Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Cars and Cafés - Langkawi #3
14 May 2014
We rented a little car in Langkawi. Little being the operative word. This is a teeny tiny baby sized car. When Richard drives, his elbow hits my ribs. We both duck to climb in or out. It almost looks like one of those clown cars where twenty or more people should come piling out.
On the other hand, Langkawi has many two-way one-lane roads, so it helps having a teeny tiny car to pull over onto the non-existent shoulder of the road. It also makes parking much easier.
Of course, we're having some of our usual excitement with the car. One day, we lost the key. Not sure where or how, one of us had it, gave it to the other, next thing we know there's no key. So we called the rental company, they said they'd bring us a replacement key, we waited on a bench by the car (just in case someone found the key and matched the license plate) - eventually (two hours later) the guy showed up with the key and we were able to continue with our day.
A few days later, more car excitement - we're merrily driving to the beach, mostly on our side of the little one-lane road, when a kid on a motorscooter comes around a corner a bit too fast. We pull over as far as we can (there's no shoulder, we're actually on an elevated section in the middle of rice paddies) and try to slow - the kid (literally, maybe a 10 year old boy) wobbles on the bike and hits the side of our car, but keeps going - so we have rubber residue, paint, and some scrapes along the length of the car. Of course, we drove a few yards/meters ahead and pulled over, looking for the kid, because he really smacked us pretty hard for a scooter - we were so convinced he was injured, or had fallen over. But he kept on going and was nowhere in sight at that point, so we figured he either was just fine, or had borrowed the scooter and knew he shouldn't be driving it so he was getting home as soon as he could.
It sure shook up the two of us! But there was no room to turn around and follow the kid, to make sure he was okay.
So, after four days at the house, we moved closer to the beach, to an inexpensive hotel complete with pool and some little chalets. We're in the main part of the hotel, and can easily walk across the street to the beach. The place has four storeys so from the roof, by the lighthouse looking towers, we have a great view of the surrounding area.
We've been eating both Western and Malaysian food. Today we went to Kuah, the main town on the island, and I had this gorgeous plate of chicken (ayam) satay - ten skewers of grilled chicken thigh, with a spicy peanut sauce, and it always is served with pieces of cucumber. Sometimes rice, always cucumber.
Places we recommend: The English Tea Room, just downstairs from our hotel. They have complete English brekkies as well as yummy scones, and lovely tea - the two brothers who recently bought it are very nice and helpful, and we've enjoyed eating here. They don't have a website yet, but you can see them here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/malaysia/peninsular-malaysia-west-coast/pulau-langkawi/restaurants/cafe/english-tea-room or http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Restaurant_Review-g298283-d2180958-Reviews-The_English_Tea_Room-Langkawi_Langkawi_District_Kedah.html
Today we discovered a new spot within walking distance - down the road and around a corner, closer to the next beach - La Chocolatine, a French patisserie and bistro. We each had one pastry and tea or coffee - but I can say the Tarte Normande aux Pommes (or something like that) is wonderful! Check them out: http://www.vkeong.com/2013/06/french-pastries-la-chocolatine-pantai-tengah-langkawi/
And of course they are also recommended by Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor.
I'm sure we'll check out the croissants and crepes over the next few days, before we head back to George Town for our debut on British TV.