I was so happy to leave the Cameron highlands and get back to the beach! The bus ride to Kuala Besut was not too bad, I slept a little and listened to music, it took about 5 hours. Once we got to Kuala Besut I took a small boat over to the Perhentian Islands- one small and one big. The small one is the “party” one and I had a friend from Bali who was there so I went to meet him (which turned out to be a not so good idea because as I found out he was sort of in love with me and I’ve had trouble getting rid of him since then). The Perhentian islands were something I read about in my 500 Secret Journeys of a Lifetime National Geographic book so I was really excited to make it there since I missed the fireflies. The boat ride there was through some of the clearest turquoise water I have ever seen and I arrived at coral bay where I was greeted by Kevin. He showed me to the hostel we had booked (Tropicana Backpackers) and introduced me to some other friends he had been traveling with. We all went out to lunch at Ewans cafe which was one of our staples on the island. Afterwards we all went down to the beach and swam and lounged for a while. Every night there is a fire show at long beach so we headed down there to watch for a while and then went to the only two bars on the island and went home. The next few days were pretty much the same, very relaxing, beach time, tuna fish sandwiches for lunch, then fire show. One day we hiked up to the lookout point and looked out over the whole island. It was AMAZING. Once at the top there were about 1000 steps leading down to an old pier that you could jump off of, it was about a 15 foot jump and I made all the boys go before me so I could make sure the water was deep enough. The next day everyone left but I stayed an extra day and did a snorkeling trip. Our first stop was coral bay which was beautiful and we saw some cool fish, next stop was shark point where we actually saw- I bet you can guess- sharks! They were small reef sharks and about 30 feet below me but I still freaked out when I saw them and booked it back to the boat. Next we went to turtle point and swam with giant sea turtles which were soooo cool then we stopped at fishermans village for lunch. I was on a boat with a group of young Germans (there are seriously so many Germans in Asia) and after lunch we went to romantic beach which was very romantic. Our boat captain said he was going to the bathroom on another island and would be back in 15 minutes and an hour later we were still waiting. We were laughing but still slightly concerned that we had been stranded but he eventually showed up. Turned out he had ran out of petrol and had to radio another boat, go all the way back to the main island, then go back for his boat to put gas in it. Only in Asia! The next morning I caught a boat out and took a bus to Kota Bharu where I spent one night before I flew to Koh Samui the next morning. Kota Bharu is a WEIRD place. I was definitely the only tourist there and people were literally stopping what they were doing to stare at me. I got asked 6 times in 2 hours to have my picture taken. I felt like a local celebrity! So I really wanted a message (obviously) and finally found a place that would give me one for a reasonable price. So I go into the massage room and the woman asked me to undress but she didn’t leave the room. So ok, whatever, I’m not shy, I got undressed and laid in the massage bed. After about 10 minutes another woman came into the room and started having a full blown conversation with my masseuse. So once again, ok, whatever, I can deal with talking. But THEN both woman started burping. Horrifically. Like I thought they were about to vomit, belching, gagging and my skin was crawling. I was trying not to laugh but also was extremely disgusted and of course neither one of them spoke a word of English. So this continued for an hour and the worst part was I had to pay them for it! I had to pay them for burping on me. I went back to the hostel, took an hour long shower, and went to bed, so thankful that I was only staying in this weird ass town for one night.
I flew from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur. I had a 5 hour layover in the KK airport with no Internet or food so I read an entire book! I just finished the five books series of The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy and absolutely loved them! So funny and spot on. Anyway I didn’t get to KL until 2am so I just got a cab, went to my hostel and passed out. The next morning I thought I was alone in my room so I was singing and making phone calls when this Dutch girl popped out of bed. It actually turned out to be pretty hilarious later on. But we made a little family in KL. Me, Iset (Dutch girl), Houston (Australian guy), Nick (Scottish guy), and Eric (Canadian guy). It was really fun, we walked around exploring, went to Chinatown, went to the park, ate lunch at a delicious hole in the wall Indian restaurant, and went to the mosque. We even tried to go see the fireflies (in Selangor 2 hours north there is one of the largest firefly populations in the world) but it just didnt work out. It was really expensive, the bus didn’t come back so we would have had to spend the night, the fireflies don’t come out in the rain, blah, blah, blah. I was pretty bummed but got over it. We all went down to this street for dinner that is full of restaurants and had some yummy soup then got some beers and walked over to see the petronas towers. The next day we went and explored the mall because it is HUGE and has a roller coaster/ theme park INSIDE. We ate lunch at a street vendor with the best samosas I’ve ever had in my life then just hung out at the hostel. Iset and I were gonna go to the highlands the next day but the boys convinced us to stay because they wanted us to come to this electronic music festival they had found out about called We Love Asia 2.0. I hate electronic music but I really liked the group so we stayed. In the morning we went to the Batu caves and saw some lady get attacked by a monkey on the stairs then we went to the festival. It was actually really fun although not fully my scene. Then Iset and I set off for the Cameron highlands. We took a bus that took the majority of the day then found an Indian restaurant with mouth watering naan, went to the hostel bar and played an embarrassing game of pool then went to bed. We took a tour the next day which was kind of bullshit because it seemed like they were just taking us places where we could buy things but it was beautiful also. We started at a tea farm, then went to a rose garden, a bee farm, a strawberry farm, an outdoor market, and a Buddhist temple. The last stop was cool because there were actually monks there praying! The next day Iset went to Penang and I set off to meet a friend from Bali in the perhentian islands. It’s paradise here! Tiny island with some beaches and jungle and no responsibilities. I’ve been relaxing on the beach and have planned a snorkeling trip for tomorrow :-).