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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Perhentian Islands: Malaysia's Idyllic Paradise

Perhentian Islands is a group of beautiful islands off the northeastern coast of Malaysia. There are two main islands, the Perhentian Besar (Big) and Perhentian Kecil (Small). Kecil is more popular to the thrifty travelers (mostly backpackers) because the rates there are much cheaper and it is where the island parties at.

our second destination

Malaysia Day 6

Before we traveled to Kuala Besut (where the jetty to Perhentian is), Moon's uncle just gave us the name of the resort where we'll be staying which is Coral View Island Resort. Clueless whether it is in Besar or Kecil, we just told the boatmen to just drop us off in that resort.

onboard the speedboat

It was peak-season when we went there. We didn't book an advanced reservation because my travel buddy Moon, said her Uncle knew someone there who can help us with our accommodation. I've done research before this trip so, I know where the cheap places are. In my mind, I was hoping we'll get a space in Perhentian Kecil where it's inexpensive.

it was a rough ride :)

We were getting nervous as we came closer. Almost all of our boat companions have alighted in Long Beach, Kecil. Only 3 groups remained including us. Uh oh, so we're staying in Besar. The word popping up in our head was, costly!

"rocky" view

So we were dropped off in Coral View. We headed to the reception area right away and inquired about our "reserved" room. We just have to give her uncle's friend's name. Did I confuse you with that? Hehe. Well, guess what? Our room was already paid for! What a pleasant surprise! We even got a family suite, so it was a big room. Photos of the room are in this entry:

We felt so blessed because not only it was peak season, rooms in Besar are steeper than in Kecil. That night we decided to look for "Uncle" to thank him but unfortunately, we did not find him. We just did it the next day. After a candlelit dinner, we just strolled by the beach for a while then called it a night.

Malaysia Day 7

We woke up not too early the next morning. We had a very satisfying sleep and it somehow relieved our aching bodies. Our bodies were still a little sore from that jungle trekking in Taman Negara.

Good Morning Perhentian! :)

It was a very pleasant day. Not to hot, just perfect for beach bumming. We went to that same spot we were at during dinner.

the restaurant view

My vegan friend just had a Rice Porridge while I had my French Toast.

vegetarian porridge

I'm glad she understands my love for food haha. Although sometimes I felt a little conscious with what I eat when I was with her, especially meat.

my perfect toast

And then we're off to the gorgeous beach!

Perhentian Island Resort jetty

Wow! It was that beautiful from a far. I couldn't wait to get to that marvelously pristine beach!

Perhentian Island Resort (PIR) shoreline

PIR is 5 to 10 minute walk from the Coral View Island Resort. They have the best shoreline among all the resorts there.

welcome to PIR! :)

Since it has the nicest white sand beach, the rates here are ranging from RM 250-350! No wonder there's WIFI even at the shores. I enjoyed checking out my social media accounts while sunbathing there haha!

water taxi

You wanna go somewhere else? To another island perhaps? No problem, water taxis are readily available at your convenience. Rates varies depending on how far your island destination is. You can also share it with other people to lessen your fares.

a bookworm by the beach :)

We both came to an agreement that we are not going anywhere that day. Meaning, we will just stay there at the beach, sunbathe, swim, read our books, eat, sleep and chill in hammocks. It was a self-declared "lazy day".

the resort from the sea

We super enjoyed just swimming, having fun and just taking pictures hahaha.

two girls having fun

The weather was so nice. The sand was so fine and white. It was a perfect day.

crystal clear waters of Perhentian

When we had enough of swimming, we just spent the rest of the afternoon reading a book in a hammock under the tree. Look who was with us! :)

green lizard in the house!

That was a super relaxing day. We held off our snorkeling trip for the the next day.

my then-toned arms haha!

That night, we finally met "Uncle". He was the one who booked our reservations and paid for it. They were my first Chinese family in Malaysia. :)

my Chinese family in Perhentian :)

We were trying to pay for the room but he won't accept it. Instead, he wanted us to get anything we want from his store! Yay! He was so nice! Too ashamed to refuse, we got ourselves some drinks. He initially thought I'm also a Chinese. Well, I just smiled every time they're conversing in Chinese haha. I remember Filipino hospitality by the way they treated me. It was as if, I was no different from them.

I was so lucky and blessed to have encountered them during my trip. I disprove those people who are saying that traveling solo is boring, difficult and dangerous. It was not! If you have an open mind and a kind heart, you will attract just the same people towards you. :) That is one thing I love about traveling. It makes you realize that there are so many kind people everywhere, no matter how chaotic this world may seem.

This is Part 5-1 of my Peninsular Malaysia travel series.

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