|Well, we thought that Koh Phi Phi was heaven, and that no other island would stand a chance in comparison, but we were proven wrong as we cruised into the island on a super fast speedboat from the port town of Kuala Besut to Kecil Island...
There's no way to describe the water there, other than to say that it is literally crystal clear - at least 30 metres visibility and the softest, whitest sand we have ever seen or felt. We holed up in a beachfront bungalow on the aptly named Long Beach at a "resort" called Lemongrass. It was totally chill, and the guys who worked there looked like they had a rough life - we swear to God, the only thing they did all day was hang out on the deck overlooking the ocean, singing the wrong words to Red Hot Chili Pepper songs on their guitar. They were great. Malaysians are incredibly friendly, and are the most helpful of any of the locals we've met so far on our trip.
After the Thai islands, it was so cool to visit a tropical paradise that still feels cut off and untouched from the rest of the world. There's no phones, ATMs or internet on the island, and they are only now beginnng to develop a road. Backpackers only discovered the Perenthians less than 10 years ago, so its still relatively quiet...locals say though that development is coming quickly, and pretty soon all the sweet budget bungalows will be replaced with high end resorts - so we're stoked that we visited now!
What did we do on Kecil island - basically, we spent all day snorkelling in the ocean. It was far and away the best snorkelling we had ever seen in our lives. We were thinking of doing some dives there, but the amount of sea life and coral you could see just snorkelling made us decide to save our pennies and just enjoy that...
The best day was when one of the guys from our place took us on a trip to six different spots around the island...we get to a spot called Turtle Bay and our guide slows the boat down as he starts peering over the edge into the water...all of a sudden, we see GIANT sea turtles bobbing their heads up to the surface and our guide yells at us to jump off and get in there. It was so surreal, we were swimming with like 5 ancient, beautiful sea turtles, some so close you could reach out and touch them...and this was just one spot in the ocean! They looked like they were flying under the water, and they would dive to the bottom to eat, then swim magestically up to the surface for air. So unreal!
Now, you might think that turtles would be all the big sea life that we saw. Nope, we also saw black-tip reef sharks (don't worry they don't eat you!), giant sting rays, barracudas, flying fish, parrot fish, giant oysters and clams, and the most amazingly coloured live corals. There were also tons of "Nemo" fish that Matt and I loved playing with...you can dive to the bottom and hold out your hand and they will basically just swim right into it...
After four nights and five days there, we decided that it was time for some hiking, so we reluctantly packed up and caught the ferry back to the main land - on the Cameron Highlands!!!