Today we toured with a group of 18 to see the sights.This is actually an archipelago of 104 islands. The port itself is a Mediterranean inspired marina and resort, with the pier having been built /sponsored by the Chinese cruise company Star Cruises. This is one busy tourist destination! And to make matters busier it is a holiday.
We discussed the sequence of viewing with out driver/guide. There was confusion about the opening time of the cable car, is it 1200 or 1000? We decide to believe the 1200 and so go off to see Makam Mahsuri Mausoleum and museum. This site recalls the legend of Mahsuri who was wrongly accused of adultery and put to death. She cursed the island for 7 generations, the island now finally is past the curse and is thriving.
We stopped for a photo op at a lovely beach. I dipped my feet into the Andaman Ocean, lovely warm water. A day on that beach would have been fine, nicely secluded unlike Pantai Cenang which is a zoo of tourists and shops. We arrived at the Oriental Village/Cable car ride (to top of Gunung Mat Cincang over 1000m high. And we then realized that the cable car was open since 0900 and there is a 2-3 hour wait to up!!!! We huddled and concluded that there was not enough time We could have queue jumped for a higher fee but some of the group didn’t want to spend that much money. We stayed in the park for a while, Pat enjoyed a foot fish spa. A weird sensation at first, it turned into 15 minutes of bliss. This was after a delicious lunch of Ayam Goreng at a local eatery. Megat, our driver/guide, had lunch with us. For RM30 ($9) we had 3 delicious meals with a drink each!
One of the crops here is rubber. It is rather smelly, like really strong blue cheese. It is worth about RM5 per kilo at the moment. Each tree is cut daily to promote the flow of sap. The trees live for about 15-20 years and are then cut down and replace with saplings.
Malaysia shares a lot of heritage and tastes with Indonesia, including language and Batik. The artistry in the large cultural centre/shopping complex is incredible. Filigree silver work is another highlight.
On the way to the Rice Museum we pass through an area with lots of monkeys by the side of the road. They are more than interested in posing for us. The rice museum shows the varieties of seeds, planting methods and tools used over the ages. There is a collection of paddies outside that illustrate the various stages of growth. The stop turned into a bit of bird watching and herb/spice education as well.
Before you visit, contact Megat Ahmad for vehicle and guide services. Very reasonable pricing, very knowledgeable and good English. You can find him at Langkawi Service.