Monday, 28 January 2008

Unwinding in Tioman Island (1)

We started from Batu Pahat at 4.30 am for Mersing so as to catch the ferry at 8.00 am to Berjaya Beach Golf and Spa Resort at Tioman Island off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. We reached Mersing with some time to spare. John, a great lover of food started ferreting out the places where good food is served. However, at 6.30 most shops were still closed and we settled for a Chinese shop selling dim sum and the usual packed nasi lemak. After a quick breakfast, he was still on the lookout for the stall that sells the famous nasi dagang, the special nasi lemak originating from Terengganu. He seemed to like the nasi dagang, but I didn’t; I had it once in Terengganu and found the fish too fishy and the chili too sweet; anyway taste is a subjective thing. But I found the coffee spoon they use rather unique. Take-away nasi dagang are packed in banana leaves and the condiments are packed separately in plastics.

Nasi dagang, a Terengganu specialty

The unique coffee spoon

Then we headed for the ferry terminal. By about 7.30 back-packed tourists were trooping to the counter to purchase tickets. We bought round trip tickets for five people costing RM 70 each. Another ferry counter, the Seagull Express was close. Apparently, their licence was revoked due to a ferry mishap late last year in which 8 people had drowned. By 8.30 we were on board the air-conditioned ferry heading for Tioman, which is slightly more than a two hour ride from Mersing. The monotonous roar of the engine lulled us into a fitful sleep. The upper deck of the ferry was more refreshing, affording me a panoramic view of the sea and the smaller islands. The ferry made a few stops at some islands to unload passengers who live there and some tourists who prefer the more secluded islands.

The parking facility for cars at the Mersing jetty for those who drive to Mersing

The Mersing jetty

Buying ferry tickets to Tioman Island. RM 70 round trip

The ferry service that has been suspended for not adhering to safety regulations

The waiting area at the exit point of the jetty

The ferry, Bluewater

The Mersing river estuary

On the upper deck of the ferry

A coastal village at one of the islands

Twin peaks on one of the islands

Passengers at a jetty waiting to get on the ferry to Tioman

Tourists boarding the ferry to Tioman

A photo shot from the upper deck of the ferry

The ferry preparing for passengers to disembark at Tioman

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