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  #1  
Old 05-08-2007, 01:35 AM
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ShaolinTiger ShaolinTiger is offline
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Pulau Perhentian (Island) Besar & Kecil - East Coast Malaysia

I drove down to to Kuala Besut, the Jetty for Pulau Perhentian, located somewhere between Kota Baru and Kuala Terangganu.

map_to_terengganu.gif

You can see it at the top right of the map.

From KL you follow the KL-Kuantan highway, then head towards Kuala Terangganu just before you reach Kuantan city center.

After that follow signs for Permaisuri and you'll be on the coastal road, you'll reach Kuala Besut after another hour and half or so.

I expected it to be a long drive, but it turns out from KL it's around 580km, and it's not highway so expect it to take at least 6-8 hours as a lot of heavy lorries use the road. Leaving at 7am I reached Kuala Besut around 2pm (And I drive pretty fast).

You can fly to Kuala Terangganu or Kota Baru, both are around 1 hour or more from Kuala Besut.

The ferry across to the island costs RM30 each way per person, accomodation ranges from RM30 per night to RM1000+ per night.

Perhentian Kecil (Small Island) is the cheaper option - with more backpackers and Perhentian Besar (Large Island) is the more family oriented and slightly more expensive option.

island-map.jpg

I stayed at Coral View in a Family Seaview Chalet which was excellent, clean and beautiful view. It cost RM280 per night and could sleep 3 comfortably.

We wanted to stay at Tuna Bay but it was fully booked.

Apparently Coral Bay is the resort the gets the sunset, but we didn't have chance as it tended to rain in the evenings.

We booked from Perhentian Sunny Travel, which I would thoroughly recommend for their friendly and good service.

You can find a very good guide to Perhentian Islands in Wiki Travel which I found very useful.

You can travel in between and around the two islands on small taxi boats, the cost is between RM10 and RM30.

When we got there it was a little overcast, but the sea was azure blue, the crossing on the speedboat takes about 30 mins in good conditions.

View from the Speedboat

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Slept early due to monster drive, bloody tiring!

Luckily the weather got better, and blue skies ahoy the next morning.

Peaceful

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Nothing like breakfast on the beach. If you stay at Coral View I don't recommend you eat there, just walk down the beach, there's a small restaurant selling Thai/Chinese food they have great breakfasts/lunches and dinners. Food there ranges from RM5 for something simple up to RM30-40 for some very nice seafood dishes.

French Toast with Honey

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Old 05-08-2007, 01:35 AM
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Photography wise, be wary if you don't have a sealed camera as it's windy, wet and sandy. I've seen a few D50 and 400D level cameras die pretty fast in the beach environment.

Make sure you take a good blower.

Bring a tripod if you can, you'll find it valuable for smooth water golden hour shots and any sunset/sunrise you might get the chance to take.

Also of course a CPL is priceless with blue water and blue sky you want to get the most out of it without the washed out greenery from harsh reflections.

The Power of B+W

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The CPL will really help you get those rich blue skies and vivid greenery, plus help take the greenish reflected sheen off the water.

I also recommend a lens as wide as humanly possible, my favourite is the Sigma 10-20mm HSM superwide zoom lens as I've explained elsewhere. 17mm is good though, but wider is better...I'm a wide junky.

Paradise

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Try and find objects to put in the foreground to add interest, no one wants to see just sand and see and green. Think about your shot and your composition, try and come back with something different, use the light and shadows and most important of all use and understand your histogram to control your exposures probably.

Watch the highlights because they'll confuse your metering.

Timeless Giants

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Always look for interesting shadows and symmetry too as there are plenty formed in the bright sunlight.

Reflections in the Sand

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If you have a tripod and ND filters you can slow the water down to get those long exposures in bright daylight. Make sure you are using your lowest ISO setting (50/100/200 depending on the camera) and use a dark aperture (f/11-16). Expect some dust to show up your pictures

Rocky Welcome

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Old 05-08-2007, 01:36 AM
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There are various activities you can do at Perhentian, the most notable of course being SCUBA diving.

There are both NAUI and PADI instructors and courses and dives for all levels of divers, diving prices vary per shop and per package, so it's recommend you check those out yourselves.

Perhentian has an extremely bio-diverse underwater landscape so diving there is highly recommended!

Unfortunately there is no jet-skies or banana boats, so no highspeed thrills in Perhentian.

Of course if you don't like diving or are not qualified you can always go snorkeling. I avoided blowing bubbles this time as I was tired, so I headed out for an island trip.

You can go snorkeling or go for an island tour for around RM40 per person for a duration of 2-3 hours (we went from 2pm until 5pm).

Blue

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They will take you to some lovely secluded beaches in search of sharks and turtles!

Don't forget to eat well though, all that swimming is tiring work!

Relaxing

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You might even catch your crazy guide jumping off the top level of the lighthouse! (If you have 5fps or above )

Gila

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Remember when the time comes to take some time out to appreciate the hues of a clear sky when the sun sets, it's a peaceful and beautiful time, even if you can't directly see the sun.

Orange Hues

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A tripod as mentioned above is essential for those soft water golden hour shots, the below was shot with a Manfrotto 190ProB (f/11 at 30seconds - 17mm).

Turquoise Heaven

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Old 05-08-2007, 01:36 AM
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Unfortunately the second day was pretty overcast the whole day, so I just hung around and read a good book and chilled by the sea.

It was a relaxing day and pleasant even without the blue skies. The light was very soft and flat with the grey clouds diffusing the sun, so not good for photography.

I got the tripod out at Golden Hour however and took some shots, I got 1-2 I quite like.

The Storm Rolling In

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You can see the lack of blueness in the sky quite unlike the day before. This was shot with very cool WB to give some blueness.

Sun Sets in the Land of Grey

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The chalet was nice, clean and roomy with aircon, a hot shower, a nice patio to sit out on and a sea-view! Labelled as a Family Seaview Deluxe. Worth the RM280 a night, it comes with one Double bed and one Single.

Chalet 104

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Thankfully the next day returned with blue skies again! Unfortunately a little washed out due to the storms, but much better than the flat grey of the day before. Just a glimpse of blue in the sky.

Jetty

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And just to prove I was actually there..

Hip in the Tree Yo!

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Old 05-08-2007, 01:36 AM
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Unfortunately the last day was quite washed out too, whilst we waited for the boat I got a couple of half-decent pictures but nothing great.

Goodbye Perhentian

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After that we ventured out to sea at 4pm, back to the mainland by speedboat, after about 20 minutes when all the passengers had turned white with fear and the boat was being tossed about like a tiny piece of driftwood...the captain decided to turn back to Tunabay.

Tunabay Restaurant

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So we sat in Tunabay restaurant until about 7pm or so when he said we won't be able to make it back that night. We found a room at Tunabay, which was RM200 but the captain said we should stay at the ABC Chalets next door, only RM30 per night. So you can imagine what that was like..

The wind was ferocious out at sea and there was no way we could make it back to the mainland. I tried to capture the intensity of the storm out of see.

You can see the relatively clear sky and visible sun at the right and the dark brooding grey of the storm near the mainland on the left.

Our Captor

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I managed thankfully to get a decent sunset shot, using a slight underexposure to create a silhouette of perhentian kecil as the backdrop to the sun setting over the South-China sea, then a slight midtone curve adjustment to make it totally black.

Sun Down over Paradise

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And that's the end of Pulau Perhentian from me, we safely got back to the mainland around 8.30am and started the long drive back to KL.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and find the information useful, do take some time to visit Perhentian, it's definitely worth it!

Goodbye Perhentian

_GAZ9108_RAWx800.jpg
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2007, 07:42 AM
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noordin noordin is offline
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Fantastic set ST!
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:05 AM
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Photography wise, be wary if you don't have a sealed camera as it's windy, wet and sandy. I've seen a few D50 and 400D level cameras die pretty fast in the beach environment
so bad?
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:35 AM
andretong andretong is offline
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wow.... the water is so clear... when it is not rain the sky is so clear and blue... thanks SA, Perhentian will be the next island i wanna go for holiday.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:47 AM
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sampoerna sampoerna is offline
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Originally Posted by andretong View Post
wow.... the water is so clear... when it is not rain the sky is so clear and blue... thanks SA, Perhentian will be the next island i wanna go for holiday.
Good time to go from Mar - Sep, else expect bad weather
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:05 PM
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noruazumi noruazumi is offline
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the place is very beautiful and you successfully captured it. good job ST!
btw, what are the activities that can be done there?
scuba would be one of it i assume.
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