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Motormouth From Ipoh

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Langkawi REvisited Part 2 - The Journey to the Peak, and Wonderland!!

From Chapter One .... The perilous journey continued ....

The Archway to the Highlands

Did the mythos reveal anything of relevance, about this place? Gunung Mat Chinchang, standing tall, amidst the clouds in the sky, overlooking the western coast of this equally exotic island?
This poor boy's artillery exclude a History textbook. (And of course, a dictionary's unheard of, as well as Morale Studies textbook. Does he even need one?) Hence no recollection whatsoever on this highland, at the western end of Langkawi, requiring about 30 minutes of travelling by bullock cart (car) from Kuah town, and a RM15 flying carriage (Cable car) ride to the top.

A map to the treasures in Oriental Village

Building blocks of Gold - A sign of prosperity, perhaps?

The Station before the intimidating 2.2km ride to the Top

The steep facade requires much Courage, and strong Prayers, especially when the Heavens above seemed to be unforgiving. Notice the impending Doom? (dark clouds looming)

Almost 45 degrees we were slanted. Though about 700m above sea level, Zephyrus was clearly on leave that evening ...

A most precarious structure - The Fairweather Hanging Bridge.

The journey to the peak took about 15 minutes or so. There was a platform halfway, for those who may chicken out, or needing a breath of fresh air after being cramped in the tram for so long. But the 2 Musketeers (the 3rd had his calling) ventured to the top in record time, given the fickle weather which might ruined the odyssey to the peak, and the pilgrimage across the Bridge.

Of wooden platform, planks, observatory stations, and the not-so-welcoming dark clouds

Lo and behold, the 2 Musketeers were denied entry to the path leading to the Bridge. Reason being? The weather was not favourable, and treading on the Hanging Bridge might lead to a premature Death. Or an appointment with The Reaper.
"If Life hands you Lemons, make Lemonades?"

Though behind every cloud has its silver lining, the Sunshine behind the dark clouds was a welcoming sight. To no avail, sadly.

We were patient. We were hopeful. And we were persistent.
Though repeatedly advised by the Guards from the Dark Side to embark on a return journey to land-level, the Musketeers turned violent (OK, more like stubborn) and instead participated in some compulsory camwhoring activities. Oh, joined by a fellow warrior with his maiden beauty. And brandishing a weapon of higher stature, his weapon of choice; DSLR. ;)

The Deceiving Fog - 'Twas sunshine at the other end ...

But the Heavens above was clearly not siding with the innocent oneS. Sending waves after waves of rainfall, and completely shrouding the skies with a thick layer of Fog. OK, the Musketeers were successfully trapped amidst the chaos. What now? Stay or Down?

After much deliberation, all the staff and visitors alike were ushered to the flying carts and sent descending into the almost invisible land below. By now, visibility was at an all-time low. All hopes of sunny weather and continuing our pilgrimage to the Bridge were dashed.

Sakura Bridge in Langkawi?

And so the 2 Musketeers obediently (but reluctantly) relented to the subversive tactics. And bidded Oriental Village goodbye. No refunds for the less-than-ideal weather. SO be warned, and refrain from visiting during windy/cloudy times.

An Oasis?

The legendary bakery, The Loaf was closed. Shucks .....

At the foot of the hill, within a short distance from the cable car station, stood some wonderful buildings, a small township with retail outlets mimicking the Venice.
With an abandoned boutique hotel in sight, and tens of yachts docked at the pier, the place houses some nifty & posh-looking restaurants, cafes, etc. Though the deserted condition was slightly unexpected. After all, the 2 Musketeers were longing for a bite from the Loaf, which was inconveniently closed at teatime.

The lake must be a man-made one (or so, the Poor Boy thought), encircling a rather restricted area. One can't help but wonder, how the heck are those yachts gonna sail?

Wonderland - Have we reached Nirvana?

And so, the 3 Musketeers reunited (yay!) for a leisure dinner by the riverside. Or it could be a HUGE drain, for all they cared. Most importantly, hunger pangs MUST be satiated!

Steamed Siakap Teo Chew style

Next to the GLK Seafood of the previous night, Wonderland commands a larger following, nearly packed at all times, on a weekday's evening!

Albeit with higher prices (understandable, given the HOT reaction from the crowd), the food at Wonderland was still delicious, and fresh. And the 3 Musketeers were unwillingly trapped in a horrendous downpour (a grim reminder from the Lords above again, probably to wash our Sins .... a deja vu of sorts, much akin to our experience at Kuala Perlis last year).

Clockwise from top left : Batter-fried Squids, Sambal Belacan Kangkung, Dry Chillies Mantis Prawns and Or Chien (Oyster Omelette)

The meal came to about RM18 per person. Though next to each other, Wonderland and GLK can't be categorized in the same league. They serve Lobsters, Crabs, Prawns, Fish and various other sea produce. People even bring their own bottles of liquor, from reds to whites, to 'enhance' the dining experience.

Location : Wonderland Food Store @ 179-181, Pusat Perniagaan Kelana Mas, 07000 Kuah, Langkawi, Kedah. Complete with al fresco dining, or underneath the canopy, and au naturel tunes from the running river. Far from pristine, but fortunately without the stench.

The restaurant with the lounge, @ SUNSUTRA, Pantai Cenang
To cap off the Amazing 3 Days Odyssey to the North, the 3 Musketeers celebrated at Sunba Retro Bar, a supposedly happening pub at Pantai Cenang. About 30 minutes from Kuah.

Rustic charm abound, the place looked nothing like a pub from the outside

Chilling to tunes from the 90's, they drank, they splitted nuts (ground nuts, NOT their nuts), and they did NOT dance. As retro as Sunba may be, the crowd was thin (it was a Tuesday night after all, and the heavy rain was a huge deterrent factor!), and the Musketeers and Gang stuck out like sore thumbs amidst the majority of foreigners. A game of pool at RM3, a pint of beer at RM8, and cocktails/vodka/etc from RM12+.

Supper at a random mamak stall ended the night on a high note, with gratitudes to the 'local' guides (an alcoholic and a sober), toasting (teh tarik,Milo and all) to a comfortable stay, with free transportation and drivers, as well as some free meals! ;)

The flight home was indeed, in a Class of Its Own ; Turbulence on a Propeller Plane = Nauseating!

And so ends, another chapter in the Motormouth's travelogue. Pardon the less than logical/rational way of writing, as I'm still reeling from the food poisoning spell (no thanks to that dastardly Nasi Kandar meal in Penang!), hence the lack in intellectual reasoning.

Wait, was I ever an intellectual in the first place? =)

Next destination : PERLIS, this weekend. Geez, I want my weekends back ..... !!!


sakaigirl said...

Oh My, i still remember that feeling of sitting in the cable car, though i don't have height phobia, it still manage to 'soften' my leg lol..

Colin Woon said...

The Fairweather Hanging Bridge looks amazing! I gotta go check it out next time I'm home.

Sugar Bean said...

So nice that you get to take the cable car ride! We were so unlucky that time when we went, the first day the person said the weather wasn't good for the cable car to operate, the second day the person said it was under maintenance! Awww... Nice sceneries btw ^^

Unknown said...

My gal enjoyed the cable ride. And she still grab her camera take pictures from the cable rice whereas another little gal is so afraid. ^o^

J2Kfm said...

sakaigirl : yes ah? but it wasnt even fast. minor gripe was the lack of breeze. rather stuffy in there.

Colin Woon : erm, that;s a name I coined lah, not the real name for sure. hahah .. Fairweather as in ONLY available at sunny times. like fairweather friends.

Sugar Bean : yeah, true. seems they close the cable car quite often, whenever cloudy, rainy, or windy weather.

Food Paradise: a little steeper than the one in Genting, thats for sure.

allie said...

My aunt freaked out when she's in the cable car. She's height phobia.

iamthewitch said...

It's really too bad you missed the chance to go to the bridge! It was pretty exciting to be surrounded by mist. But no worries, I'm sure you can go back there again another time ;)

New Kid on the Blog said...

went to those places that you went. wonderland, oriental village, cable car, sky bridge,....

foodbin said...

the cable car ride was awesome!

J2Kfm said...

allie : really that bad? i think my mum also would feel the same way though. hha ...

iamthewitch : yeah, i am sure there'll be another day. but i sure hope NOT this year. the travelling part's exhausting.

NKOTB : i didn't go sky bridge ma. wasted.

foodbin : it was ok lah .. sadly the weather only.

SuwEi said...

hey i think now u can be the north region manager, this month how many times aredi?haha!

Julian Si said...

Love the shot of the "Fairweather Hanging Bridge" ... Good photos!

Mummy In Vain said...

wow, is there such beautiful scenes and spots in Langkawi? Y din I notice when I visited long time ago! Should visit it again soon...

choi yen said...

Weather was not good when my last visit so couldn't get a ride to the peak :( But ur Hanging Bridge photo make my leg shivering now o.O

mycroft said...

cant wait to go..

J2Kfm said...

SuWei : I dunno lah. just came back from Perlis also. I think I deserve some award here. hehe ...

Julian Si : thanks! pity we couldnt set foot on it though.

Mummy in Vain : the Langkawi Cable Car started operating some time ago. not sure when, but one of the better sights on the isle.

mimid3vils : really?! it was not that shaky maybe. if only we had the chance to walk across ...sigh.

mycroft : cant wait to hear your feedback on the island! :)

qwazymonkey said...

Hey, was just there a couple of weeks back during Earth Hour. Was great and kinda scary being up the cable car and on the hanging bridge. Just have something for heights. Such a wuzz. LOL

Glad to hear you've enjoyed your trip!

CRIZ LAI said...

It's has been awhile since my last trip by boat to Langkawi. I think I ought to make another one soon. The island sure looked better now than before. Anyone with USD2M cruiser to bring me there?? Haha :P

JENCOOKS said...

wow you got impressive pictures, no time to read but pretty good bridge you have there and with the fog, unbelievable in sunny malaysia. Thanks for sharing.

J2Kfm said...

qwazymonkey : you were there during Earth Hour? ahhah .. I was in Langkawi then as well! though trapped in the camp. hmm ...

Criz Lai : boat trip? personal yacht ah? hahaha ... bring me there also ok?

Jencooks : thanks! yeah, i've been rambling longer and longer I realised. whoops. i'll control myself.