Happy half term! After what has been a very long and exhausting couple of months we have reached the October half term holidays! Alice and I decided to flee our island for another island…or two to be exact. I had seen the Perhentian Islands before I moved here and they looked stunning. It was the crystal clear waters that attracted us due to our rather disgusting, jelly fish infested options in Penang.
How to get to the islands: very straight forward! We marvelled at the fact it took only 3 hours. Fly from Penang or KL to Kota Baru airport (50 mins flight). Get a taxi (1 hour-60rm to 65rm) to the jetty. Numerous taxi options at the airport but use grab for cheapest option. Then get the ferry (70rm return) and 30 mins later you’ll be dropped off at your chosen island destination!
We stayed at Coral Bay on the smaller island at Ombak dive resort. The room was fine, cheap and breakfast included. The fan was pitiful and one night I slept backwards to try and get a fan breeze directly on my face. Basically the room was hot and sand got EVERYWHERE and it smelt funky but it was more than adequate. The staff here have excellent (if not slightly odd) banter which makes a change from much of Malaysia!
We went to the Perhentian Islands to lie down on the beach, but also to snorkel. I’m the world’s greatest sea life fan as many people know and so this place is a DREAM. You can swim off the beach and be in a coral reef chilling with clown fish. The first day that is exactly what we did.
We set off to swim around the corner of Tuna bay (bigger island- get a water taxi easy) because we had been informed by Jeffrey the boat man that this was the best place to see stuff. It was pretty cool.
One sad thing about these islands is the amount of dead coral in the sea. Although this is apparently a “conservation area” I’m not sure this really means much in Malaysia. When you see the boat people flicking cigarettes into the sea you start to feel sceptical. Anyway, we saw lots of cool fish and all was well until I cut my knee open on coral and then freaked out about attracting predators with my blood. This concern combined with the fact it was just Alice and I in the sea and the eeriness of listening to my own breathing in the snorkel was enough to make me swim speedily back to the rocks. On the way I bashed myself several times and then we saw a giant monitor lizard right by us on the rocks. These things are casually around everywhere but I’ve never been sure how dangerous they are. Turns out they can crush human bones so don’t anger them.
That night we watched “The Impossible” at Ombak’s movie night, thought about the tsunami and had an emotional time.
On the second day we went on a snorkelling trip. This was great in many ways. We saw sharks and I had a huge adrenaline rush when I saw them and they move FAST. Too fast to photograph sadly. We saw huge turtles grazing on the bottom of the ocean. We saw a lot of inquisitive and slightly intense fish that just wouldn’t leave me alone. One actually bit me. These photos happened because of their lack of understanding about personal space.
Honestly they were everywhere. Never seen so many fish.
Alice and I are impatient gals and Malaysian people are the slowest people in all the land so we got very frustrated waiting around for everyone else to do stuff so we could move on. The people sharing the boat with us were fearful of the water then took ages to get out and then one man threw up. Next time we will just get Jeffrey to help us.
In the afternoon we went to Romantic Beach which is just basically a strip of white sand and some beautiful clear water.
We took some washed up coral for the memories and set off back to dry land.
The next day we chilled and became the brownest white girls on the Perhentian Islands. We made some cat friends and took some photos of us in a tropical location. We also became the hottest people in the land and possibly over did it on the sun front (I got heat rash all over my arms and had shapes in front of my eyes but it’s all good).
This place is a dream destination. We had no rain, we could afford to be here, it was quiet and it was beautiful. I would go back again and again to discover more of the bays and coral reefs. On the last night we had a lovely sunset too! I don’t know why there’s so many jetties on these islands- the taxi boats don’t even use them they just cruise right up to the beach.
Here are some pictures of cats to round off this post.
What is life without cats? Perhentian islands we ❤ you and all your animals and beautiful water. 🐠🐟🐡 Alice thanks for another great island to island getaway ✌.