Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jungle trekking to Kampung Juara

On my second day on Tioman Island I didn’t do very much. Just relaxing at the beach, a little swimming and walking around taking some pictures. While laying on the beach I met Lim, a great guy from Germany who’s also living in my “resort”. We talked a little and then went back to our huts.. We had a great tie with good and cheap food Lim and I found out, that we all wanted to do the jungle Trek from our beach to the other side of the island to a place called Juara. It’s like 7,2km one way and is supposed to be like a good 2h walk. We decided to meet the next day at 10 am and do it together.

We walked into the jungle, the scenery was really amazing: everything so green and sounds you couldn’t imagine:


But after a few minutes walking up (a mix of natural “stairs” and concrete stairs), as the trek was going over the “small” hill in the middle of the island, I was sweating like HELL. And as I didn’t had any breakfast that morning, I was running out of energy a few minutes later and climbing up the jungle got really, really exhausting for me. But on the other hand, the nature surrounding us was well worth the effort.


After an exhausting 90 minutes we arrived and the top of the hill and the trek got flat and soon started to go downhill, which felt a bit like heaven…but as this was a concrete road now, it was still very tiring for the feed, as you always had to break, if you didn’t want to get to fast. But through the jungle you could already get a glimpse at the ocean and now we really wanted to get to the beach, which was supposed to be even more beautiful than the one at our side of the island, as others told us.


Minutes later we arrived at this amazing beach, which looked just like a picture on one of those tropical postcards. I was pretty much stoked! And as this place was still pretty much closed (only like 2 or 3 open restaurants and no open bungalows), we were the only ones around. There weren’t even any local people around.

We put down our things and went straight into the water. This beach had some pretty cool waves, as this side of the island was facing the open ocean. When we went back out of the water, we discovered, that the beach was full of sand flies. These very little creatures, about the size of a food fly, were biting us everywhere and it got very annoying to keep them away. But besides them, this beach was just like paradise. Again. ;) We stayed there for about 4h and just enjoyed this wonderful place.


We then had to leave in the early evening, because we wanted to get home in daylight. As none of us liked the idea of walking up the hill again, we asked around if we could find someone that could take us with him in his car. But it was very expensive, so we decided to go by foot. We stocked up with fresh water and starting walking again. As before, getting up the hill was very exhausting but when we finally arrived back at the top, going down was now just a walk in the park, and now we could really enjoy the jungle around us!When we finally arrived at our side of the island it just started to get dark.Afterwards we walked back and fell happily in our beds.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Malaysia - Places to visit


Malaysia is a beautiful country offering exquisite treasure of beaches, ocean, and natural beauties. It’s a popular vacation destination for all types of vacations. Entire Malaysia is beautiful, yet there are several sites/places that can be regarded as the precious gems of the country. Here are seven valuable jewels of Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Often dubbed as “Garden City of Lights,” the capital city is one of the most valuable jewels of Malaysia. One of the most beautiful cities of the world, pretty popular among tourists, KL is widely known for the finest shopping malls, skyscrapers, restaurants, nightlife, and the world's cheapest five-star hotels. KL is also known for “the Golden Triangle,” the commercial hub of the city. Major Attractions of Kuala Lumpur include Petronas Twin Towers, Aquaria KLCC, Petrosains, KL Tower, Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka), Jamek Mosque (Masjid Jamek), Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Association, Sri Mahamariamman Temple,  National Monument (Tugu Negara), Muzium Negara (National Museum), Muzium Kesenian Islam (Islamic Arts Museum), Masjid Negara (National Mosque), The National Planetarium, Istana Negara (National Palace), and Batu Caves.

Ipoh: The capital of the state of Perak, Ipoh is another gem city on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. Often nicknamed as “Bougainvillea City,” is one of the most beautiful cities of Malaysia. Famous for tin mines, Limestone Mountains caves and Chinese food, the city is home to a number of finest restaurants and bars. Major attractions of the city include Muzium Darul Ridzuan (historical museum of Perak), St. Michael's Institution (architectural wonder), Mari Amman Temple, Kellie's Castle, Sam Poh Tong, Kek Lok Tong, and Perak Tong.

Malacca: The historical city of Malacca is the capital of the state of Malacca on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. The city is full of interesting place and fascinating views. The “must visit” city of Malaysia, Malacca is famous for its historical architecture and fine food. Major attractions of Malacca include Stadhuys (historical museum), Christ Church, Red Square, Porta de Santiago, St Paul's Church, Muzium Budaya, Portuguese Settlement, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Poh San Teng Temple, Kampung Morten, Bukit China(Chinese Cemetery), Recreational Forest Ayer Keroh, Baba and Nonya Peranakan Musuem, and Melaka Zoo.

Kota Kinabalu: The capital of the state of Sabah (Borneo Island), Kota Kinabalu is the largest city in East Malaysia. It is pretty poplar resort destination due to its proximity to tropical islands, lush rainforest and Mount Kinabalu. The city is named after Mount Kinabalu. Major Attractions of the city include Atkinson Clock Tower, Ethno Botanic Garden, Gaya Street Sunday Market, Karamunsing Complex, Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), Monsopiad Cultural Village (Kampung Monsopiad), Kinabalu National Park, Sabah Museum, State Mosque, Signal Hill Observatory, Stilt Villages, Tun Mustapha Tower, Tanjung Aru Beach, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Rafflesia Forest Reserve, Crocker Range National Park, Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club, and Karambunai.

Penang: Former British colony, Penang is a beautiful island off the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Often known as the "Pearl of the Orient," Penang is one of Malaysia's main tourist draws. The bustling island city is widely known for its excellent cuisine. Georgetown, the capital of Penang, is a favourite spot for tourists. Penang's popular pubs and restaurants are located in Georgetown. Batu Ferringhi, located on the north coast, is famous for its white sandy beaches, luxurious hotels & restaurants. Major attractions of Penang include Botanical Gardens, Penang Hill, Bukit Jambul Orchid, Hisbiscus & Reptile Garden, Fisheries Department Research Institute Aquarium, Kek Lok Si, Penang Bridge, Pulau Jerejak Resort, Snake Temple, and War Museum.

Redang: About 45 km off the coast of Terengganu state in Malaysia, Redang Island is very popular destination for scuba divers. The Island is famous for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches. Offering mesmerizing views of ocean, Redang is a perfect placid place for beach vacation.

Perhentian Islands: Glittering gems off the East Coast, the Perhentian Islands are a small group of captivating coral-fringed islands off the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. The Islands are one of the most beautiful places on the earth, but unexplored by mass tourism yet. Activities on the islands are limited to scuba diving, snorkeling and sunbathing. The islands are ideal for peaceful vacations.
Other important islands of Malaysia include Labuan, Langkawi, Pangkor, Sipadan Island, Tenggol Island, Tioman Island, and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Scuba Diving Malaysia Adventures

The opportunities for divers to go diving in Malaysia are excellent. There is a number of distinct, impressive scuba diving locations to choose from when planning your vacation or diving excursion! Scuba diving Malaysia destinations include dive spots in Borneo, Johor, Langkawi Island, Layang Layang Island, Pahang, Perak, Perhentian Island, Sarawok, Terengganu, Tioman Island, and Turtle Island. All of the latter scuba diving destinations are perfect for any diver’s next diving excursion.
Imagine diving in the waters that surround Borneo; this Malaysian scuba diving destination has more than ninety three fascinating dive sites to explore. There are specifically 79 diving destinations in Sabah and an additional 14 scuba diving Malaysia diving spots in Sangalaki. When visiting Sabah in the northernmost region of Borneo, the best sites await the diver in places like the Labuan Federal Territory, Kapalai Island, the Lankayan Island, Mabul Island, Mantabuan, Mataking Island, Pulau Tiga, the Semporna Marine Park, the Si Amil Island, the Sibuan Island, the Sipadan Island, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, and the Turtle Islands Park. Just a short distance away from Sabah, divers can travel to Sangalaki too, where even more beautiful underwater experiences await. Manta rays, jelly fish, turtles, and other water life can be viewed in places like Caro’s Cutto, the Channel Entrance, Coral Gardens, Cowtail Reef, Eel Ridge, Jellyfish Lake, Lighthouse Reefs, Manta Avenue, Manta Parades, the Sandy Ridge, Sherwood Forest, the Cleaning Station, the Lighthouse, and Turtle Town.
Among the outstanding scuba diving Malaysia locations you can explore are fifty one spots in Terengganu too; diving sites throughout Terengganu can be enjoyed in places around Lang Tehgah Island, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Redang, and Tenggol Island. While visiting Malaysia, you might take a dive at the Blue Corals diving site situated off of Lang Tehgah Island: a site that is accessible by boat. In the latter destination you can explore waters that are 25 meters deep and that are home to butterfly fish, groupers, parrot fish, nurse sharks, trevally, and a whole host of other fascinating underwater life.
Alternatively, you can head to the Japanese Landing Craft Wreck in Pulau Kapas: this exciting scuba diving site in Malaysia is accessible just after a thirty minute boat ride. The Japanese Landing Craft wreck is situated north of Pulau Kapas, and the wreck is twenty five meters down. Coral have now made the wreck their home, and schools of fish can be enjoyed during your underwater experience at this intensely popular underwater scuba diving Malaysia spot.
The number of Malaysian scuba diving destinations that you can choose from are vast; this makes the location a hot spot for divers looking to experience the beauty and surrealism that only an underwater adventure can offer. Destinations are available for the novice and inexperienced, for the skilled and intermediate diver, and for the advanced diver seeking an underwater challenge and adventure. For your next dive, give serious consideration to heading to Malaysia: a destination filled to the brim with superior scuba diving Malaysia destinations for you to experience and explore.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dive trip in 2009

Somehow or another, i was convinced to go on a dive trip to Tioman to do my advanced diving course. I needed a break. From everything. This was my 2nd trip to Tioman for diving but it was my 1st land dive. Took the ferry to Tioman and was shocked how Tioman had changed in just a year. The water at the port, which used to be clear, was now muddy and yellow. It saddens me how a beautiful place had transformed over time. It was raining when we arrived. I was disappointed when the dive centre informed us that it wasn't safe for us to dive that day as the island was hit by a monsoon the day before.

What to do, suck thumb sit at the restaurant and had lunch. Meantime, went around exploring the island.

This is the dive centre i had signed up with to do my advance diving - Tioman Reef Divers. I strongly recommend this place as their facilities and equipment are quite complete with the staff is so friendly and nice!! And the prices of the courses are affordable.

I heard that the owner of this place, after marrying the Japanese wife, settled down on this island and opened up their dive centre. I am so envious of the lifestyle they had with their 2 kids. Compared to the life in Singapore, instead of the fast-paced life, this place, is like heaven to me.

Inside the dive shop....

See the painting above? It's actually painted by a artist who dives at Tioman regularly. Each time he is there, he paints a portion and continues from where he started at the next dive. Damn real life like.

My chalet-like dwelling for the next few days.

I'm taking Naui Advanced, although my open water was with PADI.

Doing the advance course means that I had to complete the following:

- search and recovery

- night dive

- shore diving

-wreck diving

- Using the dive computer

- deep diving

and more.

I'm more excited about doing the night dive, cause i heard that it's totally different from diving in the day. Can't see much and your whole life depends on your buddy and the torchlight. Besides that, you can expect to see more creatures that only come out in the night.

Finally the sky cleared. And i went for my first dive in the year. Man, it was good to breathe the compressed air again after so long and playing around with my buoyancy. Visibility wasn't that good because of the bad weather. Couldn't get clear pictures too. :(

For the next few days, i woke up, eat, dive, smoke, sleep, dive, eat, dive. Did all my tests, but had difficulty in using the dive computer, which made me looked like a fool circling the ocean floor. Every diving experience is so different. Totally felt so carefree~

The few dives i did, i think the most exciting would be cave diving, we swam in caves and i hit the wall of the cave a couple of things. Luckily i didn't hurt myself. Went to many famous wrecks and saw many kinds of fishes. Was rather disappointed with the night dive, all i could see were the sea urchins which covered almost the whole of the seabed.

In the evenings when we were not diving, we hang around at the island drinking and chatting with the new diving friends we made on the trip.

Friday, December 18, 2009

About Tioman Island

Tioman was first discovered by Chinese and Arabs seafarers and traders around thousand years ago. They use it for replenishing their fresh water resources and navigational aid.

Still today you can find small pieces of ming dynasty porcelain in the shallow waters.  
The famous twin peak known as donkey ears was always a reassuring sign for sailors to know that they were on the right track to the southern tip of Malaysia now know as Singapore. 

An ancient saga tells a story of a beautiful dragon queen whiles on her way from China to Singapore she took rest in the warm tranquil waters of the South China Sea, during which she felt in love with here surroundings that she than decided to stay and turned her self into this magnificent island.

Tioman has more than 18 beaches some developed with resorts, still many untouched by development and human impact.

The highest peak is Gunung Kajang towering over the jungle at 1038m it can be seen as far as Mersing. 98% of Tioman is covered by a dense thousand year old jungle which is protected by law; this provides us with plenty of fresh air and clean water streams.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009


Like a giant sleeping dragon, the dark green ridges of Tioman Island rise up above the waters of the South China Sea. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that the dragon’s dark green scales are in fact giant trees and impenetrable jungle; that the grey claws are giant granite boulders and that the dragon’s horns are twin peaks with smooth, straight cliffs, surrounded with swirls of mist.
The dragon-like appearance of Tioman Island is at the root of a legend surrounding its origin: A dragon princess from China was flying to her prince in Singapore and stopped to rest in these calm, warm waters. Enamoured by the beauty of the area, and the waves lapping at her sides, she discontinued her journey and took the form of an island.
The natural beauty of the island is its biggest attraction. Lush tropical jungle covers about 12,000 hectares of the island and countless mountain streams and waterfalls sustain the many protected species of mammals and birds. The waters around the island are filled with corals of all shapes and colours and home to a vast diversity of sea creatures, including two species of marine turtle. There are a few excellent beaches on Tioman, and these curves of golden sand are usually tucked away at the edges of villages or fronting one of the many resorts.
Tioman has options for every kind of holiday-maker: families with small children, honeymooners, scuba divers, backpackers, adventurers and even those looking for a slice of exclusivity and luxury. Most places to stay are clustered around the villages that are dotted along Tioman’s coastline while there are a few small resorts that are built around private beach coves.
Tioman is the largest in a volcanic group of islands off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Getting there is simple as there is both a ferry service from Mersing on the mainland and an airport on the island itself.
Tioman is a beautiful, popular and affordable holiday destination so book ahead!

Tioman has options for every kind of holiday-maker: families with small children, honeymooners, scuba divers, backpackers, adventurers and even those looking for a slice of exclusivity and luxury. Most places to stay are clustered around the villages that are dotted along Tioman’s coastline while there are a few small resorts that are built around private beach coves.
Tioman is the largest in a volcanic group of islands off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Getting there is simple as there is both a ferry service from Mersing on the mainland and an airport on the island itself.
Tioman is a beautiful, popular and affordable holiday destination so book now.