Tioman Island – Tropical Beach Paradise
At the resort, an island hopping trip cost RM$90 per person with a minimum group of 6 person. Another alternative is to hire a boat for your own group. That cost RM $200/- per boat, more economical. Just ask one of the staff at the dive shop near the jetty and restaurant.
The trip starts at 9am. Hire of life jackets and snorkelling gear are charged separately. So after breakfast, we were off on our island hopping trip.
The first stop was Tekek for a bit of shopping. Next, we headed to the Marina Park for snorkelling with the fishes. Wear the life jackets. The beach sand here was very fine and gentle slopes made for safe swimming. Bring along some bread to feed the fishes and they will come.
Once we were done, the boat headed to an island. There was no landing here. The boat stopped nearby, wear the life jacket and snorkelling gear and hopped out to the sea. We could see the corals below and fishes came by when we offered them bread.
All in all, it was a half day excursion. The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing away, swimming in the sea in front of our chalets and yes, sleeping. Get rid of all that stress and relax.
Evening time, we decided to have dinner at the restaurant in the resort and ordered seafood. Before our first dish arrived, lights out! There was a black out! We ate our dinner side dish – calamari – in candle light. So romantic! But alas, the lights were restored all too soon.
The ferry for our return trip to Tj Gemok arrived at 1pm the next day. Nobody expected a storm that day. I was actually asleep when the ferry slowed and stopped. I figured we were close to Tj Gemok but no, we were still in the wide South China Sea with no jetty in sight.
What stopped the boat? My brother pointed out the big waves on the horizon. Our family were seated in the front rows and get to see the view front and centre. All right, no alarm bells as yet.
Suddenly the ferry shifted to the right. Whoa! A big wave slammed on the ferry. Another shift and we were aligned in a different direction. At times, the captain forged on ahead, other times the ferry shifted in many directions to avoid the big waves. By then, the sky was in darkness and heavy raindrops plastered the glass screen. The onslaught of heavy waves continued. We must had been in the eye of the storm for nearly one hour. Around us were fishing boats and every boat seemed to be racing to reach the jetty.
After a brief respite, all the boats headed to the jetty but the heavy waves followed us there. The big ones were easily over two meters, no exaggeration. At two stages, the ferry were diagonal to the wave length and we nearly capsized then. Thanks to the skills of the captain we made it to shore.
What an adventure!