A short flight from Bali saw us arrive once again in Singapore. We quickly arranged a train journey (7 hrs) for the next morning to take us to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Time was of the esscense as we only had a few days before meeting up with Richard and Bridget in Langkawi in the north.
We arrived in KL late at night and got a taxi from the train station to our hotel/hostel. It was right in the centre and only cost a bargin 10 pounds per night. We spent two days in the city taking in all the sites. We visited the KL Tower, the chinese market, the Petronas Towers, travelled on the monorail and even took in a movie, Sweeney Todd (far too much singing if you ask me!) We really enjoyed the atmosphere in KL and although it is built up there is lots of opem space, which made it less claustrophobic than Singapore.
On our way up north to Langkawi we stopped off for a couple of days in the Cameron Highlands. This is a area of Malaysia that is known for being typically English, with colonial buildings, tea and scones and even sunday roast! Like England the weather was constantly raining and the temperature was only around 15 degrees. The scenery was amazing, vegatable plots and tea plantations as far as the eye could see. We decided to go on a tour of the local area with a guide. We visited the Boa tea plantation, the rose gardens, a strawberry farm and the butterfly farm. Our best experience by far was the butterfly farm as it also contained some really nasty creepy crawlies. The local keeper befriended us and allowed us to hold some of the insects. Lucy was really brave and held a number of huge bugs but came up shy of allowing the keeper to wrap two giant millipeeds around her wrist. Steve came a bit unstuck when the keeper quickly put four scorpions on his chest! It was interesting to see up close so many insects that mimic their natural environment, insects that look just like leaves and twigs.
After our fill of tea and scones it was time to move on, so we caught a bus, then another bus, a taxi, a boat and another taxi to finally reach Langkawi. The purpose of our visit was to meet up with Richard and Bridget on their honeymoon (Steve's brother). They were staying at the Westin Hotel, a real luxury hotel with the works and the best tasting peanuts ever, more on that later. We felt our budget wouldn't quite stretch as far as theirs and stayed a few km away at the Grand Continental Hotel or the 'Not So Grand' as we referred it.
We meet up with the honeymooners at their hotel, obviously! on the Tuesday evening and enjoyed a few complimentary cocktails on the Varander over looking the bay. Now about those peanuts! It showed what a classy place it was, everytime they brought over a drink it was accompanied by a dish of the largest, most delicious peanuts ever. Being on a tight budget these scrumptious bar snacks certainly didn't hang around with us both taking our fill. That evening we went to a restaurant called the Barn Thai, which invovled a 600m walk along a wooden canopy through dense mangrove, a little different and quite spooky at night.
The next morning we met up with Richard and Bridget again so the boys could have a game of golf at the best course on the island. Lucy and Bridget tagged along and got to drive around in their own golf buggies. This involved lots of zig zagging from one side of the fairway to the other. The course was beautiful, with mountains behind, the sea infront and the odd monkey looking on. After golf and a spot of lunch we wnet back to R&B's posh hotel and laid by their pool...how the other half live!
We got to say our goodbye that evening, letting the honetmooners enjoy the last few days of their trip. On our last day in Langkawi we rented a car and toured the island, this included a hair raising trip on the Oriental Village Cable Car which went up the side of a very steep cliff in two stages. We wre both glad when our feet were back firmly on the ground!
After four nights on the island we took a ferry into Thailand.