Friday, 23 August 2013

Second Slice of Paradise

'I'm lucky this place is beautiful or else I would be very scared right now' I thought to myself just before yelling 'Frick meeeee!' as the speed boat was forced to make a huge jump by the waves. We were on our way to Pulau Perhentian Kecil's Long Beach from P.P Besar and though the water taxi made me hold on to James' hand tightly, I was still in awe to how beautiful the Perhentians Islands were.
James was clearly enjoying the ride more than I was.
Our trip to the islands was probably the most uncomfortable yet. We were suppose to make our way independently there by taking a coach to Kota Bharu, potentially staying a night there before taking a ferry from Kuala Besut. Our hostel offered to get an overnight coach that goes straight to K.Besut but it cost about 30 RM (£6) more. We decided to go for it just for the convenience. Overnight coaches, I think sound ideal because its like being productive in your sleep. You save a nights worth of accommodation cost, save the day time just for sight seeing and the coaches in Malaysia have huge reclining chairs that are super comfortable. Unfortunately, neither of us could sleep well especially because it was SO COLD! I expected a chilly journey. Thailand's overnight trains and the previous coaches of Malaysia are generous with their use of AC so I packed a cardigan and shawl to fight the cold. Alas, it was a painful war and the chill kept waking me up every time my makeshift blanket fell. Imagine how tired and zombie like we were when we arrives at the ferry at 6am waiting for the 7am boat.
Arriving to a scene like this makes any uncomfortable overnight journeys worth it.
However, watching the sunrise out at the sea, with the speed boat tilted up and the sun at the tip, it looked like we were jetting off to the sun. It was a glorious sight to wake us up just before we saw how clear the water was and how lush the islands were. We thought we were in paradise in Langkawi but that was until we saw real paradise in the Perhentians.
Looks so quiet and serene. You wouldn't expect monster sized cockroaches and monitor lizards lurking around the corner.
The islands have pockets of beaches around it separated by rocks. Each beach has its own vibe. We're at Long beach right now, which reminds me of the Thai Island beaches (especially Koh Phi Phi) since it looks like it's aimed for backpackers and younger travellers. I prefer our beach, Taluk Dalam, because it's calmer (more family friendly and full of hammocks). The beaches are thin and lined with resorts and restaurants so it looks more developed than it actually is but there are more isolated beaches like Love beach and Taluk Karma, which we may go and explore.
Love beach!

We've moved to main beach, only because we could book 2 nights at each place. I miss Taluk Dalam because the water is easier to enjoy (main beach has more corals and rocks) but our room with Suhila Palace is much nicer (cleaner bathroom, comfy bed)* and we're walking distance to Love Beach, which is more isolated, calm and beautiful especially with the sight of the giant granite rock falls.

I had a go at snorkelling today... Well, an attempt. Most of you know I can't swim, it's one of the many life skills I lack. Before you ask why I haven't learnt, I did twice. The first time I stopped learning because I remember not having a good time at the pool since I couldn't speak English properly (hence I couldn't make friends) so I got discouraged easily and convinced my mom to stop making me attend as soon as I could. The second time was compulsory with school but as soon as I could swim a metre, the lessons finished. I remembered today why I hated my swimming lessons so much, it's the sensation of floating scares me. I had put on my (sexy) lifejacket and James showed me how to use my snorkel, all ready to peak at the corals and fishes underwater but as soon as I floated and started to move with the sea, I started to freak out. It took me a while to get use to it but I did get there (with James as my life guard) and what I saw was exciting for me (fishies and corals!) so its something I will try again.

The Perhentian Islands is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. The sea is the most beautiful shade of blue I have ever seen, the landscape is excitingly dramatic and there is much natural wildlife around (we could see schools of fishes jumping while we relaxed on the beach). Of all the beaches I've been to, the Perhentians have some of my favourites.

*James preferred our second place because of his two day battle with a cockroach in our Flora Bay accommodation as well as the fact that one of the staff of Suhila Palace had a crush on him.

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