Monday, July 25, 2011

perhentian 7-10 july

We couldn't have picked the more perfect getaway time! The hot weekend when Bersih demonstration was going on, we were here, at Perhentian (kecil) Island. It was my first time being there, and I loved it. Anyway what's not to love? The sky was blue, the ocean was blue, the fishes incredible. Soon as I boarded the boat to get to the island (a 30 minutes ride)

I could feel all my stress and worry being blown away by the wind. The difference this time with my previous travels is I had a mahram with me, and having learnt about the great virtue of making doa when you are a musafir (traveller) I increased my prayers. It proved to be a very therapeutic act, one that increased my joy of being in such gorgeous environment.

From my observation Perhentian Kecil's visitors mainly are young backpackers who would come in a group or as couples. The chalet are very affordable and provide basic amenities, but we took a slightly fancier chalet at Moonlight because of its private bathroom with hot shower (for the wife) and aircond (for the hasben). The best thing about Perhentian Kecil is that it has its own snorkeling place, and we don't have to hitch the water taxi. Staying at Moonlight, its about 2 minutes walk, and made it easier for us to take a break in between our snorkeling session to eat and drink. Families tend to like Perhentian Besar (About 20 minutes away by boat ride) because of their nicely built resort and facilities. I guess the price would be higher too...

My hasben decided to buy our own snorkeling mask- because we have to 'bite' that thing tightly, I didn't find the prospect of renting it very appealing either. I mean there is SALIVA involved here. I was quite shocked at how many things hasben wanted to bring, like hair conditioner and baby oil ( a great tip i learnt is to 'soak' your hair with baby oil before entering the sea so that it remains soft and tangle free. the only down side is it took me longer to dry my hair because of the oil), sunblock, after sun lotion, dettol, minyak gamat, cotton bud, panadol, balm and few other things. but they all proved to be useful. hasben hurt himself underwater, corals and rocks are very sharp i tell you. while trying to catch a breath, he stood on a rock underwater and it cut through his feet. ouch! I also brought my contact lens to see the fishes better, but it turned out to be a hassle to wear that I neglected them in the end.

anyhow, at one time hasben saw a black tip shark which is pretty big. he excitedly pointed it to me and I MISSED it. (dont ask me how i could miss a massive fish when i could see even little nemo!)

when we got out hasben obviously couldn't hide his excitement:DID YOU SEE IT?

me: see what?


me: what shark!!

big mistake woman! i had to live with his sharky jokes for a while after ( hey there's no point if we go to shark point you know- me: why?!!! him: because you would miss it again! at which point he would laugh histerically at his own jokes. GROANNN.)

yesss. this shark swam in front of us and i missed it! perhaps Allah knows if i did see it i would panic. huhu... it was actually rare for the shark to swim near the shore, as it has its own territory..anyhow, this shark is pretty harmless. it doesn't attack on human, there are actually very few cases about it attacking human. pic from other website. we dont have a waterproof camera. would be nice though..

we saw a lot of different species of fish. these adorable stripy fishes like to bite on your feet and eat dead skin. very good, but quite ticklish. it made me laugh a few times, which allow water to get into my mouth, and then i regret it. hehehe.

We brought food, the food there is very expensive. We only dined out twice during dinner, and that cost us roughly Rm 80 per night. delicious though! at other time we only chilled out at the cafe for drinks, which is quite reasonable.

view from our room.

picnic by the beach. cute hasben was content with a cold drink, and i managed to listen to a lecture via mp3 player.

main activity. snorkeling! we spent hours in the water. the longest was 5 hours just snorkeling. most would only snorkel near the beach, but we went further. that's where the corals are! It was very tiring, mainly because my swimming partner turned out to be a fish in disguise. huh! at one time i was so exhausted that i signaled to him for a break. we climbed up to a rock nearby, with me thinking 'phew! finally! i can rest!' suddenly hasben started climbing up to get a better view and urging me to follow him. i was thinking 'are you kidding me? now we are MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING?' who says big people aren't fit? hehe. but the view was great though.

the clumsy waif on a boat. of course, i am a few shades darker now!

i asked hasben if he could be any animal what would he be?

his answer? a mermaid.

i tried another tactic. any REAL animal?

a unicorn.

never mind.

Nothing can beat the natural swimming pool. Allahuakbar. how great is Allah.

Mutiara Express proved to be a very comfy ride. but i was scared to death. as we took the night bus, it was speeding throughout. geram betul.

upon returning, I said this doa as taught by the Prophet (prayer upon returning from a journey):

'No deity has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, he has no partner. His is all dominion, to Him all praise is due, and He is able to do all things. We return repentant, worshipping, and praising our Lord. He fulfilled His promise, He aided His slave, and He alone defeated Confederates.'

(Bukhari and Muslim)

may Allah make all our journey as a means to gain nearness to Him. Ameen.

"Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason."

Al-Baqarah: 164

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sungai Gabai-Mei

Noon time

To see your partner at peace is another nikmah mashaAllah

We actually went to Sungai Gabai around May, but I have just discovered the photos last night! Nature has a way to calm us isn't it? We climbed pretty further up to avoid the crowd, and found a quiet spot way up the waterfall area. I wished we brought hot coffee that day, boy, we were shivering. I can almost hear the sound of the river now. Definitely coming back, inshaAllah!

Friday, July 1, 2011


a peaceful time to contemplate-
was i a better person today than yesterday?
did i learn anything new today?
did i forgive more than i judge?
what's my gameplan for tomorrow? i.e. what's my strategy to increase my amal for my akhirah.
in the furthest part of my heart; i wonder if at the last moment of my life i'll be able to utter the sacred word 'lailahaillallah'?
in this long winding journey of life, sometimes i wonder about the destination itself.
its too foggy, unclear, and sometimes too lonely.
sometimes it does not matter how many people there are around me.
some thoughts i cannot put into words, i only understand its presence with the beating of my heart, or coldness in my fingers.
whenever i think of the hereafter i get like this.
like i dont know what to say.
i put a little hope in a jar, and the journey carries on.
step by step, inching forward, no matter how scared i am.