Sunday, October 22, 2006

Malaysia - Perhantian Islands

I've been meaning to write this post up for a couple of weeks, but as always, right after vacation seems to be the busiest time (see last pic for a hint).

For those who do not know, or those who may have forgotten, Joo and I went to the Perhantian Islands in Malaysia for the first bit of October. We had a great time and saw some phenomenal things. It's some of those things that I'd like to show you..

The island itself was like many others we've been to. Nice beaches and great sunsets (see below). For the second half of our trip though the sunsets seemed to get a little less spectacular. Apparently October is burning season in many parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. Keep that in mind if you're looking for a lot of sun (pale boy Ed still managed to get a major burn though) .

Our bungalow was called Abdul's Chalet. I never did meet Abdul, but at $18 a night, I have to say he ran a fine place. One thing that was quite interesting about this section of beach was that we seemed to be really close to the animals. Every morning Monkeys would come down from the jungle and eat mangoes from the tree behind our place. Here's a pic of them hanging out with a baby.
We also had the pleasure of dozens of bats buzzing us during dinner time. I say pleasure not to sound sarcastic, but honest, without them, we'd of been eaten alive by mosquitoes!

In the trees in front of our place were a number of squirrels. Not normal ones mind you, but FLYING ones! I thought they were cute, but Joo didn't think much of them after one dropped a mango core right on her forehead (chuckle). Oh, and did I mention snakes? Yup, had those too!

Oh, before I leave the beach, I want to mention a bit more about the monkeys. Apparently, there are two types on this island. One troop of black ones (the "thinker" pictured below) and some grey ones. The grey ones are quite angry and we (kind of) got chased by one on a hike - SCARY!

Both Joo and I got our PADI Open Water certification on this trip. It took us about 3 days and $250 (each) but it was worth it. Joo was a little worried about the swimming test, but buy our 5th dive, she was doing great! (not counting her shocked expression in this shot)

I on the other hand was cool as a cucumber, just not as photogenic as one (it's hard to stay still and pose underwater!).

We saw a number of different fish on our dives. Everything from sea turtles to clown fish. Small Nurse sharks to giant puffers (below).

Some of the coolest stuff though was on our last dive. We dived what is called "the sugar wreck". It's a boat that sunk a few years back and is approx 20m down. It was dark and scary at times (strong current) so the shots may not seem like much, but times them by 100 and you get a picture of how cool it was.

Oh, and before I forget, one of the coolest things happened to us before we left the island. Apparently one of the locals was keeping a sea turtle and helping to feed it before releasing it. On our last day the turtle decided it had had enough and it headed for the water. It was the cutest thing I've seen in a long time, watching it struggle along the beach finally to spread it's wings into the sea. Simply stunning.

Here's me on a quick 2 day stopover in KL. Joo stayed on there for an extra few days (for a business conference) and I headed back to Seoul.

Oh, and remember WAAAY back at the beginning of this post I had mentioned something about some big news keeping me busy. Well, if you take a look at the photo below, I think you'll have a good guess at what it is *wink