So it turns out that the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia kind of under promise and over deliver. I just got back from a week there, courtesy of Tourism Malaysia and AirAsiaX (read the Dominion Post article here…), and it went a bit like this:
‘Today? Oh, snorkelling very bad. Too cloudy – no see shark, no see shark’ and the next thing you know you’re suspended in warm clear water while swarms of fish surround you – looking like they were coloured-in by over-enthusiastic 5-year-olds – and reef sharks cruise languidly by.
‘Oh wow,’ you say. ‘That’s the best snorkelling I’ve ever experienced!’ then someone goes ‘Oh maybe see turtle. If lucky… if lucky’ and you motor around the corner and it’s like ‘there’s one. Oh yeah and another’ and everyone hops over the side and you’re swimming five feet from this big, placid beast, and then it’s off to a bar and there’s a turtle noodling in the shallows as the boat pulls up, and you spend the evening at a plastic-tables restaurant with water around your feet, slowly sinking into the sand and thinking yeah I could get used to this.
Anyway – I recommend it. JetStar and AirAsiaX are starting direct flights from New Zealand to KL in the next few months. And take a look at these pictures – they were shot by Simon Bracken, ex Lonely Planet and Rough Guide photographer, now with Tourism Malaysia.