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Perhentian Islands

When we arrived in Malaysia, we met some people who'd just left the Perhentian Islands and they told us that some places did have rooms available there, so we jumped on a boat and were dropped off on a tropical beach where one of the 'resorts' were. It looked terrific from a distance but when we looked around the chalets we saw that most of them were built from sticks and had big holes in the walls and floors. One of them was full of bats hanging from the roof and the kitchen was 'open plan' with squirells and other animals raiding the food! There was no shower, just a well with a bucket. We walked through the forest to look at some of the other places but they were all full, so we carried on until we finally found one with some available rooms. The rooms weren't great, but they were an improvement. Just before we went to bed we found a huge insect that looked just like a leaf, and a scorpion just above the bed and we were woken several times during the night by bats screeching and trying to get in through gaps in the roof. The next day they offered us a better room and we happily took it. It had several large lizards (maybe 30cm long) that lived on the walls but at least they ate most of the insects. The worst thing was that the food they served in the restaurant was very dull and so we walked over to a neighbouring restaurant and had dinner there the next day. When we were returning through the forest it was dark, but thankfully we'd taken torches with us. Suddenly we stopped as we heard a loud rustling noise and we looked at the ground to see what it was. Then we felt it biting. Millions and millions of huge ants were covering the forest floor and attacking us, biting our feet and legs! We tried to run away from them, but just ran into another load, and then another. Finally by the time we got back to our chalet, we'd ran half-way through the forest and were sweating, nervous wrecks.

One of the things that surprised us about the places we stayed in Malaysia was the lack of cleanliness with so many things. Whenever we ordered a drink it would always come with a dirty glass as if people just didn't know how to clean dishes. Needless to say, this hardly gave us confidence when it came to eating the food. On Wednesday, we took the ferry back to the mainland and caught a train at the Thai border. We sat in the buffet carriage and enjoyed some spicy Thai food and marvelled at the clean glasses they gave us.

We've been in a town called Hat Yai for the last couple of days, and we're about to catch a train in an hour to Surat Thani with the intention of getting a ferry from there to an Island called Ko Samui. It's supposed to be very beautiful, but also one of the really big tourist attractions in the country, so we fully expect it to be packed with hippy backpackers. On the other hand, I've been told there's a Starbucks there...

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