| Part 5: Merang, Lang
G'Rimbun chalets, Merang. RM 50 for a basic bungalow with A/C, attached
bath with cold shower and squat toilet. Soft beds. Basic, but quiet and
clean place next to the beach. Cockroaches outside the room however. Weather:
overcast in KL. The sky surprisingly opens up in the afternoon. No rain.
sleep late until 9am then get up and make myself ready. Shirley went
out with Sara and Alissia for some shopping, leaving the small one here
with me and with the grandparents. At 11 something am I take a taxi
into town (Bukit Bintang).
Once in Bukit Bintang I
breakfast/lunch at the Delifrance restaurant in the BB Plaza shopping
complex. Then I head to an Internet cafe and the first thing I check is
the result of the semifinals match Germany-Spain. 0:1 for Spain,
Germany is out.
Then I investigate a bit the
options on Pulau Kapas. I call two places but they have no accomodation
available. It is also mentioned that the waters in Pulau Kapas are not
that clear due to the proximity of the island to the mainland
(apparently just 6km, while the Perhentians and Redang are much further
away and therefore have clearer waters).
catches my attention. Looks like an interesting place where to spend a
couple of days. Accomodation looks pricey however. It seems that the
only meaningful way to get there is with a package.
get out of
the Internet cafe and walk to a travel agency in Bukit Bintang. No
domestic packages, but the travel ageny in the 3rd floor of BB Plaza
has, according to what the lady tells me. So I get back to BB Plaza and
find this travel agency.
package to Pulau Lang Tengah
3D/2N with single supplement and excluding the flight which I already
have costs RM 650. A bit expensive, but I decide to take it, since it
seems to be the only option to see this island. I ask if I can go
tomorrow, and yes
a room is available but the price is now RM 690 because I'm going over
So I get this package, then buy some
some T-shirts (the ones I have are old and dirty and I was thinking of
getting rid of them after this trip).
I'm back at
after 4pm. At 5:30pm I take a taxi to KL Sentral. RM 12 to get there.
The KLIA Express still costs RM 35, which totals RM 47 to get to the
airport, compared with RM 90 if you go by taxi. I manage to catch the
6:28pm I'm in KLIA, then I take the 6:40pm bus to LCCT (RM 2.50). It
takes the bus a surprisingly long time to make it to LCCT - we only
arrive at 7:08pm, partly because the bus made a stop at a petrol
station to refuel the tank.
flight is delayed by half an
hour and only lands at 9:30pm. Then I take a taxi (RM 50) to Merang, so
that tomorrow morning I have more time and don't have to rush to the
jetty. We arrive in Merang
well after 10pm, and initially stop at the Kembara resort. They have no
more rooms with A/C, so we go to the Sutra resort which turns out to be
too expensive (RM 200), so finally we head to the G'Rimbun resort.
Merang -> Lang Tengah
Lang resort, Pulau Lang Tengah. The package costs RM 690 and includes
two night, single supplement, boat transfer to/from Merang, all meals,
two snorkelling trips, one jungle trek. The room is definitely
overpriced, because it is quite old, has just basic furniture (no
cupboard, place where to hang the clothes, no phone, TV, fridge etc.).
In the room there are only two beds and a place where to put the
luggage. Room has A/C and an attached bathroom with a hot shower. But
then the price includes the boat transfer, all meals (including a 4pm
tea time, not bad) and the snorkelling trips. The resort itself is on a
sort of overcast in the morning in Merang (thin clouds layer, milky
sky). A mix of sunny and overcast on Lang Tengah. The sky opens up
after 3pm, then sunny blue sky after that. No rain.
wake up at 8am, get ready, then walk to the beach. The beach is
actually very nice, long, white coral sand. The sea water itself is
clear enough. It would be worthwhile to spend a few days relaxing here.
9:20am and I try to get a taxi to the jetty to Lang Tengah. The problem
is that there is no taxi and also nobody in the reception of this
sleepy place. And sleepy it really is, because there is almost no life
or activity in the area. Finally I ask the guy who is painting the
wall, and he stops a car. The driver agrees to bring me to the jetty.
I was very close to the jetty but didn't know it. By 9:35am I'm at the
jetty. This is somewhere along the river. Some people, all customers of
the resort like myself are already waiting there and more are arriving.
90% of today's tourists are Asian and 90% of them are Chinese (almost
certainly all Malaysian Chinese). It seems that this place mainly
caters to the Malaysian Chinese.
10:10am the boat finally leaves, first very slowly while it crosses the
river, then faster when it reaches the open sea. Not too fast
however, because it will take one hour and a half to reach Lang Tengah.
This boat which looks like a fast boat, is in reality a slow boat. The
advantage is that the boat does not bump like crazy on the waves as
the fast boats.
Once we arrive at Lang Tengah the
boat does not
stop at the main jetty, because this is too far away from the
resort, and instead unloads the passengers through a mini-jetty
straight in front of the resort.
The resort, well,
is a bit
surprising, because for RM 690 for two nights I was actually expecting
some more luxury. The rooms are quite basic (see above), but
never mind because the package includes everything.
have a lunch (buffet style). The pepper chicken is not bad. I then have
a quick look at the beach. With Maxis there is full coverage, i.e. it
is possible to make mobile phone calls. There must be a radio base
station nearby, because I have five bars in the phone but we are 30km
from the mainland.
At 2:30pm the snorkelling trip
Basically it's two boats full with resort customers circling Lang
island and stopping at two places. Almost all Asian tourists wear the
life jacket, probably because Malaysians are not good swimmers.
each place where the boat stops the same scene repeats. Like in a plane
parachuters, the hotel staff drops tourists with life jackets and masks
& fins into the water, one by one. The tourists then float on
life jackets and look into the water. Nobody tries to dive.
4pm we are back in the hotel. After a brief shower to rinse away the
salt, I go to the beach and take some pictures. The sun now is
really strong. At 4:30pm there is tea time, then I get back to the
beach. Dinner is at 7pm.
Lang resort, Pulau Lang Tengah. The food they serve for lunch and
dinner tastes very well. Drinks included in the price are
hot water, cold water and very heavily diluted fruit juice. There are
other resorts on Lang Tengah; Redang
Lang seems to be the lowest end one.
overcast in the morning, the sky opens up in the afternoon. Thin clouds
layer most of the time. No rain.
morning I do the jungle trek across the island. Leaving at 9:45am the
trail climbs to the highest point of the island (100m) then
climbs down to the opposite side of the island. The trail is quite
short. Even walking slowly it takes us less than half an hour to arrive
to the other side.
The group spends half an hour
on the other
side of the island, then walks back. Some swimming in the sea after the
climb. The access to the sea is full of coral rock pieces, so you have
to walk carefully into the water. Brief beach volleyball match after
It would have been also possible to do
snorkelling in the
morning instead of trekking. A boat was leaving at the same time (9am).
the lunch I skip the afternoon snorkelling session at 2pm and do a bit
of swimming/relaxing. I walk along the beach and find two other
resorts, the Sari Pacifica and the D'Coconut resort where
there are more
In the evening (it's Saturday)
there is some
music and activity in the resort. The Malaysian Chinese tourists are
very active and noisy. Until about 22:30pm, after which the resort
becomes suddenly very quiet. It seems that these tourists are quite
Next morning the boat is leaving at
9:30am as mentioned by the travel agency. I also ask how much one night
is if I book separately and am told that they only take package
No Internet access on the
island, so I use mobile data to check my emails.