Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/11/15[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
Ted Grant wrote: > The location MC has referred to, Langkawi, is the most pictorial tropic > island I have ever seen. This place is a photographer's dream come true, it > has everything you can imagine, ancient buildings, modern buildings, > fishermen, all kinds of "people activities" and colour! Colour...colour, > out of your mind colour! > > And folks that's as far as it got. I still think it's a good idea simply > from the photographic potential of incredible white sand beaches, brilliant > blue water and skies, colourful fishing boats, you name it and it's all in > a friendly country. I fully concur with Ted's lovely description of the island. My wife, son and I were there for almost 10 days over the last New Year. It was a spur-of-the-moment trip and we were so lucky to be able to arrange the flight and accommodation with less than a week's notice. We stayed a week in Pantai Cenang, a west-facing beach resort town where every type of accommodation from camping ground to a full-service resort line up along an expansive white beach, without the rowdiness that often accompanies such an area. We spent these days reading, walking, taking photographs of the magnificent sunset, and exploring the wonderful culinary pleasures. We also splurged and stayed three nights over two visits (the first two nights and the last night on the island) at The Datai, an exclusive first-class resort in an isolated part of the island in a rain forest. While the stay and meals cost as much as an M6 body, it was a delightful escape from the stress of Tokyo where we lived at the time. The relaxation and isolation from our daily lives allowed me to make a firm decision to move back to North America, which we did three months later. The areas around The Datai would be a Doug Herr paradise, with all sorts of birds and animals surrounding the cottages which dot the rainforest. Our visit coincided with Ramadan, so relatively few locals were out during the day. Taxi drivers and merchants of Chinese origin were pretty much the only locals seen during the day in the touristy parts of the island. I wish I then had a Noctilux to capture the lively scene after the sunset. Without a fast film and lens, recording any recognisable images was out of question. A fascinating sight on beachs was the little crabs which digs little holes into the beach, and places sand balls no bigger than the red dot on the lens around the hole in such intricate patterns. I spent much time photographing them with a DR Summicron. The weather pattern was rather unusually wet for the time of the year, and we were unable to enjoy the water as much, except for the wonderful seafood that came out of it. My Nikonos was left pretty much unused, except for a couple of rolls off Datai, and there was not a single shot which I felt had any merit. One scare we had was that our son suddenly became ill, with high fevers. We immediately took him to a state-run clinic, where a physician saw him and gave antibiotics, for free. When we insisted that we must pay, the friendly answer was to tip the taxi driver, which we did. The fever receded immediately, and he was fine within 48 hours. Such is a legacy of the Prime Minister Mahathir, who spent considerable time as a physician on this island. He spent much effort promoting Langkawi as a tourist destination, and the government has spent millions building an international airport (AFAIK, there is even a direct flight from Europe) There are concerns about overdevelopment, but the recent economic troubles in the region has already halted several mega-projects on the island. Time will tell whether Langkawi will become the next Penang. Langkawi would certainly be among the top of the list of many places to revisit for me.