I caught the ferry back to Penang today, about a two and a half hour trip. I have been in Malaysia for around 10 days and I really like the place. I always thought that it was more expensive than other South East Asian countries, but it is comparable to Thailand and since the baht has been so strong lately, I think in could be even cheaper than Thailand.
I had a huge bowl of noodles tonight from a street vendor for just 3 ringit (US$0.80). I had heard beer was more expensive, but I went to a reggae bar last night and they were selling Tiger beers for just 4 ringit. The bar had a live band who play every night. They are a great band and the Malay singer is unbelievable. He looks more Samoan and plays percussion when he sings.
It was a little bit sad to leave Langkawi. I had some fun nights going out and it is just a beautiful layed back kind of place. Malaysia is mostly muslim but they don’t seem too strict. Not all restaurants sell alcohol, but there are still plenty of bars in the tourist destinations. For South East Asia it seems to have more order about the place. People actually wear helmets when riding motor bikes.
I know now it is low season and there aren’t too many tourists around, but you just don’t hear about Malaysia as much as say Thailand, Bali or Vietnam. Perhaps it is better to keep it a secret from the rest of the world.