Monday, June 9, 2014

Perhentian Island, Terengganu, Malaysia

It has been a while since I took a vacation so when I had the opportunity I planned out a short trip over the weekend in May with some friends. We decided to go to Perhentian Islands. A well deserved retreat after months of my leaves being frozen because of work. Time to chill out and soak up the sun.

On the way to Perhentian
I only took 3 days for the trip as I didn't thought there would be much to do there if we stayed longer. We started our journey by driving from 4am from KL all the way to Kuala Besut Jetty. All along the way we were bugged by our boatman waiting for us already since 8am! I thought I made it clear with the place we stayed that we're taking the 12pm boat. Apparently they were not informed. I told them we would arrive by 12pm and yet he was calling every 5 minutes. Really annoyed the hell out of me. 
Long Beach from our boat
You'll need to take a smaller taxi boat to shore
If you're the adventurous, risk taker type, you would go without any pre booked accommodations. That's the most budget option. We stayed at Mohsin Chalet and had to take package if we wanted to pre-book the rooms. Room only has to be on a first come first served basis, which would've been impossible as the place was fully booked that weekend. So our package included room, 6 meals, boat transfers between Kuala Besut Jetty and Perhentian (RM70) as well a snorkelling trip on the second day for a total of RM380 per person. 
Our room at Mohsin Chalet
Lounging in the water the day we arrived
I admit I'm not the backpackers type but I'm also not a rich person to have luxury every time I travel. Mohsin Chalet is a decent place to stay. It's situated along the hills so you'll have to walk a bit to go to the chalets but the view from the chalets and restaurant is breathtaking. Electricity was only available between 6.30pm until 9.30am so expect to be staying out throughout the day. At that time, there was hardly any wind so it was quite scorching when we arrived.
Walk along Long beach
One of the fire shows by the beach at night
We spent the rest of the day we arrived by swimming and playing in the clear blue ocean at Long Beach. We went from one end of the beach to the other end as there was a spot where there were fishes you can view. At night after dinner, we walked by the beach again to see the fire shows each of the bars held to attract customers. Food around there is a bit expensive than your average price on mainland. I had a beef special burger at RM10! I guess the proper meals they would be more worth their prices. I read somewhere you can even try shark meat.
Best shot I could get of myself snorkelling
Feeding the fishes at the Marine Park
The second day started with rain heavily pouring while we had our breakfast. We were suppose to go for our snorkeling at 10.30am but the rain only started to slow down at 12pm. So the schedule needed to be shifted due to the current. The sea wasn't so clear either due to the rain but the snorkelling still went on. We were taken to 5 spots. Didn't get to see any sharks or turtle but probably because of the rain. The last stop was at a lagoon near the windmill jetty. By that time the sky has cleared and again we just spent the rest of the trip playing in the water.

Swimming over the corals
Going to the next snorkeling spot
On the last day, I went for a walk by the beach just to see the sunrise and enjoy the atmosphere before it was time to go. The sky that day was even clearer than before so I was sad that we had to leave on a beautiful day. We left Perhentian at 12pm and headed back to Kuala Besut Jetty. On the way back, we drove to Kemaman to get some souvenirs to bring back, Keropok Lekor! Yum! I made sure I bought enough to last me a few months worth of Keropok Lekor as well as the fish crackers.
The windmill at the top of the hill
Keep calm and just lie on the beach
Overall, the trip gave me the peace I needed. Glad I went at a time work was due to finish. No worries, no calls (no signal anyway). I love the clear blue ocean. I could stay in the water or on the beach all day. Hopefully I could go there again.