Just as planned, I spent my time on Langkawi mainly chilling. The first full day there, I enjoyed the beach, walked past some shops, hoping I could find some souvenirs (buying souvenirs is way harder than you think) and didn’t do too much otherwise. In the morning, when I planned to get out of bed, I heard cats and dogs raining down from the sky, and it sounded so violent that I decided to just close my eyes again, and to try again in a couple of hours. Luckily, when I woke up again, the rain had stopped. There were still puddles everywhere that I had to wade through (there was no way around them), but there wasn’t any water coming from the sky anymore, so I went for it. Got out of bed, packed my bags, got ready to check out of my private room and check in to the dorm. But, despite the crew promising me the dorm would be available, it wasn’t. So I had to extend my private room stay for one more night. Life’s horrible. I took way too long to get ready, but after a while I was finally ready to go and explore. Quickly visited some other hostels, to see whether or not I made the right call in staying at Rainbow Lodge, but luckily it seemed that my hostel was the nicest of the ones I visited, so when I got back, I quickly booked all my remaining nights in Langkawi there (in the dorm this time). The hostel was very nice, the dorm were all private cubicles with curtains and a private fan, and there was a bar/restaurant. The only thing that I disliked was the fact that it wasn’t too lively in the restaurant/bar. It closed at 23:00, and despite the fact that the hostel was quite loaded with people, most of them didn’t visit the bar. As an individual backpacker, these bars are the easiest ways to meet new people, so that was kind of a bummer. I did manage to meet some folks, but it would’ve been way easier if it’d have been a bit more lively. Ah well, back to the day. Went on a souvenir-hunt and to the beach. The weather wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t rain, and the sun is more than bright enough to still burn through the clouds, so it was okay. That night I read my book, met some people in the bar, and called it an early night.
The next day I wanted to see a bit more of the island, so I rented a moped. My friends from the previous day where nowhere to be found, so I went on a solo-trip. There wasn’t really a purpose in my trip, other than generally enjoying the journey and the views, so that’s what I did. First stop was a slightly depressing waterfall. There were some drops of water (check) falling (check, sounds like a waterfall to me!) down every now and then, so it wasn’t too impressive. After that, I tried to find a beach that looked decent. Driving towards the beach, there were some monkeys greeting me from the (side of the) road, and a few kilometers later, I got there. When I arrived at the beach, I just sat there, read a book and enjoyed life. The island consists of two bigger cities. The first one is the one where my hostel is at, and the second one is the one I arrived in when I arrived with the ferry. Spent the next hour or so exploring the second city with my moped, walking through a mall and past the main town square (with a giant eagle statue) and then went back to the hostel. Chilled for a bit, and then I got hungry. When you’ve rented a scooter, you get extremely lazy. So instead of walking a few hundred meters to a restaurant, I took my moto. Drove on the small street at which the hostel is located, almost turned on to the main road, but then: BOOM! Damn. A (probably) tourist, driving on the wrong side of the road, turning on to the small street, bumped in to me. I saw him coming, so I braked, but he was too late. It wasn’t a big bang, but it was big enough to damage my bike. When I got off to check if there was damage, my new friend took that opportunity to just drive off. Damn. I was too flabbergasted to do the smart thing and remember his license plate, so that meant I had to pay for the repairs myself (byebye €45, I’m going to miss you). I haven’t been this cranky since I started traveling (come to think of it, I’ve not even been a little cranky since I started traveling, until that moment). And what do you do when you’re cranky and hungry? Indeed! JUNKFOOD! Got myself to the McDonald’s, ordered the biggest menu they had, and munched it all away. When I got back to the hostel I read for a bit and then met a Dutchie with whom I was going to scooter the next day. Initially, after the crash, I wasn’t too sure I wanted to get on a bike again (mainly because I spent way more money than I intended to), but I quickly decided that I wasn’t going to let this ruin (or even influence) my holidays, so I quickly forgot about it, and just planned the next day of driving. Always end on a high note, they say, and ending driving on mopeds with a crash isn’t too high of a note..
So, the next day it was time for another trip. The main goal of the trip was to visit a proper waterfall, one that had more than a few drops floating down every now and then, and one of the crew members promised us that there was such a waterfall to be found on the island, so we went there. Before we arrived there, we spent quite some time on a beach, reading, studying the back of my eyelids, and swimming, and then went to the actual waterfall. It was quite a bit more impressive than the one from the day before, so that was cool, but it wasn’t anywhere near the nicest one I’ve seen on my travels (but comparing everything to earlier experiences on this trip gets a bit annoying, and it was the nicest waterfall I’d seen in Malaysia so far, so I was happy). After the waterfall, we went to the second city again, because there was a cozy market over there. Got some snacks: fried-potato-on-a-stick and pancake-with-nuts-corn-and-a-whole-lot-of-sugar, and then went back home. The rest of the night we spent chatting and drinking in front of the hostel.
Then it was time for some more souvenir shopping. Spent the whole day strolling around, trying to find souvenirs, but preferably having souvenirs find me. Like I said, buying souvenirs is difficult. For some people I knew what kinds of souvenirs I wanted to have, but for quite some others I had absolutely no clue. Luckily, I found some new ideas while walking around, so I got home with a nice stash of souvenirs (nowhere near complete yet, but a great start). Besides shopping and walking about, I didn’t do too much that day. That night, the market I visited the day before had moved itself to pretty much the backyard of the hostel, so I went there for my daily dose of delicious and cheap food.
The next day, it was time to leave Langkawi already. That afternoon, my flight left to Kuala Lumpur, so I packed my bags in the morning, had some breakfast, and then made my way to the airport. The flight was only about an hour long, so that was manageable (despite the legroom, or the lack thereof) and then I was in Kuala Lumpur. Made my way to the same hostel I slept in at the start of my Malaysia trip, and got a much-needed shower. When I walked out of the shower, and looked around the room, I was greeted by a set of familiar eyes. SURPRISE!! Two of the three Germans I did the Taman Negara trekking with were also staying at the same hostel. Chatted with them for a bit, got dinner together, and afterwards sat outside of the hostel, drinking and doing makeshift karaoke with 2 ukuleles. Perfect.
Got up slowly, and then joined the Germans in going to Chinatown. Like I said earlier, I don’t really like Kuala Lumpur too much, because it’s way too ‘western’ for my taste. Too little chaos, too many skyscrapers, and shoppingmalls everywhere. But when I got to chinatown, I was in Asia again. I loved it! Chaos everywhere, hardly enough room to walk, shops with all kinds of counterfeit goods. Got some new souvenirs, had some food with the group, and then it was already time to say goodbye to them, because they were at the end of their trip. Didn’t do too much after that, and I don’t know why, but I was quite tired after that day, so instead of opting to join the other backpackers in the main room, I just went to bed.
There was still one thing in Kuala Lumpur that I had to visit, so that was my plan for the day: the Batu caves. Caves with Hindu temples, and I was told it was quite a nice trip. Went to the metro, and got to the caves. It was quite weird. The first cave I entered was guarded by a huge statue of (I think) a Hindu god. Inside, the entire life of said god was told by countless statues, chronologically depicting each and every period in his life. The next stop was the ‘cave villa.’ I’m still not entirely sure what it was. There was an art cave, that wasn’t too impressive. It also housed the most depressing zoo I’ve ever been to, with all kinds of animals that had hardly room to turn around in their cages, and that looked like the last time they were fed was at least a century ago. In short, I wouldn’t recommend going to the cave villa. After that, I went to the main attraction; the actual Batu cave. Made my way up to an endless flight of stairs, and walked through the cave for a bit. The entire complex was filled with monkeys, and there was a nice sight with some trees/vegetation and some rays of sunlight shining through a hole in the ceiling. After I got back from the caves I spent my day walking through the city, sitting in the park and reading my book, and that night I had another quiet night in the hostel.
And then it suddenly was the last day of my trip. Shit. Time moved waaaaay too quick, and I had waaaay too much fun. Quickly got the last few souvenirs from chinatown, sat in the park again, read my book again, and then made my way back to the hostel. That night, I made my way to the airport, spent my last few Ringgits there, and then it was time to leave all the amazing stuff behind, and get on my plane. The journey was a breeze. The first part (to Qatar) I mainly slept and the second part (to the Netherlands) I mainly read.
In Qatar I had some time to kill, so I tried my hand at this Pokémon GO thing, just because. After my way too long journey from KL to Amsterdam, I had to wait for well over an hour for my luggage, due to some problems there, but then, it was finally time to see my family again. My parents and my siblings made their way to the arrival gate, and I have to say that it was really nice to see them again after all this time. That night, to celebrate me not having to eat rice/noodles anymore 24/7 we went to a pizza place. I rocked my elephant pants, and everyone around me kept jealously looking at them (or at least I tell myself it was jealousy in their eyes). The last few days I spent with friends and family, talking about all the amazing experiences I’ve had, showing many many pictures and telling everyone to buy a backpack and go explore the world.
And that was the end of it.. 3 months, just over 90 days, countless amazing new friends and fantastic new experiences. And it’s over now. Shit. For now, transitioning back in to reality seems to go well, but I’m already thinking about my next trip. Every time I’m showing pictures I want to get back out there again, and I can’t imagine me ever stopping exploring the world after an amazing trip like this. It exceeded my wildest expectations. By a long haul. But first, reality. Let’s hope I can do this. We’ll see.
Thanks for reading, and experiencing all my adventures with me! I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip, and I hope that I was able to convey some of the experiences! See you for the next trip! (I’m going to miss this)