The way to see Langkawi is definitely from the ocean. Until you view the island from the water you can’t fully appreciate its special rugged beauty.
We left Telaga Harbour on 16 May and headed for Datai Bay passing some spectacular scenery on the way.
On arriving at Datai Bay, where two of Langkawi’s most exclusive hotels are situated, we were very happy and surprised to see Indonesian Rally participants Rita and Dave on their amazing 57 feet catamaran, Beach House.
The bay, fringed with lush tropical rain forest was spectacular and we were looking forward to exploring the beach and surrounding area the following day. Unfortunately there was a terrific swell which made for quite an uncomfortable night so the next morning we hightailed it to the Hole in the Wall, in the Kilim State Forest Park.
Although the swell hadn’t bothered Rita and Dave as much, they were also keen to move on so they headed for the Hole in the Wall as well. Great to have their company end route and to share sundowners with.
The intriguingly named Hole in the Wall is actually a narrow opening that you can hardly discern as you sail towards it. You sail for the middle of what looks like a cliff and suddenly the narrow entrance looms before you.
Once you slip through the hidden threshold you feel like you have entered another world.
Inside you find yourself in a large, sheltered basin enclosed by spectacular towering cliffs and at the waters edge a profusion of bright green mangroves.
It would be paradise if it weren’t for the tourist boats that speed past the anchored boats coming as close as possible so those on board can have a good ogle and take photos.
Despite the tourist boats this is a truly beautiful place and once 5 pm comes around it is as peaceful and tranquil as you could hope for.
Early mornings were also glorious – alien birdsong, monkeys calling, the rising sun reflecting red against the still water, the majestic cliffs and the ubiquitous cup of tea.
We spent a few days anchored at Hole in the Wall. One day we hired a car and driver and went with Rita to the market to buy fresh vegetables, go to the bank and do a few other chores. It was a good change to get off the boat but as always great to get back home.
We were also pleasantly surprised to meet up with Michelle and Vern, from Enchantment, who were an American couple who was on the Indonesian rally with us.
We had lunch with them at one of the three floating restaurants and then got into our dinghies and went exploring the creeks that wind along amongst the mangroves, through caves and narrow gaps in the cliffs.
We had been so taken with the beauty of the surroundings that time passed by far quicker than we had thought.
So we started back but soon realised that every little side creek looked like ever other small turning. Also the tide had receded quite a bit so everything looked rather different.
The way to view Langkawi is definitely by water but after getting lost in the waterways of Kelim Forest Park I think we would have been quite content to be on the land looking out to sea!
After several false starts we took out my trusty iPhone and looked up our location on Google maps!
Fortunately it gave us a good guide to find our way home and we arrived back before sun went down – just in time for a welcome Gin and Tonic!