Archives for posts with tag: Perhentian Islands

Pulau Perhentian, as the islands are known in Malay, lie about 12 miles off of the east coast of Malaysia near the Thai border. Picture your favorite beach-themed screen saver. Where are those places? Well, the Perhentians wouldn’t be a bad guess. Scuba diving and chillaxing account for the largest part of the island’s GDP and that’s exactly why we were there. Backpackers mostly head for the small island, Pulau Perhentian Kecil (as did everyone on our boat). We took the road (strait?) less traveled to Deep Bay (Teluk Dalam) on Pulau Perhentian Besar, the big island’s quiet, southernmost beach.

The travel and diving season runs from April to October when the monsoons die down. We arrived in early April just as things got going. Here’s our take on this South China Sea gem. Read the rest of this entry »

From Bangkok we hopped on a Royal Jordanian flight and about an hour later descended into Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s main airport. Sure, the name’s a mouthful but you do get a pang and two bangs for your buck.

The airport, seemingly cut right out of the jungle, lies about 25 miles outside the city—but right next door to Malaysia’s Formula 1 track, in case you’re ever on layover and want to get in a few hot laps.

Instead, we raced to get a train to Kuala Lumpur (KL, as it’s known) and by the time we arrived in its hot, sweaty, jackhammering heart, it was late. We were anxious to square away our hotel given our lack of a reservation and headed for an area called “Golden Triangle” via the KL Monorail (Bukit Bintang stop). The area looked like any other modern city: a mall, a shopping center, restaurants with themes. A street called Jln Alor was the neighborhood’s saving grace. It was lined with lights, tons of people, food carts, and (non-themed) restaurants that spilled out onto the pavement. We’ve read that you can find a bite to eat here until 4am.

But a hotel, not food, was our priority. The first place we checked was full. The second was at the intersection of plain and ugly. Weird vibes were a no-cost extra. Somehow I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be our night but then we walked around the corner and discovered a nice looking place. The owner’s kid played in the lobby. We thought, “Great!” and checked in.

The room was a little dingy and barely bigger than the bed but whatever—it was for one night. I jumped into the bathroom/shower (one little space, multiple functions) and things started going downhill before I hit the rinse cycle. Read the rest of this entry »