Today was mostly about travel, from Kuala Lumpur to Perhentian Besar island on the northeast coast of Malaysia. We met back up with our Uber driver from yesterday for a lift to the airport, then took a quick flight to the other side of the country. From there, it was a ~2 hour van trip, followed by a 40 minute (bouncy, beautiful) boat ride out to the island.
Flying over Malaysia, it was fascinating to see the scale of the palm oil plantations.
There are two main tourist islands here, along with a few smaller unhabited islands. All the activity is on the coast – more than about 100 feet from the shore and it’s just thick, steep jungle, with no human presense. Our resort, like all the resorts, has a dive shop, a restaurant, and some beach.
After getting checked in, we wandered about 10 minutes north to the nicer “swimming beach.” The water is incredible – bathtub warm and crystal clear. It’s a multicultural beach experience, with conservative Muslims mingling with (less conservative) Europeans and Australians. I suppose we fall somewhere in between.
After our swim and some time in a hammock, we wandered the other direction on the island where we got to explore the geology of the island a little. We bought a hat and some weird dried peaches. We did not keep the peaches.
Around dinner time, some big storms rolled in, so we ended up sharing our table with some friendly Italians. For whatever reason, there are a ton of Italians on the island. We had grilled fish and prawns for dinner, though there was some serious chaos from the storms.
Tomorrow, Kat will do her checkout dive, while I explore the island a bit more.
(we’re data constrained for a couple days, so we’ll catch up on pictures later)