Saturday, 11 July 2009

Malaysia to Thailand

Kuala Lumpur

Flights are cheap down here so from Bali we bought tickets at the airport to Kuala Lumpur where we spent a fairly uneventful few days before buying another cheap plane ticket to the poular island gem of Langkawi just off the north east coast of Malaysia. It's a duty free zone where you can get the cheapest liquor I've ever bought e.g. u$d8 for a decent brand of rum and u$d10 for whiskey. Needless to say I sampled a few and since we were leaving by boat my backpack doubled in weight as I ditched some clothes to make room for a bottle or two.


We left Langkawai from the port of Kuah (without time to get Thai money - Baht) and went by boat to Satun in the south of Thailand. On arrival we jumped in the back of a sawngthaew (pick up truck) and had a hell of a time getting the driver to accepy Malay money. No ATM or FX at the bus station compounded problems but we eventually persuaded the ticket agent to convert some USD into Thai Baht.

Bus journeys seem to be one extreme or the other as we first had a microwave oven rust bucket for 3 hours to Trang (where I exchanged more USD to Thai Baht from some helpful Irish lasses. It seems like half of Irelands student population is in Thailand as it's cheaper to live here for the summer than back home. In Trang we connected with 3 hour frisdge freezer rust bucket to Krabi. The following morning after topping up funds (3 attempts at the ATM - Phew!) we went by boat to the much lauded island of Ko Phi Phi.

Sadly this jewel is being choked by it's own success and a good chunk of the beaches are polluted necessitating litter removal (plastic bags, bottles cans) three times a day. You need to hire a boat (be preapred to haggle hard) to reach the some incredibly beautiful and unspoilt islands and lagoons just off the main island. These truly are spectacular and right up there on the WOW factor - think of the movie 'The Beach' and you'll get the idea.

Tags: ..Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Ko Phi Phi Thailand..

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Stevo July 12, 2009 3:35 am  

Sounds idyllic, minus the litter. Damn hot in Thailand this time of year, isn't it?

Quickroute July 12, 2009 5:11 am  

@ Stevo: Yes shame they don't look after it better - absolutely sweltering here right now

Baino July 12, 2009 4:26 pm  

Man you must have a bottomless wallet for all this travelling! Phi Phi is gorgeous though isn't it. But we were surprised to see the flotilla of boats. I always had the impression it was isolated and quiet! Not so. I believe if you charter your own boat rather than go with the tour operators, you can get off the beaten track a bit. Beautiful pics.

Quickroute July 13, 2009 1:52 am  

@ Baino: It has a bottom and it's not far from it :-(
yeah Phi Phi is gorgeous but you have to do the as you said and escape to the outer brinks

nick July 13, 2009 3:55 am  

The scenery looks fabulous, worth enduring the rust buckets. I was amused about the Irish students all getting a better deal in Thailand than back home.

Thriftcriminal July 15, 2009 6:52 am  

Ah, sunshine. I experience it a bit in France and now I miss it terribly. What the fuck is up with this country?

Quickroute July 16, 2009 12:47 am  

@ Nick: I've met even more Irish since then - Looks like there'll be mass emmigration to Asia

@ Thrifty: Rain, rain, rain - depressing as if Ireland wasn't depressed enough

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