at Pantai Cenang, the beachside tourist town on the west coast boasting endless cafes, restaurants, guesthouses and shopping.  They even have an ‘Under Water World’ venue there.  We ended up at Delta Motel & Restaurant, way over budget at 155 myr ($52 au) a night, but it was right on the beach, literally 40 paces from our door and we were stepping on the sand. 

Not a spectacular beach by any means, but there was plenty of buzz about the place, with parasailers, jet skiers and holidaymakers all providing the entertainment.  Throw in a great sunset with a cold cider right on the sand and it was a great way to finish off the day, sometimes you have to spoil yourself! 

 As with the room, I blew budget on dinner also and we had a fairly decent pizza just up the beach later in the evening at Yellow CafĂ©.  These guys actually have bean bags right on the sand to relax on.

The prices are higher but so is the quality, plus the ambience is worth every cent.  Remember, when I talk about expensive, I simply mean a dish that may cost around $10, not exactly breaking the bank for the average holiday maker, but I am far too used to paying only a couple of dollars for a great meal and prefer to save that money for more important things….  like beer!!

The next morning we followed the highway up the center of Langkawi to the towering peak of Gunung Raya, now we finally got our 360 degree views over the island, almost free except for a 10 myr charge to go up the tower of the abandoned looking resort up there.  Well worth the time and a nice way to round out our road trip before heading back to Kuah town, where we changed rooms to a 50 myr a night place, Havana Guesthouse.  

Hmmm, let’s just say there were many reasons this place was cheaper, but the wifi was good!  More food from the markets later that night and a long wander around town before getting some rest, ready for the journey to Penang the next morning.

A taxi from Havana Guesthouse to Jetty Point was 12 myr ($4), ferry ticket 18 myr.  A 5 minute walk to the Kuala Perlis bus terminal had us boarding a bus to Alor Setar for another 15 myr.  Despite what I read online about getting a direct bus all the way to Butterworth from KP, the Plusliner Bus Company definitely does NOT have a ticket office there and don’t appear to be operational anymore.

 I wouldn’t plan on using them if you are visiting and it seems to be a better option to just head for Alor Setar  and then change buses for another 10.80 myr down to Butterworth.  A total travel time of around 3 – 3 ½ hours or more, plus we barely had to wait at either station.  The original plan was to take the train again, but at least this way we got to see more of the country.   

Once you disembark at Butterworth, if heading for Penang you will want the ferry.  Take a quick look around or ask somebody for the ferry terminal, I found a sign (in Malay, but still easily identifiable – ‘fery jeti’ or something like that)) in less than a minute and it took about 4 to walk there.  

It was quite funny actually, after going through a turnstile and paying the whole 1.20 myr fare to cross to Penang, we were waiting on what I thought was the jetty, that is until it started moving and I realized we were already on the ferry!  I’m a boat guy and even I didn’t realize we were standing on the thing until it pulled away from the pier!

When you reach The island of Penang, a 3 minute walk following all the exit signs will lead you straight to the taxi stand, once again just a set price, no bargaining possible.  I had booked at Hotel New Rope Walk and it was a 15 myr cab fare to get there, being a touristy town the price was a little steeper than it probably should have been.  If we knew the way it could have been walked in around 15 – 20 minutes.

Total cost, Langkawi to Penang, hotel to hotel - 117 myr, $39.84 au, $20 each.  Take out the cab fares if you're prepared to walk and you would be looking at $15 a person.

The only good thing I can say about New Hotel Rope Walk is the room size and large work desk, other than that it’s is fairly ordinary.  The wifi is slow when it actually does work and that nice looking ‘sofa’ you see in the Agoda pictures is an inflatable!  The owner was really friendly and helpful though and I talked him down to 70 myr per night, and then 65 myr on my last night..

 I have been too slack to move my gear again, so have ended up staying for 4 or 5 days, though have been checking out other accommodation options around town.  The price seems about standard, though I saw plenty of worse value rooms on the main street Lebuh Chulia, that most of the old town seems to center around. 

If you are a backpacker and just looking for dorm rooms, there are plenty of amazing value places around, especially down Love Lane.  Dorm rooms can be had, with free breakfast, for as little as 13 – 16 myr.  Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just stay in them sometimes, for a night or 2 maybe I’ll try again in the future.

View from the summit of Gunug Mat Chinchang... cloud

Telagah Tujuh

Beach directly out the front of Delta Motel

Cool patterns all over the beach, pretty sure they're from the crabs

Not my handiwork, but photo worthy anyway

Now that is a beer, my neighbour settling in for the afternnoon..

Views from the summit of Gunug Raya

Heading across to Penang 

The ferry that I mistook for the jetty!