Saturday, May 28, 2005


Arriving at Kuala Besut I was besieged by people trying to sell me tickets to the islands. Well maybe not besieged, but this was the first time in Malaysia I'd seen people actively trying to sell me something. I got a ticket and left my bike in the travel agents, after whipping off the front tyre and padlocking it up to stop somebody riding off in to the sunset with my bike!

After whizzing along in a speedboat, the last 20m you transfer to a small water taxi who takes you onto the beach. I found somewhere to stay and settled in. The next day I checked the footy and Rangers had somehow won the league! I celebrated with a few beers and probably bored the ears off some English guy about how they had snatched the league in the last few minutes :)

Nice white sandy beach and clear water in the Perhentians, with the ubiqutous sunshades slowly engulfing the beach, as opposed to the traditional palm tree shade. In the morning it is quiet.

I decided to go on the snorkelling trip but could never get up early enough for it, after spending half the night trying to swat a moquito who had found his way inside my net. Eventually on my last day there I managed to rise at 10:00 ready for the trip. We jumped in the boat and zoomed off to the first spot and I slinked into the water with mask, snorkel, fins & lifejacket. A few bits of bread had been thrown in and there were fish everywhere! Occasionaly having a nibble of people. After a while it was back on the boat and off to another place. A couple of people spotted sharks, but the rest of us missed it. Oh well, at the next spot we saw a giant turtle munching away on the ocean floor. It looked massive! We stopped off for lunch at a fishing village and then a couple more snorkeling spots afterwards. Really glad I managed to get out of bed to do it, it was excellent. The visibility seemed excellent with the water very clear. You could see a long distance away, but the optics underwater are weird. When you extend your hand away it still looks big and close, like you have large stumpy arms! Also saw a baracuda? with it's long snout jaw open being cleaned by another fish, some sea-cucumber on the floor as well as many unknown colorful fish and a huge variety of corals. Also interesting was a large shoal of small fish glinting in the light, as you swam towards them they parted and then regrouped, never allowing you to get that close.

Heading off on the bike again tomorrow, I've heard it's a nice ride along the beach most of the way to Kota Bharu so looking forward to that, if I can find the right road.

-- postscript

Change of plans, got a dose of the flu or something, people on the islands were sniffling away. Thanks! Spent a few days in Kuala Besut sleeping, which is about as exciting as Kuala Besut gets, being merely a stop-off point to the islands. Oh well, though I did watch people fishing (they caught nothing) and people flying kites!

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