Why Perhentian Island is Better Than Bali, Lombok, Krabi and maybe Melbourne Great Ocean Road.

YES IT IS.

Ok, maybe I’m being a bit biased hear but here me out.

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The past week I finally got a chance to visit Perhentian Island after all these years (I wanted to go there since 2003). I love beach. The sand slipping through my fingers, the fierce waters and that annoying pebble stuck in between your feet and sandals. I don’t care. I love it.

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Over the past few years I went on many adventures. Melbourne Great Ocean Road (2011), Krabi (2013), Bali (2015), Lombok (2016). They were all awesome, but when I reached Perhentian Island, I can’t begin to compare with others. I effing LOVE IT!

Clean Beach

Undoubtedly, Melbourne would be the cleanest, followed by Perhentian then Krabi. Indonesia beach are pretty, but whereever you sit, you might end up sitting on empty cans, plastic wrapper, satay sticks, stuff like that. Even on deserted beach like Mawun Beach, I got trapped with rubbish.

Perhentian was cleaner. They had some rubbish on the beach but it was tolerable.

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So worth the trip with @aisyahrozi at the Twelve Apostle along Great Ocean Road.

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Melbourne Great Ocean Road. The water was damn cold, but very blue and clean.

Clear Blue Water

Perhentian is the best. At neck deep I could see my own feet! Just like in swimming pool. Having said that, other beach had clear blue water as well but sometimes can be murky or tasted like oil spill.

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I had the opportunity to dive with the turtle. We’re not allowed to touch nor feed the wild turtle.

Subtle Waves

Perhentian waves were very forgiving. My 1 year old kid had no problem standing on the beach as the waves ripple down the shore. Melbourne and Bali would be the toughest to swim against. But it’s definitely great for surfing (which I do enjoy).

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This is Redang Island. It’s much more commercialized compared to Perhentian.

Beautiful Coral

If you’re like me, loves to snorkel but hates scuba diving, then this is the place. Anywhere I swam, I could see beautiful live coral. They can be a little sharp, you just have to be careful. Corals break under harsh waves, frequent rain storm and too many boats. As a result, they were washed to the shores which made the beach floor really sharp.

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These were extremely sharp.

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This wasn’t far from the shore, with enough sunlight, you can see the floor of the ocean.

White Beach Sand

I’m a sucker for beach sand. The place we stayed at Perhentian Teluk Dalam had the nicest sand. It was silky and white.

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Family Friendly

Ok, this is a bit subjective, depending which part of island you stay. Personally, I prefer a beach where people don’t show too much of their skin. Whilst it can be a pretty sight, but 99.9% isn’t. So I’d prefer my odds of not seeing at all.

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Island life and booze. I was told they go hand in hand. But if you have to get drunk to enjoy the beach, then that’s pretty stupid. Fortunately, Malaysia doesn’t allow open air drinking. When drinking is prohibited, night life activities and loud lousy techno music are not present.

I truly enjoyed my sleep. On both days there, I slept at 11pm and woke up at 5.30 am (which is very rare). I had a solid sleep.

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Enjoy some timelapse of breaking dawn in Perhentian.

Full of Activities

The best activity is island hopping (besides chilling by the beach). We went to other side of Perhentian Island, Redang Island and Marine Park. The boat ride can be really long (almost 2 hours to Redang). Redang had amazingly clean beach and water. Marine park had tonnes of fishes and corals.

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Budget Friendly

The cost per person for this trip was RM 550 (something like that). This includes lodging, boat fares, marine park entrance fee, bus trip (from Shah Alam to Kuala Besut Jetty) and full board (all the meals). The food on the Island was slightly expensive, but wasn’t far any 7E prices.

Comparing going on overseas trip, this is the cheapest option for us.

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Where It Fall Short

1, The food! Perhentian food wasn’t bad, it was edible but just not that good. Every beach destination we went focused on their own cuisine, while Perhentian was trying to accomodate the tourist tongue. They should have featured their own cuisine like nasi kerabu, nasi dagang, keropok lekor and other delicious local delights.

Food is where it can seal the deal.

They didn’t have to attempt western food if they didn’t know what sear and medium well is. The island had abundant fresh fish, they should go with that. It would’ve been unique, fresh and awesome.

Top: Furuma, prawn and squid 300k Rp. (RM100) Bottom: Pantai Nipah, Prawn, Squid and Kerapu 170k Rp. (RM 55)

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Great food at Lombok. Truly amazing and authentic. Perhentian should do the same too.

2, Transportation.Getting there isn’t easy for foreigners. The nearest international airport (if you’re from outside Malaysia) is KLIA, and the closest local airport is Kota Bahru (KBR). KLIA to Kuala Besut (the jetty) is about 8 hours bus ride. While KBR to jetty about 1 hour drive. If only they upgraded the KBR airport, trip can reduced the time of travelling.

3, Mobile Data. On this side of island, there was no signal. In a way, it’s pretty good but bad for some. Good that I don’t spend anytime playing with the phone, bad is when I don’t know what’s up with the world (little things to worry about).

Summary

In short, I would definitely revisit this treasure island and spend the entire week not doing anything but dip in the waters. The cost is minimal going between island to island. The locals were very helpful and friendly. Though we converse in Malay, most know how to speak English (a little bit). However, if you come here for food, get ready to be disappointed.

ps: This post is for Traveloka Blog Contest. Get great deals at the website https://www.traveloka.com/en-my

pss: Images are taken from Video footage. Sorry if it’s not really in focus like how it should be. For vlogs, you can visit my youtube channel

Slowly Not Updating the Blog

There’s very little excuse for me to not update the blog. The gist is, I’ve always use NH as my negativity pool.

You see, when you have two kids, a wife and a business, shitty things happen on daily basis. As much as possible I want to be in the positive side. NH is definitely not that outlet. But having said that, I don’t want to delete all my posts (it’s my life’s work).

One day, I’d come back and reread the blog. I know how much I grew. But until then, don’t really expect much from this blog.

You can also check out my vlogs at Youtube : Let’s Go Ed

And my instagram account: NoktahHitam

ps: I’m thankful for all the friends I’ve met over the years through this blog. It has been really helpful.
pps: Maybe I can slowly erase the negativity by updating more positive posts? Hahaha

Reverting Back to My Old Ways

My wife told me, NH is becoming soft. Yes, I have. I have 2 daughters now. I mellow when I see Hello Kitty, unicorns and Play Dohs.

So here I am, reverting back to my old theme. This is awesome.

Migrating to a Foreign Land

A conversation I had with mom. I told her, I want to move out of Malaysia to Melbourne or Perth.

She was shocked. She refused to accept what I said but when the tension was over, she asked me, for good?

“Yes. For good ma. (for now)”

Another shocker for her. She asked me why.

There were many reasons, but the biggest priority is the kids. I want them to grow in an environment where there are allowed to explore their potentials. In this country, we are limited by the syllabus. If you’re out of the line, teachers will smack you right in them. Making sure you obey the rule as if you’re a cadet in a military school.

Also, I don’t no longer think this country is safe. Back in the 80s and 90s, I remembered wandering off the streets and playgrounds, from one taman to another. I came back when it’s getting dark or I got hungry. I believe our kids and future generation are robbed of this freedom. I dare not leave my kids alone to the park.

Mom asked, what my career would be like.

“Anything would do ma. But I guess it’s about time for me explore other worlds, to improve ourselves, to get out of the comfort zone.”, I replied.

Clearly, she was showing signs of disapproval. She’s not liking what she’s hearing. And the conversation ended.

I told her this, because when the time comes, I am leaving. And I really hope my parents understands my decision. As the famous Malay saying, “Jangan jadi katak di bawah tempurung.”

The Birth of #AmiraEdwin

Aisyah was getting Braxton Hicks every now and then, for a few days already. Equipped with additional knowledge from Gentle Birthing, and first hand knowledge giving birth to Sara, we didn’t panic. We waited for the right time.

Aisyah wanted a squatting position, which not many hospital or clinic offers as the doctors say, “it will make my work harder”. We went to several clinics and hospitals prior to the due date, until we found one in Gombak, Gombak Medical Center. It’s her body, she can choose however way befitting her.

On 27th Jan 2016, Aisyah went by herself to do a medical check up. She was strong enough to drive from Shah Alam to Gombak KL. In the evening, she told me the BH was getting intense. We waited out for a while and until the traffic subsided. We left Shah Alam at 8pm after kissing our first born good night. She was confused, but she seems to get the idea.

We arrived about 40 mins later, I floored the Axia as hard as I can in between the surges. This wasn’t the first time driving to the ‘Medical Center’, so it was easy. We were then sent to our room and started unpacking our stuffs.

Around 9.15pm, we called to check on the opening, it was already 9.5 cm. We were directed to the OT. The room was small to say the lease but it was ok. Aisyah resumed the position she wanted, squatting. For the record, squatting was a traditional method of giving birth, even the Ministry of Health endorsed it (but never really practised it). I guess not many were strong enough to squat for hours.

It didn’t take long to see the ring of fire. I saw the baby’s hair. The nurses and docs were in and out of the room, chatty as always. The surges were 5 minutes apart, Aisyah went rogue, pulling everything in her face, including my hair.

Alhamdulillah, after 1 hour of battle, Amira was born. She fell on the bed, head first and it was only Aisyah and me in the room. I called for the doc and nurses. They were happy, I guess they did have to do anything much to do. The tearing was minor but still requires stitching. I did the call for prayers to Amira. She’s a fit baby, 10 mins out of the womb, she tried to roll.

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Around 10.30pm, we were sent to our room. We did have a little accident, where Aisyah tried to shower and passed out midway. I had to carry her back to the bed. Blood were all over the floor, yeahhh,  it was bloody slippery.

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Once things have settled down, I sat down and flashed back everything that happened that day. I can’t believe it, I’m a father of two. I tried to fell in love with Amira like I did with Sara, but it didn’t happened. It felt more like a responsibility than unconditional love.

When we got home everyone was elated by Amira’s presence. Everybody wanted a piece of her and we were happy to outsource the dirty works.

Initially, her name is Alayna. It means Princess (Spanish). However, being the pro Arabs like most Malays are, Alayna means “on top of you”. That sounded like the Thai horror movie, “The Shutter”. We went through our notes again, finding the right name. Alas, we settled for Amira. It means ‘leader’ or ‘royal’. It had a good ring to it and it resonated quickly with the family.

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Sara on the other hand, started throwing tantrums, knowing that she’s no longer the attention of the family. She cried often, yelled, throwing things and eventually I had scold her for doing so. It was heartbreaking, I felt like a bad parent but she needed it. The thing with Sara, she’s 2 years and 6 months old, but speaks like a 3-4 year old. It was hard to think she’s still a toddler.

Fast forward to today (2 months since birth), I can finally say, thank God everything went well. And my love for Amira has grown each passing day. I no longer felt I had to share the love between Sara and Amira. Sara has also grown out of her jealousy, she loves her sister.

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