I’ve no idea how to write this entry. This day was a mixture of highs and lows, with the low being my current accommodation. I arrived in Kuala Besut past 6pm, missing the last ferry out to the islands. I’ve no choice but to stay overnight in the town, and I went and booked the nearest and cheapest room I can find. It looked okay when there was still light out, but with its solitary incandescent light bulb, it just looked bleah. Well, not as bad as my room back in Vientiane, but at RM20, I really shouldn’t be complaining.
While I was researching about how to go to the Perhentian Islands, I found out that I can take a bus from Penang straight to Jerteh, so I wouldn’t have to go down to Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, my source says that the bus ride was only 6 hours. It was closer to 9 hours. I didn’t want to take the night bus, because I didn’t want to arrive in an unfamiliar place at 3 in the morning. Turns out that if I took the night bus, I would arrive with enough time to spare for the first ferry out to the islands.
Still, that drive through the country side was pleasant, and the drive through the towns we passed was a feast for the eyes. The north eastern coast was a Muslim state, and in the streets (even inside the bus), all the women I saw were wearing muslim garb, along with the veil. Men were wearing their caps and the shops signs have translations written in Arabic. Mosques of every size and architectural styles dot the town, and it was with childlike wonder that I look at each one, being used to seeing only Catholic churches all my life.
As much as I would like to bitch about not catching the last ferry, no amount of bitching can change what’s already happened. I had a pleasant walk around the small town, which pretty much closes at 5pm, since nobody but those who were left by the ferry were milling around. Still, there was a cool breeze blowing in from the sea, and a lovely view of the coconut trees. Unfortunately, the cool breeze doesn’t reach my window, so it’s dreadfully hot inside my room, even with the fan running on maximum speed. That damned beach better be gorgeous.