The bus took so long I wondered if I was going to miss my flight but I needn't have worried. It looked like a makeshift (newish) hangar with a really high ceiling and made of tin? so even though it was air-conditioned it was hot in there.
Being a low-cost plane you have to walk onto the tarmac and up the set of stairs (which I'm not used to and don't really like doing so!) but oh well. The flight went OK and didn't take very long and soon we landed in an island paradise.
I took a taxi to my hotel (the only way to get there) and checked in. Ahhhh it was bliss to have such a massive room and bed all to myself! It wasn't that expensive but to me it was oh-so-luxurious. It's not every day that one gets to check-into a beach resort. The grounds were absolutely huge and it took a while to walk from one end to the other. The resort had 2 pools, as well as that, it was beachfront (although I don't think it was safe to swim in due to jellyfish or something so noone was swimming in it).
It must've been low season because there weren't that many tourists around and that, to me, is bliss. Ugh I hate crowds (but who doesn't?)
I just took it easy and then I went for a walk down the road till I found some shops and restaurants. I have to admit I think that's when it first hit me that travelling by yourself is no fun at all. When I was younger, I loved it and have no problems with it. I still don't have problems with it but it just gets really tedious and boring having noone to talk to and noone to help you, noone to take photos of/for you, noone to share moments or breathtaking scenery with, etc etc. And being a beachy town the majority of tourists I saw were couples. I also chose a hotel in a very quiet part of town so there were no single 20-something partygoers either. Not that I wanted them to be there but just trying to paint a picture that I was staying in a rather quiet area away from the hustle and bustle. In fact I had to walk over 2km to see some shops!
I was debating on whether to go on this snorkel cruise the next day as it was rather pricey (over $100 Australian dollars) but then I told myself that was the whole reason I came to the island - to snorkel and see tropical fish! So I decided to go for it and book it. The company I used was Langkawi Coral. The island is called Pulau Payar. There are only 2 main companies and I shopped around for a price comparison but it's pretty much the same price everywhere. The other company does not take you to a pontoon and Langkawi Coral had the pontoon, snorkelling, buffet lunch, and shark feeding.
That night I ate dinner at a little restaurant on the street. I don't know what made me do it, it looked OK and I have never eaten on the street before in any country... but little did I know I would suffer for it later!!
So the next day a big bus came and picked me up from the hotel, and other people from other nearby hotels, and took us all to the city (Kuah) where we then got on a ferry...
It was on the ferry that two things happened. First of all, there was a very LOUD and annoying family. No, only the mother/wife was loud and annoying. She was talking non-stop the whole ferry ride (when I wanted to rest and try to sleep even as I was just so tired) and was probably the only person talking. I don't want to stereotype but she was speaking Cantonese and she was just so so loud and annoying my imagination got the better of me about what I could do to her to shut her up!
The second thing that happened was, I met this nice guy and girl who were also from Australia (Perth). They were friendly and wonderful and I hung out with them the whole day (which, to me, was priceless as doing everything alone would've been sad and boring).
Once we arrived at the pontoon they gave us lifejackets and snorkelling masks and off we went. The tiny little fishes did bite some people but luckily not me. It was fun and I had my underwater camera as usual. I didn't realise how exhausted I was and when I got out of the water I had no energy left at all...
Not long after we had the buffet lunch and it did not look that appetising at all. I barely ate anything as I suddenly had no appetite. I think it was the start of me getting sick but at the time I didn't know that I was sick. I thought I was just slightly nauseous from that long boat ride over.
...to be continued...