When we lived in Busan, Alex and I were admittedly quite spoiled by our proximity to Gwangali Beach. Only a 10-minute walk away, we spent most of our summer weekends there (and lunch breaks, and days off). It was one of my favorite things about Busan, and possibly what I miss the most.
Here in Malaysia, it’s beach weather just about every day…but we do actually have to drive to the beach. A couple weeks ago, we took a mini roadtrip to Desaru Beach. The 45-minute ride was lined with beautiful palm trees, and would have been quite relaxing had there been no other cars on the road. See, this was my first real taste of Malaysian driving (as a passenger). Driving here, in addition to being on the opposite (cough, wrong) side of the road, does not involve the use of blinkers, stop signs or passing lanes. It is perfectly acceptable to pass uphill, around a curve, and without signaling. I was pumping the imaginary breaks for other motorists the entire time, and eventually took to staring down at my phone to avoid the anxiety of looking out the window. That said (and this is no reflection on Alex’s driving, which adhered to conventional rules of the road quite well), I was slightly surprised and extremely thrilled when we arrived at the beach safely.
Here’s one picture I managed to snap during a brief moment of serenity:
Desaru Beach was a renowned resort town in the 80s, but its popularity has since waned. It’s strange, because there are several enormous resorts still in operation– but with very few guests. I suspect it’s a popular destination for Singaporeans at certain times of the year, but the beach was wide open and dotted with just a few locals when we were there.
So we swam, read, relaxed, got a weird sunburn (courtesy of spray sunscreen and a windy day), and photographed more palm trees.
After we were sufficiently crispy, we sneaked into one of the resorts for a late lunch and drink. Behold, my melting margarita:
One of the best parts about sitting on the beach as the sun went down was actually feeling a little chilly. Of course, I didn’t bring a sweater or anything with me, because I haven’t felt anything even resembling “chilly” since arriving here. But it was nice to feel the breeze off the water and cool down a bit (and cue everyone rolling their eyes/virtually throwing things at me from home. Spring is coming, guys!)
It was a nice to get away from the crowdedness of our town/neighborhood for the day and get some fresh air. Even better that it was ocean air!