A few weeks ago, I embarked with a team of 10 students on a trip to Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore for a combination of resting, relaxation, and some crazy salsa events in between to teach and perform at. It was super fun, super entertaining, as trips with a large group of diverse people are wont to be a little crazy, who love to party, dance, and laugh. Here is a series of tales about our adventures on this 15 day epic journey.
One of the days that provided us the most activity, mirth and amusement in Langkawi was the day we chartered our own boat. Now, before you start thinking that we are all millionaires, we managed to do this for the scant price of 320 ringgit, which is about $105 Australian dollars. Awesomeness.
(And then we got told later on that we got TOTALLY fleeced but for $105 split between 10 people to charter a boat for 4 hours, it was a small loss).
Plus, we got to watch the boys be very manly and help push the boat off from shore. Oh, yeah.
Our boat driver was pleasingly risk-seeking, and blasted us through the waters and islands around Langkawi with alarming speed and sometimes downright thrilling donuts in the water. He seemed to take particular pride in heading directly for a giant ship and then swerving away from it, to our delighted shrieks and claps. (He said he could do this because it was a private charter, SO YAY US FOR OUR BULGING WALLETS).
With the flurry of movement, the wind in our hair, the sun shining bright and the lovely ocean views and smells, we quickly settled into HUGE BOAT ENJOYMENT mode!
The boat was meant to "island hop", meaning the (insane) boat driver would take us to a few different islands and destinations within a 4 hour time frame.
The first place we visited was some kind of lake, where he dropped us at the jetty, told us to have fun with the monkeys, and left us to walk down a dubious trail through the forest.
And be careful of the monkeys was quite literally, the tamest warning he could have given us for these ferocious animals. Poor Ada, the littlest lady of our crew, got quite literally attacked, pounced on, and waylaid upon this already precarious walk down to the lake, and we had to be quite aggressive in keeping them away if they so much as looked at us with their evil beady eyes.
We got to the lake, and found it to be an EXCITING LAKE with a MIRACLE BORDER.
You can even see our reflections, sagely taking in the totally scientific explanations on the signage.
Anyways, we promptly decided to all rent little solar paddle boats, and spent an hour merrily paddling about the lake, hurling epithets at each other across the water (we were the only tourists in the entire place) and chomping down on the prolific picnic supplies of prawn crackers + pre-mixed drinkies we had cleverly packed. It was super fun!
Please note - if you're planning to go to Langkawi and do this, know that NONE of the motors in the paddleboats worked, so those of us who paddled to the far ends of the lake (see photo above) had to furiously paddle all the way back. Workout on holiday!
The next stop on the boat trip was EAGLE FEEDING, and it was easily the most spectacular part of the day. The boatman stopped us some way from an island known to have swooping eagles everywhere.
Then, he threw a mess of chicken skins into the water.
For an eerie minute, nothing happened except silence and slightly lower circling by the birds.
Then, all of a sudden, SWOOPING! HEAPS AND HEAPS OF SWOOPING, just 3 metres away from us!!
For about 10 minutes, we just floated about, watching eagle after eagle swoop in, grab a piece of chicken, and glide off, sometimes criss crossing in each others paths. It was at once mesmerising and exciting, to be so close to them and feeling their wings circling above us. Everyone agreed that it was the highlight of the boat charter.
The 3rd stop on the boat tour was to be dropped off at a "private beach" of some sort. The thing is, we were staying at a gorgeous resort with a true private beach devoid of sea urchins and other nasties, so when the boatman dropped us off, we were ungrateful and disgruntled with our beach.
Still, we didn't have much of a choice, and we decided to spend our hour on the decidedly unswimmable beach, doing what comes naturally to the average person when stranded on a beach.
By the time the boatman came back to get us, we were like overtired children that had way too much excitement, sun and fun for one day. In fact, some of us were so OVERTIRED, that some of us nearly didn't make it back onto the boat as it sailed off from shore. Lucky for SOME OF US, that our fellow boatmates managed to DRAG them onto the boat, resulting in bruises and friction burns. Out of all the weird injuries sustained by our group on the trip, this had to be the most hilarious one of all:
Yup, that boat day was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, despite its cheap and cheerful-ness. We emerged back in Langkawi feeling grungy, dishevelled, exhausted, but unable to stop smiling.
If you are in Langkawi and wish to charter a boat ride, I highly recommend it. It's nowhere near being expensive, even for a smaller group than ours, and chartering the boat means you get to enjoy the companionship of your own travel group and time your island hops so they don't coincide with all the other tour boats going around. We simply walked around the main street of Langkawi and asked for prices at various tour offices (there's many!) till we found what we felt was a standard rate, and a good service standard.