Sunday, January 18, 2015

1/13/15 Day 362 Langkawi Islands: Pulau Tuba and Pulau Dayang

Of the 104 islands Tuba (the only other populated island of the Langkawi archipelago) and Dayang (Pregnant Maiden) are among two of the largest. Six of us accompanied Jeff to the jetty where we had options: 1. the local and slow 5 ringgits/person passenger ferry which we would need to wait for a group of 15 total people before departure 2. we could hire a private boat to drop us off and pick the 7 of us up later for 120 ringgits or 3. we could privately charter the boat for 250 ringgits and have full control for 5-6 hours. The group went with the chartering option and five minutes later we were zipping across the Straits of Malacca skimming around the limestone caverns and outcrops. Our hired motorbikes awaited us on Tuba Island; not the shiny semiautomatics we are used to but clunky manuals with no functioning gauges and balding tires for 20 ringgits. We whizzed by the tiny fishing villages unchanged by the time and modernization of the rest of the country surrounded by Palm trees. We visited Barkat Chalet and chatted with the owners who made a fantastic fried rice lunch while we sipped fresh mango juice lazily in the hammocks. Unlike other homestays they don't charge an arm and a leg to use the facilities: kayaks, bicycles, motorbikes (fuel cost additional) personal dock pickup and fishing trips are all part of the experience and they provide happily free of charge. We returned our motorbikes, paid our respects to the beautiful island and cruised to the other side of Palau Dayang where we learned about the legend of the pregnant maiden. The beloved princess who lost her baby and buried her son in the lake blessed the waters to aid women who are having difficulty conceiving to become fertile again after swimming in the lake. Another explanation is that the flooded depths of a collapsed cave filled with fresh water creating a very deep freshwater lake cutoff from the nearby sea. Either way it was a great way to finish off our last hot day in Langkawi. 

Pulau Tuba

Shaking those coconuts  

This small fruit vaguely resembles a sour apple in flavor and grows on the trunk of the tree
The whole crew spread across 5 motorbikes for our adventure

The bridge connecting Pulau Tuba and Pulau Dayang

An amazing chalet on Tuba Island
This man is half of the operation, the other half his wife is the cook and medic, both so sweet
Their bungalow/chalet unit are rustic and adorable, and equipped with private bathrooms
and great hammock views for 80 ringgit a night

I finally got one of those famous Bangkok tattoos I have heard so much about, road rash/exhaust burn
Safety first: the last time I had to wear a life jacket it featured Disney characters

The pregnant maiden hill silhouette, head on the left down to belly bump and feet on right
The wet cement was just calling our name, so we carved it in

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