A Travellerspoint blog

The Great Speedboat Escapade


I sighed as I rested my elbow on the speedboat. "One trek down, one more to go" I grumbled under my breath. I sat up straight and looked around at the scenery. Completely mesmerizing. Everything about water and islands was gorgeous to me. The sumptuous islands had bright sandy shores and dazzling, lush, lime green trees which looked like they'd just been sprinkled on with glistening drops of water. The gleaming and lustrous waters, reflecting the perfect islands. It all looked so ideally complete.

I would definitely come back to the Royal Belum on a vacation trip. Like a journalist called Carl Hiaasen once said "my escape is to just get in a boat and disappear into the water".

I was awoken from my daydreaming when my friend Neha gently tapped my shoulder. "Elana, It's going to rain soon" she worriedly forecasted. "Oh shoot" I yelped, quickly placing my phone into my day bag. "Don't worry, it won't rain", one of my instructors Ziggy assured me. Feelings of distress and concern filled my body. I simply CANNOT get my phone wet!

Another one of my instructors, JC took out a black and metal box from under his seat. The box looked similar to one of those magic boxes you'd see at a magic show. You know, the ones where the magicians say “you have never seen this before and presto!”. He carefully opened up the box and took out, what looked like a white and gray spaceship... A drone! I loved drones, well- I've never actually used one before or seen one in real life. "Is that yours?!" I blurted out, still staring at the stunning, shiny gadget. "Yes, I'm going to take some drone shots of the area" he informed us. We all nodded in agreement and watched as the drone set off into the sky. The drone started going further and further away from the boat until it seemed like a small bird in the sky.

Wind. I felt the wind gently blowing on my face. It felt lovely, as I always loved the wind. I call it 'nature's aircon'. I looked back at the drone and saw it strangely moving side to side, like Ariana Grande's song. "Is that normal?" I curiously asked, still focusing on the drone that appeared to dance precariously in the wind. "No..." JC responded, breaking into a sweat and fidgeting with his little drone controller. Suddenly, the speedboat came to a halt. "Is everything ok?" my friend Soha gasped. "Just getting the drone back to us," he said, looking at the drone nervously.


Suddenly, beyond the clouds came a deep rumble, BOOM BOOM BOOM. Thunder. Oh no, oh dear God! This was definitely not the natural sound that I wanted to hear when in the midst of gorgeous beaches. Gray clouds started forming in the sky. It was like in the movies when the boat is at sea and then suddenly all the white clouds disappear and are quickly replaced by gray intimidating ones.

Ziggy stood up in the boat and everything on our little speedboat started rocking. "Sit down!" I screamed in terror. "I have to get the drone" he rolled his eyes at me. Rude. He was definitely going to fall in the water if he kept on rocking the boat. I realized that this sounded like a love story when the girl begs her loved one to sit down to save his life, just like in the movies. I’m sure we have established that I love movies, but that’s beside the point, but I shrugged that thought off. The drone flew back to our petite speedboat. Ziggy stretched out his strong arms to grab it, but hastily, it flew further away, as though it was playing a dodging game. Ziggy went closer to the edge of the boat to try to catch the drifting drone. I shut my eyes in panic. He was definitely going to FALL!

The drone flew back to the boat and once again Ziggy reached his arms up. I couldn't look, he was at the edge of the boat now and the boat rocked almost uncontrollably. 'He is going to fall, he is going to fall' That phrase repeated in my head. Ziggy grasped onto the drones glossy handles and after what seemed like an eternity, was safe in his loving arms. We all cheered, while he sat back down onto the wooden plank with the drone against his chest. Let's just say, that was one of the scariest things that happened on our speedboat.

Posted by ElanasTravels 01:43 Archived in Malaysia Tagged islands beach lake malaysia funny scary speedboat jc scream drone belum royal_belum ahh ziggy Comments (0)

A Swarm of Gnats

The hot, glaring sun was about to set. It was roughly around 7pm when we reached back from our long day. We were all tired and famished.

All 39 or so of us entered the small but adequate dining hall. The tables were wooden but glistening on the top. The chairs to go with our tables were plastic but comfortable. Despite our feelings of exhaustion and starvation, we all desperately wanted to go pick our living quarters.

A couple of hours had passed and we had eaten our satisfying meals. It was now finally time to visit our rooms. I was so eager that I was jumping up and down with delight. "Guys! It's time! Can we go see them finally!?" I squealed like a little girl receiving a barbie doll. "Calm down, it's almost time" one of my good friends, Lea told me while having a genuine smile on her face.

She was right, I had to wait. But I couldn't. I craved to see what amazing surprises my room had for me. After what it seemed like forever, our teachers announced that we could go visit our rooms. Like a cheetah, I rushed up to the second floor with my heavy blue suitcase that I called 'baby blue' in my hand.

ONE WORD. Bugs. That's right! Bugs. Creatures swarming us from every direction. It was bloody terrifying. The worst part of it all was that it was dark. I reached into my day bag, on my back and brought out my torch light.

I switched it on and looked around, we arrived at a deck. It was like one of those decks you'd see in the movies where the guy would propose to the girl. The floor panels were white and it was all open air. The railings were small, but they were useful because we would be able to dry our clothes on it. I pointed the shining light to the floor.

All hell broke loose in my mind. Gnats. Gnats literally EVERYWHERE. I didn't know if they were dead or alive, but I did know that they were attracted to light and humans. I grabbed my hefty suitcase and clutched it to my chest. Quickly, I sprinted across the deck towards the narrow hallway with doors on either side. BUD BUD BUD, the suitcase whipped against my chest.

The walls were yellow, not my favorite color for rooms, but at least we weren't sleeping outside. I rushed into the first room I saw and immediately let my roommates in and shut the door with a big WHAM.

'This was home. I am going to live in this room for the next 5 whole days'. What an abhorrent and loathsome thought. Our room was small. But, it was tolerable. My room at home was a huge room and I never liked it. Like home, we had a big bed, a queen sized bed. It took the majority of the space in our room.


I gently placed my bag down on the floor. I looked up. “AAHHHH”. I heard a shriek. I turned around to find Soha, one of my roommates screaming and backing up against a wall. “What happened?” I yelped. “Bugs!” She screamed. I turned my head to the wall and oh my dear God! I don't believe what I saw! Gnats covered the wall like they were wallpaper. Following me everywhere, I mean I always wanted to be popular but not in the bug world. Immediately, I gave a long, loud, piercing cry. I hated bugs. Just the feeling and sight of them on my skin sent shivers down my spine.

Lea, my other roommate, swiftly grabbed my bug spray and sprayed the entire wall, it was literally like those she was one of those killers that scream in movies, you know like “YOU’RE ALL DEAD NOW HA HA HA”. Instead of 'Ghostbusters', she was like a 'Bugbuster'. Though sadly, bugs were not the only ones who died, we almost did, the smell of the toxic spray basically collapsed our lungs. From what I can say, the first night didn’t go that well. But hey, that’s just my dead body talking.

Posted by ElanasTravels 21:47 Archived in Malaysia Tagged funny dead bug bugs ugly swarm gnats gnat yuck Comments (0)

Left, Right, Left, Right!


The water was very still, yet I still was nervous. Rafting wasn’t my thing, well- that’s a lie, I had never been rafting before, this would make it my first time. I’ve watched lots of tv shows about rafting before, in most of them, something always goes wrong.

We were given life jackets, which terrified me. What if we tip over? What if I forget how to swim? What if we DIE? Questions roamed my head. I was paranoid. Really paranoid. I wasn't the type who you'd see doing things like trekking, I'm what you call a 'city girl'. I love all things indoors. So, rafting was really out of my comfort zone, which was exciting but also terrifying.

We were told to start moving to get onto our rafts. Our rafts were made of bamboo and rope to hold the bamboo poles together. Our raft specifically, was put together well. The rope was tightly wrapped around the bamboo poles to secure it. That made me feel way safer about this whole escapade.

My group and I climbed onto our raft and sat down quickly, holding our designated paddles in our palms. 'This was it' I thought. I was finally going to start rafting. Our instructors started a countdown. "3!' Ziggy, our instructor called. Feelings of eagerness and anticipation roamed my body. Can I back out now? I thought. But of course, it was too late. It was going to happen.

“2” Ziggy cried. Almost. “1!” Ziggy roared. It was time and immediately after he said that, I started paddling. Our group started off with everyone paddling in absolute random directions, but then one of my group members pointed out that we should row in the same direction so we could get to the island faster. We all nodded in agreement and then started yelling out ‘left, right’.

The surface of the turquoise, almost green colored water was hot. Not burning hot like a volcano’s lava, but just a tad bit hot, like a cup of hot chocolate. That was very surprising. I thought the water would be ice cold, but strangely it was warm. Half-way through paddling, insects started landing on my arms and I started to feel itchy. As you can probably tell, I hate bugs. I hate them with a burning passion.


Beautiful islands surrounded our raft, glorious green trees with brown, almost golden mud and rocks on the bottom. Everywhere you looked would just be water and islands. If I wasn’t as annoyed by all the bugs, I would have appreciated the scenery a lot more. In the distance, you could see gorgeous mountains, which were fading into the background, it was almost like a movie set. Too stunning to be true. Up above me was the elegant clouds which were merging into the mountains, making it look misty and angelic.

Finally, the long-awaited island greeted us. I studied the pretty island. A hill of brown rocks surrounded the island. On top was lovely, exquisite trees. The view from the bottom of the island was really sumptuous. Sadly, only one of our group members had to grab a rock from the island, while the rest of us had to turn our bodies around, meaning I couldn't stare at the island anymore. Although, now we could get back to our lovely, cozy houseboat.

In my opinion, rafting in Belum was extremely enjoyable! If you're going to Belum soon, I recommend you to definitely check out the Rafting programs. I promise you, you'll have way too much fun and remember to bring a waterproof camera to snap remarkable and breathtaking pictures.

Posted by ElanasTravels 17:03 Archived in Malaysia Tagged trees islands river malaysia island fun girls group rafting raft surprise belum royal_belum Comments (1)

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