After extensive on-line research (Thanks PS!), we found out that there are two ways to get to Perhentian from Singapore...either by a 10 hour bus ride or a 12 hour train ride. Being girls, we decided on the more 'leisurely on the bum' and 'romantic' train ride and endured an extremely long and jolting ride across the whole Peninsular (from the South to the North via the East Coast) cutting across the heart of Taman Negara.
Our mission was to dive, soak up the sun, eat, sleep and snorkel. We managed to do all that and even more. Discovered that we are the only Asians on the island. Trekked across Pulau Perhentian Kecil to Long Beach. Found out that the nightspots on the island is quite happening. Stumbled upon a secluded 'personal' beach. Ate food twice as expensive as KL but half as nice.
One word of warning though..the speedboat ride to and fro the island is a force to be reckoned with. It's like a 25 mins roller-coaster ride on a good day (with high waves, strong winds and a half-mad driver). We bunked in cheaply at D'Ayumni Resort and Hostel, which is a small place tucked in between Tuna Bay Restaurant and Resort (high class) and New Cocohut Resort (middle-ranged)...when we checked in, realized that we have a roomate from Netherlands who got so sun-burned on D1 in Perhentian that he spent the entire holidays indoors. So, reminder from the medical community : WEAR SUNBLOCK!!
Aside from people-watching on land (more like feasting our eyes upon the sun-kissed, hot bods of young guys and gals), I was quite disappointed with the marine life in shallower waters when we were snorkelling. Although this island is still better than most (Redang and Tioman, for example), I think the fragile ecosystem is unable to sustain the onslaught of tourism any longer. So sad...
Of course tourism brings in money and development to many parts of the country, but at what cost? I'm not sure whether the corals and marine creatures will ever return to this part of the country again. It sounds like the West coast all over again. That's why, I occassionally feels guilty when I dive/snorkel. I feel like I'm bringing more trouble to the stressed ecology.
Anyhow, this is a beautiful place and we should try our best to leave behind only footprints and take only pictures. On my way home (the plane was delayed half hour..as usual lar), I noticed from the air the surreal and awe-inspiring landscape. So my Merdeka Day wish for this year is that we shall care more for the enviroment and do our parts in eco-friendliness.
Anyway, I am just so glad that I'm no longer stressed :-) Do look forward to more blogs from yours truly....