Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So Malaysia was cool

My journey in the Cameron Highlands was cool, relaxing, and restful. It was certainly nice to spend some time in a less humid climate and give my body a break. In the evenings it would get quite chilly and I would don fleece sweater and scarf to keep warm while enjoying a few beers by the nightly campfire behind my guesthouse. Daniels guesthouse had and excellent vibe with I chillout area to relax and read during the day and jungle bar out back with a pool table and a campfire to spend the evening hours. On top of that there were plenty of trekking trails to explore full of dense jungle foliage, mossy trees, nice views and some modest waterfalls. It was also impressive to view the agriculture here with gorgeous tea plantations everything is grown on the hillside. Despite the hard work for the locals who work here it seems like such a beautiful setting to work outside in everyday. The downside of all this hillside agriculture is all the land erosion and frequent landslides can be devastating to peoples homes. Most of the roads aren't properly built to prevent this since it provides more employment if there is constant road work from what I told.

Although I was planning to stay in the Cameron highlands longer then explore some of Kuala Lumpur I couldn't resist a visit to the Perhentian Islands after all of the great reviews I was getting from travelling returning from there. I was extremely glad I followed their advice because the Perhentian's turned out to be the best island paradise I have visited so far. I stayed on the smaller island named Kecil in a tiny resort with it's own private beach accessible only by boat. Despite warnings of the coming Monsoons (in fact much of the island was already shut down for the season) I was very fortunate to be greeted by three days of gorgeous sunshine, soft white sand, and crystal clear waters. The larger town of Coral Bay was accessible by a 20min jungle walk which was fun to walk back through guided by the full moon after a BBQ dinner and some drinks there with some friends one night. The rest of my time there was spent laying on the beach and a day snorkeling trip where I saw sea turtles, black tip reef sharks and many fish and bright coral. At night a I slept in a very simple yet charming beach hut with it's own hammock and much needed mosquito nets. Fans were available provided that the generator was left on for the night but some nights it would turn off earlier. One of the more interesting quirks about the place was the very vocal pet otter who was very affectionate and would follow you around asking to get pet. It was remarkably smart and loved to play fetch with a snorkel or for fish. Unfortunately it was only loose when the owner was home and spent a lot of time in a cage where it would cry for attention.
I would have loved to stay in the Perhentian islands longer but I had to boot it to KL so I could catch my flight to meet Jess in Bali. It was a long 9hr bus ride to get there and once I arrived I had really no clue as to where I was in the city or where I was going to spend the night. Travelling through the city is remarkably easy since it served by three different train lines in addition the buses and people were very kind in giving directions so I managed to find myself in China Town at a pretty funky hostel with many aquariums housing HUGE fish. Since it was Friday night there was also a delicious free dinner on the rooftop garden providing a good opportunity to relax with other travelers. I spent the following morning walking around the many street stalls in China town and enjoying some good food before heading to the airport. I certainly have no regrets about spending my time in the Perhentian islands bit it would have been nice to have an extra day in KL so I could have visited some of the bigger attractions and buildings.

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