Pulau Perhentian Travel Blog› entry 9 of 10 › view all entries
After the absolute shortest flight of my life, i finally arrived in Khota Bharu on the way to the Perhentian Islands. Not sleeping the night before was excellent, as soon as i boarded the plane I sat down, when it was allowed, i turned on my ipod, dozed off and woke up what felt like minutes later as we were landing.
I shared a cab with some others (75 ringett all up!!!) to Kuala Besut where I was meeting Gordon at the ferry terminal. He had caught the overnight bus from KL (I had bought a cheap airasia flight during a sale), where he had been waiting since about 5am. Just in time we caught the 10:30am speed boat across to the islands. (Cost 70RM return). After a very bumpy ride on the speed boat (luckily staying dry) we arrived in paradise!
Crystal clear water, white sand and a clear blue sky was the setting of the next few days. However, nothing can be perfect, and we soon realised there was a price to pay for paradise... a price that comes in the form of hand sized big fanged spiders hovering in their webs above in the trees, 5 foot moniter lizards roaming the ground, big monster flying beetles and golden ants.... yes, i swear they were golden, although only saw one and Gordon beleives I was on some sort of trip when i saw it...
Having said this though, i must admit that the spiders stayed in their webs (well the big juicy black ones did anyway, cant say much about the others that set up camp in our bungalow!) and the lizards were a lot more scared of us than we were of them!
After getting off the boat we sat down for a drink and spoke to a girl who had been staying at Long Beach Chalets, so we walked up the bush path to check it out. Didnt get a very good vibe from this place, the man working wasnt very friendly, and the path was very overgrown, all I could think about was having to venture through here in the pitch black dark with no idea what so ever as to what would be lurking in the long grasses! We saw a sign for Bintang View Chalet on our way, so after checking out longbeach, we headed there. Luckily it was much nicer and friendlier and we got the last available room. Was RM60 for a double bungalow in the bush.
Didnt do much this day, just went to the beach to start work on our tans, had some food, paid RM35 for 2 drinks then went to bed (after our customary spider check- which entailed torches, headlamps and singing 'love shack' but replacing the words with "spider shack"). Once the coast was clear, it was time for some shut eye.
Weds 24th June
The night before there was a big thunder/lightning storm with lots of rain, so we were relieved to wake up in the morning with the sun shining again!
Bumped into Fiona and Chris who I met in the Singapore hostel who happened to be staying at Bintang view too (we were right next to the toilets/showers, so was easy to bump into them!).
Had a lazy day down on the beach, getting ready for a few drinks that night. We had discovered that you could actually buy bottles of vodka/local rum for the same price as two mixed drinks from panorama, the main bar on the island. So we got two bottles and had some drinks at the chalet restaurant, followed by some cards at the room. Well on our way we headed back to Panorama where we found Fiona and Chris. This is where my misfortune begins... Fiona and I needed to pee, couldnt find the toilets so decided to squat in the bushes by the beach. On the way there i triped over on the dance floor and got a big graze/cut on my leg. This was ok though, laughed it off, then got caught squatting by some locals. Still all fun and games and the drinks kept flowing, then the bar got shut down by the police as they had no alcohol license. We headed back to our bungalow and while digging around in my bag looking for my torch, I managed to trip over a wooden table that was built into the sand on the beach. MORE cuts and grazes up both legs and a lot of pain... But thats not the end, i then tripped a THIRD time walking up the path to the chalet. Three trips in one night, and I wasnt even THAT intoxicated, must be a record! Needless to say, the next morning I woke up in a bit of pain and some very pretty grazed legs. (A few days later and they have now turned into beautiful scabs, and people keep thinking i've been in a motorcycle accident... if only my story was that cool!).
Thurs 25th June
Chill day recovering, on the beach.
Fri 26th June
Today was what I had been looking forward to for such a long time, and one of the main reasons I splurged out and bought an underwater camera! We went on a snorkeling trip. Wasn't bad, RM40 for about 5 different locations from 10:30 till 4:30. Before we headed off I made sure my camera was clear from any dirt as to not prevent the waterproof seals from working, and I coated my back with 30+ 8hours water resistant sunscreen- All set to go!!
The water was so lovely and warm an clear. Lots of fishies were around and I got snapping away with my camera. *Que the music that plays when something bad is about to happen*
After 20mins in the water, the screen on my camera went black... hmmm odd i thought, but was sre it would return once turning it on and off... nope, now it wont even turn on! Looks like this 10mt waterproof camera wasnt so waterproof as it suggested... and I was no lower than 30cms from the top too, so it couldnt even handle that!! Pretty bummed about that I headed back to the boat, still with hope that maybe it would start working again. No such luck. Ohh well, I put the camera aside and didnt let it bother me for the rest of the day. The next stop however, after the broken camera, we saw turtles!!! The main thing I wanted to see, if only the camera had've held out that long!
Other things we saw were reef sharks, and lots of colourful fish of all different sizes. The last stop was a beautiful beach and an AWESOME snorkel spot!! The water was the clearest here, and also the calmest- you could unfog your snorkels without getting a huge mouthful of water from the waves. There was a nice little beach that the boat waited for us on, and once we had finished our snorkel time, we boarded the boat bound for home. An hour later, we were still at the beach... the boat wouldnt start!! Not that we complained, if you were going to be stranded anywhere, this was certainly one of the most beautiful spots for it to happen! Our boatman (who looked like a 16yr old boy) called for bck up and with some adjustments the boat was back in action and away we went.
Back at the chalet I started to feel a little burnt, I had a cool shower, put some cream on it and thought nothing more of it. As time ticked on, it got worse and worse, and when I had a look, the whole back side of my body was a burning fire red, the brightest I had seen in comparison to the whiteness of the bit of my back covered by my bathers. If I was to stand naked it looked like i was wearing little white shorts and a white singlet top, the outline was to a tee.
It then got to the stage where I couldnt sit down, couldnt do much at all apart from lie on my stomach. Poor gordon had the job of having to spray me with after sun every half hour or so when I started whinging. Terrible nights sleep that night!