When you make new friends in a foreign country and they claim their friend owns an island and is part of the countries royalty at first you can’t help but doubt them. This is probably greatly due to hanging out with to many DJ’s and people in techno clubs that name drop more then the beat does. But after making friends with some down to earth and super nice people in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, I did in fact find my self at an amazing resort on a beautiful island with the guy that owns it.
When I was in Kuala Lumpur 6 months ago to photograph base jumping at KL tower I ended up at an open mic night. It was actually a joke we went in because my mate felt like a dick telling the good looking promoter he was only in town for a base jumping comp. Though once we walked in we realised it was good and ended up listening to some great live music from locals. Pretty much all the people I met that night were super nice but one girl stood out from them all. From the minute she arrived and I first saw her, for some reason I had this gut feeling she was at least a tiny bit more awesome then everyone else.
I ended up becoming friends with her and her crew and chilled with them for the evening and kicked on until sunrise. Turned out one of them owned the bar and is part of the Malaysian monarch. They whole royal family thing in Malaysia confuses me and I still don’t get where he fits in, but its irrelevant. They were cool people, we were having a rad time and they were being super nice to me being the only “tourist” in the group.
I kept in touch with a few of them, including the dope bitch who stood out above them all and met up with her once I arrived back in KL the other day. I was invited on a trip to Rawa island. It was going to be a mission for me to get there at first having to get a bus for 5 hours to a town called Mersing. But in the afternoon things changed and I found myself in a van being the only white dude. I was actually pretty surprised to find a group of the people in the van were all from Iraq. I don’t think I have really gotten to know any one from Iraq before so it was cool to meet some people from there as most of my knowledge of Iraq all has to do with conflict which is disappointing. Though for part of the trip I felt a little bit out of my comfort zone (which is what I actually aim for at the end of the day) once we arrived to Mersing to chill for the night I was stoked to realise everyone was super nice and easy to get on with. I find KL a great city for multiculturalism with so many different races and a great mix of cultures and though I bet there is some bad people here, everyone I met has been really nice.
We arrived in Mersing at night, we stayed at one of their friends resort. It was not until we woke up in the morning and I went outside I realised how amazing this place was. I was actually stoked to wake up to hear one of the Iraqis calling out there was KFC for any one who was hungry. After eating I went straight in the water and it was so warm,but still refreshing. I was disappointed the owner of the resort was asleep so I couldn’t go for a fang on her jet ski the iraqis had gotten out earlier in the morning before I was up. They actually managed to get the traktor bogged in the sand, then had to drag that out with a 4WD. Would have been fairly entertaining to watch, however I was still asleep.
After my swim the guy who owned the island arrived and we missioned off to get a boat to head there. I was still slightly sceptical at first but had confidence in my friends. When we were in the boat and we started to approach the island I realised no one had been talking shit, it was all legit and the place was nothing like I imagined, it was far better. We had a chalet to stay in and I was pretty quick to claiming the top loft that had windows that opened out to look over the beach and ocean. The chalet was all open to the air with just fans, it was simple and right on the beach. I far preferred this accommodation to most of the hotels I have been in. It was lucky the sand was so nice, because for the next few days it was going to be stuck to my skin 99% of the time.
Pretty soon after arriving we started drinking. We started an onslaught of partying that would not end for a few days at an intensity I was not expecting to find in Malaysia. Though there was other guests on the island, it felt as if we had the place to our selves to party and run a muck, or just chill! Over the next few days I found myself freediving with some small sharks and sting rays, swimming in the ocean in the middle of the night, jumping off a jetty and chilling with a group of awesome people. Though it was a mission we managed to build a fire on the beach next to the water to enjoy throughout the night.
I enjoyed a super fun mission getting in a small boat back to mainland at midnight to pick up another mate who turned out to be an arms dealer. Cruising across the ocean in the dark super trashed was far more fun then I expected.
I had fun the whole time except when I was woken up a 1130am after not much sleep to check out of my beach loft as they had guest arriving that had the chalet booked. We then had to mission back to mainland and drive back to KL in the pouring rain taking turns of sleeping and driving. I tried to convince my new arms dealer friend to take me to shoot some weapons, turns out he only deals with rockets and weapon systems that attach to planes etc. I told him that was fine and that I was still happy to only shoot those. Unfortunately this was a request that was denied. I had to be happy with only shooting alcohol this time round. Hopefully I will get hold of an AK once I head up into Thailand.
I don’t know how I meet the people I do, but when traveling I seem to come across some awesome people. Some own nothing, some own islands. But most all seem to give me some great memories that I will never forget, no matter how trashed I was at the time.
Here you will find a more in depth article on Rawa island and getting there, somewhere I highly suggest visiting if you are in Malaysia.
Hi, I’m Ian and I have made it my life mission to travel and experience everything this world has to offer. Follow me on my quest to live outside the boundaries of conventional society and see the world through the eyes of all our fellow inhabitants. I hope to inspire and motivate you to make your own path in life and push your own limits.