Don’t Mention the Pork

Island hopping from Phuket to Langkawi

We took a couple of weeks island hopping from Phuket to Langkawi. Some sailors do this trip in 24 hours but that’s just not our style.  We’re slow travellers.

Our first anchorage, Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi Island) was pleasantly free from crowds. Unlike our last visit when we could hardly move on the island during the day for all the tourists, and there was uber loud doof doof music for the party animals every night.  This time the sound track was something so benign I didn’t even remember what it was in the morning.

 Koh Lanta

The next leg from Phuket to Langkawi was hard work with 30 knots on the nose on the way to the historic east coast anchorage at Koh Lanta.
I decided to give the anchoring way point from our last visit a miss.  It was being used by a sunken boat.  Sunk by politics according to the local intel.  The interested parties couldn’t decide who was supposed to pump the bilge until it was too late.

This yacht in our anchorage at Koh Lanta (sailing from Phuket to Langkawi) was sunk by politics apparently
Sunk by politics

The green prawn curry was just as delicious as I remembered from our first stay. When I asked the staff if the prawns were farmed or wild he articulately pointed out to the sea.

 

Old Town, Koh Lanta (sailing from Phuket to Langkawi)
Old Town, Koh Lanta

Koh Muk

It was an easy run to Koh Muk. At one point I looked out the porthole and saw fish jumping a meter out of the water.  Like something out of the film Nemo.

The other captain kept telling me about the dolphins he was seeing.  All I saw was water disturbances.  Hmm.

Cruisn. Or is the other captain dolphin spotting (sailing from Phuket to Langkawi)
Cruisn. Or is the other captain dolphin spotting?

The fabled Emerald Cave

We visited the Emerald Cave on the way to Koh Muk.

It takes a 70 meter swim through a dark cave to get into the sea cave or “hong” as the Thais call it.

Our waterproof torch ended up being allergic to water.

On the way back out we realised we had taken a wrong turn.  We had to back up in the pitch dark.  Maybe that was the way to the fabled pirate treasure.  We wouldn’t have found it with a dead torch anyway.

Inside the Emerald Cave, sailing from Phuket to Langkawi
Inside the Emerald Cave

Koh Taratao

The unmistakable limestone karst geology of the islands between Phuket and Langkawi
Limestone karst island between Phuket and Langkawi

We took our time slowly heading south down Koh Taratao. I guess we didn’t want our cruise from Phuket to Langkawi to end.

We stopped at three different overnight anchorages.  Did some of exploring.  Had a bit of stormy weather.

One day we took the dingy for a look up one of the rivers.

Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a dog swimming.  It was a sea otter.

We heard the last of the Thai radio we’ll be hearing for a while, because suddenly, it seemed, we were in Malaysia again.

The Langkawi time vortex

Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, when we were sailing from Phuket to Langkawi
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club
Monkey caution sign on Langkawi Island, sailing from Phuket to Langkawi
Cautious!!!

 

Monkey on the electricity wires, sailing from Phuket to Langkawi
Oh. Is that what they want us to be cautious of?

Langkawi is a time vortex.  Like the Hotel California you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave. We planned to say a few days. We were there for a month.

Bass Harbour, Kuah

Anchored in Bass Harbour, Kuah, we were waiting for some credit cards to arrive in the mail.  And waiting.  And partying. And waiting. And eating.  (The Bak kut the which is the only dish on the menu at the Shark Fing is still my benchmark for that delicious pork stew.)
And of course consuming and stocking up on the duty free grog. And catching up with old friends. And making new ones.  And provisioning for our next leg.

Don’t mention the pork

Naturally the shopping had to include pork espionage.  On a Moslem island they do sell this forbidden product but it requires being in the know. 
You have to go into the back room of a shop selling spices.  Quietly – I thought the proprietor was telling us not to wake the baby – to choose your cloak and dagger snaggers.

They were yummy too.  Sausages and mash for dinner at our first anchorage on the way to Danga Bay.

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Penny

I'm a sailing traveller floating around South East Asia on my boat Yana de Lys. I spend as much time as I can exploring the back streets and pretending to act like a local. I work as a Digital Nomad, blogging, editing and copywriting. Feel free to contact me if you need a hand with your writing project. Malaysia: 60 11 1441 5196 Australia: 61 411 220 592 and 08 6102 5141 au.linkedin.com/in/pennywest penny@sailingtravelblog.com

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