It was well worth cycling to Malaysia, or as Stanna is quick to qualify, we didn’t cycle the 160 km between Trang and Satun, but all other distances, because it gives you the freedom to explore anywhere you want without the hassle of taxis (only effective if you know where you want to go), buses (if you know the routes and schedules) or walking (which isn’t always popular when the distances tally in the miles).
We cycled to the Trang bus station, 12 km, where we put our bikes in the storage locker of a double decker, and then once we were “dropped” at the center of Satun (a favor we didn’t realize until learning the bus station was out of town) we cycled around town and on to our internet booked guesthouse on the river.
The port and ferry pier are 8 km south of Satun thru the mangrove groves making the otherwise hot trip delightful along the shaded roadway. The Langkawi Ferry terminal rivals a small commercial airport with international glassed-in walkways to the immigration and customs areas. We’re not certain but there must be four or five different ferry routes originating and terminating on Langkawi. The long walkways of arrivals and departure retail and duty free shops easily matches some capital city airports.
The island size is about 12×12 miles so it’s not hard to get around on bicycle although we hardly saw any others, excepting one 70+ year-old Dutch couple who was halfway on a trips from Phuket to Singapore. With almost 100,000 inhabitants, the roads are crowded with cars but generally traveling at a reasonable pace.
We especially enjoyed seeing a urban renewal project which channeled a couple of river bends along an older market road. They’d recently completed a modern two story fresh air market with almost 100 stalls. Seeing the fresh vegetables, spices, meats being butchered and fish displayed is always worthy of photos.
Our last full day was relegated to finding the craft market shown on all the road signs. A pre-dawn ride I made around the island found that most the signs pointed to the same craft market 25 km over the mountain to the north shore.
Stanna opted for a lesser promoted batik workshop and showroom on our same side of the island with lesser hills to scale. Great tour of the batik process (no photos allowed) and endless rooms of batik wares to peruse. Back in our room and into the pool by 3 made the last day just right. Cheese Roti was slighted for our dinner.