As I sat buzzing from my 3rd day of OD’ing on tea, honey banana pancakes, and tiger beer, the flip finally switched and I decided to hit the Perhentians next. Why? Dunno, guess the description of "good beaches, best in malaysia" won out over "interesting historic colonial town sprinkled with temples".
And are you friggin’ kidding? "dazzling white-sand beaches, translucent water, palm-trees, hippy backpacker chilled out paradise" would have been a better description. Or "best beach you’ll ever visit you lucky bastard", or "why the hell is this place not over-run with 7-11’s and touts like southern thailand?" OK I admit, I am writing this entry after visiting southern thailand and having some perspective on the perhentians, but in my opinion the guidebooks have it all wrong.
Southern thailand beaches are
very good, but the perhentians are just as good, and their authentic backpacker vibe and lack of development make them quite a bit better in my book. Not one ATM, Starbucks, or upscale resort!! Horrors, what is Dad, Mom, and little Sally and Timmy to do? People doing their own laundry, squat toilets, mozzies bigger than my thumb, and unspoiled cyan (??) water.

(hell look at it yourself, I don’t know what color that is.) Looking back on it now, I realize the Perhentians is what southern thailand used to be like, and why backpackers loved ’em and tried to keep it quiet for as long as they could.

Well I came up with this hairbrain scheme where I would spend a couple days in the PI’s (Perhentians) to check it out, then pop over to Penang.  You know, do it all!  Course I didn’t count on the PI-factor…the way some places get into your system like a good drug and make you want just a little more.  And so 3 days became 4, then 4 became 7, and with a just a pang of regret (that quickly disappeared) I realized there was no Penang in my future.

And a good week it was…between scuba diving, bottles of orang-utan (it tastes like it sounds), meeting new friends every day and night, jungle parties, swimming in the translucent water, and soaking up the scenery I was starting to think I would never leave.  And you meet plenty of people who did just that, they just stayed here and signed on with a dive-shop or the local bar.  The money isn’t spectacular but the view from the office ain’t too shabby. 

The water is so incredible and glassy that the idea of wakeboarding eventually overcame my common-sense and I paid some ridiculous amount of ringets to take a run.  The wakeboarding boat is crazy, they have a 200 HP (!) monster Yamaha motor on a little speedboat, the engine is so big it makes the bow pop out of the water.  It had been awhile since I’d done this particular sport, but I got up OK and soon was jumping the wakes.  I had the guy open it up just a bit, and damn that boat can crank.  Next thing you know I was literally flying along…what an experience…the water is so glassy and clear you can see straight to the bottom even though its probably a good 10 m, in the distance are the white-sand beaches, turquoise ocean, palm trees.  I was so busy soaking in the scenery I kinda forgot for a moment I was hurtling along at 40 mph straight towards the wake from the monster Yamaha.  Next thing I remember I was skipping along my head, ass, and back about 50 m.  I think I wrenched my left knee into the back of my neck somehow.  Sa-weeet

What finally tore me away?  Well the buzz was building about the full-moon party in Ko Pha Ngan on June 11th, and the crew was wanting to check it out.  So Thailand here we come, watch out