Thu 7 Jul 2005 - Thu 7 Jul 2005
It was while we were on Tioman Island that we decided a truly good trip required monkeys, lizards and turtles. Well, I guess a panda would make it the best day of all. Perhaps we came to that conclusion because Tioman offered all those things to us with a bit of cheap Vodka thrown in. You can draw your own conclusions as to how much the Vodka affected this viewpoint.
Tioman is one of those places you go to bore yourself into relaxation. There are some activities like jungle treks that you could go on, but I got the distinct feeling that these were not the activities of choice for most people. Instead, a careful study of the resort's bars' happy hours would encourage you to spend the hours of 3-5 at the pool bar and the hours of 5-7 at the beach bar. For all-day happy hours, wander down to the town, Tekek, where you can buy a litre of Vodka for 45 Ringits (about 15 Australian dollars). Besides the cheap (though extremely limited) duty free shopping, a wander into town is also worthwhile for a bit of monkey spotting. We saw a few snacking on rubbish by the side of the road, which probably is the exotic equivalent of a mangy street dog.
We did manage to break out of slothdom one day by going on a snorkelling trip of the island. They charged us the outrageous price of 60 ringitts (20 AUD) for this full day of entertainment! One thing you can't complain about in Malaysia are the prices. The day included no less than 6 stops, five for snorkelling and one for lunch. Of course divers would shudder at the thought of only seeing coral from afloat, but hey, we're lazy. Nonetheless, we certainly did appreciate the beautiful coral to be seen here and the abundance of fish. One of the stops was at the Marine Park which was so full of fish, you could just about reach out and grab them. Just about. I tried and believe me when I tell you it's not easy! Lunch cost us a hefty AU$6 for two people, including a whole coconut. mmm, I love coconuts.
But the highlight of the day was a picture opportunity with a turtle. Since the trip I have come to the realisation that the treatment of the turtle wasn't exactly friendly. Supposedly turtles don't like to be picked up like that and prefer to always have something for their feet to be in contact with. On the bright side though, this turtle was set free at the end and only had to endure our stressful tourism antics for a few minutes. And it left us even more enamoured with turtles than we already were.
The Berjaya Tioman Resort where we stayed does have a sense of seclusion from the rest of the world, much like any large resort would. The facilities are good though and certainly there are some pleasantries like a nice pool to swim in (though who really needs one when you have a beautifully warm ocean?) and several decent restaurants on the premises. A creek winds its way through part of the resort as well and in this creek you can almost always spot some very large and strange looking lizards. Not a bad sight on the way to breakfast every morning. Not an invitation to swim in the creek either.
All in all, a nice few days of peaceful holiday.