Adventures in East Asia

Pulau Tioman Part 3 - Snorkeling Excursion

On our second day at Pulau Tioman, we had booked a snorkeling excursion that lasted about three hours. I had never snorkeled before, had never swam in the sea and in fact, am not very good at swimming! So I at least, had to practise in the resort pool the day before.


We had to get up early for breakfast before meeting the boat for a 9am start. At the jetty, there was a massive shoal of fish sheltering in the shade. The closest I'd ever been to one was with sardines in a zoo tank, so seeing them live below us made me want to just jump right into the middle of them! (Save for the fact that I can't swim well.)


Some of the other waiting excursionists threw some bread and the larger, striped fish clustered and tore at the floating food, whilst the smaller shoal of fish circled around the activity.


When our excursion guide arrived, we set off with our life jackets and snorkeling kit.


We headed north for the Marine Park as our first of two stops, passing along the coast and a cruise liner along the way.



Here are shots of our crew in the boat, along with ourselves and three of the other five excursionists with us.






It took around forty five minutes to get to the Marine Park, and after docking at the jetty, we were given access to a roped off area (on the right hand side of the pier below) between the beach, pier and sea. Though it was full of fish, we weren't that impressed with the simple sandy bottom.


Before we dived in, we walked up to the quiet beach resort and came across a couple of locals.



Once in the water, with my inexperience in the sea, I had to quickly get used to wearing a life jacket and staying buoyant in the water, as well as wearing the snorkeling mask correctly. Although I felt I had pulled it on tightly, the mask always kept filling up with sea water, meaning I'd ended up sniffing in my whole week's allowance of salt before our forty five minutes in the water was up.

Just before we left, a group of China tourists turned up, some of whom also dived in for a swim, whilst others chucked bread into the water. We had to swim through a mass of frantically-feeding fish to climb back up the jetty again.


At 10.45am, we were whisked back South and the boat anchored near a point we had previously passed called Renggis Island. There were already a few other snorkelers there and we got stuck in without hesitation.

This time, the experience was far greater. I had realised my snorkeling mask simply wasn't tight enough before (so tightened it!) and there was a fantastic coral scenery under the water! Well, fantastic for me seeing as I'd never seen any other coral to compare it to.


I found it fascinating to float without the pressure of swimming, feeling the sudden change of temperature in the luke warm sea, and seeing all the sea life under us through the perspective given by our masks. I've no idea what kind of coral or fish we were looking at, apart from a black-tipped shark that we spotted. We didn't see any sea turtles though unfortunately.


After an hour, we were shipped back to Paya Beach Resort in time for lunch, exhausted, but sporting life jacket tan lines and slowly reddening skin.

Our snorkeling trip cost RM 35 (£6.25) each for the boat and an additional RM 15 (£2.70) for the snorkeling kit and life jacket hire.

Next : Pulau Tioman Part 4 - Walking from Paya Beach Resort to Genting

This entry posted in : Attractions. Entertainment. Malaysia. Sport.

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