On Eagle’s Wings (Steve Hall)

It was a week into December that we embarked on a trip to Langkawi, after having to postpone it due to fully-booked hotels during LIMA 2009. The maiden trip for most in the group but my third. Langkawi’s a little laid back compared to the nearby southern islands in Thailand yet offering much, that I think I only managed to cover one fifth of the island thus far.

It was also the first time that we took Tiger Airways. Albeit smooth journeys to and fro, the extra charges for our luggage were just too complicated to fathom. Definitely the last time we’ll be taking the airline if we can help it. And that Budget Terminal is just a bitch to commute in.

As much as I tried to shift our flight schedules to coincide with available rooms, I still couldn’t get them at that one damn resort, so Mutiara Burau Bay Beach Resort turned out to be my return stay twice in a row. It was the only one out of the available five still reasonably priced during that period. Rather dated decor-wise but it’s a 2 bedroom suite with an outdoor jacuzzi. I couldn’t complain. Ooyah and I loved it … and so did the troop of monkeys that greeted us upon our arrival.

As usual, I woke up early every morning during our 3 night stay to take pictures of the rising sun and whatever wildlife that came out during that time.

Funny how I’ve heard of the Langkawi Cable Car and never once thought of riding in one, thinking it’s probably no more different from Singapore’s. How wrong could I be upon seeing what laid before my eyes when we passed through the turnstiles of the base station. Truth be told, I was waiting for someone to just say that he or she wanted to back out and I would have ‘volunteered’ to accompany the person. Like frightened sheeps, we were herded into one car and sat as still and silently for like the longest time as it made its way up pass a few towers. Great but scary views indeed. Let’s just hope no smart aleck suggest for glass-bottomed ones.

The temperature at the top was slightly cooler and from the second stop, it was possible to venture down and walk on perhaps the first of Mahathir’s curved and crooked bridges aspirations. The roughly-made steps down to the steel cable-suspended sky bridge meander around the side of Gunung Mat Cincang and it’s enough to say that the return trip is not for those weak in the knees. I don’t know how long those old women who came after me took to climb back up.

The bridge is an amazing engineering feat on its own and anyone who doesn’t want to feel nauseous need to walk across without stopping. Just one stop in between is enough to feel it swaying. And no dropping of anything less than 3 centimetres wide or it might just slip through the gaps in between the pathway.

I guess the scariest point of the cable car ride would be when it starts descending from the first stop. Surprisingly, Ooyah remained the coolest in the group.

The trip sort of lost its thrill factor after that as we hurried to other tourist spots scattered all over the island. Padang Matsirat’s Beras Terbakar was a waste of time, comparable to looking at a bare grass patch in any open field. The only ‘proof’ of the incident is a bowl inside a nearby glass case with some burnt rice seeds in it. Makam Mahsuri at least has more to substantiate the curse of the innocent woman.

As with any trips to Langkawi, the Dataran Lang is a must-stop. We didn’t have time to do the eagle-feeding island trip so opted for the next best thing; do weird poses with the Langkawi landmark like Fadelinah. My wish to capture flying eagles using a loaned 400 mm lens having gone down the drain, I decided to just check out the nearby beaches available within the short time that we had. Pantai Pasir Hitam offered a view of the nearby Tarutao islands but I didn’t really fancy the rough sand there. Pantai Pasir Tengkorak‘s soft white sand was alright but the beach was just too small and offered little privacy. The locals and wild monkeys around seem to like it though. Pantai Cenang still remains as the one that left a lasting impression on me, at least when I was there a few years ago.

The highlight of the trip was watching Ooyah ride a full-grown horse through a forested area next to Langkawi Island Horses. Not a moment was she afraid of holding and riding the horse. It was almost a natural affair for her and till today she still remembers Coolbo, the horse she rode, and perhaps others as we will be bringing her back for more horse rides in Langkawi in the future. Perhaps even enrol her in a proper course when she’s up for it.

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~ by blackcadillac73 on December 20, 2009.

2 Responses to “On Eagle’s Wings (Steve Hall)”

  1. At least you guys had the guts to take the cable car ride. I didnt manage to persuade George, no matter how much “carrots” I dangled..haha..The Beras Terbakar was so much better 20 years ago, when you can actually see a field of what looked like burnt rice scattered all over the open lawn of someone’s house. We did all the touristy stuff including eagle feeding. It was awesome!

  2. I can never get tired of Langkawi.

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