Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Island Time

After more than a week in Southeast Asia we've finally hit the beach! Following our blitz tour of Kuala Lumpur we took an overnight bus to the Northeastern coast of Malaysia. The bus ride itself was fine as it was air-conditioned (a little too well in fact) but we noticed a definite difference on the east coast. For one, it's much poorer and rural. KL was super built-up, and although chaotic, relatively modern. And Melaka was also quite modern.

Second, the muslim influence is much more pronounced on this side. The scenery is mostly disheveled houses surrounded by beautiful Mosques. Here's a fancy Mosque we snapped a picture of from our bus window:

After the overnight bus we boarded another bus to take us a few hours north, and then a local bus to the small port town of Kuala Besut and finally a boat out to the Perhentian Islands. Overall it was a journey of over 13 hours. The Prehentian Islands are two islands, called Perhentian Kecil and Perehentian Besar (Small and Large). Since it's sort of off-season we decided to stay at the more built up of the two islands since we didn't know how much was open yet. During the monsoon season (roughly November to February) the islands pretty much shut down. However, because it's the off-season we scored an awesome bungalow with our own bathroom and air-conditioning for 50 ringgits a night (less than $15 US). We love SE Asia!

And our first two days were beautiful weather, today being the only day with a little rain. It's super humid and hot, but we can escape to our room if we need to cool down or we've been swimming in the ocean. There's one main beach on the island, called Long Beach (a short walk through the jungle) where we spent a good chunk of yesterday, lying out and swimming. We even built a little sun shelter with Jaimee's sarong she got in New Zealand:

It's very relaxing here. We plan on taking a snorkeling trip tomorrow and then maybe leaving the day after that. There isn't a ton to do here, other than drink fruit juices, eat yummy food and swim in the ocean. In other words, it's pretty awesome!

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