Saturday, 8 August 2015

The most beautiful sea in the world

OK, i know that i have never been to every sea in the world. I have not. But because i have grown up with this one, to me it is the most beautiful one in the world. The colours, the sounds, the seascapes, the people. The boats, the warmth, the sunsets, the peace, the delight...the rainforest... i mean the warm seas before me and the coral reefs and the rainforest behind. If this isn't heaven, i don't know where it could possibly be... so to Tioman and to the Melina Beach Resort... i am NEVER going to a non ecofriendly resort again as long as i live. Never.


We arrive at the Melina
It is a six hour journey from Singapore if all connections are met. We left at 6.30 am from Singapore and were in Tioman, this place, by 12.30 pm. We caught the ferry immediately, as soon as we got off the bus. And then it was a two hour ride to the jetty and a five minute speedboat ride to the place. It was soooo beautiful, it was like coming home.

The Melina was started in 2000 by a German family. It was started as a resort that had a turtle hatchery. And then the bloke sold it off to an IRISH family - which now doesn't do the turtle hatchery, but has the eco thing still at heart. Although there was airconditioning and hot water - and electricity 24-7. However, that all said, it was still really MUCH MUCH better than everything else that was on offer - and it was clean and comfortable.

Where we eat everyday
Meals are simple, familiar affairs and the boys enjoyed the food. Although, they did NOT like breakfast. Cos my sons are mega fussy eaters.

Little waterfall area that leads to the rooms

They could not wait and had to swim at once while i checked in

There is a tree house, which has a tree growing out of it!


I am home!

Chilling off with ginger ale... the place has a recycling policy

The way to our cabin
Oisin really inspired this holiday. Mom, i'd like to go to a place like this - with white sands and blue seas. When he was very young, we went to the Golden Legends in Thailand and he has always loved that seascape. So i was going to Raja Ampat, but with all the volvanic activity thought, maybe not, given our track record to crazy things happening immediately after we leave, especially because we might not be so lucky the next time. So i looked up something closer to home an found this.

We were very lucky to find this.

Home sweet home

Yes our chalet was called frigate bird!
So one of the highlights of finding this incredible colony of little terns. It was on Ringgis Island and they were breeding!!! we were swimming and snorkelling so close to the island and we could see their chicks. They were adorable. I stayed bobbing in the water with Oising just oo-ing and ahh-ing at the babies. To think we have reef sharks swimming beneath us and little terns calling above. We also saw what i think was a heron, although it was very dark in colour! Lots of kites, sea eagles and terns fishing off shore. Then LOADS of squirrels and even a colungo!!!! ANTS!!! I sat a lot of time in this hammock just looking at the animal life and listening to the sea.

Like this....


The life

Wee cat that came to visit

The view from our room

They spent most of their time in sarongs



Sunset over Melina Beach


Time for dinner

Soooo relaxed.... everyone was relaxed

I think it was partly because...
It was really nice to be back in a place where not everyone was trying to shove something down your throat, like it is in Singapore with the SG50 celebrations. I can't just bear this backslapping and self congratulations which is really annoying, like 20-something stockbrokers in Hooters smoking cigars and celebrating their kills. Anyway, being in Malaysia was taking a break from it - and weirdly, i used to think it was completely messed up, but between last year and this one, for some reason, the places we went to this time seemed to have sorted themselves out. Cleanliness and organisation wise at least. It was odd... Mersing was CLEAN.

Oisin enjoys his camera

Our own private beach - cos no one else went there

It was actually quite cloudy, which meant that we did not get sunburn

Making myself at home

I could have stayed here another three weeks

The bedroom

The most beautiful scenery in the world cannot compete with the iPhone games
So, most of the time, people at dinner were on their iPhones. I did not realise how bad things were until this holiday. They were all European families, literally all of them, and the one with teenagers were the worst - and parents were not much better. At least one person was fixed on their phone. I have banned phones from the table, that is just a given. We conversate when we are having a meal, it is part of being human. Not being a robot. And i am not a techno phobe, i just do not think that in any given universe is there the excuse to ignore human company in favour of a phone. The boys had brought their phones, and i was annoyed enough that they would play it when they could be doing other things...

I suppose it is like reading a book, NOT


The kampung house set up - you wash your feet at the foot of the
steps and then walk up to the room
Most kampung houses have only one big room where everything is done

Sun and sea and beach and boys and iPhones


I could have stayed forever





So i did not take lots of photos... this was just before we had to leave....

Sunshine and we went for a last swim

The ferry ride back

We went snorkeling LOADS...there is nothing like a warm sea
You can keep your Pacific and North Atlantic and Indian and all those other seas.... and give me my lovely, perfect, tiny South China Sea, even if it is filled with radiation from Fukushima.


It is the combination of rainforest and warm seas

Heaven on earth

The Irish man who runs this told me he was never going back

I can understandd why... i would ALSO never go back

Bliss

The jetty at Paya
Many of these resorts have not sorted out the environmental side of things. For instance this one rents out ATVs to go into th rainforest with. It has completely fucked the place up. I don't understand this at all. There were a group of teenagers from Raffles Institution which were obnoxiously riding them when we came upon them. If people were only more thinking about what they did. I don't even want to think about the other pressures... oh yes, they had the time honoured island way of getting rid of rubbish which was the local incineration programme... that said, the coral reefs have done mach better since i was last there about eight years ago, and the little tern colony says something about the fish stocks. Also the birds hunting fish all over the place was a good sign. And finally, the sea was actually quite clean. There was very little litter in it. So all in all, Thumbs up! Can't have perfection. It was cleaner than Marine Parade beach. A WHOLE LOT CLEANER.

Perfection - you see boats like this... i love boats like this, full of character

The clearest waters teeming with fish

On cold days, when i am very shivery, i will think of Tioman


We got to Mersing and after a lunch in KFC, we then walked about


We wait by a massive rain tree which is now filled with ficus

As we wait the call to prayer goes out - i LOVE the sound of the Muzzein calling

I saw a super weird film on the way to Tioman...
It was called ... i um i can't remember what an islamic teacher in Malay schools is called... but it was called my husband is this person. It began with this free spirited girl, really tomboyish, wild and quite pretty. And it turns out her teacher, who is twice her age - she had not completed her A levels? or O levels? Anyway, he quite fancied her. He was quite good looking and fanciable, and she still thought he was an old bloke. But anyway, he made this marriage proposal to her parents who were going away on the haj and they then accepted this and so she was married to him against her will... honestly it was really super odd. And it was all done in a comedy style. Sort of like Taming of the Shrew actually. He said, you need to ask me permission to leave the house, you can't go out without me, you need to obey everything i say.... I did not know what to make of it, especially since it was the 21st century and not the middle ages.

It was really impressive how clean Mersing was

World travellers!

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