This was one relaxing holiday, and I honestly needed it. I got up on the second day around lunch time, then we headed down to town for some lunch. We ended up in a vegetarian restaurant on the outskirts of Kuah. After lunch, we were herded to the shop next door by the restaurant, as she perhaps felt we needed a good tour of Langkawi or some such. We listened with interest (at first) at the tours available.
Honestly, I would have loved to have gone to Pulau Dayang Bunting, the second largest island in the Langkawi archipelago. The photos looked super spooky and cool, plus there’s a fairy tale involved. What’s not to like?
On Pulau Dayang Bunting is the lake of the Pregnant Maiden. Believed to be guarded by a white crocodile, the waters of the lake is said to bring good luck and fertility to bathers. The island is said to be where Mat Teja, sorcerous genie was ensnared by the charms of Mambang Sari, a faerie princess. To win her affection, Mat Teja procured mermaid’s tears and smeared them on his face on the advice of a wise man, Tok Diang.
So they fell in love and Mambang Sari was soon preggers. However, the baby died in its first week. Distraught, Mambang Sari entrusted the waters of Tasik Dayang Bunting with the corpse of the child and returned to her celestial abode. The corpse turned into a white crocodile, still resides in the waters and appears to those who are upright and pious. Cool no?
Anyway, we didn’t hear this from the tour guide salesman. His stories bored me a little and we soon left with his business card. We headed for Gunung Raya. On the island map, Gunung Raya is clearly marked, and we had thought there might be some reason why we should go up the hill. But aside from the breathtaking view and plenty of monkeys, there’s nothing at all on the top of Gunung Raya.
So we headed down to the Snake Sanctuary. Truth to tell, snakes freak me out, but I thought, ‘What the heck!’. Finding the Snake Sanctuary was not as easy as we had thought. Up to this point, driving around in Langkawi was very easy – the signs were very good, the directions on signboards were clear, the roads were good – examplary planning.
Unfortunately, not so with the Snake Sanctuary. Aside from the map we had, we had to stop and ask for directions. But we found it in the end. And when we did go down, I was pleased we had made the effort.
The snakes slithered and crawled around in the wire-mesh / glass cages. The deeper you go, the bigger or more colourful / poisonous the snakes got.
At the auditorium, a few workers were messing around with a python. My friend, Eddy, gamely went down to pet the large monstrous thing.
Of course, notwithstanding signs saying “Don’t disturb the snake” or “Don’t put hand on cage” or “Don’t bang on glass”, visitors had to do just the opposite. And made this snake very very angry.
Actually, some of the snakes looked a little sad. And some of them appeared downright disconcerted that there were silly people stomping and tapping on the cages.
Later on in the evening, we headed to the jetty. It was packed and, just driving through, we decided not to stop, but instead head to a dismal little shopping complex just before the jetty. Not much there, unfortunately.
So we headed to town, had a decent dinner, did a little of window shopping, then experienced the joys of a traffic jam.
The police were making checks, which I suppose is comforting, but for the fact that we were sitting there for close to half an hour.
- Drive by the coast
- The Langkawi Underwater world
- Pantai Chenang