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Sunday, February 2, 2020

Traveling by Ferry to Kuah, Langkawi from Kuala, Perlis Jetty in Malaysia - Day 02 - Ep 02

Day 02 - Ep 02 - Langkawi was among the top places which we planned to visit during our trip to Malaysia and although we initially planned to reach Kuala, Perlis as early as 6am in the morning, to get onboard to the very first ferry that leaves at 7am for Kuah, Langkawi; we were late because of border crossing delays mention in previous episode.

So, we reached Kuala, Perlis at around 2:00 pm and I read online that there's an option to take your car to Langkawi as well via the Auto Ferry, but they mentioned online that it would require you to bring your car at least 2 hours before departure. Now, because we were already too late and I don't want to wait further, we decided to leave the car at Kuala, Perlis and go via Passenger Ferry to Langkawi and then get a car rental there. But even then, I went to offices of 2 different Auto Ferry operators to check the booking status and both were fully booked and were only offering booking for next day. There was at least one more Auto Ferry operator, whose office (cabin) I can see right after these two. So, if you are planning to take your car along, make sure you book your slot with one of these Auto Ferry operators early on and yes they provide option to do booking online as well. Do note that these Auto Ferry operator offices/cabins are right beside the beautiful Mosque Al Hussain.

The Passenger Ferry Terminal and operators are a little further, few minutes walk from the Mosque Al Hussain. I went further to the newly constructed building right opposite to Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal. This new building hosts a number of different passenger ferries operators, and you can get your passenger ferry tickets from here. This building also hosts a number of other stalls selling food, snacks, beverages, souvenir items, etc.. 

The Passenger Ferry operates from 7am to 7pm with departures to Kuah, Langkawi after every 30 minutes and the price for single ticket for one person one-way is RM 18. So, I bought two tickets for me and wife and then I went a little further ahead to make arrangements for my car parking in one of the several Charged Car Parking Sheds/Areas. There are options for both covered and open parking spaces and they charged me RM 15 per day for covered car parking. Do note that, the day ends at 12 midnight, so although I parked my car at around 3pm and if even if I took it out before 3pm next day, they would charge me for 2 days. The parking operator gave me a parking ticket with a contact number of person to contact once we return back to Kuala, Perlis from Kuah, Langkawi.

Because, we haven't purchased the Malaysian SIM cards yet, and I saw Celcom counter in the building from where we purchased the ferry tickets, so I head straight back to that counter. Our total trip of Malaysia was of 10 days and we need good voice and data coverage for that period of time and we end up purchasing two similar Celcom packages for me and wife, with following configurations:

Celcom SIM Card = RM 10
Pre-loaded credit on new SIM = RM -6
1 x week package with 5GB data = RM +19
2 x day package with 2 GB data = RM +6
Topup for additional voice calls = RM +1

Total Cost per package = RM 30 and you will get total 9 GB of data and voice coverage for 9 days. Do note that, throughout the next 9 days, the data was ON on our smartphones 24/7, though we used only Google (Maps, Navigation, Search, Translation), WhatsApp (with on-demand media settings) and sometimes Facebook only for check-ins. No uploads on WhatsApp or Facebook. And, the total data we consumed in these days was less than 2 GB.

Next, we headed towards the passenger ferry terminal of Kuala, Perlis. It was good, centrally air conditioned with entry and exit gates for departure/arrivals. There was too much rush and we were unable to find seats to sit back and relax for sometime while waiting for our 4pm ferry. During that time, we enjoyed very delicious home-made ice-cream (checkout video for details).

Few minutes after 4pm, they announced the boarding on our ferry and we lined up carrying our luggages. It took another 10 minutes to finally settle down on our seats inside the ferry. The ferries were quite big, air-conditioned and have too many seats covering two floors. The total ferry time starting from departure from Kuala, Perlis to arrival at Kuah, Langkawi was an hour and fifteen minutes.

We arrived at Kuah, Langkawi, around 5:15pm and the first thing we noticed that the jetty at Kuah, Langkawi was much better than Kuala, Perlis (though Kuala, Perlis one was not bad either) and looked more like an airport.

As we were walking out of Kuah, Jetty ferry terminal (called Jetty Point), we saw different car rental operators handing over their cards to incoming passengers and because we were trying to safe as much time as possible, we picked an automatic hatchback which was one of the recent year models of Perodua Myvi. It turns out to be quite good one throughout our stay in Langkawi and was smooth to drive all along and costs us RM 90 for a day.

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