Paradise beach

Trip Start Dec 28, 2006
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Trip End Dec 2007


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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, August 19, 2007

All went well with our journey to the east coast of Malaysia.  We had a bit of a problem getting money in the Cameron Highlands and our cards wouldn't work in any of the machines before we left for the ATM free island.  We always have a hidden emergency stash of $300 US but we couldn't find anywhere to change it.  Lucky enough we managed to persuade the bus driver to stop at a bank (open on Sundays over here) and wait for about 20mins (can you see Ulster Bus doing this?) whilst we joined the large queue to get our money changed.  Money belts full again we set off just stopping for a lovely lunch (they do a mean sweet and sour fish here) and then took the fast boat to Perhentian Besar.  It was an exciting and bumpy crossing and pretty cool as when we were almost there we had to change to a tiny boat so we could land on the beach in front of our bungalow then wade out with our rucksacks across the water.  It was a pretty cool way to arrive.

We stayed in Mama's Place which is lovely and we got a cute wee beach hut with a fan and a veranda.   It's right on the beach which has fine powdery white sand and lots of coral to explore just a short swim from the shore.  The owner is great and helped us plan everything we needed including our onward travel.  On the first day we decided to invest in some snorkeling gear as for the next while we'll probably spend as much time in the water as out of it!  Perhentian Besar is a pretty special wee place with all accommodation and restaurants in hut style along the beach and it's not at all over-developed or crowded even though this is peak season and everywhere is sold out.  This is a place to go to get all happy and excited about traveling again!

The days were mostly spent doing the following few activities:
- snorkeling
- lounging at beach front restaurants
- lounging on the beach
- lounging on the beach while reading
- swimming
- snorkeling some more
- going for romantic moon-lit walks along the beach under the stars
- lounging under the stars with an ice cold tiger beer (tonyandsara_rtw was brought to you today by Tiger beer)

It's amazing how quickly the days go by when you are busy.
 
Only regret is we don't have an underwater camera and we just hope we remember all the wonderful sights we saw under the waves.  The coral is beautiful, all weird shapes and bright colours.  We saw giant clams with their brightly coloured, wiggly lips and some coral that looked like something out of a messed up horror movie haha  And the fish were mental!  Not only all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns (there were ones that looked like swimming coral) but there were some with weird behavior like always swimming together in pairs or constantly jumping out of the water and flashing in the sun or long thin fish that swim just below the surface only you can't see then until you are under the water.  T even saw a shark!  But strangely enough it wasn't the sharks that gave us trouble.  There were small stripy fish that always liked to school around us (we thought they were friendly and curious) until we found out that they were hanging about to get a bite out of T's leg where he had cut it on some bamboo in the jungle.  And the wee buggers hurt!  They drew blood at one stage so after that it was war.

But we survived the underwater attacks and also saw lots of wonderful wildlife on the island.  The garden where our bungalow was was constantly visited by monitor lizards, cute wee monkeys, squirrel-like creatures, bats, geckos (your best friend against flies and mozzies) and even a few crabs.

It is such a lovely island and we had a great time here exploring on the beaches and in the water.  It was our favourite place in Malaysia and everyone would have a good time here.  Although we took a bit of a dislike to Malaysian cities the country areas are lovely.  We were going to visit a few other places in Malaysia but we're practically on the Thai border now and we just think it's time to head on to Thailand.  We are getting very blase about this whole traveling lark and we're heading off without booking anything so hopefully it'll all work out.  Well next stop is another island paradise, this time it's in Thailand, Koh Samui...
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Comments

skry
skry on

Nice island
Malaysia looks like a great place to visit if you like weird creatures. Pity that the school of fish tried to eat you Tony!

I got my visa application for New Zealand accepted the other day, so now we just have to do up the house and put it on the market while we head off on our honeymoon. Hopefully by the time we get back we'll have sold it, although actually getting anything done around here as the house is small and crammed with our stuff in every room. Painting is a long and labourious process when you need to empty most of a room to paint it and the other rooms are already full...

Still our big RTW trip seems to be closer and more real than ever before, so I'm getting well excited about it. Not sure when we're leaving but Phil, Lou and DOn have all booked flights for mid-October - we'll definitely be later than that but we're aiming for mid-November.

Anyway I'll let you get on. Have fun and stay out of trouble with those fish young man!

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