Underwater adventures (Pulau Tioman, Malaysia)

Tioman -July (1 of 1)

Manuele and I finally managed to have our first weekend out of Singapore; a 3 day trip to Pulau Tioman, a tropical island in Malaysia.

Hotel essentials like shampoo and soap is a nice thought, but incredibly wasteful. Say no to disposable mini-packages and bring your own reusable jars from home.

With my growing awareness of plastic pollution and the toxicity caused by basic hygiene products, I wanted to bring and buy as little disposable waste as possible for this trip, and use products that are as natural as I can find.

Essential packing list, packed in old pesto jars and tins:

  • Rye flour (Shampoo)
  • Distilled apple cider vinegar (conditioner)
  • Organic shower Gel
  • Home made deodorant

Essentials which are harder to make at home (but not impossible!):

The mosquito repellent is made from essential oils like Citronella, which is a natural mosquito and bug repellent. I bought Badger’s organic spray because it has less plastic, but it was really oily and hard to apply (plus stinks!) compared to my usual super-effective spray from Lemongrass House. Badger’s spray gave me 2 sleepless nights, hiding under the bedsheets in 30 Celsius, listening to the constant buzzing around my head. Let’s hope those mosquitoes were not carrying Dengue Fever, because I got more than a few bites…

Tioman -July (32 of 46)

I’ve been crazy about snorkelling since I was 8 and my cousin lent me her mask and taught me to dive in Croatia. From that day I spent every day of every summer under the water surface, until my hands and lips turned blue from the cold. All my savings went into buying the equipment, and every day I’d drag my gear with me from beach to beach, while my friends laughed and joked about my obsession. But there were no coral reefs at the beaches around Split, and I dreamed of the day I’d finally see reefs IRL.

This was the day.

We paid for an all-day tour, visiting several beaches and small islands with a small motor boat.

Brace yourself, because this might blow your mind!

(click on the images for a bigger picture)

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With my new prescription mask

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Myself, diving with the fishes at Tioman Island

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See those dark shadows? Those are corals

Tioman -July (8 of 46)

I was beyond words at the beauty. Doesn’t it make you want to be a better person?

I made a big effort to reduce my waste on this trip. I brought my stainless steel bottle with me and would fill it up with water every time I walked past a bar, restaurant or cafe. The tap water in Tioman isn’t safe to drink unless boiled first, and while most places had cooled-down boiled water, one of the bars could only offer me hot boiled water. The bartender giggled a bit at me when my bottle was too hot to hold, and I spent the next half hour holding the bottle under water waiting for it to cool down enough to drink. I did succumb to 2 canned beers (cans have a layer of plastic which leaks toxins into the drinks), but mostly drank cider in glass bottles.

I also practice asking to have my drink without straw and received more giggles from confused locals. Crazy western girl!

For my next trip, I will bring snacks from home instead of buying cheap cookies.

Tioman -July (2 of 46)
We rented a bungalow on a pond

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Chilling in one of the villages on Tioman

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Taxi boat
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Big commotion and confusion when I asked not to have a straw with my drink

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Manuele and I bought beer and cider and spent the late afternoons cooling down on the beach
Hungry cats cleaning the plates
Do not spit



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