It would be really great if you could read Via Singapore as the journey begins from Singapore itself.
We boarded our bus to Kuala Lumpur at Jurong East bus terminal and it started around 8 AM. The journey was quite an exciting one and I kept staring outside the window, but unfortunately couldn’t view much beyond those road side trees and bushes. On the way at one particular place we had our passport stamped. We reached KL by 1-2 PM and waited for Nair at the bus terminal for a while. Shruti already prepared delicious lunch and we couldn’t have waited any longer to satisfy our tummies. As Nair recently joined a new company that time, so after lunch he went back to work. After a little bit of chit chat with Shruti, I enjoyed a couple of hours deep sleep and only woke up after Nair returned home in the evening.
Nair explained us about the package tour he had booked. Well, it was a 3 Days/2 Nights stay at the Tioman island, which included breakfast, lunch and dinner for our entire stay. I was pretty much excited with the barbecue dinner on our final night at the island. The package also included the up and down ferry transport from Mersing to Tioman. As it was weekend, we had some hard time to book our tickets. All the bus tickets directly from KL to Mersing were sold out and we had no other option left with us. We looked for some alternate routes and the bus guys suggested us to catch a bus to Johor Bahru and from there we could have got a bus to Mersing. Well, Johor Bahru is quite close to Singapore and I felt little odd that we would have to go all the way near Singapore that night. We had our dinner somewhere near the Bus terminal in KL. After dinner I bought a packet of Marlboro, wow! I was so delighted to get the same brand at almost 50% cheaper price than in Singapore. I offered one cigarette to Nair and was quite pissed off with his attitude, well those after marriage effects, he was quite recently married that time.
The night bus journey was a thrilling one and we reached Johor Bahru around 2 AM. Now the next bus to Mersing was scheduled only at 6 in the morning. We were not very comfortable to have waited at the bus terminal the entire night and looked for some other alternatives. We even tried to book some taxi, but the price seemed to be higher than their twin towers. Again we had to book our tickets to some different place and traveled the whole night and then ultimately in the morning, we managed to get a bus to Mersing and reached their by 10:30 AM. Without proper planning, merely 5 to 6 hours of bus journey from KL to Mersing, took us that long. But I felt it was a blessing in disguise, well at least for me and it gifted us such an wonderful memorable night, full of adventure.
But the real thrill was just about to begin. We inquired at our travel agent office out there and then waited for our ferry to Tioman. In the mean time we enjoyed some heavy Malay breakfast. We saw people from across the globe out there and everyone tried to take the best possible space in that ferry. Wow! I was so much thrilled and the excitement kept on increasing as we proceeded towards deep into the sea.
Tioman is a small island located at 65 km from Mersing and the ferry usually use to take approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The island is quite densely forested and sparsely inhabited. The area is surrounded by coral reefs and it’s considered to be one of the world's most beautiful islands. Tioman island is quite popular scuba diving spot.
It was a breathtaking experience and everyone inside the ferry constantly kept starring outside. On the way we encountered several attractive and quite appealing small islands.
We reached Tioman around 1:30 PM and holy shit!, I was so damn delighted with the surrounding. The place was completely green and the water looked so blue all around.
We were quite fascinated to see the beach-huts, our place of shelter out there in the island.
That day after lunch we badly needed some sleep and then later in the evening we had a little inspection of the island. I was quite impressed with the lovely open bar out there. The beach was quite calm and the water was full of corals and rocks. We didn't see many people swimming around and also the sea waves was not furious enough like our Indian beaches. We just waited for the next day, as our travel package included one full day boat trip in the sea. As per instruction we collected our life jackets and snorkeling diving masks in the night itself. Next morning immediately after breakfast, we were right into the boat and eagerly waited for the thriller. Our guide was quite macho kind of and we used to call him Mithun Da among ourselves. I could never learn the art to resist the gravitation forces in water and even panic with life jackets as well. But my spirit was on high that moment. I noticed a round rubber tube and a big piece of rope inside the boat. Oh! I was so relaxed and confident after I watched those stuffs and felt, as if I could have swam all the way to China that moment.
That boat trip was some kind of a life time experience. On the way we stopped at some extraordinarily beautiful small islands.
At a particular place the sea water was kind of calm and Mithun Da asked everyone to swim out there. I was all prepared with every possible life safety measures. Some people in the boat including Nair, started to laugh at me, but who the hell would've cared? Even I also enjoyed a thrilling swim in the middle of the sea. Sometimes I even tried to put my face inside the water and looked deep inside the sea. It was quite fascinating to view some colorful fishes out there.
We had our packet lunch at Tulai island and then we enjoyed a couple of hours at Tioman marine park.
Everyone was extremely tired but the thrill simply continued. The boat stopped at some place and the guide confirmed that's to be the last spot for the day. He asked everyone to swim round a circle by the side of some huge and monstrous rocks. Well, it was too much challenging for me and Anjali already surrendered and preferred to stay in the boat itself. By that time Mithun Da was pretty much aware about my swimming skills and asked me to remain in the boat. I noticed the furious sea water as they struck hard enough at those giant rocks. I already sensed that the flow of the water out there was beyond my control. But the influence of the colorful fluids which I consumed just about half an hour ago was still active inside my brains. In fact, I was quite
overconfident confident and was ready for the challenge. That was the place where the colorful corals were highly concentrated and that was the perfect spot for scuba diving, but only for the professionals. Within a few minutes I lost my confidence and felt being drifted towards those giant rocks. There's no way I could have resisted those fierce water flows with my rubber tube. I totally lost my control and thought I was about to die. I shouted in panic "Please help, please help" But, our boat looked quite far from there. All of a sudden someone held my tube and also my life jacket and said to me not to worry. It took me a while to realize that it was our very own Mithun Da. Oh! I felt so relaxed that moment and somehow just wanted to go back to our boat, but it was still quite far away.
Mithun Da constantly asked me to look inside the sea and I said "Please, I want to go alive from here" But he was adamant and asked me not to worry, but I didn't dare to put my face inside the waters, as my blood pressure was pretty high that moment. At some point Mithun Da almost shouted at me and strictly said "Look inside, you came here from so far, all the way from India. I would like you to look inside"
That moment I somehow gained my confidence and adjusted my snorkeling diving mask. I looked inside the deep ocean. Oh! dear, I can never forget those moments. It was a completely different world inside and it was so colorful. For a moment I thought as if I was watching National geographic channel on TV. I was completely lost into that colorful world and my blood pressure came down drastically. I saw big colorful fishes, corals and so many other thing inside the sea. I'm so much thankful to our Mithun Da or whatever be his name, anyway what's in a name? Life is too short and I could never forget that person in such a short time.
By evening we returned back to Tioman island and later enjoyed a magnificent barbecue party. Ass hole Nair, gave me some real hard time that evening. The situation was so perfect for consumption of heavenly fluids, but thanks to Nair's after marriage effects, I had to slog all alone and after 2 pegs even my wife Anjali, also started to show her wifey characteristics. After dinner we preferred to stay at the beach and gossiped till late midnight.
Next day morning, after we had our breakfast, it was time for us to say goodbye to that beautiful island. It's always difficult to return from such kind of a place and on the way I kept staring at the Tioman till it completely lost to my view. From Mersing we took a bus to KL and reached only by evening. Everyone was tired like hell and my entire body already started to ache. Next day, early morning we had our bus back to Singapore. There was no time for us for any more sightseeing. But how to leave KL simply just like that?Without even saying "hello" to the great Twin Towers. I said to Nair "Abbe, lets go just for few minutes yaar, not sure when next time I would visit this place again" Anjali immediately dropped the idea and I and Nair went to have a closer look at the Twin Towers. Oh! it's really magnificent and I noticed tourists from across the globe out there. Everyone tried to capture those towers from all possible angles and even we also tried our luck.
This post is written for Indiblogger’s "Creating Happy Travelers!" contest, in association with www.yatra.com