Well, plans changed after KL. We went to the bus station to catch a bus to the jungle in Taman Negara and all of the buses were full until the evening. Since we were so desperate to get out of the cities we decided to take the very next bus going north. It just so happened to be a little village called Cherating on the East coast of Malaysia.
The village was lovely and quiet, exactly what we were looking for after all the big cities. We found a chalet for about $30RM a night which is about 7US. We had our own bathroom and balcony set in a little garden about a block from the beach.
We were pretty boring there, really. Mostly reading and laying on the beach and stuff. I did managed to get a case of Prickly Heat (skin rash from too much sun, that is insanely itchy) while we were there. But other than that it was absolutly what we were looking for.
One day we rented bikes for the morning and went down the highway to the Turtle Sanctuary. The people that run the Sanctuary go down to the beach nightly and take the baby turtle eggs that have been layed. They take them back and incubate them until they are ready to hatch. Once hatched they are realeased back into the ocean allowing roughly 80% more to survive than if they did not collect the eggs.
After that we rode down to the Cherating Culture Center and watched a man make a traditional Malay Batik sarong. To do this the picture is painted on the sarong fabric with wax and then run through several baths of dye. Once the color has taken set the sarong is put into boiling water which melts away the wax showing the picture. It was pretty cool to watch. He made one especially for us with our names on it.
We stayed in Cherating for about a week and then decided it was time to move on to Thailand so that we can be in Cambodia by the end of March to begin volunteering. We caught a bus and went to the far north eastern part of Malaysia to a town called Koto Baharu, which is a very consertavive Islamic area. On the bus on the way up the driver even pulled over at a Mosque where everyone on the bus besides us went into pray.
It was a nice little town and all of the people were really nice as well. Much friendlier than we were expecting. I was even able to get a RootBeer Float at the A&W, this is something that has become a bad habit of mine.
From there we walked accross the border to Thailand this morning.