Perhentians, paradise lost

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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What I did
Laze, laze, laze on da beach

Flag of Malaysia  , Terengganu,
Friday, June 10, 2011

Hiya everyone

Paul and I headed off to a couple of islands that are often regarded as a big jewel in Malaysia's crown, the Perhentian Islands. Two islands, one know as the big island (Besar) and the other known as small island (Kecil). I'd been there a few years before and had loved it, so I was looking forward to my return to this tropical paradise. We decided to stay on Long Beach on the small island as this seemed to have the biggest choice of restaurants and places to stay. 

Unfortunately, I was in for a big disappointment. The beautiful bay was taken over by small taxi boats, the white powdery beach was covered in multi-coloured, rusting umbrellas, make-shift rickety bars stood in the background and worst of all, there was rubbish everywhere. It was very, very sad. Here is a gem of a place, with some of the clearest, bluest water coupled with perfect white sand that is being systematically ruined by the very same people who need to make a living off it. Crazy! 

Having said that, we still enjoyed lazing on the beach. The sea was just amazing and as long as we avoided being hit by one of the taxi boats being raced along the bay by some kid, we were fine.  Our chalets were also pretty good, and reading other people's reviews on Tripadvisor it seemed that we were quite lucky to find a place that was clean and had decent food. It had a great chill-out area with views of the sea and we spent hours chilling out there, chatting to other travellers. But for the first time in our 10 months of travel we felt angry and disgusted by how a beautiful place was being ruined.

Karen had told me so much about the Perhenthian islands and the quality of the beach, the water and the diving that I was really exited about getting there. On some hands the place lived up to it's expectations and on many others it failed miserably. I really could not relax in the ocean as the taxi boats were coming in so fast and from so many angles that you constantly had to be on the look out. I am convinced that they will kill someone in the next few years. We feel so strongly about the plight of these beautiful islands that we are going to write an e-mail to the local government. 

We did go on a dive one day. It was average as dives go. Maybe we have been spoilt by the quality of the diving and the beaches in the Philippines. It was a wreck dive at about 18 meters. There were some cool bits like the curious box fish and the sleeping bamboo sharks but the visibility was poor. 

The islands are really expensive too. Booze is almost the same as London prices and the food is priced high too especially for Malaysia. You would not mind if the place was pristine but when you see all the garbage you start to wonder if it's worth it.

We are now on the edge of the rain forest called Taman Negara and amazingly up to date with this blog! We came here via Kota Bharau a nondescript town that did not have much to see. We are really excited about the trekking in the rain forest and seeing all the weird and wonderful animal life.

See you when we get out!

All our love as always,

Paul & Karen xxx 
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mom on

It still looks nice x

mary tsiterou on

although it is so nice it is really a pitty that they spoil their own heritage i feel so angry you should please write to the competent authorities specially about the boat taxis and the garbage. lots of love.

paul_karen on

Hi Marie! Glad that you are enjoying our blogs! How is your husband? x

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