Last day in Perhentian Kecil

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I was wrong, when I arrived at Perhentian KecilIt's a shame to underestimate the power of attraction and the seductive power of this tiny island...

Latest dives at Perhentian Islands

I planned to stay here for about a week or less, and it's been almost ten days since I was scotche Long Beach !

My only concerns, in Perhentian Kecil, are the choice of the bathing suit I will wear for the day, or the choice of the restaurant for the evening. A real vacation for the mind!

Long beach

I feel like I could easily spend the whole month here without even realizing it. Anyway, it's high time to leave if I want to be able to enjoy the island of Tiomanmy next step!

On the diving side, the visibility improved a lot since the beginning of the week. I redid the site of Sugar Wreckwith great pleasure. The wreck is huge and hosts an incredible fauna and flora.

I dove one last time on Saturday at the well named Temple of the Sea... Since my arrival, not a day without bubbles or small fish.

Boxfish. Perhentian, Malaysia.

Above, a trunkfish, not easy to capture. I had to take more than one shot before I got a clear picture!

A lionfish or lion-fish in English, bright red.

Obviously, this Sunday, I feel a little sad to leave, to leave already the few friends that I made myself these days.

In addition to Liesbeth, whom I have already talked about and with whom I get along particularly well (between girls on the road, we really understand each other), I have made friends with a Dutch couple, Edwin and Monique, whose caustic humor I like a lot, and who were most of the time in my group. They plan to go to Tioman then. Maybe I'll see them there again?

At the Jerteh bus station

I have reserved a seat on a night bus, which will take me to Mersing, port of shipment for Tioman, all the way south of the Malaysian peninsula. I take the last boat, the one of 16 h. Then a taxi that leads me to Jerteh, city that does not appear in any of my tour guides, where is the bus station.

As always, near bus and train stations in Asia, there are night food stallsThere are small open-air restaurants that open in the evening and serve local food, either on the spot or to take away. It is generally very good.

Animated and colorful show, which allows me to kill time and to eat, as I have many hours to wait before the arrival of my bus, at 22:30.

Night-food stall in Jerteh. Malaysia.
In front of the Jerteh bus station, before the rain ...

After gobbling up a nasi goreng finally very average and not very copious at a wobbly table, I decide to test a "hard" restaurant, just opposite.

I order a roti canaiThis is a typical Malaysian pancake, which is eaten with the fingers, and dipped in small pieces in the bowl of sauce, usually a spicy curry, served with it. Excellent. One of the best I've ever had. And the little family that runs the restaurant is very nice.

They ask me where I'm from, of course. If I'm going to watch the final tonight. No, since I'll be in my night bus. And how long have I been in Malaysia? Will I stay long? Are you travelling alone? Etc. etc.

I answer the now ritual litany of questions with pleasure. The girl who serves me is very pretty under her headscarf. Every time our eyes meet, she gives me a big bright smile.

I was well inspired to take refuge in this restaurant. A thunderstorm suddenly hit the night food stalls. It is the stampede... Under the beating rain, each one piles up in haste his chairs and his tables, covers his stall with tarpaulins which fly away and collapse already, waterlogged.

It thunders violently, dazzling lightning rips the dark sky and the restaurant fills with hilarious and soaked people. This will last for another two hours. The rain redoubles, it is a real deluge.

The night fell on Jerteh, and the rain too ... Malaysia.
The night fell on Jerteh, and the rain too ... Malaysia.

Around 10 pm, it is still raining. I resign myself to take my rain cape out of the bag, under the amused eye of the girl of the restaurant. I pay and thank, then I go back to the bus station, on the other side of the square.

The bus that never arrives

This time, it is "the bus that never arrives". At this hour, I am the only Westerner among the crowd of travelers waiting for their bus. Many families with children, young couples, young women all alone, some old ladies very dignified, and, in front of me, three shy teenagers who hardly dare to look at me, but who type with the same frenzy as me SMS on their cell phones...

Lots of buses arrive and leave, loaded with new travelers, for cities that are not Mersing. With my ticket in hand, I anxiously decipher the destinations posted at the front, through the rain curtain... It is already 11 pm. Did I miss my bus?

A bearded grandfather, with his loins girdled with the traditional checkered sarong, seeing my tense face, comes towards me and reassures me in English: "Don't worry! Bus is late, because of the rain. Don't worry..." I thank him with a "terima kasih" warm and continues to wait.

He was right, the old man. My bus arrived, 50 minutes late... Whew!

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

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  1. Quel plaisir de te lire, à tous points de vue, fond et forme, et j’ai une soudaine envie de curry, faut voir si je peux nous faire du riz au curry demain…
    A little computer mystery ... I'm progressing, but I still have many things to elucidate, like this one for example:
    J’ouvre ton blog quotidiennement, et je vois donc quels sont les jours avec ou sans chronique; comment se fait- il, par exemple, que ton dernier article en date du 9 juillet n’apparaisse sur mon écran qu’aujourd’hui, 14 juillet? Je croyais que la lecture d’un texte écrit sur internet était immédiate; et ce délai de quelques jours, je l’ai déjà constaté à plusieurs reprises, nous revoilà dans l’acheminement postal traditonnel, quand on attendait impatiemment l’arrivée du facteur…
    Good luck, an abrazo, Lydie.

  2. À peine rentrée d’Athènes, crevée, dormi seulement 3h, mais avant d’aller faire une sieste je me plonge dans ton blog. Je ne m’attarde pas pour faire des commentaires car suis trop naze, et c’est génial de te lire, par contre, je me suis faite la même remarque que maman….Je me suis même dite que tu avais perdue la notion du temps,des dates, et que tu marquais 9 juillet, alors qu’on était le 14!!!!!
    En attendant de t’en raconter plus sur ma tournée à Athènes, je t’embrasse,bonne continuation!!!
    Me, I'm going to sleep, take a big nap !!!

  3. Hi Miss,
    Tu m’étonnes que tu n’as pas envie de décoller de Perhentian Kecil. Ça m’irait très bien avec tout de même une connexion à haut débit non loin et un bon PC avec quelques jeux… Je continue à lire ton carnet de voyages toujours avec autant de plaisir. C’est mon feuilleton de l’été et vu que ce n’est pas cet été qu’on ira au Liban (ça y est, j’adhère au Hamas et au Hezbollah). Ma tante qui est à Beyrouth est atterrée par ce déchaînement de violence… Alors un peu de Perhentian Kecil dans ce monde de tarés, ca fait du bien. Ta compagne de plongée a l’air aussi super cool. Moi aussi ça me donne envie de larguer les amarres. Huit mois qu’elle déambule! Allez, raconte nous la suite. Je t’embrasse. FW

  4. Hello everyone !!!

    Bigre va falloir que je sois plus reguliere dans mes devoirs de vacances, si j’en crois vos doleances sur les dates du blog.
    L’explication est simple, c’est moi qui change la date, pour qu’elle corresponde au jour et au lieu dont je parle. Il me reste encore a vous raconter, avec du retard, donc, ma semaine a Tioman, ou je suis arrivee le lundi 10 juillet.

    Vendredi 14 juillet, j’ai loue un velo, et pedale jusqu’au village de Tekek a Tioman, sous le soleil, esperant trouver une connexion rapide la bas pour pouvoir transmettre les photos… Seulement ici, le vendredi, c’est dimanche pour les musulmans, eh oui! Centre internet ferme. Grrr… Resultat, je suis allee dans le super resort de luxe deux collines plus loin, ou le jus d’orange est hors de prix, pour pouvoir vous raconter la journee du 9 juillet et envoyer mes photos. Voila pourquoi il est un peu en differe, mon blog!

    Aujourd’hui, dimanche 16, c’est mon dernier jour a Tioman. Je vais relouer un velo et filer a Tekek pour essayer de combler mon retard. A bientot !

  5. Hello Corinne,

    Suivant les nombreuses recommandations de mon copain, j’ai commencé à lire ton blog à partir du tout début (de là mon message 4 ans après ton article!!!) Et franchement, il avait raison. J’ai un peu l’impression de lire un roman !

    Je suis aussi junkie du voyage et de la plongée que toi et mon copain et moi partons en mars pour un périple d’un an à travers l’Asie… Il est donc très pertinent de te lire attentivement et de prendre en note les bonnes adresses!

    So here we are, looking forward to discover the next articles !!


  6. @Caroline: Merci de ton petit mot très sympa ! Je suis ravie d’avoir réussi à te faire voyager à travers mon blog… mais là, je t’envie carrément de partir une année sous les cieux asiatiques ! Veinarde.
    Bons préparatifs d’ici là, et à bientôt.