Southern Thailand by car from Malaysia

border crossing

A friend often drives up to Thailand and has given me some details which may be useful for some readers, so I share them here.

He has used the Bukit Kayu Hitam crossing many times…


​Perhentian Islands – the fish are biting

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. Yes. A particular black fish was biting our ankles while we snorkelled over the coral. Not just at one of the beaches, but at several of the beaches we snorkelled at.

this black fish bites

This is our fourth visit to the Perhentian Islands. I won’t repeat what I wrote in previous blogs. But since our last visit two years ago it has changed a little.

  • The marine park tax has gone up a lot. You pay this just before you enter the jetty to board your boat to the islands. For foreign adults it’s RM 30, for foreign seniors (over 56) RM 15. Soak the foreigners (pun intended).

  • On the stretch of beach where we stayed on the larger island, Perhentian Besar, comprising Abduhls, Tuna Bay, Coconut Cosy etc. it was only at the latter you could buy (Tiger) beer, which was RM 11. Tonic water costs 5, and 1.5 litre bottles of water are RM 4. At Kuala Besut beer costs RM10. In Tesco, aboutRM8.
  • Some construction is going on at Ayumi, and with Tuna Bay having a larger deck.
  • While we were there it rained a little during the day, in the afternoon, but most rain was at night. Mostly it was cloudy, with occasional sunshine. At first we were disappointed, but actually it was very comfortable. We didn’t have to worry about sunburn, it wasn’t too hot outside, and yet the sea was just as warm, and snorkelling just as good. The only downside with the weather was that photos don’t look as bright. Oh, and we got drenched on the boat on the way over as we were closest to the bow because we got on last.
  • You can take a water taxi to the other island.
  • If you want to have fruit or vegetables you can go to the local village, which is almost on the tip of the smaller island, Perhentian Kecil. The village is also the start, or end, of a 3.2 Km walk between the village and Long Beach. See this blog.

Perhentian Kecil, the small island – fisherman village and an easy walk along the coast

There are small convenience stores at the resorts, but if you want fruit and vegetables a visit to the fisherman village could be worthwhile for you.  Best done at the beginning of your stay.


map of the walk

There is an easy 3.2 KM walk along a paved path from there, on Perhentian Kecil, the small island, to Long Beach.
If you are staying on the big island you can get a water taxi across.  The minimum number of persons is two.

water taxi prices

The path is a bit undulating, and hasn’t been maintained, but mostly it’s in good condition. There’s even a toilet block along the way.

Fisherman village

five minutes by boat


the village

the village

hawker centre on the beach

hawker centre on the beach

a bit different from the resorts

a plaza with a police station

entry to the village from plaza

hawker centre right on the sea

shops and cafes

if you order a fruit drink it’s better to ensure they are using fruit and not powder

you can buy fruit and veges here

continue along this street towards the mosque for the walk

continue along the street to the left of the mosque

The walk

behind the mosque is a bridge where the path starts

the path

a monument

some of the path is covered

and it continues on towards Long Beach

but is not really maintained

You can see a path on the map in the other direction from the village, too

Going clockwise from the village by boat

seen from a boat: the path clockwise will go through these beaches

seen from a boat: the path clockwise will go through these beaches

seen from a boat: the path clockwise will go through these beaches

seen from a boat: the path clockwise will go through these beaches

seen from a boat: the path clockwise will go through these beaches

seen from a boat: the path clockwise will go through these beaches

seen from a boat: the path clockwise will go through these beaches

seen from a boat: /Shari La and other resorts are served by this jetty

Visiting Pangkor Island – 10 best things to do

Easiest is to drive there.  There are car parks available at the ferry terminals.  There are also buses and maybe minivans.  Or a twice weekly flight (Tuesday & Thursday) on Berjaya Air from KL to the tiny airstrip on the island.

If you drive you can catch a ferry either from Lumut, which costs RM10 return and takes about 30 minutes – first stop on the island is Sungai Pinang, and the second and last stop is the one to take if you are staying on the west side of the island.
Or you can catch a ferry from Marina Island, which costs RM10 and takes only 10 minutes to Pangkor.
Marina Island entrance

Marina Island entrance

My GPS really did not want me to go there, and was determined to direct me to Lumut.  You simply go straight instead of turning right to Lumut at the big shell sculpture.

videos of hornbills on Pangkor Island and where to see them wild and free

I am just back from a longer stay on Pangkor Island. The best thing there is being close to hornbills.  Outside of a birdpark I’ve never been closer to them. And these ones live in the wild.  Penang Birdpark at Butterworth is a nice place to see hornbills if you can’t go to Pangkor Island.

If you stay at or near Nipah Bay on Pangkor Island, your hotel may get a hornbill as a visitor.  Or you may see one at the beach at nearby Coral Beach.

However, every evening for the last 14 years the man at Sunset View Chalet in Nipah Bay town has fed them at 6.30PM.  On the main road through the town, find the Nipah Water Front Beach Resort and take the side road next to it.  Two or three minutes walk down it you’ll find the Sunset View Chalet.  Thirty or more birds will turn up to be fed.


take the side street next to this hotel

take the side street next to this hotel


walk along for two or three minutes

walk along for two or three minutes

By the way, the Sunset View Chalet man feeds the birds bananas and doesn’t charge viewers anything.  In fact, he helps you feed them yourself.  We gave him a small gift in appreciation.

2016 Malaysian train article

In general I find it difficult to find out much about what is happening with trains in Malaysia. On Wednesday December 30th I saw an article in the free daily paper, The Sun, of which this is a small part:


Office Lens 20151230-162546

The article later stated the government is considering a train line from KL to Kuantan on the east coast.