How Not to Kill a Poisonous Spider on the Perhentian Islands: A Lesson in 3 Parts

perhentian islands poisonous spider

When I was 2, my dad took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark with his brother, assuming that I would not really remember anything because I was too young. To the contrary, I had nightmares for years about spiders as a toddler, and to this day have a visceral reaction when I see them. When I lived in South America I had a poisonous spider in my room, bigger than my hand, and I’m not entirely sure how I managed to sleep at all. The first week follow its discovery I certainly did not manage to rest.

Upon arrival to the Perhentian Islands to heel my toes after several volcano climbs, I quickly got settled and met some fellow travellers who became part of a circle that ate, wrote, and swam together. Two of them, Dennis and Chloe, were staying near my room and had the misfortune of finding a bright green spider in their room.

After an inquiry at the front desk, we were told that if it was bright green they would not help us dispose of it because “very dangerous.” Appreciating that it was too much of a poisonous spider to have them come near it, we decided we needed to dispose of it in some manner or another.

What follows is three short but hilarious videos of our attempts to kill this poisonous spider on the Perhentian Islands. This whole struggle has most certainly bonded us for life.

We named the spider Ronnie.

How (not) to kill a poisonous spider on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia


Dennis & Chloe, from Florida and Quebec;
Dennis’ shoes; and….

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Conclusion: Ronnie 0; Dennis & Chloe 1

The Perhentians are beautiful, but are home to a variety of animals that have found themselves in a tenuous state of co-existence with the tourists. Monitor lizards, feisty squirrels, bats, poisonous spiders and a strangely vocal pregnant cat; each of the animals has become part of our island routine and certainly adds to the adventure of being here.

After about a week on Perhentian Kecil, I’ve met some lovely people – Dennis & Chloe, a Dutch couple (Sandra & Joe), and an Englishwoman named Anjie who is my new roomie among them, as well as Allen from the Agung climb, who was persuaded to come to the islands for a week before heading home to Ireland today. Hazy, lazy, beachy days and quiet nights (Coral Bay is almost entirely devoid of alcohol and as it is Ramadan, is especially quiet) have made my time here thus far thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable.

Up next: more posts on Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as my time in Oz.


6 thoughts on “How Not to Kill a Poisonous Spider on the Perhentian Islands: A Lesson in 3 Parts”

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