Coming to the beach was not exactly part of the plan when I decided to come to Malaysia. I mean, I knew I wanted to move around, but I didn’t really know where, and besides, when you’re all alone—or at least when I’m all alone, it’s a little harder to find the motivation.
Luckily, I tweeted about my trip to Malaysia, and that tweet showed up on Facebook and this friend read it and told me about her cousin living in Kuala Lumpur. I contacted her and very quickly the trip started to take shape. I’m told a lot that I “waste” a lot of time on social networks on the Internet, but when I see what they can do, I’m convinced every second is worth it.
One of Sandra’s (the girl who lives in KL) suggestions was the Perhentian Islands; or Palau Perhentian, in the local tongue. It’s a protected group of islands off the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula towards the northen border of the state of Terengganu. On the island, I was referred to Mama’s Chalet.
If you’re looking for extremely reasonably-priced accomodation on beautiful island in Malaysia, come to Mama’s Chalet!
While in KL, I made my reservations with Jimi over the phone. I got all the information I needed and, before I knew it, I had a reservation for two nights in a 60-ringgit cabin (that’s about 12€) with ensuite bathroom and a taxi would be waiting or me at the airport. I shared the taxi with two other guests, which meant I only paid 20 ringgit for the hour-long ride.
I was greeted at the hotel by Jimi and Aziz. They’re brothers and they manage the family business. I haven’t figured out the family ties of everybody here, and I’m too shy to ask, but when they say “family business”, they really mean it. The family is extremely friendly and warm, as have been most people here in Malaysia. They all speak perfect or near-perfect English, so there are absolutely no communication issues. Actually, I tried every language I know and Aziz didn’t have any trouble replying!
The cabin does not face the sea, but it’s only about 50 meters away. Needless to say, there is no beach here, but a beautiful beach of white sand is only a couple of minutes away; and if you walk a few meters on a wooden path through the jungle, it gets even better.
Mama’s restaurant and cabins are clean and comfortable. Eating here is a little more expensive than what I was used to in KL, but hey, we’re on an island. The first night I had some fresh fish and prawn’s, prepared at Jimi’s BBQ with coconut and barbecue sauce, respectively. It cost me 40 ringgit, but it was just perfect! (oh, and it was served with salad, rice and fruit)
Aziz and the rest of the family are extremely friendly and won’t hesitate to shout out “Diaz” and engage in some friendly chat and explain where and how I can move around on the island. They are a relaxed bunch that will help you with anything you need. When I went to see Jimi and Aziz about my departure tomorrow, that had already planned everything to make sure I was at the airport on time, even though I had only mentioned the time of my flight once casually over the phone.
Once again, if you’re coming to the Perhentian, I can only recomend staying at Mama’s!
Note: as they do at Mama’s, none of the prices quoted here include a 5% government tax. I’m glad I brought more money than I had to, otherwise I may have been in trouble :p