Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Saigon, Vietnam - 24Apr07

Amusing Historical Museum, Stunning War Museum

Retyped after the IE at the internet cafe hang! $^&()^%%$$

i have come to realise that, air-con is a luxury at this region. Unless you go the the high end restaurant or hotel, which mean you are going to pay for the standard as per in Singpaore, then don't expect a working air-con at some decent restaurants or hotels.

i changed to a cheaper room today. Decided to bear with the heat and spend 2 more days here. i was not willing to pay for the not really work aircon now.

i finally tried the Vietnamese pho, noodle soup. Yes, in the vege restaurant. Quite nice, but i did not like the MSG they put. i did not like Vietnamese tea too. It got some kind of 'burnt' smell.

i shopped at Bien Theint market, got some T shirts and small sourvenirs. i think i got a bit too much compassionate that when i think about the average income of people here is just 100 USD per month, then i felt really bad to bargain for things i bought and for the transportation. The highlight of the day was the War Musuem. i was weeping when i saw the war photos. May be my past life was died in this region that i felt so much over here. Not matter what, i think i got quite a good rebirth in this life though. :) Gratitude.

The Reunification Palace gave me a deeper understandings of the history of Vietnam. Although i couldn't feel the hatred of Vietnamese towards the American now, but obviously the American involvement in the Vietnam War is considered as an invasion and cruelity over here.

The Historical Musuem was funny. There was a furniture shop right in the compound of the musuem. I mistaken the museum as a furniture shop selling antique style furniture in the first place. i did not expect to see a mummy in the museum. i was really surprised to see a 'corpse' lying in the glass.

i took the xe om (moto taxi) to the business area, dong Khai and caught a drink over the juice bar. It was a bit expensive (for the standard here) but they got fresh wheat grass juice and very delicious begel. The environment was good too and there was people opened the door for me, so it worthed every cents. :)

i met with Viet Ha, a Vietnamese girl from Hanoi for dinner. She is just 23 years old and currently doing her internship in her own country. Well, she has been studing in Canada for quite a while, so she speaks excellent English. i am glad to find someone who i can speak in a 'complicated' way. By visiting this region, i think i realised that, i speak 'excellent' English! ;p

She asked whether my long trip is a kind of soul searching or?? i seriously don't know. May be i am looking for something? someone? i only know that, i enjoy meeting different kind of people and seeing different kind of life.

Reunification Palace. This building was once the symbol of the south Vietnamese government.

War Remnants Museum. This is a powerful place. Many shed tears for seeing the pictures of suffering people during American War.

A beautiful Cathedral situated by the road junction.

The modern part of Saigon, air-conditioned shopping centre.

1.) Food: 142000 Dong
2.) Accommodation: USD 4 (squeezy , simple fan room with two single beds and attached bath room)
3.) Tranportation: 10000 Dong
4.) Shopping: 92000 Dong

Saigon, Vietnam - 23Apr07

Chu Chi Tunnel


Part of one of my burned CD is spoiled. So i lost my photos took at Cao Dai Temple. Too bad

i met the French couple again for the day trip to Chu Chi Tunnel, outskirt Saigon. i felt kind of warmth when they hugged me and said halo!

There were a few Asian and some solo female in the tour! A Canadian Chinese girl, a Korean lady, a Japanese guy, an American and some other travelers in group. There was a group of Vietnamese students too. i think i got really so well to be pro-active to talk to people first! May be this is the other benefit of traveling solo? So that you become less shy to interact with people? So i talked to every solo travelers. Interesting, i found Asian is normally more shy and reserved than some Westerners.

The highlight for today was crawling inside the 100m tunnel. It was so dark, basically i couldn't see anything. The Vietnamese girl in front of me was very kind that she offered to hold my hand. i felt very warmth. So when you travel, it was the kindness that people showed to you that you remembered. i couldn't restraint to have a kind of respect to the determination of Vietnamese people. i wanted to get out from the tunnel after 3 minutes that i got in. It were so hot and dark and narrow. The guide said, the tunnel that we got in was actually the "VIP version" as the government had made it bigger for the 'comfort' of tourists. But those Vietnamese people lived inside during Vietnamese War.

The American in the group is actually a veteran American soldier in the Vietnamese war. i told him that, i felt very creepy when the guide showed and demonstrated all kind of traps used by the Vietnamese during the war. They were very smart but those traps were just horrible as they were so effective and cruel. The veteran said, this was the first time he came back here after the war. By seeing those things and the tunnel, he felt a deep sense of respect to the determination and wisdom to the Vietnamese. He was a young man at that time and he did not know what did he fight for. "They gave me a gun and i am fighting for my survival." So may be 30 years later, when some American soldiers look back to the war at Iraq, then they would feel the same. I think i started to grow some kind of respect to the American. American have some kind of 'critic' culture and many that i met don't hesistate to critic their own country but yet i know this is probably out of the love to the country. This is something so different from the Asian way. In Malaysia at least, if you critic the government, then it would mean that you don't love the country. i think this is really a 'theory' which doesn't make any sense.

We visited to a Caodism temple too. This is a religion which combined Taoism, Buddhism and confuciunism. It is really interesting that it also absorpted the good parts of some other religion such as Christianity. The symbol of this religion is obviously an eye. A compassionate eye of the God to see and help the suffered human beings. The French couple said the whole things in the temple looked like a Disney Land, probably because of there were so many tourists. But i told them that, the devotees did not go there to pray because of we wanted to see them. The temple wasn't there because we wanted to visit it. I would love to spend more time at this temple, but this was a tour with Sinh Cafe. We got only one hour. The same thing happened when we visited a handicapped centre which sell handicraft. We got only 35 minutes and i queued up for toilet for 20 minutes itself! Once again, i am very sure that why i have never really enjoyed a tour with a tour company.

The exit of parts of the Chu Chi Tunnel which are enlarged and opens to tourists to experience "life in the tunnel".

The guide demonstrated the mechanism of the killing traps used by Viet Cong during the American War.

The group of Vietnamese students. Chu Chi has become a place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese school kids and communist-party cadres.

1.) Food - 56000 D
2.) Accommodation - USD 8 (Vu Chau Hotel. Fans+Aircon which were not really work. Most aircon around this region is not working. Hot shower, which is not really hot too.Toilet paper, big clean room with double bed and toilet.)
3.) Trip - Chi Chu Tunnel Entrance Fees: 70000 D

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Can Tho - Saigon, Vietnam : 22 Apr 07

Last day of Mekong Delta tour. Went to the whole sales market of vegetable. I think this parts is really a small reflection of the current world. Everyone relies so much on the river for living and yet polluting it with human waste and rubbish. Doesn't this look like the world now? Everyone of us 'contributing' in a way to the pollution of our mother Earth.

Nothing great about the trip. Went to fruits farm and padi processing factory. However the French couple in the group have been in a way really taken care of me. Sharing their dinning table with me and we talked from time to time. When we hugged said good bye, i really feel sad that i had to part with them.

After 2 days of not getting proper meal in Mekong Delta, i really hope to get some decent nice vegetarian meal. i took a vege fried rice for lunch in a restaurant that the bus dropped us at and the Vietnamese girls at my table was very kind to help me to ensure that i got something that i wanted. Basically i found most local people here were helpful. The food was not great and with my bleeding nose (i always got nose bleeding problem when i got 'heated'), i really hope to eat some noodle soup! But i did not want to risk for eating something unsure.

So i sat with a Polish guy in the bus. He is working in Vietnam and taking the opportunity to travel around too. It was just another short encounter and no hooked up. i wonder, where does all Asian gone? i did not see even single Asian traveling around until now.

We got to Saigon at around 7pm. i get rid of the tout and got to the hotel recommended by Alice. It was triple more expensive than what i am willing to pay, but I will see what to do then. Found the vege restaurant that i wanted to go, got the bliss of eating a proper meal and yes, i am very tired now. Time to back to hotel and rest.

Floating market. But mostly for whole sales.

The fruists plantation.

The rice processing factory.

The local market. I like Vietnamese markets. They are lively and you can get anything from real gold to vegetable to toiletaries just at one place.

1.)Food: 58,000 D
2.)Accommodation: USD 8
3.)Trip: USD 5 (one day Chi Chu Tunnel trip with Sinh Cafe)
4.)Others: Vietnamese Hat - 10,000 D + India Lonely Planet Book - USD 8

Chau Doc-Can Tho, Vietnam: 21 Apr 07

The breakfast started at 6am. We took breakfast and there was a guide from Saigon to entertain us. After all logistics and bla bla bla, we set off at around 7.30am, if i remember correctly. We took rowing boat to fishing farm and Cham (a muslim ethnic group) weaving village. Then it was almost 1.5 hours bus ride to an incense making 'factory' (it doesn't look like a factory at all) and crocodile farm. After this, another hour of bus ride to Can Tho. It was 1pm by then. Free and easy (you are one your own) for the rest of the day.

My first lesson learnt in Vietnam, if you write the price, don't write "D". It will be mistaken as "0" (zero). Just write "Dong" or just ignore the currency sign. The story went by (short version), i lost my way after i went inside to a market and used different exit to come out. So i hired a moto driver to bring me to river side. He lost his way but managed to send me there by getting another driver to lead us the way. Upon arrival, he demanded 30,000 Dong. i said we agreed on 3000 Dong! So it was ten times the price! Then i finally realized that, he got my "D" mistaken as zero. For such a short journey, i was really a great over charged (around USD 3). Since he got me to the place and obviously he couldn't understand me, so i saw no point to fight over a few dollar. i just paid him and walked away. Learnt my lesson with 2 USD, not a big deal.

i took some kind of pan cake and drink at the river side restaurant. i wasn't willing to pay that much of money for my meal again, main course was around 90,000 Dong (USD 5, while the normal meal could be 10,000 Dong, less than one USD). The breeze from the river was a bliss to the heat. i then took an hour's walk to walk back to the guesthouse. Went to two modern shopping malls on the way. Not very big but i wonder in a place like this, can supermarket survive? i personally would prefer to get the vegetable from market rather than supermarket. May be aircon is the selling point then.

A buddhist cum taoist temple in Chau Doc town.

Rowing boat.

"Kelong" or fish farm on the lake.

The Cham girl weaving clothes.

Incense making.

Well, the very touristic crocodile farm.

Can Tho town.

1.) Food - 35,4000 Dong
2.) Transport - 30,000 Dong
3.) Others: Internet - 3500D

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Chau Doc, Vietnam - 20Apr07

From Cambodia to Vietnam, by Mekong River

i bought the ticket from Capitol tour at USD 7. It was mentioned as 'express' boat, but it was a slow boat. The bus to the river supposed to set off by 8am, but like usual, there was a delay for 40 minutes. The first hour of the road was ok, but the other one hour towards the end of the journey, due to the construction of the road, it was bumpy and very dusty. The aircon of the mini van was not working, so we had to choose either heat or dust.

The slow boat took around 2 hours to reach the custom of Cambodia. The guide from Capitol tour told us what to do, so no problem. We left our bags in the boat. This continued with another probably 15 minutes of boat ride, then we reached Veitnamese border. We had to carry our own bags, as there was a change of boat. We paid a 2000 Dong to get a piece of whatever paper to the custom or whatever government agency (i did not understand what is said by the guide, so i did not know who and what we paid for). i changed USD 1 to Dong with the guide because the rate was not good, 1 USD to 15000Dong. Then we handed over our passport to the Vietnamese guide and said bye bye to the Cambodian guide. We was asked to wait in a cafe for the guide to get our passport stamped. It was around 1pm then, the restaurant staff would show you their menu, so it is up to you to buy something or not. Price was around USD 1 - 2 (Luckiliy i got my own food). After half an hour, we got our passports backed, carried our backpacks for X ray and we were on the other boat. This boat ride took us almost 2 hours to reach Chau Doc and was more scenic than the previous Mekong ride then.

The guide gave out a brochure (from Sinh Cafe) regarding on Mekong Delta Tour. No hard selling, just let him know if you wanted to join. i took a 2 Days 2 Nights tour. It was around 4.30pm by the time we got to Chau Doc. So i got this night for 'free', then tomorrow night for 'free' at Can Tho too. This trip was USD 26, i supposed to pay another USD 10 for single room, but the guide waived it off because of i am a Malaysian and solo female.

i walked around Chau Doc town once i settled down. There was a beautiful buddhist temples and i walked around the market. The biggest problem i found here was, i have nothing to eat. People don't understand English or Chinese and i couldn't find vegetarian food. i ended up bought a lot of fruits as my meal and back up supplies.

The cottages by Mekong River.

The kids are normally keen to waive at foreigners.

The "Express Boat".

1.) Food: 35000D
2.) Package tour including accommodation: USD 26
3.) Others: 2000D
<1 USD = 15000D ; 10 USD = 15500D>

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - 19Apr07

A Visit to the Orphanage - Save the Children Cambodia for Development

The weather wasn't as hot due to the rain last night. This was a bliss. My very nice moto driver waited for me at the front door of guest house at 8am and we were set to the Save the Children of Cambodia Development (SCD), an orphanage.

The driver got the way wrong, so we was lost but finally got to SCD (Save the Children Cambodia for Development) in an hour time. The place wasn't what i imagined at all. I did not expect something that i would see at Singapore or Malaysia but i was still shocked to find that, SCD was in the middle of padi field! i actually told the driver that, this mustn't be the place as there was no signboard and the place looked like some where a farmer will stay. But the SCD staff convinced me that, it was the place.

The staff showed me around and explained the operation of the place to me. Surprisingly, for such a basic place, the children were very well mannered, polite and very cheerful. The could speak basic English and they were just amazing! Contented and grateful. When i gave them the just some hair pins and small toys, ALL of them thanked me in English. i spent probably around two hours there and left. i was glad that i extended another day just to come here, if not, two days will be enough for Phnom Penh.

Then we went to Russian Market for shopping. i bought a silk krama at USD 3 and 2 pants at USD 4. This was the end of my journey PP already. i got the driver sent me to the river side. Passed by a blind massage centre, so went inside for a Japanese massage for just USD 5/hr. Then ate my lunch/dinner at the famous FCC (Foreign Corresponding Centre). i couldn't finish my vege pizza , so i basically just waved at a single guy. He came over, i offered him the pizza and chatted a bit, so end of the story.

i found that in PP, food has been my greatest expenses due to my particularity. Probably have to think of a way in Vietnam, or else i will far over budget. :)

With the kids at SCD.

My motorbike drive.

The market scene.

The street scene.

1.) Transport: USD 13 + 2500R\
2.) Food: USD 8 + 5000R
3.) Accommodation: USD 4
4.) Others: Shopping - USD 7 + 2000R, Massage - USD 5, Donation to orphanage - USD 10


Grand total of trip to PP from Singapore including flight: SGD 323


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - 18 Apr 07

The Heart Wrenching Past

i took a dragon fruits that i bought yesterday as my breakfast. It was 10 am by then, too late to start a day.

A moto driver approached me the moment i stepped out from the guesthouse, so we agreed on a price and he would be my driver for the day. The weather was still hot hot hot. So motocycle is not really a good choice!

We first went to Orrusey Market just opposite to my guesthouse. This market is very lively with people selling all kind of things from vegetable, flowers, meats, dried food, garment to anything you might need in your daily life! i keep these two rules as my guidelines to bargain: 1.) The more important is getting a price which you and the merchant could agree with, and not getting the cheapest price! (Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world) 2.) Always decide on what you are willing to pay first, then work on that price. Appreciate the room of negotiation and not taking the bargaining as some kind of 'hard labour'work.

Next, we went to Killing Filed. Although Ah Khoon said this place could be skipped because there is just a 'pile'of skulls. But i was glad that i was there. i found this place to give me a more stunning effects than over the genocide meseum later. You saw the 'pile'of human skulls from children, women to adults and the rag of their clothes. With so many of the holes around the serene compound, you almost could imagine that, the victims were brought to here, kneel down, got killed and kicked into the hole. I started to wonder, why there are people like to harm life? Then i feel happy that, i did my part for being a vegetarian.

i took my lunch a the garden oasis of a restaurant called Bodhi Tree. The food is superb and the plants around have a cooling effect. The restaurant is right opposite to the Genocide Museum (Toul Sleng Museum). At least by this second day, i discovered that, being a vegetarian probably mean i missed the local food culture and i would be expected to pay more for most of my meals. I meant, i went only to those restaurant where vegetarian food is served or at least where i know the staff will be able to understand me and got my food prepared in the way i want. This means a 'higher'end restaurant and cost more. Double of the price i would pay for a decent meal in Singapore in fact.

i spent longer time than i expected in the Genocide Museum. I watched an one hour movie (one at 10am the other at 3pm). The movie was basically about how the Pol Pot regime destroyed or separated a loving couple. This was pretty much the same experience for all people at that time. The museum used to be a school, but turned to a torturing compound later. You saw some of the apparatus they used, the cells they used to keep the people and many photos of the victims. It was sad and a part of the history that couldn't be changed now. With the death of Pol Pot, the 'truth'about why he ever committed such things are also unknown.

Due to lack of time, i skipped Russian Market and the orphanage. So i extended another day in Phnom Penh because i really wanted to go to the orphanage. i went to the restaurant at river side and waited for Mei Sing's brother in law, Edwin. He was very kind to show me around his working place and told me some interesting story about the casino. Basically, he and Frankie showed me a bit here and there of the life of an expat in Phnom Penh. I would say that, i don't mind to live in this place for a year or two too! Finally, Edwin and his driver sent me back to my guest house.

It started to rain after a while. Then i discovered that, if i opened the window and let the cold wind to come in, then my room won't be this hot! i did and i had a better sleep in the night then.

KILLING FIELD - This is the 'pile' of skulls. It is inside of a stupa.

This is how the stupa looks like from far.

GENOCIDE MUSEUM - This compound used to be a school but eventually used as a torture ground by Khmer Rouge. The photos of Khemer Rouge victims.

The school then the torturing ground of Khmer Rouge and now the Genoside Museum.

1.) Moto - Whole day USD 10
2.) Food: USD 6 (Far too cheap than actual as dinner is on Edwin!)
3.) Sights Entrance Fees: USD 2 + 8000R
4.) Accommodation: Capitol GH - USD 4
5.) Other: Internet- 2000R and Shopping USD 6

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - 17 Apr 07

Halo! The Capital of Cambodia!

i woke up at 4.30am and left Singapore with Jetstar flight at 7am. Arrrived a Phnom Penh at 8am (time in Cambodia is one hour behind of time in Singapore). What i could said is, hot hot hot.

i took the motocycle taxi from airport to Capitol Gueshouse 3. i was wearing my Laos skirt and yogi loose blouse. Then i found that, people on the road was staring at me. So i noticed that, women is expected to sit side way on the motorbike. It is 'únsighful' to sit with both legs open, especially when you are wearing a skirt! The women here also wear in a very western way, probably just more covered, long pant or T shirt. So i looked really really foregin then. But with my small eyes, i guess nobody will think i am local too. So it doesn't matter.

Phnom Penh is basically very modern now. She has a few modern shopping centres and many foreign cuisine! My friend , Frankie, who has been working here for 10 years surprised me even more by telling me that, there is one huge casino and more than 30 electronics casino/game centre in such a small place like this! i saw some very majestic and huge houses near the Independant Monument. So i could say that, like Laos, Cambodia has as very big gap of poor and rich. Probably this is just true at every where in the world!

I first visited to National Museum. They charge a USD 1 for camera, but you could only take picture at the garden. So i think this is a waste of money. Bacause i have been to Angkor Wat, this made the exhibits in the museum sounds more meaningful to me. (Don't expect any great explainations in the museum, but you can get a guide if you want to.) The garden was really beautiful, since i paid for taking photos as well, so i took quite a few!

After that, i tried to look for a vege restaurant. After almost half an hour walking under the hot sun, then i found the place but it was closed! XYZ$^*)(_&
i went to the restaurant beside of the vege restaurant then. i told them in English that i wanted some rice without meat. But later i found that, actually in Phnom Penh, Chinese is more useful than English. Many businesses are ran by Chinese and even the Khmer can speak a few Chinese words. Then, i started to talk to the local in Chinese first rather than English.

i was a bit regret for not purchased the USD 2 camera fees for loyal palace and silver pagoda. Even though you couldn't take photo inside of the building, but the outside looked so nice that it was a waste for not taking picture. Of course i could just take picture like that, since nobody is checking inside to see whether you have bought the camera ticket. But i did not want to be dishonest! So i did not take any pictures (now i think that, may be i am a bit silly. I could always take and pay later! A lesson lernt). It was interesting that, the weather is so hot that even the birds were bathing in the pool of water!

Wat Phnom was a bit far from the town central, but i have managed to walk there as well. This is also the last destination that i walk to. Subsequently, i took only motorcycle taxi. The temple was very very 'smoky'with incense. I did not pay the 'çompulsory'donation of USD 1. Instead, i used the money to do liberation of 2 birds. Then i gave 500 Riel to a landmind beggar.

The last desitnation of the day was central market. It looked like an old Russian kind of railway station to me. It was around 5pm when i was there and most stall has closed. i bought my breakfast for tomorrow there, a dragon fruits and an orange for just 4000R. The other garment stall doesn't interest me though.

Frankie drives. So he drove me around the city area. It was interesting because i normally missed the night scene when i am traveling abroad. Further more, Ah Khoon keep saying it is dangerous to go out at night, so i better don't do so. We passed by the Casino, many shopping malls, some kind of local fun fair , night market selling roasted insects ....

I was really tired when i got back to guest house. But i took an hour to bath and do other 'body maintenance! This is record 'breaking to me! But i really don't want to fall sick or got any health problem, so it is important to apply body lotion, face toner, foot gel ...

* When i woke up in the morning, my body was sticky. i did not sure it is because of all the lotion that i applied or because of my sweat!


1.) Transport:
- Jetstar Singapore - PP : SGD 139
- Taxi to Changi Airport: SGD 24
- Motocycle to guest house: USD 2
- Motocycle from Wat Phnom to Central Market: 1000R
- Motorcycle From Central Market to river side - 2000R
- Motorcycle from river side to Olympic Stadium - USD 1 + 1000R (i was charged double for this, but due to New Year, i don't care much for just a few cent. The driver gave me a name card and asked me to contact him if i need any further transportation service, but why should i? i don't feel angry doesnt mean i like to be cheated. :)

2.) Food n Water: SGD2 + USD 3 + 7500R

3.) Entrance fees for sigh seeing (including donation): USD 8 + 2000R

4.) Accommodation: Capitol GH - Fan, attached bathroom, clean, small but quiet USD 4

5.) Internet: 2000R/ hour

1.) Taxi (car or motorcycle) from airport to town: The car counter is at the right side right after you come out from the main entrance. It is more expensive, at USD 5. Don't worry if you want a cheaper option. What you need to do is just to stand there and some motorcyclist will approach you. It will cost you USD 2.

The National Museum of Cambodia. There are many beautiful sculptures from different era.

It was just one week after Cambodian New Year. There was some kind of celebration just out side of the Royal Palace.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Singapore, 15 Apr 07

Chijmes is one of my favorite places in Singapore.
It used to be a school but it now houses bars and restaurants.
(Must be quite sad to the previous students though.)
It has a beautiful yard and very good dinning ambient, but is expensive.

I always like this kind of colonial time buildings.
You can find many in Penang but in Singapore, many of these buildings have been renovated and converted into some kind of expensive shop or bar or restaurant.

This is the shrine hall of an Amernenian Church.
There is a cementry in the church compound. It took some pictures but somehow accidentally deleted them when i cleared my memory card.
I like those statues in the cementry. They gave the grave yard a kind of very peaceful and holy ambient.

One of the buildings of Singapore Management University.
It is proudly situated in the city area and if i am not mistaken, all school buildings are connected underground.

Clarke Quay is looking very nice after the renovation.
This fountain looks a bit like the one at Parco Bugis Juction.
Again, i like those old buildings.

One of the bar.
Some bar serve a kind of smoke. It has a mouth and a long tube.
I don't know what exactly it is called, but i saw the similar kind of smoking apparatus at some bars near Raffles Place too.
i am not a smoker, so this thing is not an attraction to me.
But somehow, i think public sharing the mouth of the tube is very very dirty and unhygient.

The roof changes from one color to the other.
When we passed by Boat Quay later, we could easily noticed that, the business here is very much affected by all attractions at the Clarke Quay now.
When you walk pass each bar or restaurant, the waitress/waiter will somehow ask whether you want to take a drink or eat something.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tekek, Tioman (Day 3) - 12 Apr 2007

i graduated!
i am now a NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver.

* Sorry to Abect, my dive instructor, though. i put his photo here without consent. But i really wanted to have my graduation photos here!

The seaview looking from the dive centre.

Tekek Jetty. People were busying loading and unloading the goods from the ferry.

This is one of the resort/dive centre/restaurant at ABC village.

Salang Village. The chalets on the hill really looked nice in the picture.

Renggis Island. This was where i did my last dive before i left and saw the sharks. Last time, we saw turtles here.

My dive mate is very kind to send me some underwater photos for the dive at Renggis.
So, this is me with fishes swimming around.
More of the underwater photos can be seen at his blog:

We saw this blue spotted sting ray.

You won't miss to see clown fish! This is something 'die-die-sure-can-see" for every dive trips.

i was taking picture for whatever... (i couldn't recall now).
i brought a manual underwater camera.

Mersing street, near to the jetty.


Time to leave.
i woke up late at 8.30am due to the late night yesterday. i took a quick breakfast and then started to have my photo sessions with staff in the dive centre.
One last dive before i am off and completed my course. The certification card will be sent to my address later and i guess i need to photocopy my dive certificate for my up coming dive at Vietnam then. (i planned to dive at Nha Trang)
The last dive at Renggis was good. A beautiful closing to my trip with the sighting of 3 blacktip sharks and a giant groupe. The visibility was the best in the past 3 days but no current, too bad. I was looking forward to a drift dive. A Japanese who dived with me offered to send me some underwater photos, so at least i would get other than the 'dried' photos.

i hope i will see more Asian single traveler like me, but it was really unfortunate that, i did not even see one Japanese single traveler. Probably this is why i always end up to hang out with some foreigners, as there are not many crazy Asian woman would do what i am doing.

Initially, i planned to leave at 2pm. But Akemi said, there is no ferry at this time, so i better leave with the ferry at 12.30pm. It was almost 12pm by then, so i took a quick lunch, bid farewell with them and Akemi sent me to the jetty using her motorbike.

As usual, the ferry was delayed. It was there at Tekek Jetty at 1.30pm. Then went here and there to drop and pick up passengers, so by only 3pm then we really headed to Mersing. With this, we got to Mersing at almost 4 hours later by 4.15pm.

It was embarrased that, i somehow put my ferry ticket in my pocket and i couldn't find it later. i almost emptied my pockets and sling bag, but couldn't find it. The ferry staff was waiting for me while everyone were staring at me. Then finally someone saw my ticket on the floor. Phew... Or else i would need to buy another one. Lesson learnt, always keep whatever ticket or receipt properly.

i learnt another lesson from this mini trip. i really should avoid wearing short or small T shirt during my long trip. This small shirt was barely covered my money belt so i had to wear my money belt inside of my pant! It could be really inconvenient if i wanted to ge something like my passport from there.

The whole journey from Tioman to Singapore took me 9 hours! i left for Tekek Jetty at 12.30pm and arrived at home only at 9.30pm. I was very tired, so when i got a call from my friend, i basically just told her that, "we will talk next time!" Sorry to her, but i had really no more energy to talk. Remember, i slept at around 3am last night.

i met two girls on the same bus from Tioman to Johor Bahru. When we alighted from the bus, a tout approached them for trip to Singapore. Out of good will, i told them that i am taking bus to go back to Singapore, so they could follow me if they want to. i think, they were likely to pay much for a trip to take a cab to the town then from there to Singapore. It would be better if they just take bus to Singapore and then take a cab in Singapore to wherever they wanted to go. They followed me to the bus 170 platform, but later decided to take a cab though. i think this is because their bags were really heavy and they did not want the hassle to on/off the bus and custom with their bags.

The encounterment with them made me think about, what will i do if a local girl told me that i could follow her? i think, i am likely to just follow the local despite of the hassle. In a way, this will definitely be cheaper and should be safer to follow to someone who knows. It reminded me also, don't bring more than i am able to carry with ease.


1.) Food - RM 12

2.) Transport -
* Speed Ferry from Tioman to Mersing: RM 35
* Express bus: S & S International from Mersing to Larkin - RM 8.80
- The last bus is at 5.30pm and they don't go to Singapore directly now.