Destination Malaysia – Day Eight: Thanks for the Fish

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It’s our last full day on the island of Langkawi, as tomorrow all of us will disperse back to our corners of the globe…making close to 24hrs of travel in the process. Today is perhaps the first day where we didn’t have much to do, a welcomed sight on our itinerary, and finally the adoption of the slower pace that comes with island living.

We took to the mangroves via a powerboat, where we explored the stalagmites and stalactites that have taken a millennium to grow. Ducking low, so as to avoid an unintended souvenir, we also had to contend with a side of bats hanging from the ceiling. Langkawi is teaming with wildlife at this natural preserve, and we can spot mudskippers below, as well as small crabs scurrying through the mud.

The nature tour continues with the monkeys that greet us along our path (looking for a handout, those cheap bastards), and later we would watch eagles feeding off the fish skins we left them in the estuary. Our trip is cut short though, as we’re having lunch at another resort on the island, The Datai (totally staying here, if I ever come back).

Our official schedule ends there, and the unofficial schedule finds us at the pool the rest of the day. The ample time under the sun gives us plenty of duration to chew on the trip as a whole, and take in everything we have experienced in the past seven days.

I think it’s safe to say that the consensus amongst our group is that we would love to come back to Malaysia, though perhaps with a modified agenda. It is almost a crime that we didn’t rent some bikes and explore the coastline and mountain roads of this beautiful — we are motorcycle journalists after all, and I’m pretty sure it’s those kind of entries A&R would rather read about, than this quasi-vacation of mine.

Tying that into more time at the track would of course been ideal, and then we could have brought on the island retreat afterwards. Kuala Lumpur we could have seen in a day, maybe two at the most, leaving a week-long trip with more time to visit sites that were further away. With Thailand just a short ride/flight/voyage away as well, the possibilities abound.

I certainly won’t miss the heat or the humidity, though neither were as big of a factor as I had thought (sans shooting three sessions at the race track with no shade or water). Our entire time here, we have pretty much jumped from one air-conditioned room to the next, and take comfort in the knowledge that just about everyone has a perma-sheen of sweat on their face.

The friendliness of the Malaysian people easily make the trip worthwhile, though it’s surprising how strong the ringgit is to dollar here — a sign of the burgeoning economy that is underway here in Malaysia.

Still, this is the epicenter of the motorcycle industry now. This is where the volume sales will be made, this is where Dorna is looking to cultivate new riders for MotoGP and World Superbike, this is where all the manufacturers want to setup production facilities.

Touristy pursuits aside, the modern motorcycle journalist would do well to familiarize themselves with Southeast Asia. We will be talking about this locale for some time to come, and with greater depth as the years wear on. Until next time, Malaysia.









Day Seven by the Numbers:

  • Years to grow a stalactite roughly one inch: 40
  • Courses of food at dinner: 4
  • Ringgits left in my wallet: 0
  • On-time arrivals for Cathay Pacific: 1 out of 4

Dinner Conversation Topics:

  • Massages
  • Real life
  • Lost luggage
  • Hunter S. Thompson
  • Where is our food?
  • No really, where is our food?

Photos: © 2014 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0