Where in the World–Finale.
Thanks for indulging me–you have made this so much fun for me!
As some of you already guessed/figured out, I was in Langkawi, Malaysia. The name Langkawi combines 2 old Malay words: helang
(eagle) and kawi
(strong). A Malay legend claims the island as one of the resting places of Garuda
, a mythological bird. What a beautiful place. Seriously, if you ever want to find a bit of heaven on Earth, Langkawi is the spot. Lush jungle, beautiful beaches, turquoise water, sweet people, yummy food, cute conniving monkeys (macaques)–it’s got everything!
We stayed on the main island, Pulau Langkawi. On one of our days we went island hopping. We visited 3 islands: Pulau Beras Basah, Pulua Singa Besar, and Pulau Dayang Bunting. At the the first island, Pulau Beras Basah, we enjoyed a beautiful white sand beach with interested big black rocks. We swam and looked for interesting shells caught up in the rocks.
At the second island, Pulau Singa Besar, we enjoyed watching some monkeys steal food from some other visitors and another beautiful beach.
On our way to the third island we stopped to watch some eagles feed (we saw brahminy kites and sea eagles). There were tons of them. It was breathtaking.
The third island, Pulau Dayan Bunting, has a lake called Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden). It is a freshwater lake surrounded by gorgeous craggy limestone cliffs and dense jungle. Legend tells that a childless couple, after 19 years of unsuccessful effort, were blessed with a baby girl after drinking water from this lake. It has thus become a popular pilgrimage destination for those hoping for children. Legend also tells that the lake is inhabited by a giant white crocodile. We went swimming with the crocodile, though we never saw him.
Another day we went on a boat tour through the Kilim Geoforest Park.
This park is spread over an area of 100 square kilometers, and is made up of a mix of protected green mangrove forests, beaches, and beautiful lagoons. The park is home to tons of animal life.
We saw more eagles feeding, and saw some cute macaques that had babies.
We also saw some interesting fish and crabs, and most notably, a mango viper, curled up on the exposed roots of a mangrove tree out in the water.
We went into Gua Kelawar (Bat Cave) and saw thousands of bats.
Then we went and had lunch at a little hole in the wall place sitting on the water, that was conveniently named “Hole in the Wall”. The restaurant was attached to a fish farm where we got to see what some of the local fish life was like. I fed some of the stingrays
and got to hold a horseshoe crab
(weird looking thing).
On another day we rented a motorbike, a little Honda, and went exploring around the island.
Then we flew back to Kuala Lumpur for a night. The Formula 1 races were going on, so the city was extremely crowded.
We did enjoy an incredibly yummy dinner at an Iranian restaurant called Naab
. I tried their Ghorme Sabzi Stew (a very traditional lamb stew with kidney beans in it), which was to die for.
Then we flew back to Singapore for one more day before returning to Tokyo. On our last day in Singapore, we had Hainanese chicken rice one last time and enjoyed some refreshing freshly made sugarcane juice.
We also went on a cruise along the river that goes through downtown Singapore. What a beautiful city!
Of course no vacation would be complete without chocolate, which believe me, I consumed plenty of on this trip. However, the best chocolate find of this trip was that last day in Singapore. We were walking out through the Esplanade
to find the boat dock for our river cruise, and stumbled upon a Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
. I had never had any Max Brenner products previously, so we stepped in for a quick mug of hot chocolate. I had the Venezuelan hot chocolate, a dark chocolate. It was to die for. Take that Switzerland
It was a wonderful trip, but it is so good to be home and back with Squirrel! Squirrel had her own adventures while we were gone, hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa Fuji as they explored more of Japan.