The "Typical" Honeymoon

Trip Start Mar 08, 2010
Trip End Sep 04, 2010

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Where I stayed
Berjaya Tioman

Flag of Malaysia  , Pahang,
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So here we are on a perfect island (the one on which South Pacific was filmed all those years ago) and named as one of Time Magazine's most beautiful Islands in the world. Rightfully so. Mom and Dad gifted us a week at a resort on this island as a wedding present, which was amazing as we could have NEVER afforded this place on our backpackers budget, and here we are enjoying what most people would think of as a typical honeymoon. 

Our room is a beautiful wooden chalet (with air conditioning, thank God!), located a 2 minute walk from the beach. The resort has everything you could ever dream of, including a spa, 4 restaurants, tennis courts, an exercise facility, 2 swimming pools and a dive center. Its a bit different than the other places we have been staying, to say the least. 

We made use of the dive center and immediately signed up for diving classes. In exchange for our money, we recieved to PADI dive books and were told to read them before classes started in two days. 250 pages of diving theory and instruction later, we showed up for a review session, which was spread out over three days, as well as two confined water dives to practice technique and four open water dives. 

The course took three days at the dive center, whcih flew by and before we knew it, we were diving in open water. How to describe diving? First of all, Terry was a natural, I was TERRIFIED of breathing underwater. I knew that there would be oxygen in my tank, but I couldnt make myself believe it. I panicked/hyperventilated a lot in the beginning. But my tank pulled through and it got easier for me with every dive.

It is unlike anything I have ever experienced. You float like an astronaut underwater. At least youre supposed to. Terry and I are still working on our bouyancy, so sometimes we would find ourselves at the surface without understanding why, other times we would hit the bottom without understanding why. Like everything else diving related, we're getting better.

The scene underwater was incredible. I cannot believe how many fish were swimming around under there! And the coral! It was actually quite scary looking when I was trying not to crash into it, but beautiful from a safe distance. 

We saw several sea turtles. Sometimes they fought. 

As we got less clumsy, fish would swim right next to us. In the beginning we flailed so much we must have scared them off. But it was really neat to swim right next to clownfish.

We are officially PADI certified Open Water Divers, which means we can do diving up to 18 meters beneath the surface with an experienced guide. The more dives we get under our belts, the deeper we can go and someday perhaps even dive without a guide, but thats a long ways off for now. 

As well as three days, the course took it out of us. All we had the energy to do after the fact was sit by the pool. (Life is rough, we know) The idea of exploring the island came up but was quickly voted down after realizing how nice sitting by the pool with a cold coke can be.

We have also been able to (temporarily) break out budget induced sobriety here in Malaysia. They tax alcohol %300, so its a bit out of our price range. But for some reason, this tiny island has duty free alcohol, meaning we can afford the odd beer here and there.  Mostly, though, we just drink water trying desperately to replace the fluids we lose each day! Dehydration can sure ruin a vacation!

So this week has been very adventurous (diving) and very relxaing (lying on the beach). 

We will be sad to get on that puddle jumper tomorrow and go back to peninsular Malaysia, but are also anticipating the new adventures that await us.

We will also miss (perhaps most of all) the local food shop that has been faithfully providing us with roti (flat bread wrapped egg & onion with curry sauce) for breakfast and satay with peanut sauce for dinner. Mandi has become addicted to watermelon juice with lychee, while Terry prefers a fresh pineapple juice in the morning. Like I said, we will be VERY sad to see this place go!
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