While having dinner with my neighbour who is a Dive Master, he invited me to spend a few days at Pulau Perhentian (Perhentian Island) to do my refresher SCUBA course as he found out that my last dive was way back in the early 90s. I did not give a second thought accepting the invitation as this trip would be my first time spending a night outside of Kuala Lumpur for the past 8 months.
I left Kuala Lumpur mid morning and drove along the KL Karak highway and also through the East Coast Highway. I exited the Jabor interchange bypassing Kuantan and within a few minutes I was already at Cherating. I stopped at Chukai and had coffee at the famous HAI PING coffee shop. Stopped a few times for ciggies @ Kerasik Beach and also to fill up petrol at Rantau Abang. Arrived at Alor Lintah which is a town in between Jerteh and Kuala Besut where I was supposed to take a boat ride to Pulau Perhentian. I stayed at a friends house, Dato Wan Zali who is my super senior @ the Royal Military College and before retiring for the night he treated me to a glass of ‘teh tarik’ and a couple of roti canai at his favourite joint.
Next morning while waiting for my neighbour to arrive from Kuala Lumpur, DatoWan Zali and me had breakfast at the jetty with me having the ‘laksam’ and it really tasted good … the original Laksam of course is from Terengganu. The trip to Pulau Perhentain took 45 mins. Pulau Perhentian has 2 islands Perhentian Besar (Big) and Perhentian Kecil (Small).I arrived at the Teluk Dalam beach south of the Perhentian Besar Island and stayed at the Fauna Resort. I did my refresher course with the classroom and pool session and passed it with flying colours according to the Dive Master and he told me that I was ready for the sea dive . “Ha ha ha ..Good luck to you” he told me cynically….What comforting words…….
I woke up to a nice morning with a beautiful sunrise welcoming the day….alhamdulilah. I left Perhentian Besar at midday and it took me 30 minutes to reach Kuala Besut as I took the speed boat instead of the normal boat. DatoWan Zali came 30 minutes later to pick me up and by 2 pm I was on my way back to Kuala Lumpur as planned but I decided to spend the night in Kuala Terengganu.