Pulau Perhentian

Trip Start Feb 18, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  , Terengganu,
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

After our hard work and city life, it was time to take a beach vacation!
We took an overnight van to the small town of Kuala Besut  where we caught a sunrise boat ride to the nearby Perhentian Islands.  We stayed on the smaller of the two, Pulau Perhentian Kecil.
This is where most of the budget-minded people stay, and although the beach was beautiful, we would not stay here again.  The island was lacking any kind of human waste disposal or treatment so it literally stunk like shit.  Even the nicer places had that sharp stench that I fear will be stuck in my nasal passages forever.
What made it bearable was the air conditioning and we kept the windows sealed shut. In our opinion, the rooms were overpriced for this kind of accommodation which had only shared bathrooms available and limited electricity hours.  
Ok maybe it wasn't that bad, because no one else seemed to mind!  Have we been spoiled by our experiences in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines?
It was actually quite a culture shock coming here from the experiences we just had on Penang.  Suddenly surrounded by skin clad Europeans and their shit smells, I found myself missing Muslim life!  I wonder if any of these people realize that it is the beginning of their waiter's holiest month of Ramadhan?  Needless to say we didn't do much socializing.

We only stayed for 3 days and went snorkeling every single day.  THIS is why we came!! We knew there was a good reason! The variety of marine life below the surface is astonishing!  Each day we saw amazing things, some brand new to us and others old friends.

Some notable things we saw:
-School of over 20 humungous bumphead parrot fish (maybe 3 or 4 feet long) with big buck teeth for chomping on coral
-3 large blacktip reef sharks
-3 nudibranchs hiding amongst the coral with black and yellow bumps on their backs
-Several blue-spotted stingray
-Chistmas tree worms
-Countless Crown of Thorns Starfish
-Small group of squid
-So many anenomes in blue, purple, green, yellow, white and even neon pink!) each with their own resident clownfish
-And 3 beautiful green sea turtles

There was also HUGE monitor lizards, that resembles dinosaurs more than lizards, roaming around the surrounding jungles.  Although good at surprising you, they are harmless and usually run in the other direction before you can get your camera out.
It was definitely worth it to come here for the beautiful sunsets and the diverse marine life. Next time we will stay on Besar instead.
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