So, after mispronouncing and misspelling the name of this island for 1 month, I finally landed in Langkawi. And it turns out that my first stop in Langkawi island is not … in Langkawi. The place I’ve booked on AirBnb is on another island, named Tuba. Which is great, ’cause I hate when things go according to plan.
From Langkawi International Airport, you head over Marble Jetty, either by taking a taxi for 30 RM, or an Uber for 15 RM, and it takes about 30 minutes. You can’t find Marble Jetty on a map, because nobody cares about it. But it’s close to the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, which you can find on the map, so you use that as a reference point.
Piece of advice: don’t try to march in there like you own the place, asking about directions to the shitty Marble Jetty. It’s frowned upon, especially if you’re getting of a sh*tty cab, insead of a Maybach.
At Marble Jetty you then ask around & wait for a boat to take you to Tuba island. People that should cost for 10 RM per person (shared boat) or 60 RM (chartered boat). I took the shared boat, but if you wanna feel royal-on-a-budget, you can rent the entire boat for that extra 50 RM.
It’s a 10 minute ride, that if you don’t forget to ask them to drop you at “Pasir Panjang” (where the open dormitory is). These boats have no fixed schedule, so you should keep in mind that they usually operate only between 9 and 18.
The AirBnb open dormitory
Once they threw me out of the boat, I head over some shacks on the other side of the beach. Afar off, behind the awesome palm trees, a small figure emerges, shouting & running towards me, and doing something that resembled a rain dance of a crazy person.
She’s a happy Thai woman working here, taking care of the place and cooking for guests. At night, she likes red wine & Asian love songs. I think she wants a boyfriend. She does NOT like “Chop suey” (the song)! Except for that, she’s a great friend and cook. I enjoyed all of the vegetarian meals she cooked for me, which is a rarity. Also, I owe her a big bottle of red wine.
Gahsri, the owner of the place, seems an interesting person too, but I haven’t got to know him very well given that I got buried in work in the only day he was there.
About the place.
The place is on a secluded beach with palm trees, surrounded by jungle. The beach, known as “Wild Pasir Panjang”, is a 800m stretch of sand facing the Langkawi island, and there is no connecting road with the rest of the island. You have to follow a subtle path on foot through the jungle for 10 minutes to get to the main road.
Onsite there’s a bar & place to eat. There’s also a couple bungalows nearby.
The open dormitory is just a few meters from the waves, which is exactly why I have chosen this spot in the first place. It’s like an hostel, but without the four walls. And without the beds. Or the bathroom. Okay, it’s just a roof and mattresses, mosquito nets and power sockets. And there’s a bathroom outside. It’s a tent-like experience, but a little more comfortable, and it costs 100 RM per night per person, which is a bit too much. But it was worth it, and sh*tting outdoors was something I dearly missed since my fisherman days. I’m kidding, of course, there’s a nice inside bathroom too if you wanna feel royal again.
Depending on the flux, it can get really loud at night because of the waves crashing just a few meters away, but for me that’s just one more reason to sleep here. And with the breeze and all that, sleeping here felt like sleeping above the sea, which was pretty cool. Furthermore, given it such a breezy & noisy place, you could fart like nobody’s business here, especially if you’re alone in the dormitory. But I did not, of course, I’m not a peasant.
Mosquitoes were not a problem, but there’s nets just in case. I never had to use mine, at least that’s what I thought. I do hope, however, that any future offspring I might have will have regular-sized heads. Head!
Even though this very quiet place has only 2 or 3 places to rent out, in the 4 days I’ve stayed here people kept on coming & going. A few people I’ve meet: a financial analyst girl from Russia volunteering here, two German engineers at Mercedes-Benz on vacation, a perpetual traveler from Austria, and this crazy DJ from Georgia, Maskittaz or Crump, a club resident China, who turns out he’s playing & creating just my type of music.
The guy is trying to break through, and I believe he will, pretty soon. So if you’re an EDM fan, maybe vote for him in the Spinnin’ Records talent pool with one of his new tracks. I know he’ll appreciate it.
Hah, there’s a couple of words I never imagined I’d ever use in the same article: Spinnin’ Records and sh*tting outdoors .
Tuba is quite a small island, “non-touristy” type, with few houses here and there.
There is no public transport, just a handful of private cars that might “taxi” you around for a few ringgits. However, you can walk this island from an end to another on foot. It’s gonna take about 4-6 hours or so, but it’s doable. And it’s pretty nice.
Walking around here, you’ll stumble into monkeys, big reptiles, buffaloes with birds on them, or, if you go onto beaches, lots of crabs, swordfishes near shore and, if you’re lucky, you can spot dolphins offshore. Or, if you’re really, really lucky, you can catch with your bare hands wild floating bottles of Spritzer water!
In the village, you will only find
local restaurants an eatery or two. I haven’t tried any because I’m a dietary challenged person :)). The locals might stare at you, especially if you’re royal like I was, but they will also say “Hello” and smile, or might offer to drive you around with their motorbikes for free.
A few more photos fromd the walk to the village
Photos from the beach
Next — I’m going back to Langkawi for a couple of days, and after that to Singapore.