Even though this was our second visit to the Hole in the Wall in Langkawi it was still a thrill finding the “hole” in the towering cliffs and sailing through into the wide “bowl” the other side.
Once again we enjoyed exploring the network of mangroves in the dinghy and we saw loads of monkeys and even found the place where the Brahminy Kites, Sea Eagles and other birds of prey vie for the food thrown to them by the boat operators to entertain the tourists.
This time we kept to the main route and didn’t get lost! After a very average lunch at one of the floating restaurants we turned the dinghy to the other direction and motored up to the jetty where the tourist boats tie up – keen to explore some of the boards walks that we had noticed close by.
Just beyond the jetty on the other side of the water there was a place to tie up and at the top of some steps, unexpectedly, ticket sellers. The fee was nominal but the same people also rented out flash lights which proved to be very useful when we entered the extremely dark cave which was inhabited by a large amount of tiny and quite cute bats.
From the Hole in the Wall we went to one of our favourite anchorages – between Teluk Dayang Bunting and Pulau Gubang Darat. This is a really peaceful anchorage except every now and then a small party of tourists on JetSkis, led by a local guy, would zoom in, stop, and then the leader would yodel or shout something out to demonstrate the echo and the tourists would do the same. Then they would zoom away again!
The rest of the time all you could hear was a lot of bird life, cicadas and the occasional monkey squawking.
Round the corner from this anchorage is the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, a sizeable fresh water lake on Dayang Bunting, where as legend has it, Princess Mambang Sari cast the body of her dead son and while doing so, prayed for women having difficulty in getting pregnant.
Many believe that bathing in the lake or drinking its water will ensure pregnancy and the birth of a healthy child. Significantly, the shape of the hills that form a backdrop to the lake supposedly look like a pregnant woman lying on her back.
Having missed out on seeing the lake on our previous circumnavigation of Langkawi, we decided to motor Bali Hai round and anchored in the bay within striking distance of the jetty. As we manoeuvred the dinghy to tie up at the jetty we couldn’t believe the sheer numbers of tourists – the place was absolutely heaving! Tourists from all corners of the earth were battling to get on and off what seemed like scores of speedboats.
Once we had managed to negotiate our way through the throng we bought our entry tickets and climbed the narrow path that snaked its way up the wooded hill, meeting lots of cheeky monkeys on the way. At the brow of the hill we descended a stairway of about 100 steps down to the lake. Again there were excited people everywhere – mostly wearing brightly coloured life jackets and shouting and shrieking their heads off.
Fortunately we found a lovely boardwalk where we met only one other group of tourists, some young men from Myanmar.
At the end of the boardwalk we climbed some steps to a lookout where from one side we could view the lake and from the other, out to the anchorage – in the middle of which was Bali Hai.