After leaving Koh Lipe in Thailand it was an hour and a half ferry to the Malaysian island of Langkawi. They give you a tourist map of the island on arrival, which is nice. It’s a cute map with little drawing and diagrams, and then in the corner it says “Smuggling drugs is punishable by death” Duly noted! So I took a taxi to the main beach area and found a 4 bed hostel with a Canadian, another American, and a Malaysian. Three North Americans in one room is quite the rare occurrence. We all had jobs pretty conducive to traveling, the Canadian was some sort of big machine operator in the Yukon (and always had 3 months off during the coldest part of winter) and the American owned a hostel in Austin, and had his manager running things in the slowest part of the year. Owning a hostel is definitely something I would be interested in!
So we went out for some Indian foods (one of the biggest differences in Malaysia is the diversity of the food options: Chinese, middle eastern, Indian, etc), some beers and hookah on the beach. Before we went back to bed someone asked if any of use were snorers. We all said no, so we should be all good…
As soon as we get near the door we hear some very loud guttural noises coming from inside the room. We walk in and this big shirtless Malaysian dude is lying on his back snoring like a congested walrus. He looks like he’s been shot with a horse tranquilizer. I mean he didn’t even bat an eye when we walked in and turned on the lights. We’re all looking at each other like ‘are you serious?’ I’ve heard bad snoring before (Ed) but this guy takes the cake. He truly did sound like a buzz saw. After maybe half an hour of lying wide awake in our beds the guy closest to him trying to wake him up by clapping next to his face. Nothing. After shaking his leg he kind mumbled something and stopped snoring… for like 3 minutes and then it was on again. Aghghgh.
I might have slept for 2 hours, dreaming I was in some sort of hellish sawmill. All of us rolled out of bed around 9:00 and he was still in the exact same position, snoring as loudly and consistently as ever. Pretty impressive! We headed to breakfast to bitch about our predicament. Dorm rooms can really suck. Which I'll complain about later.
But anyway, that morning the American guy bought an $18 (!!) flight to Kuala Lumpur, so me and Dustin decided to rent bikes and cruise around the island, which always the best way! We stopped at a waterfall, a really nice beach, a mangrove forest filled with weird looking mudfish, and then watched the planes fly right over our head as we passed the airport. A good day!
When we got back, my friend from Koh Lipe, Renato, had joined our room, while the two girls stayed at the hostel next door. To our dismay the Malaysian guy's stuff was still there, so when we were figuring out what to do, we decided alcohol would certainly be in the plan. Renato hopped on my bike and we headed to the duty free store down the road. Being a muslim country, hard alcohol is not exactly readily available. On our way home a team of police officers shined their flash lights at us and motioned for us for to pull over. Uh oh. No helmets :0. I had worn it all day, but didn't think to put it on for our quick trip down the street. Unlike Thailand and pretty much everywhere else in SE Asia, Malaysia has strict helmut rules. And it was true, we looked at all the bikes going by and every single rider wore a helmet! So we got binged for $35 or something, which is certainly more than a Malay would pay, but oh well, lesson learned.
We ended up going out to the island's only club that night, which was an interesting mix of local tourists, Asian tourists, and Western tourists. Expensive, but fun. And we didn't have worry about the snoring keeping us awake because we all crashed hard! So the next day was pretty chill, just lying on the beach an doing nothing. We had one more night at the beach hookah place and then Renato and I were off to the next island, Pengang.