Pulau Tioman

We are in Kampung Salang on Pulau Tioman – that’s a lot of unusual words to say we’re on a paradise-like tropical island with actual white-sand beaches and the sort of turquoise water you only see in pictures. There is about 20 meters visibility underwater and some amazingly colorful fish – highlight of our snorkelling so far has been seeing a dugong, which is a REALLY rare-to-see underwater mammal (and is cute in an ugly sort of way). Unfortunately, the island has only an iffy satellite connection to the outside world, thus the lack of updates and the apologetically short nature of this post. It takes over five minutes to load any site, sometimes closer to twenty – we hadn’t tried until tonight when it occurred to us that perhaps our moms might think the worst if they continue to not hear any news.

So we’re alive, we’re safe, we’re on an amazing island, and it’s only costing us $15/night for a double chalet. Mosquitoey as all get out, though, but we can’t complain. Bats come out at night and flit around on their leathery wings going after the little buggers with incredible precision – I can watch them for hours. Millions of colorful fish swim through the prism of clear, clear water, shining every conceivable shade. It’s pretty amazing, but surprisingly, a beach gets a little boring after a few days. There isn’t a lot to do except laze around on the soft sand, snorkel, and in our case, get really sunburnt! We’re probably headed back to the mainland tomorrow or the day after that; this feels like cheating. It’s sort of a vacation from our vacation, I guess. The pictures are fabulous, but I’m afraid this connection won’t support them – we’ll upload as soon as we can, we promise. On a side note, most locals or travelers we encountered who heard we were going to Tioman had little good to say about it, saying we should hit some other islands instead (like the Perhentians). Trust, we will be going there in a few months, but I can’t imagine it would terribly outshine Tioman; this is really beautiful and not very busy. Yesterday, we snorkeled/swam for an hour or so to reach Monkey Bay, which is this astoundingly beautiful deserted beach surrounded by mind-bogglingly large rock formations. Hermit crabs lined the rocks and tiny lizards jumped in and out of the water; the sand was almost transparently white and soft as silk on our feet. Behind us, massive clean-face rocks reached over a hundred feet up, straight vertical, and the jungle loomed ominously over the stones. Though we didn’t see any monkeys, tracks in the sand indicated the name was more than random. We got a bit cut up by barnacles, but it was worth it. Alas, no pictures – the camera is not waterproof and would never have survived the trip through rocky seas between Tioman and one of hundreds of small islands just off the shore.

 

Thank you to those who have ordered Malaysian stuff from us – the first shipment is being sent back to the mainland and should arrive there within 1-2 weeks. If anyone is still interested, we need to hear from you!

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