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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tioman Island Escapade Itinerary Day 1

Being a beach-loving person, Tioman has always been on my travel list. Known as one of the most beautiful island in the world and measuring more than 133sq kilometres, Tioman is the largest in a volcanic group of islands off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.

Take a moment and picture the beauty of nature - lush tropical rainforest with countless streams and waterfalls surrounded by beaches of soft white sand and clear blue water. Hear the chirping of birds, the genuine laughter of children having fun and gentle sounds of waves. Welcome to paradise.

Somewhen in July 2012, after doing the necessary booking of travel and accommodation through Discovery Tours and Travel Pte Ltd, five friends and I embarked on a 3D2N snorkelling trip to Tioman.

Day 1

We got on the coach that arrived just outside DFS Galleria Orchard. Upon reaching the Malaysia customs, we had a quick 30-minutes breakfast, there were more toilet breaks subsequently. Please kindly note that there will be a RM5.00 marine park conservation fee charged at the Mersing ferry terminal.

After a gruelling 4-hours bus and near 2-hours ferry ride, we finally reached our destination - the beautiful Tioman island. Although the locals understand basic English, knowing how to converse in Melayu helps a great deal.
Our night's stay, Paya Beach Resort is effortlessly located about 5 minutes walk from the ferry terminal, with nearby convenience stores and eateries.
We checked into our standard lodges at Aman Damai Wing, conveniently located just a minute walk away from the beach. There is a spa house by the resort as well, but we shunned away upon looking at the prices.

There were a few komodo dragons roaming about. But if left undisturbed, these fierce-looking reptiles are generally "peace creatures".
Not to forget, the friendly furry resident.
All the standard lodges are built on top of the boardwalk and are card-key activated. Our room was slightly dirty, where the ants and cobsweb are a huge turn-off. But what can I expect for the low price? One good thing is that it comes equipped with basic toiletries, including shampoo, shower gel, toilet paper etc.
Please don't mind the mess 

While you were  there, do not forget to try the authentic Malaysia Ramly burger at the restaurant located just in front of the port. Juicy meat patty and crunchy greens sanwiched in between two crispy fried burger buns. I had their signature King Ramly (RM5.50), which simply means double patties.
There were a few vendors within the area that specializes in snorkelling and diving rental and other services. Their rates are quite competitive, so you might want to check out different ones. However, in the end we chose the one located just beside the resort reception (just to be safe.) Besides renting the equipments and kayaks, we also signed up for tomorrow's day snorkelling tour around the island, which includes 3 points of interest (RM60.00).

 New found friends, Soull and Judy posing with their snorkelling gears

We then kayaked away (approx 50 metres) from the shore, put on our snorkelling gears and jumped into the water. It was my virgin experience on snorkelling by the way. While there were little fishes and a bed of discoloured corals, it felt amazing able to see and feel the other dimension underwater. Some of us were disappointed at the declining quality, but nevertheless we enjoyed the kayaking.

The sun sets and the darkness rises

We headed back for a shower and quick rest before planning what's for dinner. Shower taps are readily available outside every single lodge for a quick feet wash, but we cleverly overturned the tap to uh.. do a shower dance.

Yours truly and Victor having a bromantic shower outside

Why not take the chance to cam-whore a bit while the other four are still preparing? As you can see (unclearly), Girlfriend Peiyi is wearing a green-dyed batik dress, which she bought earlier on at the Mersing ferry terminal for RM20.00.

After much discussion, we decided to settle for seafood dinner at the resort. There were lots of foreigners (especially Caucasians) enjoying the romantic ambience as much as the food. We had Barbequed Sting Ray, Chilli Prawns, Sambal Kang Kong and a mixed of Beef and Chicken satays.

The meal was satisfying and slightly cheaper than Singapore. If you do not take spicy food, kindly do inform the staff, as they love to put spice in almost everything.

Satay cheers for an awesome trip

Before I forget this point:
The almighty Magnum ice-cream costs only RM4.00 (S$1.60) at the convenience store!

We headed back to their lodge, where we "talked cock and sang song". The Mediacorp's Save My World song was popular back then and we kept singing it to the tunes of Victor's guitar and my terrible ukulele skills.

Peiyi and I went back to our lodge. Lights out.

For Tioman Island Escapade Itinerary Day 2, please kindly click here.