From Taman Negara I took a bus to Jerantut slept there for a night and then jump on a 9 hours bus to Georgetown, Penang. I got to Penang at 9pm and immediately started looking for a hostel /guest house and that’s when I realised I had made a mistake: I didn’t look at all for a place to stay.
So, the way I usually decide where to stay when traveling is easy: I look for a place on Hostel World or booking.com, I check the reviews and availability and then I either book it directly through the platform or I just show up. This time, for some mysterious reason I still have to understand, I didn’t do any of those. I knocked on the door of I don’t know how many hostels, but everything was full because of the Chinese new year. At 10:30pm I was hungry, tired and hopeless so I gave up and decided to stay in a really nice hotel close to the ferry pier from which the following day I would have departed to go to the island of Langkawi. But every cloud has a silver lining and I when I saw the king size bed, fresh towels, room service and especially my own amazing bathroom after 4 days in the jungle with no shower I was borderline with tears ahahaha. I slept for 10 hours like a baby, woke up fresh and pumped, had breakfast in bed (you know what they say, go big or go home ahahah ) and then I took the ferry to Langkawi.
My adventures in Langkawi are bitter sweet, let’s start from the beginning: I booked my hostel in Langkawi while in a rush and without paying attention to the location and that turned out to be a huge mistake. Upon arriving in Langkawi I found out my hostel was actually on a nearby island reachable with a public jetty in 20 minutes, that was a little annoying, but still doable. I got to the hostel and the location was amazing, very isolated, quiet and just 5 people were staying there. In my room I noticed there were lots of bugs so I asked for some bug spray and because I’m a genius I sprayed it directly into a hole with an ants’ nest… needless to say the ants started coming out trying to protect the queen and spread everywhere! I quickly grabbed my backpack and literally started running towards the door. But in the end that was not too bad because I changed room and things there were better.
The real crisis happened the following day: I told the owner of the hostel that I wanted to see the sunset on the main island that evening and he assured me that even though the last public jetty was at 6:30PM he would have sent his friend, that had a boat, to pick me up once I was done. I spent a beautiful day beach hopping, the island is stunning and I witnessed an amazing sunset.
The problems started when at 8:30pm I called the hostel owner from the pier telling him that I was ready to go back. He basically told me that his friend had a problem so no one was able to pick me up and that I needed to find an alternative accommodation on the main island for that night. Before continuing the story think about the situation: I had spent the whole day at the beach so I was wearing a wet t-shirt, shorts with and a bikini underneath; in my backpack there was half a bottle of water, a granola bar, a small towel and 60 ringgit (13 euros). All my other belongings were in my room at the hostel and this man on the phone was telling me that I needed to find another place to sleep for the night. I FREAKED OUT. The Italian – Colombian in me came out and I was furious. Because of the overall situation I was really upset and didn’t want to spend one more minute in that hostel ever again, so after a lot of “peaceful calls” I somehow managed to convince the guy to at least bring me my bags (thank god I’m not messy and my backpack is always packed). He got to the pier at 11:30 pm with all my bags asking for a ridiculous amount of money, at that point I was so upset, tired and hungry that I just paid him and left. The whole situation to me was unbelievable, in all my previous travels nothing like that had remotely happened, not even in India! But I guess we can all learn something useful: always pay attention to the location of the hostels/hotel you book! Luckily I found a new place to sleep quite easily and coincidentally run into people I met both in Cameroon Highlands and Taman Negara so we had a nice time together. In the end my time in Langkawi was actually amazing, I didn’t let that situation ruin my time there. I had a lot of fun, saw incredible places and got badly sunburnt for the first time in my life, but that’s another story ahahhahh