Hi there!Mark Whitworth I am Mark Whitworth -
writer, educator, traveller
and all round good guy.
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Horizons: Malaysia 2008

markMalaysia - Banks, Sharks and Jellyfish

Floating into a new destination on an Air Malaysia Boeing 737, especially a resort promising white sands, tropical heat, a rainless week, clear blue seas and a seafront villa will always make the heart skip a beat. A holiday on Pulau Kapas (Kapas Island), on the East coast of the Malaysian peninsula, was the reward for an unfortunate and tiring three months of disagreement and futile toiling at work; my wife had handled all the arrangements and had chosen the island as a surprise.

Naked optimism often becomes the Mother of misfortune but it’s a rare occasion when it can be said that nothing went right on a holiday. We’ve all had the odd misfortune on vacation and occasionally several, but Pulau Kapas and we didn’t really come to grips with each other; it did not provide the basis for a pleasant holiday and we did not enjoy ourselves as we’ve come to expect of our regular trips.

Everything started to go belly up a few moments after landing, when our taxi driver headed off for the port as instructed. Unfortunately my wife’s instructions were completely incorrect and forty-five minutes later we found ourselves forty kilometres further away from our ferry than we had expected; Terengganu, the mainland town, has two ports, one called Mereng and the other Marang!

The driver was happy to backtrack, at a price, and we were able to wave to the airport staff as we passed by on the way to the southern port. Arriving two hours after the ferry left is not such a problem in a relaxed tropical paradise, but the midday sun and little shade made it an uncomfortable wait, until a further boat could be arranged, when we were finally whisked off to our personal paradise.