Dave in Thailand
Perhentian Islands, Malaysia, March 25-28 2009

southeast asia siam reap to kuala lumpur
I went to another TESOL meeting in Phnom Penh this year, and afterwards we spent a few days in Siam Reap and Angkor Wat (if I ever get around to sorting through the hundreds of pics and doing an Angkor page, I'll let you know ...).




Returning from Siem Reap to Hat Yai via Kuala Lumpur and Penang, more or less along the dotted line on the map here ...
perhentian islands as seen from a plane

... I spotted, from my Air Asia window seat, at ~30,000 ft, this very interesting looking group of islands somewhere, as near as I could figure, off the northeast coast of Malaysia (there were a few more islands, but I can't find a satellite pic of the whole area for nothing...). After we got back, it didn't take a lot of hunting around the net to identify them as a place called the Perhentian Islands, which I had never heard of before.


map of Malaysia, showing Perhentians

- and getting a closer view - Hat Yai is about where the 'a' is in Perlia up in the top left there, not too far from the Perhentians, about a three hour minivan drive to the border, a 90-minute taxi to the small town where the boat leaves from, and a 30-minute boat ride ... (the map, obviously, has been created by the TunaBay Resort, which is more or less beside Abdul's, where we will eventually get to..)

A bit of reading around convinced me the place had some good possibilities, so being as it was time for my yearly birthday trip to some new snorkelling place, and I had no plans yet, I decided to give the Perhentians a try this year.

Getting There ....

in front of minivan at Hat Yai bus station
Leaving from the Hat Yai bus station - 7 AM



filling customs form at Malaysia border



- filling out the customs forms at the Malaysia
border office a few hours later ....

Ann on the bridge across the Sungai Kolok River to Malaysia

- Ann on the bridge that crosses the Sungai Kolok River that separates Thailand and Malaysia here -

getting into the taxi to head for the Perhentians


- and the taxi that would take us from the border to the small town the Perhentian ferries left from called Kuala Besut ....

talking to the tour shop operator at Kuala Besut

The taxi dropped us off right at the dock where the ferry leaves from, and just inside we found this travel agent at a travel shop called MD Traveler, who arranged the boat tickets, and also a beachfront bungalow for the first night.
MP Traveler's office

- - looking at a map of the Perhentians in the MP traveler office ....


MP Traveler's office

- and talking to the owner a few minutes later, making sure we were going to get on the boat, which was the last one of the day (the trip took a bit longer than I expected, and I also forgot to consider that Malaysia is an hour ahead of Thailand timewise, and it was getting on to four o'clock, and the boat we were waiting for was the last of the day so I really didn't want to miss it ...)

- well, we got on the boat ok, quite a small one, really, considering we were planning on going across 15 miles or so of ocean .... Ann getting on the Perhentian ferryDave on the boat

Ann on the boat Dave and Ann on the boat - but we made it ok, obviously, although it was a bit bumpy - a couple of very large motors pushing a lightly loaded boat over choppy water
- and about a half hour later we were looking at Mama's Holiday Resort first view of Mama's
- and here I am a few minutes later checking in - the kid was fascinated with me for some reason, just staring with big eyes as I walked up the beach - I expect it was the beard, which seems to attract a lot of attention from many kids - checking in at Mama's
- and this was the bungalow - the beach bungalow at Mama's
excellent bbq fish - after we checked in we went for a swim / snorkel around Coral Point - it was late and I wanted to do this before it got dark, and we never thought of taking the camera or getting pics, and we moved the next day - and then we were both quite hungry and had this quite excellent BBQ fish - remains of fish

- and that was about the end of a long day, and we walked back along the beach to the bungalow, looking forward to tomorrow.