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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Oh no….not again!

Day 86/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. Langkawi, Malaysia.

Today we were going to a place I had never, ever heard of before. The island of Langkawi, pronounced LANG, COW, EEEEE. Langkawi is known as the Jewel of Kedah and is a duty free Island in an archipelago of 99 islands. Langkawi is located 30 km off the northwestern coast of Malaysia. The island of Langkawi is 184.7 square miles and has a population of 88,588. Langkawi was a haven for pirates who attacked junks in the northern part of the Strait of Malacca, but with a series of operations between December 1945 and March 1946, the British cleared the pirates land base in Langkawi. The British continued to rule Langkawi until Malaya gained its independence in 1957. In 1986 Prime Minister Mohammad transformed the Island of Langkawi into a major tourist resort, helping to plan many of the island’s buildings himself. Three million tourists a year now visit the Island and hotels such as the Ritz Carleton have established themselves on the Island.

Our plans today were to golf at ’The Els Club Teluk DataI- Rainforest course. Steve, the Brit, and Dave the Ozzie were also going to be golfing with us today, The issue of how to get to the golf club was a little problematic since Langkawi was a tender port and to get everyone off the ship for their excursions, we had been told that the tenders would all be full until at least 12:30pm. The tee time we had booked was a 12:40pm and the golf course was a 40 minute drive from the pier, so obviously we had a problem with the tender situation.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat. It is not Covid. It is a sore throat and it feels like I am getting a cold…. yet again. I think the three days of running around in Singapore, as well as yesterday in KL have done me in. So I decided to do the smart thing and stay on the ship today, instead of going to play the beautiful Ernie Els designed golf course which is managed by Troon Golf. It is not like me to ever pass up a golf game, but tomorrow is my birthday and I am trying to beat this thing, by doing salt water rinses, taking immune boosting natural supplements, drinking hot tea with honey, lemon and fresh ginger and resting which is what I did not do the last time I got sick…REST!

Luckily for Richard and the guys we anchored earlier than planned. Our anchor time was to be 10am, but we could hear the tender boats dropping into the water around 8:30am. Richard went down to Guest Services this morning around 9:30am and he was told that the first tender was going out at 9:40am and it was going to be for independent excursions! Richard quickly called Steve (Sue came too) and Dave and they were both down ready to go within 5 minutes. Luckily, they all made the first tender and then on the pier, Richard negotiated with a taxi driver with a small SUV to take them the 40 minute ride to the north side of the Island of Langkawi. They got to the golf course at 11am and no one was waiting to tee off ahead of them, so after hitting some balls, they were able to tee off at 11:45am, a who hour before their original tee time. The back onboard time today was 7pm so they had a lot of time to manage their 4 hour round, and return taxi ride to the pier, and then the short tender ride back to the ship.

I spent the morning working on Day 3 Singapore blog, and then finally went up to the Explorer’s lounge to keep working on the blog and have some hot water, honey and lemon tea, while our cabin steward cleaned our room.

When I returned to the cabin around 2pm I ordered some chicken noodle soup from room service. The room service manager called me back to say the chefs had gone off to Langkawi so there was no chicken noodle soup, but they would use consume and add some noodles and chicken and make a soup that way. Anyway, the soup arrived, and it was soothing on my throat. I was just glad I didn’t have to go to get lunch at the World Cafe. The internet was good, so I continued with writing Day 3 Singapore.

Richard had wifi when he was at the clubhouse after golf so he texted me to say he was finished golf and did I want anything from the pro shop. I was worried about sizing so I asked for a ball marker and hat if he saw anything nice.

I finished Day 3 of Singapore and then started on yesterday’s adventures in Kuala Lumpur. Richard arrived home when I was proof reading KL and he started on some laundry. We needed to watch the Port Talks for tomorrow and the next day, since we have not been around to watch them live or even see the taped versions on our stateroom. While we were watching the port talks for Georgetown, Malaysia and Phuket, Thailand, we ordered room service for dinner.

When the room service came (more chicken soup for me), we ate on our balcony. It was nice to eat al fresco on our balcony for dinner. I think that is the first time we have done that since we boarded the Neptune. With the warm, ocean breezes blowing and the green lights of the squid fishing boats dotting the landscape, it was really quite nice to eat outside.

Fishing boats hunting squids off Langkawi, Malaysia tonight. At one point I could count 35 boats and this boat, went right by the Neptune when we were out eating our dinner.

Richard did come home with a bag for me from the golf club but I said it had to wait until tomorrow because that is my birthday! He cannot keep a secret, or hold back a gift, but I prefer to wait until my actual birthday, to which he says I’m better willed than him!

Richard gave me his photos from today, so I will post them, but I really cannot comment on the course. Apparently it was 5 star from the minute they arrived, and there was hardly anyone else playing the course today. Imagine a Sunday back home when no one plays golf? That never happens! After 9 holes they even had cold, wet, mint refreshing towels brought out to them, to wear on the back nine, by putting them in their ice filled coolers on the carts. Now that’s service!

Tomorrow we have a busy day planned. I’ve got to get a good night’s sleep and hope that this pre-cold, doesn’t turn into a full blown nasty cold, like the one I had in January. That was 3 weeks of misery and I don’t want another 3 weeks of being sick on this cruise.

The golf course designer for the Els Club Teluk Datai-Rainforest Course, is of course major champion winner on the PGA tour, smooth swinging, Ernie Els.

Ernie Els with his many trophies and memories through his golf career on the PGA tour. Ernie Els still plays on the seniors PGA TOUR Champion’s Tour and sometimes will play the major tournaments on the PGA Tour.

Arriving at the golf club which opened in 2014.

Fenced in driving range.

155 yard par 3, Richard cannot remember which hole it was, but he stuck it to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt.

Richard’s tee shot on the par 3. Too bad he missed the putt. They shared a caddie for the round and Richard said he was hopeless with bad reads and not knowing yardages.

Another nice hole, but Richard cannot find his scorecard and does not remember which hole it was. Yeesh…

A helicopter landed near the clubhouse just before the guys hit on 18. A golf cart from the pro shop came out to tell them not to hit on 18 and to stay to the side of the fairway, because the helicopter would be taking off and flying over the 18th fairway as it left the club. Pretty cool! I think Richard got a video of it, but with the poor internet it would take forever to load.

Helicopter at the golf club which flew over the 18th fairway today at the Els Club in Langkawi, Malaysia.

That’s it from me. 3 blogs in one day, and a quiet day too, trying to stave off this cold. Hopefully I will feel ok tomorrow since no one, especially me wants to be sick on their birthday!

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Hi Ruth. I have been following you from day one and I want to thank you for your interesting blogs. We are going on this cruise next year and you have given us so many new ideas. You have convinced us to explore more on our own. if you can think of anything else on this cruise, please let us know. Thanks and keep them blogs a coming.

Amos McLeod


Allan Yoshimura
Allan Yoshimura

Hope you feel better soon. I know you feel bad about missing playing such a nice and empty course, but did you have to mention twice that Richard missed his 6 foot birdie putt?



Oh, no - I'm sorry to hear you're feeling bad! Being sick on a trip is awful - hope you feel better soon. I am glad, however, that it's not covid. Whew. Have there been many instances of covid on this cruise?

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