Langkawi 4: high places
J and I met Ira in Cenang, then we drove to the base of the Cable Car. J had been up before and the cheapest ticket is 55rm, so he went off to do his own thing while Ira and I touristed.
We were there before ten and it was bustling. Though we were able to buy our tickets after queuing for about ten minutes and get into a cable car straight away. This is the steepest cable car in the world, and leads to not the highest point in Langkawi. At the top, you can walk to the SkyBridge down (and up again) steep winding steps for 5rm, or take a small tram for 15. Ira and I walked. The bridge felt pretty full but not packed; I'm glad I didn't go at peak times. We spent about 2 hours up there, ambling around and taking in the views. Looking out across 150 million year old mountain formations lent a moment of perspective.
The tram is called the SkyGlider, the cable car is the SkyCab, and everything else in the vicinity is prefixed with Sky as well. I was disappointed they didn't have a wifi network called SkyFi. Really missing a trick there.
We took the cable cars down again, and stopped for a snack in one of the terrible overpriced cafes in the complex. We didn't realise there's better, slightly cheaper, food as you get further from the ticket counters. When we got back down, the lines for tickets stretched to the carpark and they were giving out times rather than sending people straight to the cable cars. Glad we went early. The ticket (we got the basic package) included a subset of random shit in the complex at the bottom, so we went to check that out as well. The 3D art museum was silly, and I entertained myself as usual by taking pictures of other people posing with the displays from the wrong perspectives. There were many examples of irresponsible parenting.
We saw the SkyDome, which is a screen covering one half of the inside of a sphere which you sit beneath; they played a series of short films, including an underwater scene and a space rollarcoaster. We skipped the SkyRex (I think it's some kind of animatronic dinosaur ride?) and sat with bunnies until J was back to pick us up.
We went to Tomato Nasi Kandar in Pantai Cenang for lunch. Lots of veggie options on the buffet, as well as the usual a la carte menu. I just dived into the buffet because I'm more convinced by food immediately in front of me than words on a page. I can understand why lots of people prefer to order from the menu in nasi kandar places. This buffet food had been sitting around in what is basically open air all day. But whatever. I loaded the plate up with tomato rice, cabbage, dahl and tempeh, and drank watermelon juice. I also tried a yam jelly. I don't know exactly how much this cost but Ira and I split the bill for three people between the two of us and it was 26rm in total.
Our next stop was Gunung Raya, the highest point in Langkawi. We drove up, parked, and paid 10rm to climb the tower. Views were good, and at the top of the tower was seating and free cardamom tea. We spent longer than expected at the top as it was very peaceful. We heard and then saw a hornbill.
Next J took us to a craft center. This was a huge complex with everything from batik teextiles to glass blowing. It was an enormous shop with different sections, plus workshop areas where if you go at the right times (we didn't) you can see things being made. I bought a postcard from Gram and a shell turtle for my hair.
Next stop was Tanjung Rhu beach to watch the sunset. This is widely agreed to be the best beach on Langkawi. Nearby are only expensive resorts. It was pretty much deserted while we were there. Its shape is such that you can see both sunrise and sunset from the same place. It's kind of a large spit.
We at dinner at a Thai place (I had vegetable fried rice) and went home to crash.
The following morning J took me to the jeti and even bought my roti canai and coffee for breakfast. I'm grateful for generous people in the world with the sharing, caring, couchsurfing spirit. I try to pay it forward wherever I can.
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