Friday, October 21, 2011

Island Paradise?

I first went to Langkawi Island when I was in my twenties. 
I don't even remember the year, but take my word for it, it was an age ago. 
1969 or a little later.  We stayed in the government resthouse, I remember.
Langkawi is a group of islands -- supposedly 99 of them, off the northern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. You can see the Thai islands from there. We were back there, just recently.
Back in those early days, you had to take a slow local ferry that didn't run all that often, and you were probably the only tourists on the boat. In fact, we might well have been the only tourists on the island. there weren't many roads, and even fewer cars.
 
 
People lived by fishing and farming -- rice fields ploughed by water buffalo -- and generally ignored the mile upon mile of magnificent beaches, crystal clear waters, coral reefs and age-old geological marvels. Boys may have learn to swum; girls and adults didn't.
There were forests and mangroves...

 And wildlife...
Like this Long-tailed Macaque above, photographed outside our chalet...

Or this Dusky Langur (leaf-monkey) sitting on our chalet roof...
Or this Southern Pied Hornbill above that woke us up in the morning
There are waterfalls, like this one above and below -- Seven Wells...
Seven Wells from the air
And beaches like this one...

...or mountains, like these (Mat Chinchang)...
 It was a backwater when we first went there, but in a way, a glorious one. With rice and fish, wood in the forest and mangroves, home grown vegetables and fruit in the back yard, all in a magnificent setting, with the village school down the road, life might have been quiet but, if you didn't have ambition, it can't have been a bad place to grow up in.

Now, it's a pretty good place to holiday in. And the islanders are a great deal more prosperous.

6 comments:

KateHarper said...

Three words. Wanna. Go. There. Thanks Glenda... lovely photos and I think I now have island holiday envy.

Sean said...

I will console myself with the fact that despite its lovely appearance it is probably too humid for me :)

Satima Flavell said...

Me too, Sean, but the pics are lovely!

Jo said...

Gorgeous. I am inundated with people holidaying in exotic locations lately, friends went to the Maldives. I too am very envious of both them and you Glenda, but then you live in a pretty exotic location anyway.

Glenda Larke said...

I have to agree that it is very humid. But then you can just fall into the ocean or the nearest pool or stream, right?

Sean said...

My experience from living in Darin as that it wasn't too different in the water than out :)