Perhentian's- the best snorkelling ever
Trip Start Feb 28, 2010
30Trip End Jan 28, 2011
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It’s been a while everyone, we’ve been mad busy since we arrived in Australia so we’ve struggled to get any blogs done. We’ve not long bought a laptop in Perth a couple of weeks ago and it’s so much easier to get them out now- we‘ll be back on track soon. I’m writing this from a bench outside in the sunshine and we’re actually sitting a few metres away from the beach at Monkey Mia (where we now work) with a load of dolphins swimming and playing right in front of us in the shallow, clear water……….as far as working environments’ go it’s not bad at all.
The Perhentian Islands wins the prize hands down for the most under-developed, idyllic and stunning island we’ve been so far
After a VIP overnight coach journey (Laura mentions on the Panang blog) from West to East Coast Malaysia we still had 2 boats to catch until we reached the Islands. We had to wait a couple of hours for the pier to open (we arrived around 6AM in the morning), when it opened we jumped on a speedboat that got us by the island in less than an hour. The next short journey was to take us directly to the beach because the water was so shallow. We jumped off the speedboat into a smaller ‘long tail’ boat and headed to shore, all the time looking down, mesmerized by how clear the water was and the fish we could see swimming underneath us.
We arrived on the beach with backpacks in tow and for a change we hadn’t actually done much research about the place and where to stay. The first set of huts we arrived at were really basic but really expensive at the same time, it worked out over 25 quid a night (there’s no pound sign on the laptop by the way only a dollar sign!) and that was too much for our 20 quid a night budget we had set for the for Asia. This is probably next to nothing for most people but when you’re backpacking and in your last couple of weeks of the Asian leg of the trip it is, plus we could get a great 3-4 star room in Vietnam for 10 quid a night and hated being ripped off
We spent four full days on the Island and most of the time looked for anything to do but go back the room, the good thing was that the beach itself was as good at is gets. The water was a perfect temperature and we got some quality time in with the old bat and ball on the beach.
The stand out day of the trip (and probably the only thing we did during the day other than lazing around on the beach and swimming in the sea) was our snorkeling trip. Now, traveling round SE Asia for the last 4 months has meant we’ve probably snorkeled more times than Laura’s moaned about the heat out here (and when we got to Perth it was too cold then as well ha ha!) but this trip was in a different league. The trip itself was really basic, literally just a small boat, snorkeling gear and a driver dropping you off at various well known snorkeling spots around the Islands
The biggest sharks in the area were the Black Tip Reef Sharks, these are fierce looking things which can grow to around 10 feet. When we stopped at one spot by the edge of a cliff face the driver told us that the sharks usually hunt around this area but they are harmless as long as you leave them alone and don’t pester them, apparently they are really well fed with the amount of fish living in the warm water around the islands. Me and Laura and the rest of the group set off to look for some, at first we found some sting rays and tonnes of other fish that I can’t remember the names off but no sharks. After about half an hour we both got back on the boat, a few other people said they had spotted the sharks but not close up………….the driver offered us one more 5 minute opportunity to get back in the water
Our evenings on the Perhentians were usually a pretty chilled out affair, beer was really expensive so we often followed up a few cheeky beers with a bottle of the old classic Captain Stanley Morgan’s (a blatant copy like most things we found cheap in Malaysia). We enjoyed the night time there though, all the bars were on the beach and one even had a big screen to watch the World Cup………what a waste of time it was watching the England matches at 2AM in the morning though, role on the start of the season and Blackburn on August 16th (my birthday well by the way!). Getting back to our port-a-cabin over a hill in the pitch black was a bit of a nightmare, the only electricity on the island is by generators so it’s pitch black when you’re out in the open which is great when you’re chilling on the beach with the stars but staggering back at 1AM with a torch and these huge monitor lizards everywhere (which are also apparently harmless but look like some kind of dinosaur from the stone age), not to mention the snakes is not the best fun.
Anyway, hopefully we’ll be up to date with the blogs soon and can get some great photos up of me and Laura walking round with housekeeping trolleys in our uniforms, there’s plenty of rooms and toilets to clean over the next couple of months (we can’t wait) but in-between we’ll try and get the blogs done for Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore (which was our last stop before Oz). We hope everyone is keeping well in the England, it’s looks like we’ll be away for the full year now so we’ll be catching up with you all in 2011. Cheers.