I had many plans for my post-graduation trip this year. And when I had been bombed with loads of work, I didn’t have all the time to research each destination (which was a lot) that I wanted to go to. From the 6 countries I had initially planned, I had to cut down my trip to only 3 countries instead, partly because I couldn’t take two weeks off from work and another part due to the fact that I just received my salary for the month and learned that my supposed salary would be cut due to the fact that I now have taxes and benefits to pay. Now that I don’t have the supposed amount of salary I had expected, I had to slim my costs and the places I was bound to go to.
One of the places I had chosen was Pulau Tioman, which was only in placement of the Kuala Lumpur trip I was supposed to take with my sister. Instead of Kuala Lumpur, which was the initial plan, after seeing Chichi Bacolod’s pictures of Pulau Tioman, I decided to make this my side trip going to Kuala Lumpur.
My whole post-graduation trip had not begun that well. So my initial plans for Pulau Tioman changed when my sister decided she wanted to spend some time with her friends as well. Instead of leaving on the 19th evening and staying over at Mersing for a night, we decided to leave Singapore on the 20th, and instead of just the two of us, we were joined by two of her friends, Ace and Majan.
Once Majan had come home from duty, we all rushed to the MRT to take a train straight to Kranji. From Kranji, we were to take a 170 SBS Transit bus all the way to Larkin Station, Johor Bahru.
The journey from Novena Station to Larkin Station took about an hour and a half or less. From Larkin Station, we took a Maju Express bus going to Kuantuan with Mersing as a side trip. That was good for us and luckily, though it was past 10am, the bus hadn’t left just yet. The fare to Mersing from Johor Bahru is only RM 11.50.
Arriving at Mersing, after only less than 2 hours, At 12noon, we met with Mr. David, an affiliate of Salang Beach Resort where we were supposed to stay. He had our tickets so we didn’t have to go to any counter and just directly to the terminal. Round trip tickets to Pulau Tioman costs RM 70.
The ferry, unfortunately, took longer than we expected. Instead of the 1 hour and a half we had read, from the 1.30pm ferry start, we arrived in Salang (which is the 6th stop, or the 6th beach that the boat will go through, depending on where the guests will stay) at around 3.30pm, half an hour late. However, when we arrived, we found out that the cause of the slow boat was because it was very, very low tide.
Apparently, the boat can only move during the high tide because when they say low tide, they actually mean low tide.
Touching down in Salang was not only relieving and exciting, it was also breathtaking.
The beauty of Pulau Tioman can be very much compared to the beauty of Palawan, although they both have their own pros and cons.
Pulau Tioman had the same blue-green, clear waters that you can find in Palawan. It was my favorite kind of water. At the same time, it was also comparable to Malapascua because of the town type of place. Since it is only a rising tourist destination, there’s not a lot of places to stay and at the time of our visit, it wasn’t peak season either. The town is seriously a small town with only a few resorts that contain wooden houses or rooms.
Even so, the beach, the shores, the water was breathtaking. At low tide, there are small islands that pop up just in the middle of the sea and you can even walk up to 20 meters along the shore. We knew it was low tide because you can clearly see the mark of the actual shoreline during high tide. It was definitely fun to walk down the shore.
After dropping our things at the resort, we headed straight to a restaurant to have lunch.
We ate lunch at Salang Indah Resort and extremely enjoyed the food, especially their iced tea (which is literally just tea added with milk and ice). Their curry, which is my current Malaysian/Indonesian food craving, was definitely a delicious dish. For 4 of us, we only spent RM 37.
Once we were finished with lunch, Majan went to sleep to rest her aching head, while we decided to do roam around and do a photo shoot on the sole islets on our side of the beach.
On our way, I came face to face with a monitor lizard. Scary, but quite cool because the lizard was so big and it practically looked me in the eye before running away.
It was enjoyable to watch the soft, clear, bluish-green waves of the sea rush into the shores. The water was so clear, that you can even see fish swimming, even from afar.
Besides the clear waters, the beach was also accentuated with powder, cream white sand and highlighted by limestone rocks here and there.
Chirping birds flew about happily, once in awhile settling on a rock. Since there were only a few guests around, it wasn’t too noisy either, even at night.
It was my idea of a perfect beach.
By the time that Majan woke up, it was already near sunset so we freshened up and changed into swim clothes. Just right outside our resort, we were blessed with the beautiful sun, slowly setting into the horizon.
Perfect timing for silhouette jumpshots and amazing sunset photos. This is definitely the best part of my trip.
While the sun set and we took photos, we noticed that the sea was already rising. Slowly, the waters had started to cover up several parts of the islets so we were forced to go back up to the main beach.
Once we had gotten our share of photos, we headed over to the other side of the beach where more people had been swimming when we arrived. We didn’t want to swim on our side of the beach because there are only a few lights to trust.
Although we were a little shy of the other male guests who seemed to hover over us while we were swimming, we couldn’t help enjoy the call of the clear waters. I was mesmerized and amazed by the clarity of the waters and the softness of the sands.
We had dinner at the Chinese-Western restaurant that our resort owned. For only RM49, we were quite full.
Despite the fact that my sister and her friends had to take back the 6.30am ferry back to Mersing, they were still eager to swim that night and walk around until 1am.
I had planned to stay until 4pm the next day so I had the whole day to explore and I wasn’t in any hurry.
Do you also want to come to Pulau Tioman? You can get more tips in this post.