Ex-Islander

Trip Start Dec 05, 2005
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9
41
Trip End Dec 09, 2006


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Where I stayed
Puteri Salang inn

Flag of Malaysia  ,
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's a tough life when you have to decide how long you would like to frequent an island for????

After Taman Negara, Mersing was my next stop to get the ferry to Tioman Island. Arriving too late in Mersing to catch a ferry, I booked into Omars Backpackers. Omars claim to fame: arranging the Swedish "Survivor" on the Archipelago Islands off the south east coast of Malaysia. He now helps with all the Eurpoean "Survivor" programmes.

I met a very interesting and brave French-Canadian couple here: Bernard and Genevieve are cycling round the world. The have completed Australia and New Zealand and have started their trip to Asia through Malaysia. Bernard had a close encounter when he rode over a black cobra but survived to tell the tale. Have a look at their website its in french though cycling French Canadians

What is there to do in Mersing??? If anyone has ever been to this town and found something to do, then please forward me with your top 5 places....

It was World Cup Day so we even managed to drag ourselves out of bed to watch the Final at 2am with the locals at their restaurants in the bus depot.

Another ferry crossing and once again I became a beach bum. I decided to stay on Salang Beach as there is more night life and the gin and tonics are a steal at 7RM ( Thats 1 pound or R10 ). Puteri Salang Inn would be my next place of residence. Cheap chalets in a beautiful garden, with monkeys and monitor lizards.

Why do tourists think it's fun to feed monkeys Pringles?? I did use my soft voice to tell my chalet neighbours not to feed these annoying creatures. The monkeys were superb alarm clocks though, as every morning at 7am they did a bin inspection. Much to the annoyance of the German man on the corner who kept banging his door to frighten them, only to encourage them to return. Great Comedy.

This is where I met Mike and Fiona, school teachers finishing a two year contract in Istanbul before starting in Shaing-Hai in September. Mike was my dive buddy and Fiona was my snorkelling buddy. 89% of holiday makers in Tioman are teachers!!!!!!! You guys get way too much holiday a year!

I decided to dive with B&J divers .The visibility was not great 7-10m but we still had plenty of fun. Various Divemasters and Instructors: Sarah, AD, The currents at Tiger Reef nearly swept us away and I was grateful for my buddy Mike at Labas who came to find me after I took the wrong swim through.

I am a proud recipient of a COTS ( Crown of Thorns Starfish ) certificate and have done an outstanding job of helping the coral reef!! HA HA. For three days we searched the depths of the sea for these annoying starfish that suck the juice and the colour from the hard coral. This starfish has two predators the one is a snail that is found in more souvenir shops than the seabed and the other a shrimp. It takes two shrimp a month to eat one of these buggers.

We were all assigned specific tasks. I was the bag-ger and Mike, my dive buddy, was the hooker.One precaution though: Do not let the orange spikes off this starfish touch your juicy flesh, you could be in for some serious pain.

Murphy's Law: Paying close attention not to get stung by a starfish I managed to get tangled in a few jellyfish tendrils. Quite relieved to be back on the boat and see a bottle of vinegar. Soothes the pain.

My favourite pub was the little hut at the end of the beach. Here the Malaysian bar men played their guitars with some very unique tunes. The Malay Bob Marley version: NO WOMEN NO PANCAKE!!

I'm a couple of shades darker, my knees have been scratched by coral, been stung by a jellyfish and bruised from boarding a boat in a strong current. The Janitor is still in one piece...
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