Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

21 05 2009

Selamat Detang
May 18th, 2009 – May 21, 2009

Selamat Detang means ‘Welcome’ in the Malaysian!!

Getting to the Perhentian Islands was no easy task let me tell you!!! First we had to fly into Kuala Lumpur… then take another flight to Kota Bharu. From there we took a one hour taxi ride to Kuala Bessut, and then we had to take a ‘fast’ boat'(which was quite a nauseating and semi-traumatic experience) to the Perhentian Islands. Our day started at 6:00am and we finally got to the Islands at 5:00pm!!!

Everything that we were told about the Islands was true… it really is paradise here! The water is by far the most crystal clear emerald green water I have ever seen! If you look far into the sea, it slowly changes to a light and then a sapphire blue.

The Perhentian Islands consists of two Islands within the Island. Besar, which means ‘Big’ Island is on one side and then ‘Kecil’ which is the smaller Island. One side of Kecil is called ‘Coral Bay’ which is the rocky, coraly side of the beach… good for snorkeling. Long Beach is on the other side of Kecil which is just pure sand and water… good for just relaxing and hanging out in the water or catching up on a good book while tanning. We were staying at the ‘Shari-La’ which is on the Coral Bay side… though we did end up spending most of our time on the Long Beach side. Both sides are nice, but if you are going to venture out to these Islands, which I strongly recommend… I would suggest staying on the Long Beach side – it’s just a little more inviting. And then you can always take the 8 minute trek through the woods to Coral Bay if you decide to snorkel!

When we first got to our Chalet, we were in for quite the treat. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that Zaileen and I have put the backpacking lifestyle behind us and are sadly pure city girls… through and through! So when we were greeted by a little lizard crawling on the floor as we entered our room… we were slightly less than pleased! Fortunately we had bought a massive bottle of ‘Raid’ just before we came here, so we were able to get rid of it before it ate us!! I won’t go on and on and on about the ‘toilet in the shower’ fiasco that we had to experience again… but lets just say that we spent most of our time outside of our room!!!

There wasn’t much adventure at the Islands… these few days have been all about relaxing and soaking in the sun. We spent an entire day in the ocean and on the beach… most amazing day ever!!! Because we were at long beach all day, by the time we were actually ready to go to back to our chalet on the Coral side, it was too dark to walk back so we had to take the night ‘water taxi.’ This entailed sitting in a little boat and sailing into pitch dark, enduring the incredibly bumpy ride while our boat driver steered us for the next 15 minutes to the other side. I think this is one experience that all four of us will probably remember forever as a highlight of this trip!

The Perhentian Islands is definitely the place to be if you want to experience true ‘Island Living’… taking long walks on the beach, having fresh seafood meals everyday, meeting random people who just decided to pick up and move to the Islands on a whim because they realized how awesome it is, spending countless hours in the water… getting completely burnt to a crisp because of it… but loving every second of it!!!! If this is your idea of a vacation (minus getting burnt of course) try to fit this place into your schedule when planning a trip to this side of the world.

Oh one last thing… we finally got to have some ‘Roti Canai’!!! A must if you ever travel to Malaysia! It’s one of the dishes this country is known for…. warm roti with a choice of a number of different fillings… they even had snickers with banana!! Sooooooooooooooo yummy!!!!