Our first school weeks could be just called chaos, so it was a pleasant surprise that after about one week of studying we had an unexpected 10-day holiday. That was because there were a couple of national holidays during the same week, so lecturers thought that nobody was around on the days between anyways, so it was better just to cancel all the lectures from that week. We had heard lots of stories about exchange students travelling from Penang to Langkawi for easy holidaying in the paradise scene, and decided to check out the place.
It is possible to travel there from Georgetown by ferry or by airplane, latter not being an option for us since our passports were still stuck at the immigration for getting our long-term Visas. We read frightening stories about the huge waves on the 2-4 hour travel to Langkawi by ferry, making each and everyone seriously sea sick and ending up hugging the toilet seats. We bought the tickets for 70 RM per person, bought some snacks and loaded up on traveling sickness pills. We were not the only tourists on the trip but most of the people were locals traveling close for a holiday with their big families. We got lucky and got seated in the front row with plenty of leg space and “Captain Phillips’”- movie rolling in the TV in front of us. Seasick? Yes. Only lucky enough to hold everything inside.
From the port we took a taxi to our little villa, which we had rented from Airbnb for four nights. It had all we needed; a simple, yet tidy bedroom, fridge, bathroom and wifi. On the first night we just ate in the nearby restaurant and enjoyed the wifi at home to the fullest. We had already checked some top sights we should pay a visit to, but mostly our plans were still open for the week.
In the need of sand between our toes we headed straight to the closest beach the following morning. It was located just a couple of hundred meters from our villa. As it wasn’t a popular or that highly recommended beach, it didn’t get much praise from us. Still we were happy to shoot some pics and swim in the ocean. This was still far away from the perfect paradise beach we had in our minds. When the heat started to get close the boiling point, we headed for little cocktails by the hotel pool near the beach.
In the evening we strolled along the West coast of the main island, where the streets were bursting with fake brand merchandise, massage salons, restaurants, bars and tax-free shopping malls. We were quite surprised how fast the “paradise” island can turn into Canary Islands and into a definition of a tourist hell. We didn’t let that bother us and believed that we would find something unique in this place eventually.