The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/202252514 55km (7887km)
The chat: After a quick spin around Kota Bharu market (which comes to life much later than most markets in SEA) and brekfast – rice and spicy sambal wrapped in banana leave,s washed down with super sweet coffee – we hit the road for the short and dull 50km to Kuala Besut. We didn’t care that it was dull though – we had a date with paradise!
The Perhenthian islands are apparently rated as the fourth most beautiful islands in the world, and the most beautiful outside the Caribbean. So we didn’t mind being mobbed my ticket salesman as we rolled into the port village of Kuala Besut, and we ditched the tandem and jumped on a very speedy speedboat to the larger (and more peaceful) of the two inhabited islands in the archipelago.
After a little fiasco with a ‘lost’ booking at the GH we’d booked (accommodation is VERY tight here, so book ahead) we weren’t in quite the right frame of mind to take in the surroundings as we phoned everywhere else on the island to confirm that they too were booked up. But once we’d found a cheap hut a few huts down, we started to relax into island mode, and can confirm that these islands are indeed pretty special. White sands fringe dense jungle, and nothing more than a few single storey huts (on Teluk Dalam beach at least) to detract from the view. And did I mention the water? Warm and clearer than Evian – truly the best visibility I’ve ever seen (or, rather seen through) – wow.
Sundowners of contraband whisky were followed by dinner on the beach with only the candles and fishing boat lights for illumination – lucky us!