Langkawi Is Tired And Worn Out
Langkawi is worn out and tired. Pantai Cenang looks like Aleppo with the roads and sidewalks all torn up. The restaurant fellow said under the Bugis kleptocracy they purposely neglected Langkawi. Now under the Pakatan things are not exactly picking up yet. As I said the roads and sidewalks in Pantai Cenang are all torn up. Looks like Baghdad or Damascus.
There is trash everywhere. The parks look tired, unkept and unkempt. It was raining heavily when we were at Dataran Lang. They have those cute shops there - all of them selling the same stuff. Diversify lah sikit. The rain water was leaking out of the electric sockets in those columns that hold up the roof. I turned one of switches to the Off position - in case there was a lightning strike. Or it wont help.
You need more market forces to keep Langkawi afloat. May I also suggest moving that offshore financial center from Labuan to Langkawi (since Sabah wants to break away). Or just open another new offshore financial center. It will give Langkawi a second boost.
Shopping is ok. But get more people safely into and out of the water, the mangroves, that magical limestone karst etc. That limestone karst comes all the way from the Kinta Valley, branches into Gua Musang, pops up as the 99 Langkawi islands and ends up in Phuket.
Not only must we know our history, geography is useful too.
Feeding the well fed eagles at Kilim Geopark. The eagles are everywhereeven along this route. Feeding them in multiple spots willease 'boat' congestion. Everything can be managed
This time it rained heavily, which made the visit to Kilim just more fantastic. We met a young couple on the boat who not only read my blog but the young man said he has read all my books. Thank you.
Wading through flooded caves. Enough people will pay money to do this.
Above: Ferry pasengers sitting on the floor. Jetty Kuah. Jeti besaq tapi depa tak cukup bajet beli kerusi untuk orang. Jeti pun taxpayers' money juga.
Below : Better teach them basic marketing skills. The Mat Sallehtravel writers will go back and say, 'They sell second quality clotheson Langkawi Island'. (Brader boleh faham ke?)
It appears that I have an increasing number of relatives (and also friends) on Langkawi. One outlander lived her whole life in the UK but now lives (with her Mat Salleh husband) on a small island off Langkawi that is only accessible by boat at high tide.
We had lunch at this place, Mr Asam Pedas run by this young man Nor GCA. That is his real IC name. If you meet him you can ask him what GCA stands for. They have nice asam pedas dishes. You can look up Mr Asam Pedas Café, Kuah in Google Maps. All the food pictures pop up.
They do indoor, outdoor events, corporate dos, weddings, catering, boats, fishing tours etc. The Mat Salleh in the picture below seemed to know where the tenggiri hide.
The wealth of Langkawi is in its wealth of Nature. Not in the duty free shops selling dinner ware at 50% OFF. If another duty free island is developed (like Pangkor) then shopping on Langkawi may die. It is more likely that in keeping up with the rest of the world, import duties will be reduced (also if the government wants to win the next elections). The girl at the shop told me no point buying watches from Langkawi because the prices were not too different from KL, because the duty on watches is about 15% to 20%.
So betting on duty free shopping is not going to help forever. The wealth of Langkawi is in the Natural abundance of the seas, the beaches (yes even the muddy beaches), the mangroves, the eagles, the Kilim geopark, the limestone hills, the smaller islands, and the fishing. You cannot reproduce a Kilim Geopark anywhere else.
The policy planners should think about how best to get people safely, cheaply and efficiently into and out of the water, the mangroves and the islands.
The numbers of visitors are still increasing. The boat traffic needs to be managed. Everything can be managed.
Posted by Syed Akbar Ali
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