Perentian Islands off the coast of Malaysia are FAR AND AWAY the most spectacular islands EVER!! Aside from the beach and the island looking like textbook tropical paradise - I mean the clearest most beautiful turquoise water and white sand you have ever seen. But on top of that the coral all around the island is INCREDIBLE. It looks like its from Mars or something. Bright blue and purple massive, brain-like gobs and loads of incredible fish. You can climb all over the island and snorkel around different spots or take a boat trip for a few Ringgit (dollars) and have a boat take you too 6 or 7 spots. I've made some cool friends - people who have been here diving for a while and they took me out to a place called shark point. Swam with about 7 or 8 3-4 foot sharks RIGHT next to us. I was KICKING myself for not springing for the underwater housing for the Flip camera. Also saw some huge turtles barracudas and stingrays! AMAZING. I feel like I've died and found my heaven. I can see why people get stuck here. I'll be spending the better part of this month here and I couldn't be happier about it.
And as an added bonus, I've sort of established a bit of a business here teaching swimming lessons. I was teaching a girl from Kuala Lumpur I met on the boat here and a big family on vacation from China came up and asked me how much I charge for my swim lessons. So I've set up a sign outside on of the snorkel rental shacks for lessons in the morning and have been getting a pretty steady stream of customers. Only a few Ringgit, but it pays for my accommodation :)
I have SO many awesome photos I am dying to post but it just takes wayyy to long to upload them here so those will have to come later.
IF YOU EVER HAVE A CHANCE TO COME TO THE PERENTIAN ISLANDS. DO IT, DO IT, DO IT. AND BRING ENOUGH MONEY TO STAY A WHILE. YOU WON'T WANT TO LEAVE.