The Perhentians - little paradise

Trip Start Feb 18, 2011
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Trip End Feb 17, 2012


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What I did
Diving ans snorkling with Alu Alu Divers

Flag of Malaysia  , Terengganu,
Friday, August 12, 2011

To be honest: Before we arrived in Malaysia, we haven't even heard of the Perhentians. But wherever we asked about a good spot for diving, the people recommended the Perhentian Islands.
So we decided to spend some time there and booked a 7 + 1 free night accommodation package at the Bayu-DiveLodge, located in the middle of flora bay on the bigger of the two Islands.
The long ride in the overnight-bus and an additional bumpy hour on the speedboat were totally worth the crystal clear blue waters and beautiful white sandy-beaches we saw once we arrived.

We both did our last dives in 2007 in Australia. Although our licenses are valid for life, it is recommended and at some places even a requirement to take refresher-classes after a break from diving longer than 6 months. So we started with our Dutch dive master Andy with a review of skills in a shallow area of the bay.
Everything was coming back to memory quite quickly, so we could move on to the first real dive site, the "shark point".
As the name suggests, there are quite some sharks around – but only the cute little reef versions – so not a danger at all… unless you are a little fish in the reef of course.
During the dive we spotted just one, which then swam out of sight, but the next day when we explored the little reef only via snorkeling, they were less afraid/bothered by us and soon several about 75cm big reef-sharks were swimming around us.
Of course there was much more fish in the sea and we could see Clownfish (Nemos), Parrotfish, sea urchins, crabs and also a range of different corals.
 
Sadly in some areas of the reef most corals are already bleached (dead) and with them also most of the animals and other plants disappeared.
This happened just recently, although the Perhentian Islands are not really touristic – if you compare them to most other islands in south east asia, and there was also virtually no garbage around, everything is kept really clean, energy saving is a big thing,...
This puts it more in the bigger picture of climate change and pollution of the seas.

In the evening another result of our snorkeling-day showed up – we got both pretty severe sunburns which took us out of the game for the next couple of days. We spent those with some more dry activities like trekking, sunbathing and kayaking until we dared to take one last day in the water where we discovered a Pufferfish, a yellow Boxfish, some moray eels, Sergeantfish and even one octopus =)

The evenings were also pretty nice, when some small restaurants along the beach open up and serve yummy meals to your table on the sand, the moonlight is reflecting in the calm water of the bay and a mild breeze is blowing through the coconut-palmtrees.

We really enjoyed the time at flora bay despite our little sunburn-mishap and hope it will keep its charm and small size forever. (So don’t tell anybody! ;) )

Next: Kota Bahru
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