Following a week of city crowds, adjusting to the time difference and constant movement, the Pelangi Beach Resort offered us some relaxation before returning to ever-chaotic London. It was perfect and soul-soothing to be there. Gone were the honking cars and traffic jams, there were no throngs of people to contend with and the surrounds were stunning at worst. The relative silence of Pelangi was only broken by birds cawing for tidbits of food or the surf meeting the white sand of the beach.
The breeze from the sea was just right, too; not too strong, but cooling without being cold. The days were pleasantly warm but never overbearingly hot or humid. The resort staff were pleasant to deal with and as we walked about the grounds, not a single hotel employee hesitated to greet us with a cheery hello and warm smile. They answered any questions we may have with efficiency and genuine interest and we experienced no pressure to buy when asking about local trips and tours. For once, commission was not king.
From our beach loungers we watched planes coming and going from the nearby airport, but even they seemed to lack their usual peace-disturbing repertoire of engine thrust noise or the sounds of landing gear going up or down. Altogether, Pelangi was impressing peace upon us.
Following our first dinner by the beach, we decided to try out the mini-bar rather than sit in the hotel bar. This way, we could sit on the lanai overlooking the lake and take further advantage of the quiet here. The beer in the mini-bar cost a mere 4RM each so we settled into our chairs on the balcony to sip on a Tiger or two.
The soft light was a magnet for a family of lizards. I observed them, entranced, remembering a childhood home where there were lizards to play with. I’ll never forget the day my parents pulled up an old carpet, ready for replacement, only to find the skeletons of lizards that had found their way under it but perished there, unable to escape. Luckily, the Pelangi lizards stayed on the wall. If they’d come any closer to us, Monsieur would probably have sent them to lizard heaven with one clomp of his shoe. He has no time for cold-blooded creatures, preferring mammals, like me.
In the night air around us, black shadows flitted about at some velocity. These were the dreaded bats of the region, well, dreaded by me at least. Then strange splashing sounds floated up from the lake itself. They must have been fish rising to the surface for a gulp of air, but it was too dark to see. By day, the splashing sounds continued, although I never saw any fish myself, as the opaque green of the water hid them too well.
One morning, Monsieur and I decided to forego the breakfast at the restaurant in favour of room service on our lanai. As we were splurging, I chose pancakes with maple syrup and plates of watermelon and pineapple. Well, when the tray arrived the fruit plates were loaded up with massive quantities, not at all representative of the modest prices on the menu.
As I set the table for the breakfast banquet, a family of ducks spotted me from across the lake, speeding across the water to quack at us with what I imagine were duck-ese demands for food. Meanwhile, cheeky yellow-billed birds squawked as they jumped with their trampoline feet on and off the balcony.
Of all the lanais around the lake, ours was the only one being used for breakfast so it felt as if we had the entire place to ourselves. As for our neighbours, they were definitely missing a beat. How could breakfast elsewhere be more peaceful that on this beautiful little lake? It’s hardly surprising that Pelangi is the Malay word for rainbow, and this place is surely the pot of gold.