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 Siam 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 four hour drive ...

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 - filling customs form at Malaysia border

- filling out the customs forms at the Malaysia border office ....

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, who arranged the boat tickets, and also a beachfront bungalow for the first night.
- - looking at a map of the Perhentians in the MP Traveler office .... MP Traveler's 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 ferry Dave 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.
- the map, and the 'official' Lipe site is here if you want a look - there's a bit of stuff on the net about Lipe, but it is still one of the less travelled islands here, and was quite peaceful and quiet overall (but bloody hot in the middle of the day!) - of the many islands I have visited here, this is probably the best, in most ways -
Lipe Island map

- and here we are arriving at Mountain Resort, behind us on the small hill (located pretty much at the very top of the Lipe map above - the 'Karma Bar' is actually just under the white flag on the beach, and the view is straight across to Adang Island) - you can see a longtail unloading people to the right of the pic - this is really one of the best and most beautiful stretches of beach on the whole island, more pics later ....
arriving at Mountain View resort
The one small drawback of the Mountain resort was that it actually was on a small mountain, the steps of which had to be negotiated every time you wanted to get to the beach. Many people liked this, of course, as it was tsunami-proof as well (the locals said the tsunami did not actually have much impact here).
the stairs up to the Mountain resort

- it was quite worth it, though, to get to the top - the bungalows were pretty nice for $20 Cdn (there were pricier ones but they were all full) - here's Ann lining up a picture looking out over the view from the front of the resort -
Ann lining up a picture, bungalows in background

- and here is the view, very beautiful altogether - that's the large Adang Island in the background -
view from Mountain resort

- and the view from the porch of our bungalow, the place was very booked up and we could not get a front row bungalow, but all of them had some sort of sea view, even back in the third row -
view from the bungalow

- and the amazingly beautiful sunset over the Andaman Sea again - many people gathered here each evening to watch -
sunset over the beach

- and after a swim a bit of a relax before eating and turning in - equator area, the sun sets all year long around 6:30 pm, no DST or anything, at least in Thailand - but that was ok, it had been a long day, and we were both tired. sunset over the beach

And that was most of the first day in Koh Lipe -

the other pages in this little tropical island paradise near home photo album are
Day 2, around Koh Lipe
Day 3, the main thing - snorkelling

Other Dave in Thailand stuff:

Wien Tien
PSU AG Fair 2004
Loy Gratong at PSU 2004
Kuching 2004
Luang Prabang page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4
Phnom Penh, Day 1 Arrival, Day 2, the CamTESOL conference,
Day 3, the Killing Fields and S-21, and Days 4-6, touring around a bit

this site is mostly sort of a photo album for some friends and family, but if you have stumbled across it somehow on the net and want to contact me, siamdave at yahoo dot ca should get to me ....