Surrounded by beautiful green islands; mountainous with shear rock faces plunging into blue water, we had finally reached Langkawi and surrounding islands. We anchored at Pulau Singa Besar for the night and, not realising what little gem was hidden beneath the trees, we moved on the next day for Kuah.
At Kuah we hired a scooter and set off to explore our surroundings. Visiting many of the beaches around Langkawi we were once again disappointed not to have the clear water to swim and snorkel in… but when that’s all you’ve got to complain about, it really sounds ridiculous and petty to complain! I only mention it for those sailing to, or holidaying in, Langkawi. Don’t think the water is crystal clear… we have been told it gets better at certain times of the year. Most disappointing thing is all the rubbish floating in the water.
Riding around Langkawi, our exploration of the island was soon brought to an abrupt halt when the skies opened and unleashed a downpour of epic proportions (tropic rain is awesome). We stopped at a tiny warung to escape the rain and tucked into a very delicious spicy chicken soup for lunch. Once our trip resumed we chanced upon a group of monkeys. One mother had a gorgeous little baby, so photogenic!
We stopped at Telaga Harbour and, as we enjoyed sangria and tapas, we met Adrian who told us about the Saturday Night Blues at Singa Besar. So on the Saturday we took the boat back up to Singa Besar Island for the night and subsequently spent many a day there including three ‘Saturday nights’!
Pulau Singa Besar
On Singa Besar Island there is a little beach bar called Bluesman’s Paradise. It is, as its name suggests, a little tropical paradise. It is there, on a Saturday night, with the sand beneath their feet, sailors can listen to live music, eat satays and drink beer as they chat to their hosts Enoa, Bread and Kitty.
A gorgeous little place made with timber and drift wood, it is tucked beneath huge shady trees and it truly feels like a little island hideaway – for want of a better description – a pirates lair! If us sailors are honest about one thing, it’s our deep seated need to say “arghh me matey” and drink rum!
It is, without a doubt, a wonderful place to relax and, as our hosts say, shake away the blues. Meeting other sailors from all over the globe, swapping stories and sharing tips on anchorages, duty-free shopping and the best place to slip the boat, Bluesman’s Paradise really is fantabulous!
While Kitty cooks up a storm of satays, chicken wings and fried rice, Bread entertains guest with his music.
If you have a musical instrument bring it along, as everyone is welcome to join in. We had Capt’n Fatty on the guitar one night, Jonny from KL and Fred off the sailing vessel Laura Pinta also played guitar and one night a special treat with Peter on the harmonica!
How do you change a light bulb on Singa Besar?…. Why you just lift up the short fella!
Put your boat name up at the bar…
RM30.00 will get you a serve of satays, a beer and enable you to hang your boat name in the bar. Thorfinn was the first plaque to go up!! Engraved on a piece of driftwood and then painted by Dwayne, we hope to be able to add others in the years to come, as it is a place we are sure to revisit!
There is a walk through the mangroves and rain forest, which starts behind Bluesman’s Paradise and leads to a small dam. From the dam if you turn left and follow the creek you will find some nice rock pools that are good for a cooling dip.
Also on Singa Besar is a campsite which may be a government site as we once came upon the Navy camping there, and another time the police had a ‘motivational’ camp happening there with their families. But at other times it is empty and it is a good place to burn rubbish, have a BBQ or as we did play cards at the picnic table.
Close by Pulau Singa Besar is Dayang Bunting which is the second largest island in Langkawi’s cluster of 99 islands and also home to the “Lake of the Pregnant Maiden”. After a particularly heavy Saturday night at the Bluesman’s Paradise we motored over to the island and went for a dip in the lake.
In Kuah, Pulau Langkawi, duty free shopping is amazing and we stocked up on Beer, spirits and even some wine. We found some casks of Standley (AUS) wines for RM45.00 which is fairly reasonably priced. Jim Beam cost me less than AUS $12.00 for 1 litre! Most duty-free shops have similar, if not the same, prices but if you shop around you may find some bargains. We found a blended scotch whiskey that sold for RM32.00 in one shop and RM26.00 in another for RM18.00 in a third… so we got a case of that!
We shopped at the Kuah ‘wet market’ for prawns, beef, chicken as well as our fruit and veg. It was a really good market. Cleaner and less smelly than most we have been to.
We anchored at Telaga for a few days, and it was while we were here we visited the Oriental Village and went to the top of the mountain in the SkyCab. SkyCab, the Langkawi Cable Car, is reportedly the longest free span mono-cable car in Malaysia. It raises 708m above sea level and includes a gradient of 42 degrees… that’s bloody steep! Great views and a few degrees cooler than at ground level, it is worth a visit.
We stayed at Rebak Marina for a couple of nights for a little luxury – wifi, a swim in the pool and a meal at the Hardock Cafe, before going back to Telaga to clear out of Malaysia and head to Thailand.
Travel Notes (Updated July 2016)
MYR – Malaysian Ringgit written here as RM
Clearing into and/or out of Langkawi – Visit the ferry terminal in Langkawi – you will find harbourmaster, customs and immigration all in the same building. You can also clear into Malaysia at Telaga. We have heard several different views of this harbour check in/out, such as “you can no longer check in/out there” or “you can only do it in the morning”. What I have found is that the harbour master and immigration are mostly always there but not the customs. We once did most of our check out procedure at Telaga but then had to hire a scooter to ride to the airport to finish the procedure. Last time we opted to hire a car from Telaga marina and drive to Kuah to check in and go shopping.
Rebak Marina (August 2016) – RM72.00 (AUD $23.45) per day for 45foot monohull. Power and water extra. CONTACT: Marina office on VHF 69 on arrival
Wifi – cost per day/ gig
1 day/ 1 gig = RM5
1 week/ 3 gig = RM28
Free use of resort pool and gym. 25% off prices at the resorts, bars and restaurants. Pool bar prices – can of tiger beer RM14.00, can of coke RM14.00
Squash and tennis courts at extra charge.
Hardock Cafe – for use by the sailors in the marina only. Has the marina office, book swap, television, beer, soft drinks and meals. Can BYO wine etc. Good menu with asian and western food.
Can of beer RM7.00 (AUD $2.28)
Can of Coke RM5.00 (AUD $1.63)
Chicken curry RM22.00 (AUD $7.17)
Beef burger RM22.00
Can get gas filled – 14kg RM98.00 (AUD $32.00)
Laundry – RM3 (AUD $0.97) for a wash & RM4.00 for Dry
Harbour Store – sells beer, wine, bread and other sundries, as well as souvenirs, swimwear etc.
Repair and Maintenance – Hardstand has 70 dry bays. Marina has appointed contractors. Two weeks notice is generally needed for haul out.
Chandlery – got all the basics for slipping the boat, paint, sanding paper, 12volt fans etc.
Free ferry to Mainland (Port Cenang) which leaves the marina around nine times a day. Also has a veggie run every friday that leaves at 08:45 from Rebak.
Telaga – we anchored out in the bay (the pond). A little rolly (very little). Good holding ground in mud. Some people have had difficulty in anchoring due to the rubbish on the sea floor.
Marina Berth – Last time we used the marina (August 2016) it cost RM90/night for 45 foot monohull. This includes fresh water, one wifi ticket. Electricity usage charged at RM0.60/kwh. CONTACT: Marina office on VHF 69 on arrival – call sign Telaga Harbour Marina
You can rent a car from the marina for RM10.00 per hour (minimum RM20.00). Best to book ahead of time. Can rent scooters and cars nearby at the northern end of the bay. Scooters RM25.00 and cars from RM50.00 per day.
Fuel dock in the marina. Diesel and Petrol.
Some restaurants near the Petronus including Arabic, India and western food. Restaurants on the other side of marina include Tapaz – Tapas and Ala Carte, Chinese, Korean and more.
Places to eat – For more about the places to eat in Langkawi CLICK HERE
SkyCab – Adult RM35.00 (AUD $11.40) – Child RM 25.00 (AUD $8.14)
Kuah – Markets, shopping, duty free. There is fuel boat in the bay.
Pasar Awam Kuah (Kuah Public Market) – Fresh prawns, fish, chicken, beef and buffalo, also fruit and veg. Passed the fruit and veg you come to small shops selling chilli paste, ikan bills etc. Go further and you will find clothes, souvenirs and then prepared food and drinks for sale i.e. curries, rice, fried chicken to name a few.
Dutyfree Shopping – many duty-free shops in Kuah.
Casks Stanleys wines RM 45 – RM 53 (AUD $14.50 – $17.30)
Vodka – we found was as cheap as RM 14.00 (not russian)
Blended Scotch Whiskey – we found as cheap as RM 18.00 (produced and bottle in the UK)
Pulau Singa Besar – Hosts Enoa, Bread and Kitty are most there days and welcome visitors for a chat. Saturday Night satays are around RM10.00 per plate. Beer RM4.00 and they have small bottles of wine for RM20.00. There is music on Saturday night, and as I mentioned everyone is welcome to join in so bring your instrument! (I’m an not sure if anyone is running the bar there now. But it is still a good anchorage and great place to set up the BBQ on the beach)
Contact details: Facebook – Bluesman”s Paradise
Capt’n Fatty – Capt’n Fatty Goodlander is an Author and sailing magazine contributor who has extensive sailing and cruising knowledge. Visit his website for more info – http://www.fattygoodlander.com
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