Thursday, 14 August 2014

We farewelled crazy town in suitable style, a few of us ended up in a Ladyboy Go Go Bar at 3am, luckily the clothes stayed on but they were good fun and we had a laugh and a few drinks there before calling it a night.  A taxi around lunchtime that day dropped Noi and I at Hualumphong Train Station in Bangkok to take the overnight train toMalaysia.  I had already purchased tickets online (more expensive, but due to the visa situation, really did not want to get there and find it booked out) and we simply hopped on board and got settled in for our 2:45pm departure.

A fairly uneventful journey aside from the scenery and the next morning around 9am we went through the formalities of immigration going from Thailand to Malaysia.  An extremely easy process, you take all your gear off the train, stamp out of Thailand, next queue, stamp into Malaysia and back on the train to your original seat.  Too easy and great for us Aussies, we are issued a free 90 day tourist visa on arrival, oh Thailand when will you follow suit?!!  hehe
For those who have yet to experience one of the best ways to travel, the Thailand train is great if there are 2 of you.  You both get a huge comfortable seat and later in the evening they convert to a top and bottom bed with plenty of room to relax.  The guy who makes up your beds just laughed as I had been through the process already and had ours made up in no time!  1100 - 1200 baht for the entire journey ($35-40 au)

We arrived late into Arau, around 11am, the long distance routes always seem to run behind schedule, and got a taxi into
Kuala Perlis, 24 myr (Malaysian Ringgit).  The Ringgit runs at about 3 times the Aussie dollar, so that equates to $8. The taxi's all operate on a standard fare here it seems, there is no bargaining, no meter, but the price tends to be fair I think.  Actually makes things easier.  

While sitting in the taxi I suddenly realized I wasn't wearing a seatbelt, a massive no-no in Thailand, simply for the high risk of death every time you enter a vehicle there.  Then it dawned on me, sub-consciously I must have noticed that this car seemed completely incapable of reaching a speed high enough to injure anybody!  It was a total crapper!

Kuala Perlis is the place to catch the ferry on our way  to
Langkawi, 18 myr ($6) per person, i couldn’t find any accurate information on ferry schedules online so have taken a picture of the departure times for you.  A journey time of an hour or more, the last 10 minutes of which take you through some of the smaller islands and is quite scenic, sees us disembarking at Jetty Point Langkawi.

Once again a throng of taxi drivers are waiting to escort you wherever you need to go, you get a ticket at the booth first though and as before there is a set price for every destination or area.  We are booked into
Cosy Inn through Agoda, nice enough place though a small room, which I have since learned seems to be the norm around here, especially for the price. 

I paid around $22 a night and it did have hot water shower, kettle, coffee, wifi, refrigerator, definitely suitable for the 2 nights we stayed in Kuah Town.  The location is great too, a short walk to the main shopping and dining area of town.  There are plenty of great places to eat and the duty free shopping will most certainly appeal to some.  I picked up a bottle of Wild Turkey for $16!

Our first night was a rather expensive ($10 a dish) meal at Rootian Restaurant, superb food but way more than I like to pay for dinner!  For the average holiday maker though, stop in and try the food there.  I can't comment on the other places in town at the same price range,  we finally found the street food and markets later and made good use of the delicious cheap eats on offer there for the remainder of our stay.

There is a great Indian place just on the corner of the same block of shops and motels where  Cosy Inn is located, the food there was amazing, 2 dishes of beef curry and yellow rice, ice coffee and juice... $5.30!  The choice and quantity of places to eat here seemed endless, make sure you check out the street, market and inexpensive little shops to eat at, you will also get to mingle with the locals.  In fact, we found many people here were from Thailand or spoke Thai so have had no trouble communicating, plus Malay is very similar to Indonesian and I have been able to use my, albeit limited, Indo here also. 

Make sure to check out the food stalls near Azio duty free, and the little river inlet that has a couple of small bridges crossing it.  Even better is the fact that you can go to the duty free stores nearby and buy cheap cold beer or cider and take a couple with you, as being a Muslim country, alcohol is not readily available everywhere.

  There are a ton of other places nearby also, plus there is a bigger market that sets up all over Langkawi on different nights of the week.  Wednesday and Saturday is in Kuah town and are the biggest, we got to check them out and once again the food was amazing, unsure what they were called but we ate what seemed to be a 'green chicken curry omelette'?!  Whatever it was it was bloody tasty, look for a square omelette looking thing!

The Cappucino House is a good one for cold beer and Aussie football (hey, Saturday was the Swans game, i couldn't miss that!) but they have a vast array of sports also if, like me, you have to see your team play even on beautiful Langkawi!  $3 for a pint was pretty good value. The Bali Cafe was boring and unfriendly, hard to recommend it, though the beer was cheap at $1 for a mug.
If you need train tickets ahead of time, this was about the best option I could find
Delicious cheap curry, not spicy either as I could handle it
Check out the prices!
Look for this place near the Cosy Inn
Fishing tackle shop also nearby
Awesome night market street food

Som tam, stir fried veges and lightly battered squid,  altogether $8.   and delicious
Ferry schedule from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi
On the train you start with great seats like this...
That transform into this...