Jan 8, 2018

Welcoming 2018 In Langkawi Island.

After completing a handful of Travel Escapades in 2017, the final leg of my journey landed me in Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia, not that far off from home radar. It was my first time visiting the island and I had a personal agenda to complete - to reminisce through the final hours of 2017 and to celebrate the first moments of 2018.

On new years eve, I made my way to the island with only one return air ticket in hand (flying in-and-out within 32-hours). I had no specific plans in mind, no prior lodging arrangements made, and so little money that it would probably make the pick-pockets flip. If time and weather permits, the plan was to take a ferry to Koh Lipe, Thailand. I brought my passport with me just in case.

Being peak traveling season, it was a risk to take no doubt, but an exciting one nevertheless.

I shall attempt to keep this write-up short and simple.

My first pit-stop was quite straightforward, Cenang Beach, where the countdown party was held. I arrived at at little pass 8.30am, with plenty of time to spare. Weather was excellent throughout my stay.
The plan was indeed simple. Since there were no lodging arrangements made beforehand, Plan A was to try my luck at any one of the hotels along Cenang Beach. Plan B was to hop on the ferry and head into Koh Lipe, then try my luck there again. If all things fail, Plan C was to spend the night at the beach. There's always a first time for everything right?
Before that, the first thing that came into mind however, was to get coffee, loads and loads of caffeine. Matter of fact was, I only had a total of 4-hours sleep, in the past 3 days. It was quite shocking that I was still awake.
Although the double dose of caffeine didn't exactly help much, I took a quick stroll along the main street after that, and explored the area a little bit more. There were plenty of convenience shops, duty free and souvenir outlets along the way, though nothing seemed to interest me all in all.
Was luck on my side or what? After a mere 30-minutes of smoothly executing Plan A, I clinched, possibly the last room available within the vicinity. That night, I stayed in a twin room, at Best Star Resort, for RM180/night. Best of all, it was a beachfront resort, giving me easy access to the beach, and it was also conveniently connected to the main street. 
While waiting for the designated check-in time, I went for a short 1-hour Foot Massage (RM48/hour).
One of my pit stops along the way - this juice bar, where I had a thirst quenching cup of dragonfruit juice.
This bakery must be thriving.
Upon checking-in, then showering, I took a much needed power nap.
After a bit of rest and a ridiculously minuscule amount of research done online, I decided to drop by Eagle Square, one of the most popular tourist attraction in Langkawi Island. It was about 5pm by then.
Eagle Square was probably the only touristy place I checked out for this trip. Located 30-minutes away from Cenang Beach, in Kuah Jetty, I spend about an hour sightseeing there. The place was surprisingly uncrowded.
It felt like an eternity since I've last had a proper meal. I had dinner at Putumayo, an exceedingly popular seafood restaurant situated along the main street, in Cenang Beach. The choice was purely coincidental however. I simply picked one with the most people queuing at the door (expect at least a 20-minute wait in line here).
Being my first time in Langkawi; my first time visiting Putumayo (which name reminded me of putu mayam - no they don't serve Indian food); and my last celebratory meal of 2017 - I splurged.
The Live Rainbow Lobster (RM48/100gm - this weigh-in at about 300gms, each) was a wonderful highlight to my meal. Opt to either pick your own from any one of the water tanks at the entrance or get the floor staff to do it on behalf.
I'm not a huge fan of crustaceans, but I thoroughly enjoyed the seafood feast. The lobster was huge! The dinner tab came up to about RM200/person. The experience was worth every penny however.
It was about 11.30pm when I headed to the beach, clearly packed with fun-filled holiday-makers and party-goers already. The party was split into two sections. At one end, there was a Malay live band playing on stage, with mostly families and kids as spectators. On the other end, there was EDM music blasting from a beachfront bar, with beer games happening right at the entrance, clearly boosting the crowd's countdown mood. Obviously, I opted to be at the bar. Though packed, the crowd wasn't exactly back-to-back, and it was really nice to see the camaraderie of everyone, eagerly waiting for the countdown. Before I knew it, the countdown began and fireworks ensued. Here's to welcoming 2018.
I was, unfortunately, extremely sober throughout the entire epilogue. I didn't stay long after the fireworks ended. 
The morning after. Breakfast by the beach - was an unfortunate letdown. Overpriced menu, mediocre offerings and average service. However the company that I was with, and the sea breeze that ensued, was amazing - pretty much compensating the lack of whatever.
Exploring the beach took up a bit more time than expected, hence the initial plan of going to Langkawi Sky Bridge didn't materialize. Next time perhaps.
I seriously think I had way too many takeaway drinks throughout this trip.
I departed for the airport at a little pass 2pm, slightly earlier than planned, in anticipation of a possible crowd heading back to KL. I arrived back at about 5pm. Before I end, here's to my partner in crime for the trip.

I have always chased after first time experiences.

I don't know if that's a good thing, because more often than not, people tend to stay within their comfort zone. I guess curiosity do get the best of me sometimes, even on a non-travel related note.

To be very honest, I wouldn't say that this trip was one of the most fun I've had thus far. One reason being it was party season, and partying often revolves around people, and the crowd. Having said that, I always believe that there's a first time for everything, and I had great company with me, hence it was an enjoyable trip overall. One thing's for sure too, it was a whole new experience altogether.

This time round, the key takeaway for me (and perhaps for everyone else also), was to get enough rest before any holiday - the one thing that I kind of regretted not doing enough of before for this trip. I reckoned I could do so much more if I have had ample energy pumped up. I seriously think that spending precious time sleeping in hotel rooms instead of exploring the beautiful world outside, to be a utter sin.

Up next, I'm returning to my second homeland, Bangkok Thailand, in 2 weeks time. Till then.
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