We left Melaka in the morning and reached Mersing around 3PM. Mersing is the gateway to Pulau Tioman. One has to take a ferry from Mersing Jetty in order to reach Pulau Tioman. Tickets can be purchased at the jetty at around RM35. The journey from Mersing Jetty to Pulau Tioman takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes by jetty.
Unfortunately, by the time we reached Mersing Jetty, the ferry services to Tioman had ended! The next ferry to Pulau Tioman is 11am the next day!
Since we have already paid for our accommodation in Pulau Tioman, we were quite desperate to head to Pulau Tioman. Further, we didn’t want to waste our time in Mersing and spend a night in Mersing.
While at the jetty, someone offered to bring us over to Pulau Tioman for RM800. There were 14 of us and hence that comes less than RM60 per person. None of us have been to Pulau Tioman and none of us knew of other alternatives to get there. We snapped up the offer and within minutes, we were driven to a smaller jetty.
Then our boat came. It was a small wooden boat. /(*O*)\
We unloaded our luggage into the boat and took our seats. There were no chairs or anything nice to sit on. It was all wooden planks.
It was indeed a Malaysia Boleh moment..no ferry? no problem, just take a fisherman’s boat.
We were initially told that the journey would take around 3 1/2 hours. It didn’t take 3 1/2 hours to reach Tioman. It took 5 hours O_O
We were sailing against the wind and waves. The boat went up and down like a roller coaster ride. And there was only three lifejackets on board.
The 3 lifejackets
Not to long ago, one of the ferries to Tioman caught fire and a few people drowned. One blogger spoke about the tragedy on his blog and how poorly the search and rescue was conducted. If the boat sank, I guess the same thing would happen to us.
The first few hours were pretty bearable and frankly we were pretty excited too. However, the last few hours were hell. I sat on the front portion of the boat with Umeng, WK, Hyong and Kiang. I begin to feel seasick and tried to sleep. Whenever I close my eyes, I had sea water splashing on my face. I manage to fall asleep for few minutes only to be awaken by the rocking boat. My head was spinning and it was almost unbearable. It felt better when I vomited.
Kiang on the other hand was so sea sick until he did not move a single inch for five hours. I thought he fainted.
The boat was manned by two Malay brothers, one of them by the name Shukor. Shukor was telling me that to overcome seasickness, one should drink a mouthful of sea water. Hence, when I had sea water splashing on me, I licked myself like a cat cleaning itself.
Our sea sickness reached climax when the boat had to stop to pick up something from the sea. You see, one of the boat’s doors broke and fell on to the sea. The boat had to turn back and it started to rock left, right, centre and back. Arrggghhhhh
The passage way that connects the front and back of the boat is a small path that is around one feet. Any mistaken steps would lead one flying off the boat.
But the path is also one of the most important places in the boat. Since there is no toilet, we had to stand on the path, with one hand holding to the boat and the other hand holding our ‘brother’, to wee.
After feeling extremely sick while sitting down, I decided to stand up and endure the bumpy ride. Within no time, I felt a little bit better. I decided to stand until the end of the trip. I stood for 2 hours O_O
We sailed until night time. If its not for the moon light, everything would be pitch dark.
By 9pm, we landed at Pulau Tioman. We were so relieved when we reached there.
Haaalleeluuyaaaah! Ahamdulilahhh!! Amitabaa!!
Just as we thought our night mare was over, KF found out that we were on the wrong jetty! The boatman dropped us at the wrong jetty! But by the time KF found out about it, the boat was already sailing off. When we asked the boatman to come back to bring us to the right jetty, the boatman refused and told us to stay over there and take the boat to the correct jetty the next morning!
We then asked around whether there are any boats that goes to the correct jetty. Unfortunately, it was too late and there are no boats around. It would be great if we could just take a taxi to our hotel but Tioman doesn’t have taxi services. The only way is to walk and it takes around four hours to walk from the current jetty to the correct jetty.
We were shocked. We were conned big time! Argghh Fuk you Shukor!!
To be continued..