Published: December 7th 2010November 29th 2010 Dirk Jan
Spend 'em while you got 'em
Enjoy the island life! Mel
Yes, we enjoyed the island life.
We stayed on Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil. A real backpackers playground, with huts beside the beach to sleep in, cafes, dive shops, snorkling shops and boat taxis to take us to anyplace we wanted, on either island.
The sea around the islands was glassy clear dark and light green, and the water was as warm as a bubblebath with cold bits swirling through it. The fish come right up to the shore, so as soon as you go in the water you can see them.
We went snorkling, because there was a sign at one of the snorkling shops saying snorkling is like sex. Well, there was that sign, but it is not the real reason we went snorkling. The real reason is that Ali
, and Maisondubonheur
a while ago told me we would see some cool stuff under the sea.
It will be a few days before I can send another email. This is the only email place I have so far found in Kota Bharu, but the guy running it is not nice. I don't fancy seeing him again, even though it is nice to be able to send emails to you again. Most people we meet here are nice, but the few that aren't really are horrible and very annoying.
Ramadan did not affect us much, until we got to this more conservative north east corner of Malaysia. Here in Kota Bahru, looking at food with intent to buy and eat during daylight hours, earns one barely concealed looks of disapproval. The jungle bus on the way here stopped, and let us out for a toilet break, and I was told off for drinking water. I continued drinking, because it was steaminly humid, I was very thirsty, and I am not a muslim. Luckily, we found one Ramadan free zone here. It is a Chinese cafe that serves us anything we want, from midday every day. At night we hang out at a McDonalds, because it has a nice terrace with a view of the night market and because Lydia loves 'happy meals'. It has western style toilets which always have footprints on the seats, so looks people here are as adverse to using western toilets as we are to using the squat ones.
On the island, we were allowed to order food during certain times, but not when the generators were off, the cook was praying, or other miselaneous times.
Snorkling was great! We went on a whole day trip with a boat man who took us to lots of different places. We saw turtles, nemo fish, big green and purple fish, yellow fish, schools of black and white fish... Lydia saw sharks. I missed the sharks, because I was concentrating so much on staying beside Lydia, because she was scared of sharks, so I didnt get to look under water enough to spot one.
I was blow torched by the sun, during the snorkling. It hurt so much, that I fainted in the bathroom that night. It was like I was a ragdoll that somebody tried to put standing on its feet. Suddenly my body just went floppy, I felt myself collapsing, and then next thing I knew I woke up lying on a wet floor. Lucky nobody saw me, or they would have issued the usual pour water over the fainting victim thing. After waking, I got up and washed my hands and went back to bed feeling nauseous, and decided that in morning I will look in Lonely planet book, to find out if fainting and nausea are symptoms of sunstroke. Sun burn is almost gone now, but I wasn't able to sit comfortably anywhere for days. Luckily I wore a life jacket durning the snorkling. It didn't save me from drowning, but it did prevent my back getting the same treatment from the sun as my legs and bum did.
On the last night on the island a turtle came onto the beach where we were staying, to lay eggs. It attracted a crowd of photo takers, flashlights, beer drinking observers..., so the marine preservation people came to take it away to a safer spot.
Swinging from the hamock of our hut or sitting in the cafe beside our hut, for any amount of time was as good as a trip to the zoo. We saw 2 feet long monitor lizards, which are safeish but will give you quite a whack with their tails if you get too close, a snake which is apparently harmless but bit the guy in the cafe who chased after and caught it, huge grasshoppers, geckos, jumping spiders of which thankfully only one was big, frogs... Mel
We are in a cute little town in Thailand, called Songkla, beside the sea. I am not sure I spelled the name correctly, but you will see it on a map of South thailand. We were going to stay in Malaysia longer, but somebody in the guesthouse stole all our Malaysian money. Rather than changing more, I took it as a q to leave Malaysia. We had payed for another night at the guesthouse and got our money back. It was enough for the bus ticket to the border.
Thieving in those cheap guesthouses in Malaysia is always a problem, because they always have backpackers who have run out of money, staying in them and Asians who are up to dubious activities to earn a living. You really can't take your attention off your valuabloes at all. I think, the guy who robbed us is somebody who was watching me all morning, waiting for a careless moment, when I would leave my money unattended. I thought, he was just paying that much attention to me because he didn't approve of me and Lydia eating in the guesthouse during Ramadan. If it hadn't been Ramadan, I would think the guys constant focus on me was something to worry about, and it would have scared me too, in case it was not my money he was after. I was getting used to people looking in a weird way when we wanted to eat, so brushed it off as just disapproval. Dirk Jan
Grrr, what a barsteward. Hope he chokes on the meal he buys with. Before or after dark :-p Mel
He looked like he needed the money. And if I am honest, I admit I would not have willingly given him the 60 Euros worth. ;)