“The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears or the sea.”
– Ralph W Sockman
A quick getaway with my colleagues since all of us badly need a break. In the morning, I meet up with the others at Lavender Street Bus Terminal for our departure to Mersing via TransNasional bus service. It cost S$30 one-way and the journey was about 3-4hrs of uphill and downhill on the east coast side of Malaysia.
Upon reaching Mersing Ferry Terminal, we bought return ferry tickets over at the counter that cost S$17 by Bluewater Express. The journey takes about 1.5-2hrs across the South China Sea, depending on the tide and condition of the sea. While my colleagues were trying divert from getting sea sick, I simply had to make fun of the other colleague who kept snoring the whole journey. I would advise you to standby Sea Sick tablet (avaible at pharmacy) or maybe just eat one before the boat ride. We alight at Kampung Genting jetty where Paya Resort is located. Check-In was smooth. The room was clean including the toilet (I do have problem with dirty toilet and Mosaic tiles!) Then it’s our free time to explore before BBQ dinner (included in the full board package) by the beach.
Breakfast was simple and overlooking the sea. After breakfast, we head down to the recreational office to get ready for our full day snorkelling and waterfall visit. Head up north of Tioman, on a boat for the first stop near Renggis Island. The sea water was so clear and beautiful. It was my first time snorkelling but thankfully, our boatmen was helpful and kind enough to guide us. Once suit up, I head down into the sea via the side step on the boat. It was pretty scary at first and getting the hang of wearing (crotch grabbing) life jacket and snorkelling mask. First attempt with the mask (FAIL) Hahaha. Swimming around the boat I saw a Barracuda swimming under the boat got me panic a bit. Twice as long as my arms and with sharp teeth. The boatmen oversees all of us.
Second stop was at Tekek Village for lunch and fresh coconut drink. There were other snorkellers too (like finally because our first day at the hotel is basically just the five of us). Nearby there is the Pulau Tioman Marine Park Centre at Tanjung Mesoh. It is a museum of the insight operation on the Marine Park itself. From there, we snorkel in the Marine Park which I encounter a swimming stingray pass by underneath me! Amazing! I swam towards the jetty where the fishes definitely bigger and fatter than my arm! Although it freak me out a bit (I’m scared of fishes for their slimy body) but I know they’re harmless.
Third stop was to Mukut Waterfall. All the way back to the northeast of the island. I had to climb up the pathway jungle just to get a glimpse of it! Although its not a spectacular waterfall, but it’s worth a visit for some refreshing cold natural water bath. Truly amazing experience. On the way back to the resort, our boat ride was quite challenging with choppy water due to thunderstorm. Thankfully the boatmen is quite experience and brought us to safety cos the thunderstorm was really bad and the boat we’re on wasn’t a big one! As usual, our dinner was BBQ seafood again before resting in our room after a long day at the sea.
Today was a free and easy day. No plan of anything except for appreciating the life on an island. Took my own sweet time during breakfast while enjoying the sea breeze. Then took a stroll and swim by the beach. Shocking encounter with sea snake swimming nearby the shore and in between the legs. Eeek! Later, back in our rooms, my colleagues surprise me with birthday song. Aww… Such a beautiful day with beautiful people.
That night, we decided to chill out at “Aunty” coffee shop while being entertain with Moon Walk DVD before packing our stuff for departure the next day (I hate goodbyes). We heck-Out of Paya Resort early and walk to the jetty to catch the ferry back to Mersing jetty. Since we bought bus ticket back to Singapore over the counter, we had to wait for the next available departure slot.
Overall, I would love to come back here for a short (cheap) island getaway.