It is evening, and we have had a long and full day. I am writing this entry from the outdoor terrace of our bungalow at the Panorama Chalets on Palau Perhentian Kecil, one of the 2 Perhentian Islands
. We took the overnight bus from Kuala Lumpur
to Kota Bhara
, an 8 hour bus ride which traversed much of peninsular Malaysia
almost all of the way to the border with Thailand
. Upon our arrival in Kota Bhara
at around 5:30 a.m., we immediately took off in the opposite direction when we hopped in a cab for a 45 minute ride to the city of Kuala Besut
. There the cab dropped us off at the ferry terminal, from where we caught a boat at 7:30 a.m. to the tropical island of Palau Perhentian Kecil, the smaller island of the 2 Perhentian Islands
- hence its nickname the "Little Island."
After our arrival on the beach of Palau Perhentian Kecil, some 20 kilometers off of the coast of peninsular Malaysia
, we quickly learned that accommodation on the island was tight. It took us several hours of waiting for checkout time to find our current accommodation. The Panorama Chalets are located on Long Beach. Long Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Little Island; its beach is lined with outdoor restaurants as well as with a number of dive outfitters.
Once we had settled in at the Panorama Chalets and enjoyed the beach for a couple of hours, we went with a group from a nearby resort out on a skiff to some of the local snorkeling sites. The Little Island has a large number of scuba dive outfitters, offering inexpensive and reputedly high quality diving. However, whenever I go to a new destination and I have not been diving for a while, I often seem to spend the first day snorkeling before diving. I'm not sure why, maybe to get my sea legs back.
Water conditions while snorkeling were good, with acceptable levels of visibility - not as clear as when I was diving in Zanzibar
a few months back, but still easy to see. After returning back to shore, Vikki and I booked a dive trip for tomorrow with Turtle Bay Divers
. This will be my first time to dive in Asia
. From what i've heard, the diving in the South China Sea
is supposed to be pretty good. I'll find out soon enough...