Pfffft who wants sunshine anyway. Tanning ages the skin. I would much rather spend my Christmas laying on the beach one minute, then sprinting to a bar the next minute to avoid getting drowned. And I do like Pinacoladas and getting drunk in the rain, so it is perfect really.
So I thought Koh Lipe was the worst monsoon and storm of my life. WRONG. Welcome to Langkawi, Malaysia. This little island tricks you into putting on your bikini and getting all sun creamed up. Then BAM. You get soaked.
Mornings spent on the beach and afternoons spent playing cards, hanging out with new friends and getting drunk. I am far from complaining.
Pantai Cenang beach is where the backpackers go. The most popular beach in Langkawi, the sand is amazing. The beach is levelled and litter picked every morning. There are also many beach front restaurants and bars.
Cenang is located at the south-western tip of the island and is 2 km long. It is easy to get here by taxi from the port and has many hostels and guest houses. I stayed at Gecko Guest house and paid £3.20 a night for a dorm bed. This place is definitely backpacker central for the island. I loved it. Most places on the island are just walk up and ask for a bed. Just off the main road in Cenang there are so many guest houses and hostels. If one is full, another is just two minutes away.
The Malaysian visa is easy to get. It is 90 days on arrival for no charge. They just stamp your passport. No onward travel needed.
On my second day here , we rented a car for £20. Yes that is right, £20 for the whole day. I am not going to lie, there is not much to do on this island except
hand on the beach and drink. We visited a waterfall, I walked up 500 steps to get there and it was beautiful. I was thankful for the rain as it definitely cooled down the walk. I was walking like an old lady for days afterwards though as it was my first bit of hard core cardio activity since leaving the UK. There is also a cable car that has views of the whole island. The highest cable car in the world. Unfortunately, visibility was poor the day I went so I chose not to pay to go up (I am becoming even tighter with money, if that is possible).
There are monkeys EVERYWHERE. On lamp-posts. On parked cars. On people. I was too scared to go close as someone told me they steal stuff. Like cameras, drinks and food. Nobody is stealing my food.
This island is duty free. This means that alcohol, cigarettes and chocolate are CHEAP. A one litre bottle of Absolute vodka for £7. AMAZING. After all, what is Christmas without some cheap drink and a chocolate bar. There are massive warehouse-like duty free shops all over the island.
All in all, most things on this island are pretty good value. Accommodation, laundry, food and drink, and all great value. Another thing that I have noticed is how friendly the locals are on the island. Super friendly and helpful. Lets see if that is the same in the big city. Next stop Kuala Lumpur.