Carnage, Monitor Lizards and Maurading Monkeys

Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
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Trip End Jan 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
South Pacific Chalets, Air Batang

Flag of Malaysia  , Pahang,
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I found Roy a short walk from the jetty and related our last few days to each other, Roy's story culminating with his stay in a bed-bug ridden dormitory on the island, the evidence a shocking constellation of red welts across his back and shoulders.

Thankfully he had managed to to find us a nicer chalet to stay in, situated right on the beach and although clean, it had some of the strangest improvised plumbing we had encountered so far, the tap being held to the wall with yellow wire.

I was pleased to learn that Tioman island is a duty free island and beers were a lot cheaper than the mainland. Sunset meant happy hour at the Halo/Hallo bar and 3 beers for RM10 and for the next three nights would become our 2nd home. Looking after us here was an Austrian girl called Kristina and her super-cool Malay boyfriend Bian.

We spent the days swimming in the glorious clear sea and the nights getting outrageously drunk with a succession of European girls, some of whom actually seemed with our drunken antics.

More swimming in the sea at 2am fueled this time with cheap Tequila was enjoyed and during the day we dodged 2 meter long monitor lizards and hordes of marauding monkeys.

At one point we walked over the head-land at the end of our beach to the slightly more developed village of Tekek and found the duty free shop at the small airport. Here we bought a couple of bottles cheap whiskey, which we sunk later that night with some surprisingly cool German guys.

As there are no ATMs on the island, except for one that charged for each withdrawal, we needed to leave the island after 5 days of partying and so headed to catch a ferry we were told should be arriving at around 12.30. At about 1pm there was no sign of the boat so I walked down to one of the small shops to buy a drink and some snacks. On the way back I heard a cat mewling loudly and from under a piece of blue tarpaulin saw a small kitten being carried by what I thought at first was its mother but turned out to be a 5 foot Monitor lizard, emerging with the kitten clamped firmly in its mouth. It trotted off triumphantly, its furry lunch still squealing and disappeared under a nearby chalet.

Slightly shocked I returned to the jetty with the answer to a question Roy and I had discussed a few nights previously, How can cats live so close to the lizards without being eaten? Answer - they don't!

Our boat arrived a few hours later and we hopped on for an even longer journey back to the mainland. We went to the bus station and jumped on a bus leaving in five minutes for Johor Bahru.
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