What's a good reward for taking a trip that requires around 29 hours of travel time in airports and on planes? Well, ending up on a bay in the tropics isn't a bad one. I'm here for a conference, which is described on the web here. The location is Langkawi, which is an archipelago off the coast of mainland Malaysia and is actually part of Malaysia.
I'm staying a a hotel and resort named The Andaman, which is described in its online ads as being located within a virgin tropical rain forest. From what I can see, this is absolutely true. Outdoors, we can hear the constant sound of insects including one that sounds alternately like either a tea kettle boiling or a high-pitched drill. When I stepped into my room, the decor was sharp, reminding me of the W in the US. Even better, my room has a fantastic view of Datai Bay.
Here's what the room looks like:
And the view:
The weather was warm and humid, but not uncomfortable. The air was hazy, which is apparent in a few of the pictures. The temperature this morning was about 90 F or 35 C. The reception area and most of the common areas of the hotel are open air. This is the tropics and the clothes that feel right are short sleeve shirts, shorts and bathing suits.
After getting settled and doing some business email, I was ready for lunch. I walked downstairs to a restaurant that is on a terrace overlooking the pool area. Here, the menu was diverse. I wanted something light, so I decided to get a vegetable curry. The waitress asked me if I would mind it if the dish was pretty spicy. I've been eating Indian food for years, so I told her that wasn't a problem. She came by a few minutes later with a choice of several different breads. I took an olive roll and slices of French bread. Next, the curry and rice arrived. The rice was white and served in the shape of a pyramid. The curry was nicely presented and lived up to its billing. It was both good and very spicy. Here the bottled water was a must. Between that and liberal amounts of white rice, my mouth and throat were cooled down enough so I could eat it. About half of the vegetables were familiar, such as peppers and carrots, but several were unfamiliar. Fortunately, they all tasted pretty good and the vegetables had the right kind of texture, just a little bit crunchy.
The views from the terrace were spectacular, so I decided to go take some pictures after lunch.
Here is another view of the bay:
All of this whet my appetite for the real thing, so I headed back to my room to don my swim trunks. I went to the bay first. The beach has sand of a fine consistency. It's very easy to walk on and sticks to everything. I walked out to the water. The temperature was very comfortable, probably around 80 F. I started to swim and very quickly realized that this was salt water, not fresh water like the lake swimming to which I am accustomed. Nonetheless, it was pleasant. By now, the sun was out in full force, so my pale skin quickly started to feel the effect. I did a few laps back and forth, then decided to try the pool.
The pool was a cooler than the bay and very refreshing. It was also in a more shaded area, so I was able to swim longer. It felt great. Here is a portion of the pool, which also shows the densely packed forest that surrounds everything here:
Between the two swims, it now really feels like I'm in the tropics. I'm still recovering from all of that travel, but I'm off to a good start. If things go as planned, I get to play golf tomorrow at a fine looking course which is nearby. The business meetings also begin tomorrow.