BootsnAll Travel Network

Jan 5 – Change of plans: To east coast of Malaysia– Mersing and Tioman Island


Pictures:  Palm Groves – harvesting palm oil, rice paddies, Sunset at Tioman Island, Annika, Queens traveling on bus, Local bus – not always so tour looking or feeling, Ferry to Tioman Island, Tioman Island sunset (note:  if you click on the pictures they should blow up to a bigger look) 

Our guest house in Melaka was not what the books claimed it to be. It was very “rustic,” and the kids weren’t too pleased. Very hot with only a broken fan, and a well-used community toilet and cold showers. But I (Natalie) liked it – it was in an old Chinese style with hardwood floors and an inner verandah surrounding a central courtyard. The courtyard had huge banana palms growing up through the opening to the sky. Our room faced the street, which was only about 10 feet wide. A Chinese family was doing some deep housecleaning for the upcoming Chinese New Year at midnight! That, combined with the call to prayer at the mosque down the street made for a short night. The street we were on had a Chinese temple and a mosque within a stone’s throw from each other.  The next part of our journey is to head up to Kuala Lumpur. However, while getting breakfast at a traveler’s café, we met an English woman and our plans changed on the spot.  We decided to go out of our way across Malaysia to the east coast and then to Tioman Island.  We originally planned to do this in April, after the monsoon, since much of the east coast is shut down during the monsoon. But according to the woman we met, the island was open and it seemed we all needed a break from the heat and travel, so we took a chance and tomorrow we hope the winds die down so the ferry shuttle can take us to the island for some “rest” time…The trip to Mersing took close to 5 hours and the last two were on bumpy country roads with Malaysian “techno” music and a screeching women’s voice in the background. However, we passed through rice fields, miles of Palm Orchards for the cultivation of palm oil, and forest growth. Mersing is quite small and quiet. The kids were happy to find a restaurant that served pizza! An added experience was losing electricity in the middle of the meal! Getting back to our backpacker guesthouse, we enjoyed chatting with a German/Austrian couple, a Czech artist and the hostel owner who was originally from Yemen. We again lost electricity, but the kids pulled out their flashlights and got right into their journaling.   The wind is quite strong, we we hope they don’t cancel the ferry tomorrow. 


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