Perhentian Islands

Trip Start Mar 12, 2007
Trip End Mar 12, 2008

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Monday, June 4, 2007

The journey to the Perhentian Islands was quite an ordeal.  I can reveal this now without worrying the parentals as I sit safely in mid- Malaysia.  To cut a long story short the south of Thailand is not a happy place right now.  It has a large Muslim population who would ideally like a separate state.  This uprising has met a pretty heavy handed and often (unnecessarily)brutal response from the Thai Govt.  I had taken the odd glance at the Bangkok News so I knew there had been a few bombs and demonstations.  I also knew that there had been a vow not to target tourists so I wasn't overly worried. 

The journey itself from Krabi all the way to the Malay border was an all day affair and a number of bus changes.  The latter stages of the journey took us through numerous road blocks and the odd demostration that involved at a guess about 1000 people.  To be fair, apart from the men with face scarves on, it seemed fairly peaceful but I was reluctant to take out my camera to take a snap.

I said goodbye to Thailand for a second time and headed into Malaysia.  Immediately bumped into a guy I had met in Koh Tao also heading to Perhentian.  There are two types of people that you met travelling.  The ones that you would consider sticking with and those that you would ditch at the earliest opportunity.  Fortunately Paul was the former and it was great to see him again, although the fact that he had been travelling for 36hrs and did not smell the sweetest was not ideal. 

Within 30 seconds of arriving on the island I has already decided that this place beat any of the Thai islands by a country mile.  I have never seen water like it.  Malaysia in general seems to be far more relaxed and friendly.  The locals not quite so money grabbing. 

I fear that I am beginning to get a little dull so I will not write much more about the Perhentians other than that they are stunning, I would highly recommend them as an alternative to the Thai islands for an equally cheap,  slightly more relaxed and less touristy experience. Oh, and the diving is awesome.  I have decided that if i die and have to come back as an animal I would choose to be a turtle.  They are incredible.  However I might change my choice back to a penguin again if I ever get the chance to see them in the wild.
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