KUALA BESUT, Malaysia // I have been secretly wanting to take a night bus through Asia the past few months, as it seems like a rite of passage in backpacking. We had not done one yet because there was never a need to. That is until today when the only option is a 10pm bus out of Penang to Kuala Besut, the gateway to the Malaysian Perhentian Islands.
It was 3pm and we took the free ferry to Buttersworth to book bus tickets for tomorrow. What we soon realized is the bus ride is further and longer than we thought, and the only way to get to the east coast of Malaysia in time to get on a ferry was to take the night bus.
After some quick decision making we decided today was the best day and now was the time to do it. We hustled back to Georgetown, showered, grabbed food, and once again took the ferry over to Buttersworth, where we played cards in the station and awaited the massive double decker bus to arrive. We left promptly at 10pm but stopped every 2 hours for some reason and the lights would come on waking everyone up. The bus driver drove super fast around all of the turns. When I looked out the window there was fog everywhere and I could hardly see. When we arrived at 5am my neck was killing me and I got maybe 2 hours of sleep maximum.
At the ferry dock we clustered together with a group of other sleep deprived backpackers and got on the 7 am ferry to the remote Perhentian Kecil. At this point we had a lot to look forward to, a room already booked, and a plan to go diving. We watched the sunrise over the island and it was a slight reminder at how timing and things all work out. I’ll never forgot the sunrise from the boat, and the next few days of scuba diving are about to begin.