Lounging and drinking on tropical Tioman

Trip Start Aug 09, 2010
Trip End Feb 01, 2012

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What I did
Swam in tropical waters and drank rum

Flag of Malaysia  , Pahang,
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hello to all our friends and family!
I am writing this blog on an old wooden desk in our bungalow which is a mere 10 meters away from the South China Sea. I am feeling like Hemmingway or Twain in the 1920’s. Ah, if only! 
We are on the island of Tioman which is just off Malaysia’s south east coast. When we knew my Parents were coming to Malaysia we really struggled on choosing what island to go to. Langkawi, The Perenthians or Redang? Well after visiting the first two we know we made the right choice. In our view Langkawi’s sea is nothing special and as we mentioned in a previous blog we think that The Perenthians are ruined. Redang is expensive as you have to go on package deals. Which left us with Tioman.
We are on the remote far east of the island on a beach called Juara. Choosing which beach to stay on was also problematic. We did not want to be on a beach full of people, boat traffic and all night parties. Juara beach seemed like the perfect choice. It is!  
Tioman has a small population with most of the locals living on the west coast. The interior is full of jungle that has not been touched for eons. (Thank god). It took us 30 mins by 4x4 to get to Juara from where the boat dropped us off. Juara is a small Kampung (village) made up of about 200 people. There is one mosque, one school (with the most delightful kids ever) and no police station. Everybody knows each other and the locals are relaxed and happy to have travellers crash onto their tiny bit of paradise. 
We have had a lovely week here with my Parents. The two beaches are beautiful with very little development (for now), the ocean is crystal clear and there is hardly anybody about. Perfect. All we have done is eat, read, swim and drink. Oh yes the other great thing about Tioman is the fact that the island is tax free which means that booze is cheap here, especially compared to the rest of Malaysia. 
I will never forget the views of the jungle clad mountains whilst swimming in the sea. Which leads me on to a funny dream that my Dad had. On one morning we were in the sea with nobody else around and I was explaining to my Dad that some parts of the rain forest are over 100 million years old and why. I made a flippant comment about if the dinosaurs were to come back they would recognize what’s around them. Well my Dad fell asleep on the beach a little later and dreamt that a T-Rex saw him in the sea and jumped from the mountain after him. My Dad was trying to run away but could not move because of the water. He woke up in a sweat panicking! Very funny. Luckily for him there was nobody about to see him jump up.  
There is a turtle sanctuary on one of the beaches here and yesterday we visited it and met Jo a blind Hawksbill turtle. She is so cute. She was born without eyes so the sanctuary decided to look after her after watching her as a baby go around in circles trying to find the sea. Tooooooo cute. They do an amazing job and if you are ever in this part of the world you must pay them a visit. It is so sad to see the plight of these amazing animals. Normally they have a survival rate of 1 in a 1000 but because of humans they now have an even more dismal 1 in 10,000. The sanctuary makes sure that the beach is protected from poachers and patrol it every night. When they see a pregnant turtle come onto the beach they watch where she will bury her eggs and then they collect them and put them in their protected sanctuary. 50 days later they take the newborn turtles back to the beach (as turtles have this amazing homing ability. In 20 years time the turtles of this beach will come back to lay their eggs!) and watch them all scamper to the sea. That must be an amazing site. 
Now we are on our last night here. Boo hoo. Tomorrow we go back to Kuala Lumpur for 2 nights. To get there we need to take a 30min 4x4 ride through the jungle to get to the jetty. Then an 1hr 30 min boat ride back to Malaysia’s mainland. Then a 5hr bus ride to the edge of the city and then finally a 30min taxi to our hostel. Hey to get to paradise you sometimes have to work for it!
So until then, bye bye love to you all!
Paul & Karen (who is addicted to a golf game on my I-phone and refused to budge!)
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