Photos: Grocery Day In Langkawi - Part 1

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Wed 12 Nov 2014 10:46

Grocery Day

Map of Langkawi

Since we are about to sail away from our Malaysian base, we thought we would share one of our mundane events that happens for us regularly through these last 2 years while based at Rebak Marina…..on a remote, private, resort, island located a short boat trip distance from the main island of Langkawi. As a sidenote: Langkawi (Population 100, 000) is about the same geographic size as Singapore (population 5.5 million) and Penang (population 2 million)…..but is sparsely populated by comparison to the other 2 main regional islands. The dynamic of Langkawi is the constant flow of tourists…. with 4-5 million visiting tourists each year; mainly from the Australia, the Middle East, India…. and Malaysia > Domestic tourism here is big since Langkawi is a duty/tax free escape within Malaysia.


Grocery shopping in Langkawi is quite a bit different from the way we shop for groceries back in Canada or the USA or western Europe. In North America, you leave the house and get into your car, drive to your favorite grocery store, in the town you live in and choose your groceries, get back into your car and return home; so there are some “similarities”…sort of: …. we also have to get a car and go to our favourite shops come back to the boat and put the groceries away.  However, since it is also very different, we thought for those of you back home that you might enjoy seeing what the experience entails here.

8:45 AM

We start off catching the ferry to Langkawi, this is a photo of a couple of the ferry boats Vivanta (The Rebak Island Resort operator) provides for their guests….handling about 20 passengers per ferry run.





We arrive at the “new” landing Langkawi landing site, Port Cenang, was changed this past summer from the one that did exist for years. This is a temporary/makeshift building constructed to protect the Vivanta guests while waiting for the next ferry to depart for Rebak.  The former site, Port Langkasuka, was forced to be relocated due to a group of investors planning to build a huge hotel and shopping mall extravaganza in the area; however, after forcing the dislocation and all that entailed, the funding and government approvals fell through and the old location sits abandoned with no more than building and land clearing having been completed. This is typical with development projects in Malaysia….many fail without ever starting or are delayed for years ….or may be never restarted.


This is Mr. Din, he rents cars (NO PAPERWORK!...and if the police stop you, you are to say you borrowed the car from your friend, Mr Din). We call him a day or two before we need a car and he has 40 RMB ($13) or 50 RMB ($17) cars for the day…all with the critical feature….AIR CONDITIONING!  We shake our heads after a day in Langkawi, we have a rental car for the day for about $20 that is including the fuel we put into the car.  We have our favorite cars, they need to run smoothly, good clutch and have good air conditioning…very, very, very, important.


We are ready to start shopping, we just have to negotiate the curves with care as some of the locals take up the road.  Today there was only one local, usually there are several more.




We are very close to the airport, about a seven minute drive from our new ferry site.

We always stop at the PETRONAS Gas station at Matsirat to fuel as the tanks are always on EMPTY. These familiar green, white and yellow gas stations helped to build these two towers.


Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Next stop is the post office to handle the rare piece of hard mail that we have to send….. then off to Telaga to pick up our canvas on which we had Chris Morgan/Yacht Worx do some repairs.

This is their new shop, he and his brother have started up this shop, and they hail from South Africa.

















Sometimes right in the middle of a strip mall you see a building like this.






Whilst John was talking canvas I took time to take a couple of photos of Telaga Harbour Marina - this may be where we base ourselves upon our return from Thailand in early 2015.


We had a coffee before setting off again and enjoyed another local who hopped along to say hello.