Rats, Bats and Friendly Cats.
Kapas Island in Malaysia is slightly off the tourist trail – Redang often being the preferred destination for backpackers. The island is supposed to be a national park and therefore there are at least 3 long sandy beaches that have not been built upon. When snorkelling between Kapas and Gem Islands one can often see turtles, sharks, lots of fish but unfortunately not a lot of coral. It is a quiet place during the week, weekends though are different as many Malyasians come for the weekend to camp and the sea is full of splashing bodies. Having stayed on the island before we decided to head to one of the quieter beaches and stay at Quimis.
Our cabin was set back into the jungle off the beach at Quimis Private Resort. The room was shabby but large and the shower room was fashioned out of island stone. Built in a semi-circle and accessed through the bedroom door, the wall’s height finished just shy of my head so I had to stand on tiptoe to see the view. Netting continued upward forming the rest of the wall and ceiling. The shower head had broken off and water dribbled and died out of the remaining pipeline when the tap was turned on. The bed was lumpy and the mosquito net holey. The contents of dead mossies were smeared across the walls. There was no lock on the door. We had expected a little more for our 30 dollars a night! However, the island was clean, empty, the sun was shining, the water clear and full of fish. We could put up with it and I could clean.
That night I heard scuffling and a crinkling of plastic in the dark. “What was that?” my fearless partner quavered. “A mouse” I replied “go to sleep”. Several hours later, after trying to catch out said mouse with torches we fell into an exhausted sleep. The next day I plugged up all the holes I found in the bathroom netting and the next night made sure that the bathroom door was shut. The ‘ mouse’ visited us again and this time ate my soap, 2 packets of cigarettes, left footprints on my itablet, tried to drag off my razor and left us a few presents in the bathroom. “Hmm – it might be a rat” I said “but how did it get in?” I checked the room and found a hole in the wall.
We talked to the owner, Rose. We tried the stuff they gave us to get rid of the rat, we assured them that we had no food in the room (several times), we asked for a different room. But talking to other guests we discovered that they all had rats in the bathrooms and were being charged a lot more for the pleasure. Our next door neighbour told us that the previous occupants had left the room littered in food wrappers and other rubbish and it had taken the staff 4 days to clean the room. She said she knew that it was going to be occupied again as they sprayed to bed for bed bugs (that would explain all the headaches we got). We moved to another resort called KBC – cheaper, friendlier, nice restaurant – plenty of food, cheap water refills and beer, kitchen and no rats – just bats in the trees and friendly cats!
KBC Accommodation – 70 ringets a night – small but no rats