We left Tioman on the 7am ferry back to Mersing and took the resort company car to Muar, Ying’s hometown. We were there to visit her family, plus drop off a huge load of duty-free alcohol and chocolate that Ying had purchased on Tioman.
Having worked as a volunteer at a resort on Tioman for over a month now, I thought it might be helpful to work through some of my frustration with a post on snorkelling etiquette. While I was here we had people from Sweden, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore, but mostly they came from Malaysia and China. This is not a post that says one nationality is better than another. People are people, and this is for everyone.
Quick note: I am using the British English spelling of snorkelling, which has 2 Ls, the same as travelling.
Before I go any further, I just want to say that I have never worked illegally in Malaysia, but that’s mostly because the pay is pretty low, about AU$2 an hour. I do enjoy volunteering though, as you generally get free accommodation and food, and the workload is a lot less. If you travel through Malaysia and stick around somewhere for more than a week, it’s highly likely you’ll be offered work of some sort. I’ve met quite a few foreigners from loads of different countries, including Bulgaria, France and Spain, who enjoy living here so much they’ll work a bit to make their stay here free.
I’ve been staying at a resort on Tioman Island, the lovely Aguna Resort in Kampung Genting. A three minute walk from the beach, with badminton and beach volleyball courts nearby. The chef serves up good food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there’s tea, coffee and water freely available all day long. Also, Tioman is a duty free island, so most products, especially alcohol, are ridiculously cheap.
At the end of July I flew home from Korea to spend a month and a half with my parents on their farm in Queensland. I love my parents, but six weeks is probably three weeks too long for all parties involved. So I did what I always do when I’m at home, I planned my next trip. The only problem was that my next trip was visiting my friend on Tioman Island for a few months and apart from booking a couple of flights and checking the timing of the bus and ferry, there wasn’t really that much planning to do. I still need to talk to some friends about meeting up in Thailand after Malaysia, but considering I want to be there next year, it doesn’t really seem worth it. I would also like to meet up with Jess and visit Angkor Wat, but it also depends on money – for both of us!
Before I left Korea, I decided I needed to visit its famous holiday island, Jeju. I flew down and stayed in a hostel near the main bus terminal. While this was convenient for taking the bus, next time I would probably stay closer to the downtown area which has more restaurant and shopping options.
1. When flying in, remember to buy some duty free alcohol to take onto the islands with you. Cocktails are in excess of FJ$15 there!
2. The weather here is perfect – unless it’s overcast and raining, which it was for our first two days here. Check the weather report to avoid disappointment on arrival. It’s way better to be disappointed back in your home town 🙂 Also, if the weather is rough, they won’t let you go snorkeling. They are worried you’ll be pulled out to sea.
3. If you are here when it’s overcast, there is no breeze to speak of, so don’t wash all your clothes at the same time. They take about 3 days to dry properly.