Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pulau Tioman – Islands!

Taking the night bus from KL to ferry terminal would have been okay if it weren’t for arriving there at 3am. Bryan stretched on the benches and went to sleep while I read. I was too excited to see one of my best friends Chalain, her husband Chris, and their fellow teacher friends, Jessica and Dan. Chalain and Chris are international teachers in Burma, and because they get so much time off during the year they often take trips around S.E. Asia. Luckily, it worked out that we were able to join them. They arrived about an hour after us, and we quickly learned Chalain is pregnant with a baby girl. We were able to catch up for the next 7 hours before the first ferry left for Tioman.

Tioman Island was about ready to close for the next couple months as it was turning into rainy season, and as a result, there were very few people on the island. There were no cars and most of the people inhabited only the outskirts of the island as most of it is protected.
We ended up staying at the same place Chalain and Chris were staying. Both of our bungalows had amazing views of the ocean and we were often surrounded by monkeys. Walking back to our bungalows at night felt surreal at times as we were the only ones. It felt as if we were on Gilligan’s Island. We were lucky that some of the restaurants even had food for us to eat.
The snorkeling was also amazing. I have never seen so much coral so close to the shore. In fact, it would have been quite dangerous to randomly jump into the ocean as a lot of the coral went right up below the surface. We were able to see hundreds of fish just a few feet away from the beach.
The week was spent walking around the island, reading, snorkeling, eating a lot of food, taking pictures of monkeys, talking and listening to music on the balcony of Chalain and Chris’s bungalow, playing combobuster, getting bit by sand fleas (sorry Chris), and most importantly, relaxing with good company. We also saw lots of creatures, including those big monitor lizards.
Overall, life was good on the island and luckily we didn’t have to say goodbye to our friends on Tioman.
Next stop, Malaka, Malaysia.

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