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JBR Tioman live-blogging style

Turin, Italy
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234 posts
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JBR Tioman live-blogging style

Instead of returning home, sit in front of the PC (or iPad) and trying to memorize the trip details, we're presenting a day-to-day JBR instead. Enjoy!

[KL-Tg Gemok-Tioman]

Why Tanjung Gemok? We had been taking ferries from Mersing previously and were aware of the issue with low tide / high tide. One day before the trip, we called Bluewater Mersing and the (somewhat annoyed lady) informed that  the boat schedule was like this: 4am, 2pm and 4pm. Yes, 4am, that was not a typo. Apparently that's when the high tide and one needs to wait 10hrs for another round of high tide at 2pm. Since we drove from KL at 5am and with Tg Gemok's departure planned at 11am, it seemed like a natural choice. 

We took the route that passed through Mersing since we want to utilize the NSE highway as much as possible. It was a breezy drive from KL until the exit at Ayer Hitam. Got caught up a little bit in Kluang traffic but soon we hit the Endau forest areas, palm oil plantations and stuff. We arrived at Tg Gemok at 10am. It was already busy. In fact busier than what we expected. Perhaps due to some re-routing of early arrivals who were originally thinking of Mersing departure. The published departure was only once a day ie: at 11am. Due to the heavy load, two ferries were deployed. Both took off around 11:15am which was not bad. Signs of low tide issue were there but the river bed was deep enough for the ferries to negotiate. Seats were a bit cramped and in 5-seater configuration so one has to be wary if you need to get out from your seat along the journey. 

Given the departure at 11:15am (actual) and our arrival shortly after 1pm at Tekek jetty, the journey took almost 2hrs with Tekek being the 1st stop (hooray!). We think the ferries headed to ABC and Salang after that and not too sure if they went to Paya or Genting later. Probably not. 

[Tekek & Babura Seaview]

Initially we wanted to stay at Samudra Swiss Cottage but it was fully booked. Luckily we were able to make booking at Babura. Even that was done 3-4 days in advance. We did not know why Tioman was busy this weekend but it was probably due to Singaporean school holiday. Walking from Tekek jetty to Babura took about 20mins in scorching sun; 30mins if you stroll slower. 

At 2pm, our room was ready. We were staying at triple chalet which cost RM160 per night. To our standards, it was a relatively basic but acceptable for the purpose. It has queen+single bed configuration. The air conditioning was working by the scruff of the neck with audible vibration. Did we mention it was hot outside? 

Since we woke up 4am this morning, we took a long nap until 5:30pm. Then we walked along the beach to the many dive centers to enquire about tomorrow's dive trip. I 'think' we managed to book 2 dives with Tioman Reef Divers although they were swamped with divers tomorrow. It was very nice of the owner and his Japanese wife to try to slot us in. Let's hope no problem with the arrangement tomorrow. 

[Dinner in Tekek]

Tekek is no Salang. The village is more spread out. Yes, we have stayed in Salang 2-3 times before. Tekek has a more small town feel with cars, vans, motorcycle and tarmac road. Thus far, it doesn't look noisy perhaps due to everything being spread out. We loved the fact that there are plenty of sundry shops to buy grubs, mineral water, etc. Plenty of seafood restaurants too. Just had a dinner consisting of 2 large prawns, 1 large squid, chicken & salted kale for RM50. We might have something similar tomorrow. Oh, the booze seemed cheap but since we aren't drinkers (...). But I bought 2 cartoons of cigarette for me-self (*smile*). 

Day 2 in Tioman tomorrow. Bring it on!

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: JBR Tioman live-blogging style

Thanks for the report. Pls post more as you stay on. Always interested in tioman, we've only stayed at paya once. Btw, no school holidays in SG for Pri and sec schools.

Turin, Italy
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234 posts
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2. Re: JBR Tioman live-blogging style

Hi there! Hmm really, no school holiday in SG? I hope this is not representative of *every* weekend in Tioman. Perhaps it's just high weekend tourists in general :(

We have stayed at Paya Beach Resort once. Loved it too. Not sure how the village looks like now. Hopefully with some more local shops and eateries. We were this close to book at Paya again as most other places were fully booked.

Turin, Italy
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3. Re: JBR Tioman live-blogging style

[Diving Rengis & Soyak]

We woke up to a cloudy morning after a heavy shower. Met the nice Japanese lady at Tioman Reef Divers who told us that beach dive was not possible due to murky waters and changing tides. We were told to come back at 11am should she be able to slot us in. To cut things short, she managed to get us 2 dives for the day!

Off we took off to Pulau Rengis for the 1st dive. Truth be told, we had dived here twice before but why not (rather than sitting around at the hotel without any scheduled dives). Plus I just acquired a different Canon underwater gears which I planned to try out on a "predictable" and easy dive site like this. Save for the poor viz, the dive was actually great with plenty to see. Highlights: a cuttlefish, a friendly turtle and a unique artificial reef which includes an old treadmill. We went silly by posing and pretending we are running on it. 

2 hours break at our Babura room and we continued with 2nd dive at 2:30pm. Pulau Soyak is located north of Tioman and anyone heading to Salang will notice this small, rocky island. Same viz overall with less fish but we saw porcupinefish (might be known as blowfish or pufferfish to the unintiated), a pissed-off octopus that changed its color every few seconds (we saw it went from dark red to full white to dark brown), a turtle (of course), scorpionfish, etc. 

That sums up our day. I think it's a short JBR today. It's just dive, rest, eat some food and that's all. While it is not yet dark, we can forsee ourselves sleeping like a log tonight. After another seafood dinner, presumably.

Have a great weekend everyone!

4. Re: JBR Tioman live-blogging style

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