I was sincerely hoping that the two hour transfer and subsequent two hour ferry ride were going to be worth the effort to get to Tioman Island (I cannot wait until the kids can properly carry their own luggage). It absolutely was. Tioman is one of the most beautiful places in the world that I have ever visited.
We are at Paya beach, one of about eight resorts dotted around the island which are all serviced via ferry. There are no cars (luggage is transported using scooters with side cars) and Paya consists of two hotel resorts and a scattering of dive operators, restaurants and duty free shops. Yesterday we went on a boat snorkel tour; the coral and the water were pristine and there were plenty of tropical fish (nothing much more exciting alas, although we did see a sea snake). The kids both enjoyed the snorkelling-Owen more than Elsie (she doesn’t like ‘big fish’ which can be somewhat problematic). I was a bit jealous of the divers-it’s been 10 years since I last went diving (never had the inclination to until now) and I would imagine some of the dive sites are pretty amazing.
I splurged and had lobster last night. It had been caught one hour prior to it being cooked, and was presented sliced in half, with a garlic butter sauce. Now I have only had lobster on a handful of occasions, but this was head and shoulders above others. We have a mixed grill preordered for tonight, so Rhodri should be in his meat heaven. We have had the more traditional noodle and rice dishes (which have obviously been great) however somewhat repetitive (maybe I have an ignorant palette): I could not envisage having a rice/noodle variation for three meals a day every day.
I will be sad to leave tomorrow, but feel recharged and relaxed after the bustle of Johor. We still have two more countries to explore with a busy itinerary (and washing to do 😂), but Tioman in particular has ensured that I will leave Malaysia with fond memories.