On the Road Again 5 Monday 6th to Sunday 12th March

Monday 6th March

No pictures today. We are extremely limited with our technical backup. The plugs in Malaysia are all of the three pin British variety so we have been spoilt. Not having planned to come to Thailand, we have no adapters with us and now all our appliances are running low. There is no way we can get hold of an adapter where we are in Koh Lanta but when we travel to the port this morning we'll try.

At breakfast we were approached by an Italian lady who had overheard our plans and suggested that we share a taxi to the ferry in order to save some money. Great suggestion we thought!

Taxi normally costs 500 Baht for two. With four of us sharing the driver quoted 600 Baht - great deal........ Unfortunately, Doug had two hundred Thai Bht and needed 100 more. I scrambled around for the other hundred and handed him Malaysian Ringgit instead!!! 100 RM = £18! So instead of the taxi costing us £6 we handed over the equivalent of £22 and the driver didn't say a word, just drove away a very happy man. Doug was not happy.

Our boat/ferry was twin engined and speedy. The crossing uneventful but was surprised when it was driven straight on to Koh Lipe beach and we disembarked into the sea! Our cases were carried shoulder high and handed over to us. We had to carry them across the sand to an immigration 'stall' to pay the landing fee.

The whole place seemed busy; the sea was lined with long-tailed boats and the shore front lined with restaurants and stalls, selling beach gear, Thai massages, tattoos, hair braiding, diving and snorkelling tours etc etc. A festival atmosphere.

Our next task was to find our hostel, and Doug set off to the right along the beach! As I didn't fancy carrying my suitcase across the soft sand (difficult enough walking on soft sand at the best of times without lugging a 10K suitcase and a small rucksack!) we decided to take the road even though it meant a longer route.

In the end, it wasn't so far and after 15 minutes we arrived at Oasis - a bit ramshackle, painted concrete floor, no cupboards, (just a hanging rail with four hangers), and an open air bathroom at the back; private enough but very basic!

Tuesday 7th March

Walked to Sunset Beach and all around the coast the inland to the north of the Island.

Not quite 'The little Mermaid'

Heading inland

The pathway gradually got steeper and narrower until we were faced with a barbed wire fence and had to turn back. Stopped on the way for a fruit juice and banana pancake.

A welcome refreshment break
Fresh eggs ...
and bananas for our pancakes

A pleasant but hot 10Km walk.

More scenes along the way

Ending with an evening swim.

Ate Italian tonight for a change but it was expensive.

Wonderful sunset .....

Wednesday 8th March

Not too impressed with the place we are staying- The Oasis. They didn't clean our room yesterday and when Doug brought them our 'bathroom bin' to be emptied, he complained. They said we should have left them the key during the day but we hadn't been informed. They are rated 10th best place to stay on the island How??

Walked in a different direction today and ended up in a very nice resort called Ten Moons.

From the balcony of Ten Moons

Stopped for a refreshing drink before heading back to town.

Pink eggs - preserved apparently
Carnation milk is a big favourite

More walking, then decided to take an afternoon longboat trip with snorkelling and ending up on an island to watch the sunset. Starting at 2pm till 7pm. At 1.30 we arrived to get fitted with our snorkelling gear.

Heading towards the boat

The long boat had a total of eight (4 couples) and two crew. Our first stop joined two other long-tailed boat expeditions but the swimming boundaries were laid out and we were kept to these controlled areas. There was not much to see; just shoals of one variety of fish.

Our next stop was much more interesting. We were taken to a coral reef and although it wasn't very colourful, it was quite diverse and there was a better variety of fish. One more stop for snorkelling and then we were taken to a beach where we whiled away a couple of hours waiting for the sunset - which really didn't happen. It was better the night before!

Palm seed pods

And the sunset!!

Thai food tonight. Good, but too much! Then, outside our door, we saw this little fellow halfway up the tree .

Thursday 9th March

Checking out today. We have to report to immigration as we're leaving Thailand.

Glad we're not 'Aliens'

First we had to be ferried by long-tailed boat to the 'big boat'. This was tricky because we had to climb from the lower boat and there were no steps!

A bit of a scramble but it wasn't too bad.

Once on the ferry, it took an hour and a half to Langkawi; an Uber to Didi's place, Ocean Lodge and it was open arms, welcome back and another towel origami creation:-

Dinner at the German Restaurant round the corner was not without incident. I had changed for dinner into a long silk skirt. A few minutes after sitting down a sharp pain in my foot made me think something large had stung me and I yelped and looked down only to find the mosquito coil the had been lit under the table had burned the bottom of my skirt! It was small but the damage was clearly visible.

Apologies were made and I was told that if I could get it mended, they would pay the bill. Unfortunately, as we are leaving in the morning this will not be possible and there was nothing else offered. They could have waived our second lot of drinks or not charged us for dessert. It was a shame - I liked that skirt!

Friday 10th March

Said goodbye to Didi and his wife (creator of the towel origami)

Taxi to the airport and plane to Kuala Lumpur. Slight delay taking off but we made it to Elle and Keith's place in time to see them before they left for a school social.

Walked down the hill to the nearest small mall and went for Chinese 'Steam Boat'. This proved to be a very complicated way of eating to the uninitiated I.e us!

A huge pot of boiling liquid sits in the middle of the table. We had to choose from a variety of meats, vegetables, shrimp balls. Then we had to mix our own sauce from a bewildering array of spices, herbs, onions, soy sauce. We had help all along the way with all this but that was half the problem - eating with someone hovering over you the whole time. It wasn't particularly good despite all the awards framed along the walls. And then we walked back up the very steep hill to the apartment.

Saturday 11th March

Late to rise this morning as we didn't want to wake our hosts who hadn't got back till 3.30 am.

After breakfast, Elle kindly offered to try and get my skirt mended at the local tailors but it is a long shot on a Saturday afternoon. We decide to go to the big local Shopping Mall to restock on a few things.

After that, we take a train/subway to the Batu Caves, one of Malaysia's holiest Hindu sites.

Hundreds of steps
Not quite the top
Much milk pouring!

Got a bit bored with watching the ritual so explored the cave ......

....which is huge

In between two caves we were entertained by the monkeys, although they can be cheeky and we had to keep a tight grip on our bags and cameras.

The shear size of the place was impressive but next up was the fun cave!

Entrance to the Ramayana Cave

Took another train to the centre of KL. There is a type of Metro/underground system here but it is not joined up i.e. different lines are owned by different companies so we had to plan carefully if we did not want to have to keep changing lines and paying again.

It wasn't dark enough by the time we got to the Petronus Towers (so they weren't lit up yet). We decided to eat in the huge shopping mall first. Floor 6 was the food hall which offered a variety of food both Western and Asian. Sometimes too much choice is overwhelming! We settled for a bowl of noodles.

The Petronus Towers

The Petronus Towers were all lit up by the time we had finished our meal so a few photos before we headed home!

Sunday 12th March

Said our goodbyes and thanks to Elle and Keith once again. Laundry done and repacked, we set off for the airport. Driver was thankfully speedy but unusual for Uber, didn't speak much English. Flight smooth and efficient and landed in Kuching at about 3.30 and it is raining!

Basaga, our guest house is about half an hour's walk to the centre of town but although it is close to a busy dual carriageway, the turning into it is like a green oasis of calm.

The entrance

Greeted by Brandon (whose Grandfather was an Irish Priest!) It was raining as he showed us to our room so decided to eat at the residence. Open, but covered courtyard full of rich vegetation and water features and we have a spacious room.

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