Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
Yesterday morning I made a mad dash from KLIA where my Emirates flight landed to KLIA2 for my Air Asia flight. 2 trains, luck with a fast passage through immigration, lots of running and an Air Asia clerk who printed my boarding pass for me even though the counter was closed, got me to my gate 10 minutes before it was due to close.
Of course it being Air Asia the flight was delayed by one hour with no announcements so I had time for breakfast before boarding my flight to Langkawi island.
A friendly cab driver brought me to my hotel on the beach to the far south west of the island, Berjaya resort. It’s wonderfully peaceful here.
From the hotel I walked to the base of the cable car and queued for a few minutes to buy a ticket (45 MYR).
There were a lot of people queuing but perhaps they were in big groups because I was ushered through ahead of them. The first stop was in a dome. I assumed it was a planetarium but instead it’s an amazing cinema that projects a rollercoaster ride over half of a sphere above where you sit. It tricked my mind and I felt the ride like it was real.
I hopped out of the cable car at the first station to take a look at the view. Some young Malaysian women were taking photos of themselves with a selfie stick and I offered to take a photo for them. Next they asked to have a selfie with me. I looked strange in their photo with my humidity boofed hair and exposed shoulders while they looked demure in their tudungs (like a hijab).
I’ve travelled quite a bit in Malaysia over the past 10 years and Langkawi island is the cleanest place I’ve been; very little litter on the ground. Also, all of the service staff speak English even if I address them in Bahasa Indonesian.
It’s a popular tourist attraction, the cable car and deservedly so. It is very well done, it’s safe and there’s space for everyone. I didn’t let any of the many photographers take my picture but some people were buying novelty photos of themselves up there.
I temporarily forgot my vertigo and bought a ticket for the sky bridge. For people who aren’t afraid of heights it must be thrilling. I walked the short distance to the bridge up and down stairs on a concrete path while some took the cable slide for an extra 10 MYR. Walking across the bridge was challenging for me and left my legs trembling, even the next day because of my fear. The view on the other side is lovely and worth the short walk.
The cable car and sky bridge are in a UNESCO Geopark. There are some signs given rudimentary information about the significance of the ancient sandstone formation and some of the weathering and bedding features. The signs are in Bahasa Malaysian and English with only a few typos.
On my way back down in the cable car I shared a cabin with 4 young Malaysians. They started chatting with me. I was initially reserved but some started laughing with them. They are university graduates working together on a water theme park. Two are from Langkawi and the friendly civil engineering grad can barely believe her luck to find professional work at home. The others are from the mainland, one studied anthropology and was accepted to Cambridge for postgraduate studies but needs to save a lot of money before he can go there. They were friendly and when I pointed to the waterfall and asked the best walking track to it they insisted on driving me there. When we stopped to buy drinking watee they wouldn’t let me pay saying that I was their responsibility. In the car they didn’t laugh when I spoke a bit of Bahasa Indonesian with them. After convincing me that it was too late in the day to walk to the waterfall they dropped me off at my hotel. Such kindness in strangers! When I asked the young woman what she was doing that night she instantly invited me to her home. I was tempted but said no thanks and went back to the hotel for a swim at the beach on my own then a couple of sundowner cocktails on the beach watching the sunset over the sea.