Am a water baby and yet I love the mountains more than the sea. The mighty mountains standing tall intrigue me and I can just gaze at them and make up fascinating stories about them in my head.
The sea on the other hand mystifies me with its depth. It leaves me curious with the thought of what lies beneath. The lapping of the waves does bring a calmness in me that is somehow lost in the busy cosmopolitan lifestyle. But it is the sheer might of the sea that is overwhelming and the true power it has lies beneath – quite literally. It scares me a bit to be honest, but then what’s life without a bit of fun, adventure and fear.
Off the north western coast on the main island of Malaysia is the less explored island called Langkawi. It’s a tiny island of simple people, amazing food, water adventure and a dense geo-forest park.
First off, let me ask you this: Do you love driving? Has driving in the busy traffic logged road of the suburban city you belong to has somewhat dampened your spirit for driving? Well, the only way that you can get around this island is by driving – and trust me you will enjoy the experience. From the moment you get off on probably the tiniest runway ever you will find lots of car rentals – check a few, they have competitive prices and are very very cheap. And from there on, you drive and explore the island. My favorite driving stretch was the road running parallel to the runway on one side and the sea on the other. That view and that experience is unparalleled till date when it comes to “going on a drive.”
Now let’s start with the most touristy thing you would do in Langkawi – a ride on the Sky Cab. I have been on several cable car rides but the view from this particular one is quite mesmerizing and scary at the same time. At one point the ride becomes quite steep and you can start feeling the chill in the wind; to be honest it was only then that I believed that it is the steepest cable car ride on the planet.
As your cable car slowly climbs up Mt. Machinchang, 708 m above sea level, you feel the pressure dropping in your ears. And then you look down at the dense green expanse and I bet if the thought doesn’t cross your mind at least once, “what if I fall?” It is scary and awe inspiring at the same time. Once you reach the top you definitely have to go for the sky bridge.
The day we decided to visit the mangrove forest of the Kilim Geoforest Park, the clouds hovered over us, as if instigating us to try. We weren’t ready to back down and off we drove to the starting point.
I believe most travelers thought that rain would mar their experience – which turned in our favor as we didn’t have to queue up. In less than 10 minutes we sailed into the river Kilim to explore the mangrove forest. And ohh what an experience that was!I am not a big fan of dark dingy closed spaces; rather am scared of the dark. The boat slowly took us into the Bat Cave.
Now, bats are nocturnal animals and they love the dark. If you haven’t been to a bat cave let me tell you this, it is so dark that you can’t even see your own hands – so for me it was like, I couldn’t breathe. But being a curious child for as long back as I can remember, I want to know what was inside these caves. So somehow I mustered the courage to go in, and thankfully I did!Sure enough I was scared of the bats that I couldn’t see but then these rock formations inside the cave were quite intriguing. Each of them told a story. Some looked like dragon claws and others were less harmless. We bid adieu to the dark caves, thankfully, and sailed off to the fishing farms. Where we saw sting rays among other marine life. And then Thor decided that it was time for some more fun and it rained. You would say that must have ruined things, on the contrary it was the most amazing experience that one could hope for when sailing amidst a mangrove forest. Accept nature in its truest form and you will surely enjoy every breath you take. That day, that moment, the four of us getting wet was probably the best rain experience ever. Eagles swooped past us. I couldn’t help thinking about other animals enjoying nature in their natural habitat and probably peeping through the gaps in the trees and watching us as if we kind of invaded their territory.The boat then cruised out of the river and ventured into the Andaman sea and that is when you see what you were in the middle of. There you see the Kilim Geoforest Park, as if walled and shielded from the sea.
We were in the middle of the sea from where we could see Thailand, gazing at emerald blue water and taking in the soft sound of waves lapping around us, when our boat man shouted, “Dolphins.”Yes, we lucked out. It wasn’t even the dolphin sighting season, we knew that and weren’t expecting it and probably that was why it was so surreal. There they were, in the middle of the sea, quite a distance from our boat, two dolphins galloping away, probably playfully racing each other. I wondered where they were headed… and drifted off to make dolphin stories in my head as we turned back to the shore.
Someday, somewhere, I would probably see them again and then I would make sure I swim with them…
Langkawi gave me a different view of an island with its variety and calmness. There is more to this island than described in this post, but those are moments too special for me. I will be selfish and keep them to myself and urge you to explore this island in your own way and enjoy it in its truest form.