Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Perhentian Report - Day 4

Day 4 (5th May 2009) - Free and Easy at Perhentian Besar & Kecil

For the three of us guys, we only booked 3D2N with Fauna Holiday, instead of 4D3N for the rest of the group. Our plan was to stay one night at Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil, which we read was where backpackers would party into the wee hours of the morning.

We started the day early, having our breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

By 8:00 a.m., except for a family of four, the rest of us started our first jungle trek to the next beach north of New Cocohut. The trek of 10 - 15 minutes' walk began just outside New Cocohut, and exited at Turtle Bay Divers, beside Mama's Chalet.

The beach was the most pathetic looking beach of all. Full of coral and the sand was coarse and dirty.

At the other end of the beach was Coral View Island Resort. The beach was slightly better here. Behind this resort, there was another beach. The scenery here was more picturesque, with beautiful rock formation and crystal clear water. The beach was however littered with dead coral.

At the end of the beach was the walkway to Teluk Pauh, where Perhentian Island Resort (P. I. R.) was located. This beach was quite long and quite beautiful. As it was already getting very hot already, only a few of us ventured out under the sun. In fact, only two of us walked the whole length of the beach.

From Teluk Pauh, we took a water taxi to Long Beach at Perhentian Kecil. The fare from here was RM10/ person, but my friend negotiated the price down to RM8/ person as there were 14 of us. Long Beach was indeed very beautiful, living up to its reputation as the beach of choice of backpackers. There were a lot more holiday makers/ backpackers on the beach, which we did not find on other beaches at Perhentian or Redang Island or Lang Tengah Island.

By now, the sun was burning our skin already. However, we have to look for our accommodation first. First choice, Panorama Chalet. Full, no room to let. Second choice, Matahari Chalet. Full again. We were told two rooms might be vacated, maybe not. Check out time was 11:00 a.m. There were backpackers in front of our queue waiting for the rooms. Did we want to wait? No, so two of us went to the next chalet to hunt for a room while the third waited to guard our bags. Symphony Chalet. The A-frame looked like squatter houses, more like chicken coops. There was a triple room available for RM75 per room with attached bathroom. My friend was reluctant to take it after a look. I have no problem with it. So, we asked our third partner. He has no objection. Majority rules, so we paid RM75 upfront and we went back to collect our bags.

After leaving our belongings at Symphony Chalet, we went to Panorama Restaurant to have our lunch. Here, the rest of the group was resting and ordering their lunch. It has been recommended in blogs for its wide choice of good food. Well, they look nice, well presented, but the taste was below average. The ayam percik cost RM12 with rice, but did not taste anything like authentic Kelantan ayam percik. In fact, it did not taste anything like ayam percik. It has a sour taste. My friend's plate of rice with beef had such chewy meat that he did not finish it.

After lunch, I told my friends that I would be exploring the area behind the beach, from one end of the beach, beginning at Rock Garden Village, to the other end, ending at Moonlight Chalet. My rational was that this area being forested should not be so hot. They joined me.

By 2:15 p.m., we have completed our rounds of all the chalets. Then, we looked for a water-taxi to take us to D'Lagoon Chalet as planned. The fare was RM10 per person. We were joined by a young Australian lady. Like us, she was also planning to trek to Turtle Beach. She had been to Kuching before coming to Perhentian.

We reached D'Lagoon in about 10 minutes. Straight away, the Australian lass went to the beach to sunbath. We asked around and were informed where to begin our jungle trek.

The jungle trail to Turtle Beach was an easy one. The path was rather flat and wide. In 10 minutes, we had arrived. True enough, the scenery was very beautiful and the place quiet. There was not a soul in sight. The water was crystal clear. The only drawback was the dead coral on the beach. After taking a few photographs, we returned to D'Lagoon Resort to start on the next trail, to Adam n Eve Beach.

The jungle trail to Adam n Eve Beach started from D'Lagoon Resort too. Instead of going straight ahead, the trail headed to the left.

This time, the trail was not as easy to walk. You have to ascent a hill before descending down to the beach. We had some doubt whether we were on the right track because we seemed to be walking forever. The trail was narrower and at certain sections, blocked by tree branches. Fortunately, we did not get lost. Along the way, the trail forked into two branches. One led to Long Beach, the other to Adam n Eve Beach.

We arrived 16 minutes later. Like Turtle Beach, the beach was covered with dead coral. The water was also crystal clear and the scenery quite beautiful. There was however a lone person sun-bathing here.

On returning to D'Lagoon, we had a drink at the cafe while waiting for our water-taxi to arrive. The boatman who ferried us to D'Lagoon agreed to fetch us at 4:30 p.m. But he did not appear. After waiting for about 10 minutes, he had still not arrived. Thinking that he had forgotten us, I looked for an alternative water-taxi to take us back. While negotiating for the fare, his boat arrived on the horizon. The lady who was negotiating with me asked us to take his water-taxi, because she did not want to be accused of snatching customers from him. In fact, the lady gave us a cheaper deal because there were three of us. If I remembered correctly, it was RM8 per person.

On reaching Long Beach, we went back to change. We were going to swim in the water of Long Beach. This was the place for a swim. The water was shallow, the beach was beautiful and the sea clean and clear. It was not to be missed.

There was one more jungle trail to cover, i.e. the trail to Teluk Aur or Coral Bay to see the sunset. By 6:20 p.m., we were on our way to Coral Bay. We reached there in approximately 16 minutes.

The trail ended at Fatimah Cafe on Coral Bay. To the right was the newly opened Shari-la Island Resort on a hill side. The sky was cloudy so there was no chance for us to see the setting sun. There was only half an hour of daylight left. We took a look at Shari-la, then, walked the whole of the beach and took some photographs.

We had to hurry back to Long Beach as it was getting dark. By 7:20 p.m., we were back at Long Beach. We had dinner at Matahari Restaurant. It was the most popular restaurant. Most of the tables were taken up. The food was not cheap. My dinner of fried noodle with seafood cost me RM9. While having our dinner, it rained. There was a short burst of heavy rain. Then, it stopped.

There was still no sign of loud music and people partying. Yet, I read in many blogs that there would loud music and beach parties going into the early morning. We waited. Nothing. So, we left. Maybe, it was the rain. Maybe, it was a lie.

The air was very warm at our chalet. We took chairs from the chalet to the beach to sit, hoping to enjoy the cool night breeze. We were disappointed. There was just an occasional burst of cool breeze, not a continuous flow of breeze blowing on your face. Then, it started to drizzle again, so we hurried back to the chalet. After chatting for a while, I felt sleepy and decided to sleep early.

The next day, my friend told me that after I went to sleep, he took a stroll along the beach. According to him, there was loud music from Panorama, Mohsin and Bubu restaurants, but nobody was partying. Just people sitting in the restaurants enjoying their drinks and music. That was it.

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