The trip was to be to a mangrove swamp (again, we cannot get enough of those groves!) and then later we to be taken to the cable car which takes you to one of the highest points on the island – if it had been open we should have also been able to go out onto the walkway but as ever with these things it is not always meant to be!
So starting at the beginning the Mangrove Swamp tour actually began by us being picked up by a taxi driver who then proceeded to give me, Liz and another couple who were in the car, an impromptu Malaysian language lesson – no pointless chitchat for this guy, straight in with Malaysian words and their meanings punctuated every now ad again by him laughing at my attempts at Malay. I supposed this encouraged him as he carried on until we got to the beach we were to leave from on the Mangrove tour.
Unlike the earlier mangrove tour this was in a boat with a bit of umph and the driver Mohammed was quite a good laugh as well. First off he took us to an island near the beach to feed some fish – Sergeant Major fish – who came in droves for the bread he was throwing in the water. Alongside came another tour of Chinese tourists doing the same thing except with far funnier reactions and in Chinese too!
Next we sped off towards the Mangrove but stopped at a place where there were monkeys and into the water he threw peanuts with shells on and the next minute two or three of the monkeys jumped into the water and started to collect and stuff into their mouths as many peanuts as they could cram in! From a naturalist perspective this was probably very bad but for those wanting to be entertained at quite a base level this was great – lol – apologies to anyone whose sensibilities have been offended. The monkeys came in many shapes and sizes some with mohicans too – monkeys, God’s little jesters.
The area was home to many sea eagles as well but they obviously worked for more than just peanuts and stayed in the treetops. The area was beautiful and the mangrove lined avenues were wide enough for the boat to go through its paces but not quite full throttle. For dinner we stopped off at a floating restaurant to see fish kept in cordoned off areas of the waters which, if you liked the look of it, you could have it for dinner – talk about fresh! Needless to say this was far out of our budget but they did look tasty. See the exhibit and eat it! I got to hold a Horseshoe Crab but I have no idea how tasty that was but the guide told us it was great at head massage!
Next we went to a bat cave and there were loads of bats there but also coming out from the cave there were some very surly looking monkeys standing guard – see the teeth on this one:
This part of the trip was now over so we were all asked if we would like the slow trip back through the mangrove or the fast trip via the sea – to which we all went for the latter option and all got thoroughly drenched. We took this last bit of time to bond a bit more with our guide and find out a bit more about him so he told us about his wife and son and showed us picture of each and it was at the point where he showed me his wife’s photo – her wearing the muslim head dress – where it popped into my head, what exactly would have been my reaction should he have showed me the photo and she had been wearing a full burka? Would I have been able to have said in all honestly, ‘Crikey mate your’e punching above your weight, aren’t you?’. strange the things that pop into your head!
The next part of the day trip was a visit to the cable cars that take you up Mount Mat Cinching, Langkawi’s second highest peak. First we had one of those simulated rides before the main event the trip in the cable car! Now I must admit that although I am not great with heights, cable cars do not faze me out too much as Liz is always far more nervous that I am so for some strange reason this makes me feel much better – a good reason for having the old stick along …. lol x.
On the way up a young couple, the girl obviously slightly nervous, got far more nervous after a couple of outbursts from Liz on the way up.
I must also point out that Liz normally gets her own back when we get to the top as I tend to lose my nerve more when at top of high places but this time I was not too bad at all and readied myself for the journey down. The ride itself and the views though are not to be missed and I think Liz would agree with that although i am not so sure she would have said the same at the time!
The trip done, we treat ourselves to a lovely Chinese meal at a nearby restaurant and then when we had made our way back to our digs the Canadian couple passed and we spent time discussing the places they had been to in Asia as well as their home in Canada and when they heard about Couchsurfing said they would be more than willing to host us should we be in the area – Canada, here we come! They are a really nice couple, no airs or graces and like us, they like a beer too so even better!