Tioman | summer 2019

May 16, 2019

Round 2 of post-MBBS grad trip - Tioman, here we come~ 

Tioman is a popular destination for avid snorkellers/ scuba divers due to its proximity to Singapore, clear waters, beautiful corals and fascinating marine life. The bunch of us booked a 4D3N trip (with CNE holidays, about SGD 400 per pax) and to be fair, that's the perfect amount of time to be spending on such beach holidays. 

There was a shuttle that picked us up at Newton Hawker Centre and dropped us off at Mersing Jetty, where we had a simple lunch at the jetty's food court before taking a ferry to Tekek Jetty. The entire journey took about 6 hours (but the exact time depends on the traffic at immigration). From Tekek Jetty, Berjaya Resort has a free shuttle that will drive you to their resort. 
The resort isn't exactly brand new but the facilities and rooms (ours was Garden View Chalet) were decently comfortable and clean. We spent most of our time at their pools and beaches. 

If you happen to crave authentic Ramly Burgers, there's a kiosk right beside the jetty that is run by a friendly pakcik with AMAZING burgers. You might wish to takeaway your food though, as the jetty is teeming with sandflies and boy, the bites of those buggers hurt. 

The jetty also has its fair share of friendly felines who will rub themselves against you and wind around your legs purring, in hopes that you'll give them a nice little scratch and offer them some food. 

Convenience stores at the jetty sells at a much cheaper rate than those in the resort, so do get your supplies (*hint: alcohol) there instead. Be sure to catch the shuttle bus back to the resort for it's not fun at all to be marching uphill under dim streetlights for 25 minutes straight with plastic bags in tow, while fending away aggressive monkeys trying to rob you of your bags (speaking from experience indeed). 

Within the resort itself, there are also plenty of food options. We had lunch at Matahari, a Thai restaurant by the beach (I loved their chicken wings and kway teow). Our daily buffet breakfasts and dinners were at Sri Nelayan, and the same restaurant also offers some light finger food for some poolside chilling. The prices of food within the resort isn't cheap (by Malaysian standards), so for our last night, we ventured out of the resort for some beachside Tze Char. Now that's what I call a hearty, affordable dinner. 

Just look at how instagram-worthy the pool was! 

On a side-note, we were out in the sun so much we started sporting some real impressive sunburns. The fact that we kayaked to Renggis Island and snorkelled in the blazing sun without lathering our backs with sufficient sunscreen probably contributed to that as well. Kayaking was RM 20 /hr (single) and RM 40 /hr (double). 

On our second day, we booked a speedboat for a round-island adventure (RM 150 per pax). We went past the Twin Peaks (Dragon's Horns), trekked up Asah Waterfall, dropped by Juara Village for lunch, and snorkelled at Teluk Dalam (deep bay), Monkey Bay, Marine Park Centre, and Renggis Island. The waters are so clear we managed to spy cuttlefish, crabs, sea urchins, rainbow coloured fishes and even swam with some reef sharks. 

Asah waterfall was slightly underwhelming though, for it was during the dry season when we visited and parts of the stream has dried up. 

We also managed to rent some bikes (slightly old and creaky with squealing brakes) to cycle around the whole resort, and escape from pesky wild monkeys. It costs RM 5 / hour (or RM 15/ 4 hours or RM 25 for a full day). If you are feeling adventurous, you could always rent ATVs (at RM 150 / hour with additional RM 30 if it's shared) - which would offer you a better chance at running away from the monkeys.

For late night chill vibes and live accoustic music, you can pop down to the beach bar for some cocktails (and some quality htht). Truth be told, we preferred mixing our own drinks that we got from the jetty's convenience store. 

It was a fun laid back trip with my baes and I'm looking forward to our next adventure together! <3 

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