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Friday, February 20, 2015

Travelogue: The Great Beach Getaway @ Tioman Island

Would you believe me if I told you that I have actually never actually been on a beach vacation? So the man thought it was about time that I get educated on the beauty of sand and sea, and so he whisked me away to a 2 day getaway at beautiful Tioman island, Paya Resort for a long-dued anniversary date-cum-Valentine's Day celebration.

To be honest, it was tough doing digital detox as wifi is limited but I actually got used to it after the 1st 2 hours. The island is a cozy cluster of a few creature comforts: our lovely villa bungalow which is pretty spartan but comfortable, with just a stones throw away to the nearby bar, restaurant and beach. 

It didn't hurt that seafood was wonderfully affordable (total bill averaged about RM150-170), so its safe to say I certainly ate to my heart's content. Try not to go before chinese new year like I did, as I was abit disappointed that the restaurant of Tioman Paya Beach Resort, where we were staying, did not stock enough seafood nor grill, which was to arrive only on CNY week. Thankfully, there was another resort restaurant that served up some pretty awesome seafood fare, so not all was lost!

The morning after we wasted no time exploring Tioman to the fullest. In the morning, the tide is at its lowest and so its possible to walk into the shallow waters and observe rockpools (below). Waters recede to ankle deep, so you can spot small fishes and other marine life. You got to be rather sharp-eyed though, they swim fast! Oh, and Tioman has some of the most amazing seashells I've seen. Rather than get something tacky from the giftstore, why not get it from Nature herself? 

Trekked a 20 min long trail enroute to Rock Falls, the waterfall highlight (we never made it though, lost the trail half way). If you have an adventurous streak, remember to wear comfortable shoes and lightweight clothes as it gets rather hot. If you head up around 10-11am, you get great visibility and the temperature is pretty cooling!

got my sweet Valentine...

Met the friendly island residents...

Our very own SpongeBob
At night, I would recommend you to grab a mat and stroll down to the beachfront to look at the stunning night sky. Because Tioman has less light pollution than Singapore, you can spot stars and constellations much better. Ben, who is quite walking sealife encyclopedia, brought me crab-hunting. Apparently, the crabs come out at night mostly to look for food, and we caught 2 rather nice-sized ones in action. Sadly, I was talked into letting them go and kissing my black pepper crab dreams good bye.

T'was a beautiful getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Tioman is just about 2 hours ferry ride away from Mersing, Malaysia, and if you are driving from Singapore then its about another additional 3 hours travel time. It's an ideal location to be if you are looking for a fuss-free cheap getaway near the beach, but if you are looking for a more comfortable stay than Berjaya Resort (which is the next beach to Paya) maybe more suited for you.

Hope this post was useful to you Beach Bunnies...see you guys at Tioman Island soon, someday!

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