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Published: March 14th 2015
Pulau Rawa I
We left Kuala Lipis early on Wednesday morning and had a more than six hour drive in front of us. The road first took us through rain forest, afterwards we passed huge palm oil plantations. Finally we arrived at the coast just north of Pekan and drove south along the coastline all the way to Kampung Penyabong, a very small village just 30 kilometres north of Mersing. Mersing is the town that most ferries to the islands in the southeast of Malaysia depart from. However, we knew we would arrive in Mersing too late to catch a ferry, so we had decided to book a room on the mainland for one night. We did not want to stay in Mersing, but preferred a more quiet place with a beach, that’s why we booked a room at Endau Beach Resort, at the tip of a small peninsula. However, it turned out that the beach was small and dirty and not nice at all. Our room was alright, but the receptionist there was the most unfriendly guy I have met in a long time. Well, we dropped off our luggage and headed off for Mersing, hoping we would find a nicer beach there
Pulau Rawa II
... of course with deck chairs and hammocks.
and maybe a good restaurant to eat. We had not had breakfast or lunch that day and had only lived on nuts so far.
In Mersing we had a coffee at the beach promenade with a nice view of the sea. However, the beach itself looked pretty bad. It was wide with white sand and palm trees in the background. However, it was full of litter and the water was more the colour of brown than any other colour, and nothing in the world would have made me swim there. So we ended up sunbathing a little bit in a remote spot where nobody would see us in our bikinis (we were in Malaysia, a Muslim country where many women wear scarves), where we could lie on rocks and where there was not quite as much litter. Then we had dinner in a restaurant not far from the shore and went back to our hotel for another early night.
One nice thing about our hotel was that it had a pool. So before heading off for Mersing we went for a nice morning swim. We had breakfast in Mersing in the same place where we had had dinner
Pulau Rawa III
Boardwalk along the cliffs.
the night before – the food was good and people there were very nice. At noon our boat for Pulau Rawa departed. Half an hour later we arrived in a little paradise. Clear blue water breaking on a flat white beach that was edged by palm trees. The island itself consisted of two hills that were overgrown with rain forest. There were small bungalows and one big open dining and reception area. There was also a big water slide attached to the jetty!
We went for a little walk before having lunch with the view of the ocean. The food was very nice. It was a buffet lunch, but knowing that we were vegetarian the chef had cooked some special pasta and veggies exclusively for us. There were only few other tourists on the island, so the staff had enough time to attend to us and we also got to talk to them and made friends quickly. Our afternoon we spent swimming, floating in the water, trying out the water slide, and walking around the island. We even climbed a rocky path to the hilltop, in flip flops and sandals – far from ideal, but we did not break
Pulau Rawa IV
our legs. The vice-boss even took us for a ride in his golf cart and showed us some of the flasher bungalows. At the end of the day we watched a wonderful sunset from the beach. Within no time it was dinner time and we had excellent food again and nice wine. Plus a fresh coconut!
The next morning we got up early to watch a beautiful sunrise. There was a tree that was completely occupied by bats. They started returning one by one while it was getting light, until the tree was fully occupied by them. It was nice to watch the sunrise from different spots of the island. After breakfast we did some more walking, swimming, and sunbathing (and had another fresh coconut), and then it was lunchtime and afterwards we had to catch the boat back to the mainland. What can I say? We did not do too much. But it was just awesome to enjoy the peace and quiet on the island, the beautiful beach, the wonderful water, the surf and its sound, the food, the friendliness of the staff, and just life in general!
Once we were back on the mainland we drove
Pulau Rawa V
View from the hilltop view point.
back to Johor Bahru and went through the stress and hectic of interacting with the (definitely friendly, but chaotic and hectic) rental car lady again. I needed to insist on getting my deposit back, about which she seemed to have forgotten. We were glad once she dropped us off at the border. Getting back into Singapore took some time since there was a lot of traffic on the causeway. But then everything went quickly. We even had time to have a nice dinner in the restaurant we had had dinner when Christiane had first arrived in Singapore, particularly nice because this was her last evening.
We were both really happy with our journey. We had seen and experienced so much that it felt as if we had been away for several instead of for just one week. We had seen different areas of southwest Malaysia: a city, highlands and jungle, and beaches. We had met a lot of super friendly people. All in all I have to say: I always enjoy going to Malaysia!
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