Saturday, August 15, 2015

Last Day of the Perhentian Islands 2015 Trip



As mentioned in my Perhentian Islands travelogue, there was a thunderstorm in the wee hours and the river, as affectionately termed in the resort map, had taken a better look to justify the definition. You may refer to the picture of the "river" above, before the storm.

And the river then, after the storm. As the ferry would be departing at 8 am, we proceeded to having a light breakfast at Perhentian Island Resort's resident restaurant. 

Sea was relatively calm although it's obvious from the wet sand and floor that the rain stopped not too long ago. I can only pray that the ferry journey back to Kuala Besut would not be as life-threatening as the experience encountered from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands.

The strong wind that accompanied the storm toppled quite a few temporary structures in the resort. For ignorant guests like us, it was like a post-disaster sight but a real disaster was definitely far worse than this.

Bidding our goodbyes to Perhentian Island Resort

Panoramic shot of the jetty that served more than just Perhentian Island Resort although its location did appear to be rather exclusive. 

Since we went with the internal ferry transfer with the resort, i was under the impression this shall be our "steed" back. The truth was further than that.

A vessel soon pulled into the jetty and the thought that ran in my mind was "wah, so many people are arriving so early in the morning?". I was wrong once again. 

The ferry had picked them up from other parts of the islands and we would be joining them! Fine, there's sufficient space and i am not a rich person to have been able to charter my own yacht. 

In the water channel between the Perhentian Island Besar and Peherntian Island Kecil, the ferry stopped. Engine failure?! Midway robbery?! Nothing so drastic; a speedboat soon arrived to add another customer to our load.

Time to relax for the next 30 to 45 minutes as the ferry sped past the modern mosque located in the fishing village of Peherntian Island Kecil.

Strange, we stopped by the jetty of the fishing village? Maybe i was mistaken; the ferry was going to unload some of the passengers here so that our journey back can be more comfortable. 

Wrong! More people jumped in and i kid you not; on passengers alone, i counted no less than 20 in the small vessel. To put it bluntly, i believe this was way over the limit and that's not even counting the luggage (some were big ones).

Compared to the ride to Perhentian Islands, the return journey to Kuala Besut was less of an excitement and there wasn't any significant moment of water splashing into the vessel.

Within 35 minutes, from the time we embarked the ferry, the mainland of Asia continent was in sight and this was assuring; should the boat sink due to overloading, help would not be too far away.

Jetty in sight! Once we disembarked, it's a short walk to the Perhentian Island Resort (PIR) shop at Kuala Besut; it was however closed and i presumed it could be because our land transfer to Kota Bharu was scheduled at 9am and it was only about 8.35 am then. 

So, we visited April Cafe again to sponge on the free wifi and have their signature roti canai! 

The area was filled with the noisy chirps of birds and concentration point was on the two buildings here; my bet was that they were abodes for the swallows for their prized bird's nest! Imagine the noise pollution if you are staying in the area!

Went back to check and the shutter for the resort remained shut (i was seated in front of the shop at this point)! Damn, don't tell me there was a miscommunication as the receptionist at PIR had specifically advised us to take an earlier ferry so that we can take the land transfer and reach the airport sooner to catch our flight as their usual 12 noon land transfer may be cutting it a bit too tight for us.

I had to make a phone call using my Singapore line and apparently, no one had been notified that we would be arriving earlier from Perhentian Islands. The staff was nonetheless helpful and called on the driver to send us to the airport slightly before 10 am; delay of about an hour. 


With just the two of us in the van, it was a luxurious use of space as compared to the ferry two hours before and i had plenty of space to move around to take pictures while Alex started his snooze.  


A kampong house that reminded me of the one i stayed at thirty years ago and a Muslim cemetery. 

This would be the kind of bridge that Jerald and Jovyn love as it reminds them of a roller coaster ride and they would hype up the climb accordingly with their loud, high pitched voices.

A bright red house that sticks out like a sore thumb in the area better known for its agriculture. I guess neighbour would tell their friends / relatives to look out for the bloody red house if they drop by for a visit.

Unlike most humans, animals do not have a strong concept about traffic and being a agricultural state means that cattle can be seen crossing the road in a nonchalant manner; for those who prefer to self drive, do a keep a lookout for them. 

Arrived at the Kota Bharu airport, known officially as Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in about an hour. The travelling time to Perhentian Islands can be quite a hindrance which is a pity although day trips from the nearby Redang Island (connected to Singapore via Berjaya Air) can be arranged. 

While our time away in the small airport until we decided to grab a bite of the fried chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken on level two at about 11.30am; only to find its shutters closed! 

With the above notice! 

Thankfully, the seating area was still open and we spent most of our time munching on snacks purchased from the convenience while waiting for the baggage counter to open for checking in.

Departure lounge after we checked in our luggage - nothing much but you do get a convenience stall and a small little cafe. Oh, and we received news that the plane was delayed. 

Went around taking photos within legitimate limit although i eventually sat down at the cafe and switched on my phone app to catch movies instead; a love hate relationship with technology.

Time to board the plane which was delayed by only about 15 minutes. By the way, i don't understand why people like to enter the plane so early, especially those with assigned seating; it's crowded and sometimes you have to wait for people who have difficulties in squeezing their apparently bigger than expected bags into the overhead compartments. 

Despite the slight delay, i was quite happy with my experience in Air Asia flights. The one thing that remained memorable to this date was their booming loud and clear announcement! 

It appeared to be rather easy to push the mobile staircase away! 

Flying over Kota Bharu; "state capital and royal seat of Kelantan". 

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Window view of the sight outside. I am a "window person" and would only be open to a change in seat if i am taking a night flight for which photo taking would be more of a challenge. 

A power station by the sea; at this point, we were nearing klia2 after about 40 minutes in the air. Sometimes, i would take photos using my Olympus TG-3 which has a GPS feature to lock in the coordinates for the picture and pinpoint the exact location of where i was.

Random aerial photos when we were about to land.

KLIA and klia2 (the budget terminal; hence the use of small letters i think) were purposely built on a large plot of land in view of future demand and surrounding them was vast swathes of green land. 

Touching down on klia2; from this picture, you would clearly see the proximity of Tune Hotel from the terminal. For my review, do click here.  

Had an early dinner at HomeTown as i didn't want to waste my money on airplane food. Gateway @ klia2 was in reality a shopping centre and it's so sad i didn't have sufficient time to check it out!

Boarded the Tiger Airways plane at 5.50 pm. Even though Malaysia is Singapore's closest neighbour, i was exhausted due to the transits and the waiting etc and could not imagine for a flight to United States! Guess i would put it on further hold. 

Sun was setting.

I timed the flight in a way that i would be able to catch the sunset yet would not have to endure its fiery stare throughout the entire flight by selecting seats facing the east side.

Moonrise! 

Granted the view on the other side was grandeur at its best with a spectacular sunset that resulted in many passengers pulling up the window shade, i had to be satisfied with the colourful hues of the darkening skies.

Landed safely!

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