Friday, April 13, 2007

Tekek, Tioman (Day 1) - 10 Apr 2007

The Bluewave Speed Ferry docking at Mersing Ferry Terminal to Tioman.

i like the sky. It was hot and the sky was blue. Little did i expect that, it would be 3 rainy days when i was in Tioman. i thought it was supposed to be hot weather now! The people in Tioman said, it was hot during mosoon though. So the world weather is really unpredictable now.
You will notice the sea water changed from the murky greenish (at Mersing) to the blueish deep blue and eventually crystal clear greenish from Mersing to Tioman.

This is Malaysia and there is a mosque everywhere. This one in Mersing is newly built and right on the top of a hill. Doesn't it looks like some almighty God is observing every of your deeds?
(i am a buddhist who believe in my own conscious and Karma.)

This is me on the ferry. The ferry was approaching the island and it was raining.

All villages in Tioman have some kind of accommodation right facing to the sea. It was really nice to hear the sound of the wave while taking your meal or even before you sleep.

The sunset. It stopped raining at around evening. But did not get to see the sun.


This is my trial 'trial' trip before i go off for my months of great trip. The fact is now i am in Tioman and i feel bored! i have been to many trips alone and never have i feel this bored. i guess part of the reasons is there are good memories here, every where around this dive centre and resort, even the island.

Reeno, Akemi and the other staff are actually remembered Mei Siang, Brad and me. They asked about both of them and i saw our pictures were still on the wall.

When the lesson started, how i hope that Mei Siang is here with me and we could take the lesson together. A lot of things that we did together last time was now appeared in my mind and i recalled that, at least i don't have to eat my dinner alone!

Like usual, wherever i go, i was mistaken as Japanese until i started to talk in Malay. Tekek is not a place for backpacker, accommodation is usually more expensive than what you can get at Salang or Kampung Air Batang (ABC). I saw only tourists in group, mostly with family and almost all are foreigners. i don't see even one Asian tourist and not even mention a single Asian male or female traveling alone like me. I saw one Caucasian teenager on the speed ferry only, not to mention any other single traveler at the resort/dive centre. There was none!

The local here are keen to talk to me though. Been able to speak the same language and been friendly with all of them at least do me a favor in getting my vegetarian meal prepared in the way exactly i wanted it to be. i think i am not likely to have this kind of luxury for my long trip later.

Another thing that reminded me of my coming trip to India was the delayed of the speed ferry. It was supposed to depart at 11.30am, but it was waiting and waiting for one passenger after another. So it had only managed to leave the jetty at 12.10pm, which was a delayed for 40 minutes. i think this is something very likely to happen in India too. So i told myself that, instead of feeling annoyed, i should treat it with amusement. There is no reason to spoil my good holiday mood because of some other person's action or whatever i couldn't control. So, better to just treat it as a joke!

The first dive training was a revision of all open water techiniques, such as mask clearing, retrieving lost regulator, wearing and unwearing regulator in the water, lost buddy and rescue. i was panicked when i have to clear my mask while not having my regulator in my mouth. However, somehow, with some 'miracle', i still managed to do it in a clumsy and panicking way. The rescue was done in the same pathetic manner too. (The person would die of drowning if this was a real case.) After those revisions, we had a short leisure dive. To my greatest annoyance ( i don't think i can see this as something amusing at all), Abect (my dive instructor), actually plucked a sponge to rub his slate! So he had just killed an animals that he should in fact conserve. However i did not say anything. I didn't want to spoil our relationship just in the first training. i was also scared that, he will just left me in lurge if i needed help in the subsequent trainings.

Then we got a night dive for training of navigation. i repeated 4 or 5 times then only managed to read the compass correctly - finding my direction. i decided that, i don't like night dive. Probably things are more active, but you barely see your surrounding. i don't like this part of uncertainty. Abect again, to add to my annoyance, he was touching this animals and that. As a volunteer nature guide, this is reeally beyond my limits. First, he removed the sponge of a potter crab, then he touched a big shrimp (not sure what kind of shrimp) and refusing to let it go and the wrost thing is, he picked up a thorny sea cucumber and used it to touch an electric ray! As someone who relies on the sea, i think he should learn to conserve and should know that, all divers are just observers (or intruders) and should touch nothing (or at least keep it to minimum)! So when we ascent, i told him that, he shouldn't touch anything at all! Especially not to mention that using the sea cucumber to touch the electric ray so that the electric ray couldn't burrow into the sand bottom. He kept quiet and may be got annoyed by me too. I then suggested him to have a pair of wood choptsticks so that if he really need to touch an electric ray in the coming time, then at least he got an insulaor with him!


1.) Accommodation:
Babura Sea View Resorts - attached bath room (no hot shower), aircon, complimentary breakfast, transport to and from jetty to the resort
RM 150 for 2 nights , check out time 2pm (discounted rate, 15%)

2.) Naui Advanced Scuba Diver course with Tioman Reef Diver
- RM 600 (discounted rate for previous student , -RM 50) - including six dives with all equipments

3.) Transport:
- Kranji, Singapore to Larkin, Johor: Causeway Link (SGD 1.30)
* Remember to check the price on the ticket. My ticket was printed SGD 0.80 eventhough i paid for the full fare. i thought i need to pay again when they checked the ticket, but they did not even bother to see the ticket properly. So i got a pass.
* Arrived at Larkin in one hour time, may be because it i was a weekday, so no traffic jam at the causeway. (7.30am - 8.30am)

- Larkin to Mersing: S&S International Express at Counter 11 in Larkin Bus Terminal (RM 8.80)
* Bus 8.30am, but departed 20 minutes later and got a 30 minutes stop at Kota Tinggi
* 8.30am - 11.30am, arrived at Mersing 3 hours later.

- Speed Ferry: Bluewave (RM 35 single trip, can buy a return ticket if you want to)
* 11.30am - 2.30pm, 3 hours of journey including stops at different villages and the delayed.
* It will be better to take a speed boat but it has became not as frequent now. But speed boat takes only 1.5 hrs including the stop over, so it is still worth to consider. RM 10 more expensive than speed ferry.
* Mersing has one local bus station and express bus station. The express bus will stop at the bus stop near to the Jetty to tioman, which is the last bus stop. The tout at the bus stop can be helpful if you don't know your way. (You can just walk straight in/out of a few buildings beside of the bus stop to reach the jetty.) The touts are from certain boat company and they will lead you to the boat counter by the jetty and the price that you pay at the counter is the same as what you pay if you get there yourself. But they might try to convince you to take certain guest house. (You can choose your guest house when you are in the island or choose to take their recommendation. Normally, there is no inflated rate from them, so no worry.)

4.) Food: RM 20
* The cheapest food in Tekek is the hawker centre near to the airport or jetty. Every meal costs you around RM 5. Meal at the resort is greatly overpriced with each meal inflated to 3 times more expensive than normal rate.

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