Thursday, 18 June 2009

Pulau Perhentian

These islands consist of two islands. A big and upper-class one and a small one described as backpackers heaven. For me now heaven has got some limits. Pulau Perhentian Kecil is described in touristic terms as Malaysian pearl and tropical paradise in the South China Sea. There are no cars or streets on the island and it is idyllic and romantic. In reality this means that every hut has a gas-driven generator to provide electricity. The government has provided a wind powered power plant and a solar collector backup but it only serves a few upper-class resorts. I have visited the power plant today and it is a good example how energy can be provided in a smart way. Coming down the hill to the main beach (long beach) was like heading to a big city. Noise and fumes from burned trash everywhere!

The tourists act like normal tourists. I have been on a snorkelling tour today around the islands. Nobody mentioned that large coral fields are dead! They touched giant old sea-turtles without thinking that the animals could suffer from stress. At the end I was very happy to be on the island again and away from the mainstream tourists.

On Thursday I plan to take a long distance bus back to Kuala Lumpur and go to another region: Borneo. This is the third biggest island in the world and is divided over three states: Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. It’s also home of the famous Orang Utans – The furry apes. After spending a few days there I will leave to Kuala Lumpur again for the last time. Maybe I can arrange a stop in Singapore and then continue to Bangkok.

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