Dave in Thailand
Perhentian Islands, Malaysia, March 25-28 2009
Day 2 - Finding Abdul's

The next morning we thought we'd take a walk down and see what the bungalows and beach and whatever south of us looked like, as well as just seeing what was there - you rarely get the full scoop from reading, and also Mama's was not all we wanted - top price, but mid-level quality in various ways - the beach was not actually accessible from the front, as there was a drop of about 3 feet that you had to go around or negotiate the rock-filled wire frame (not fun with bare feet), and the coral along here was pretty minimal as I noted before - and in the bungalow itself, the bathroom was not very good, and there was no little fridge in the room for my beer (I had brought along a few cans, as I had read (and found to be true) that although some of the restaurants / minimart places here sold beer (and some didn't, Malaysia in general being a Muslim society), it was VERY expensive, and it was - basically 3-4 times what you would pay in Thailand for a can of beer at a place outside your home). At the end of a day walking around or snorkelling or whatever, I like to sit on my bungalow porch and look at the sea or whatever and have a can or two of cold beer whilst pondering the day's activities and findings, and the state of the universe or whatever, before eating and calling it a day. I like a little fridge in my beachside bungalow, esp for the price we were paying here.

map of Perhentians, showing bungalow locations So, re-orientation first - we're at Mama's on the mid-lower west of the big island - it looks like a lot of bungalows on the two islands, but really, when you're there, it is very uncrowded and quiet. I like to explore places on foot when I get there, to get the lay of the land, see what is happening that is not talked about on the net or guidebooks, or visible on maps. Since we had already seen the area north of Mama's when we got there the day before, to the Coral Bay - Perhentian Island Resort Beach, I thought, this first morning, we would see what the rest of this beach to the south of us looked like. You can see a bit of space between Mama's and Cocohut on the map, and it is a small sort of rocky point separating the two, with a a path of some sort at the southern end of the Mama's beach joining the two beaches, and after some breakfast at the Mama restaurant, we headed out on our first adventure.
- and here we go ....

looking across to the small island from the old cement deck Dave and Ann on the old cement deck
It's not quite as easy as it looks (things rarely are, my somewhat cynical old mind can attest from much experience...) - there's a small hill to be negotiated between the beach we were on and the one beside it, kind of around the little point between Mama's and Cocohut in the map. It's a bit longer than it looks on the map - maybe not that long if a crow was flying, but it's a ways uphill over a not very well maintained track, mostly following a water pipe 'trail', and then downhill again, and takes about 20-30 minutes or so - but eventually you get to a small cement patio overlooking the strait between the two islands, a place apparently not used much anymore, but with quite a beautiful view and atmosphere - you can only think of how amazingly lucky someone was a few years ago to have this place before the islands became known, even in the limited way they seem to be now, to tourists ...

the old lookout Dave and Ann on the old lookout just before Cocohut
- and here are the stairs coming down to the 'government wharf' beach from the little cement lookout, as I suppose we could call it,or maybe the Marine Park Wharf, considering that this is the beach where the marine park wharf is we will be seeing in a couple of minutes - a couple of quite nice bungalow operations along here, but not many, only 4-5 altogether - a very large, but quite quiet, in general, beach - very idealistic, really - I would be thinking many times how lucky the people who lived here were -
the stairs coming down from the old lookout
We walked down past the Cocohut bungalows that lined this part of the beach - pretty nice resort - and in a few minutes we went around the small point and onto what I consider now to be one of the best beaches for snorkellers in this part of the world. This pic looks back along it, if you go around that corner you will see something like the last pic of the stairs - this one is taken from the government or marine park dock in the next picture - or maybe this could be the 'TunaBay Resort' beach, as this is the main (somewhat pricy, but nice enough) resort that lies behind most of it (the beachfront bungalows look very nice) -
the tuna bay resort beach
the marine park wharf, from the sea side
- in the beach picture, you can see a lot of dark looking stuff under the water - this is the coral, and it is mostly good coral, a good variety, very colorful, lots of fish and interesting things - a snorkeller's dream, really, this close to shore, and this good - here are a couple of more pictures from the dock - Ann walking down the dock, me down a bit closer to the water at a boat-loading place - I think we were both thinking we had maybe found something special, and were happy -
dave on the marine park dock ann on the marine park dock
- and a couple more pictures of the view from the dock - the one with the big rock and boat over it is what the coral is like on the south side of the dock - it doesn't look like much from above, but once your face is in the water (with the mask of course, cleaned with toothpaste or something to keep that little film of oil that causes fogging at bay...) the colors and fish and great variety of coral that is really there become evident, and that is the magic of it - and the water is so clear, that boat is probably 10 feet or so (that would be 3 meters for younger people) above the bottom -
big coral rock by the marine park dock
more coral north of the wharf
- well, it all looks really good so far around this marine park dock - but what lies beyond yet? - well - this does -
first view of abdul's ...
- well, that looked pretty good, worth checking out a bit more - the water is deep enough for swimming, the coral is in clumps with a sandy bottom between rather than the great field of shallow dead coral in front of the Mama's - Paradise beach we were at the night before - the bungalows are close to the beach which is just a few steps off the front porch - hmmmm .... (the red X is where we will eventually have our bungalow..)- so on we went -

- and here we are at the restaurant of Abdul's - nothing fancy, but the people were friendly, and the food reasonable - and they had a bungalow available for the next couple of nights, which we checked out and it looked good.
restaurant at abdul's

- and looking down the row of bungalows from the restaurant - ours is about the third one down, the first one visible in the pic - We took it, and then took a boat taxi back to Mama's to check out and move our stuff.
looking down the bungalows from the restaurant at abdul's
- and here we are getting settled in (or one of us getting settled in whilst the other takes a picture..)
our bungalow at abdul's
- and the view from our bungalow, the beach and snorkelling a few steps away, and the marine park wharf ...
the view from our bungalow at abdul's
- yea, this is pretty close to paradise. And this page grows long, so let's have a break for lunch, and in the very near future we will see what lies under the water here in a somewhat more personal sort of way. And elsewhere around these little beautiful islands.

next - Day 3 - snorkelling and exploring..,

Day 1, Getting to the Perhentians, and Day 4 - around the small island..

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
Koh Lipe (day 1), Day 2, around Koh Lipe, and Day 3, the main thing - snorkelling

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 ....