George Town, Thaipusam Wednesday 23rd January

We got up again around 12:30 am to walk out to Jalan Burma where the third and final day of Thaipusam has the silver chariot pulled by oxen due between 1:00 am and 2:00 am. There were the huge piles of coconuts still waiting by the roadside, the earshattering music being played, the food and water being given out from roadside booths, hundreds of people finely dressed all waiting.

Everyone awaits the chariot

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A cycle around Langkawi Thursday 17th January

There is one hour time difference between here and Thailand means it is light at around 7:30 am so we end up leaving around 9:30 am (or 8:30 am Thai time).

Just past the airport

Even though the port is only 20 km away if we cycle the most direct route we decided to circle the island with a more substantial 50 km. The extra traffic on the roads still seems strange, lots of cars on the road still seems strange and no shouts of “hello” seems very strange. Time will tell if this is normal or specific to a tourist island like this.

We cycled past the airport then up one largish hill following the coast. There were several troops of monkeys along the roadside, waiting for any cyclists to expire before pouncing on them, we made it past un-pounced on.

Past the airport

Monkeys on the move

The road then cut across the island and it got a little bit quieter here, until it reached the north coast where there was a lovely empty beach and a complete lack of anything tourist related. We followed the north coast for a while then cut back down to Kuah where we are stopping tonight.

In amongst all the beauty stands a Lafarge cement factory

Off the north coast

More off the north coast

In Kuah we easily found the Milvus Hotel when we have a small but comfortable room. After a shower we walked a couple of kilometres to the port building to double check on taking our bicycles onto the ferry, no problem at all. To get to the port building you walk through Legenda Park, with lovely ocean views, then past Dataran Lang or Eagle Square with it’s massive 12 m high statue of an eagle the island’s emblem. According to folklore Langkawi’s name came from two Malay words – ‘helang’ (eagle) and ‘kawi’ (reddish brown): hence lang-kawi.

Langkawi eagle

Boo

Mangroves in Legenda Park

On our way back we stopped for some food, tonight it was roti. The roti is malay for bread in this case a flatbread originating from British colonialism where many people were brought here from Tamil Nadu in India bringing their cuisine with them. The food was lovely, we are going to eat a lot of these!

Half eaten roti

The Strava route today.

Goodbye Thailand Hello Malaysia, (Langkawi) Tuesday 15th January

Today is the last day in Thailand, we are really sad to be going but it is time to move on. Thailand has been a fabulous country to visit and a brilliant place to cycle, we recommend it to anyone, please visit. The people are friendly, you will always hear a shout of hello and see a smiling face. You can have the madness that is Bangkok and the beauty and quiet that exists just off every main road. Goodbye.

A view of Malaysia

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