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