Thursday, March 31, 2011

TIOMAN: Berjaya Tioman Resort & Malay Villages, Genting, Paya, Tekek & Air Batang

Shahzan Villa, more than just a village. It is a place fit for a king, sultan or emperor. It is situated in the highest point in Berjaya Tioman Golf & Spa Resort, next to the Club house

The jungle trail linking the village of Tekek to Air Batang Village. It is not accessible by motor vehiles, motor-cycles or bicycles

The village of Air Batang is connected to the village of Tekek by an undulating forest path of about 150 metres in length. The path lies at the northern end of the Tekek bay near the Marine Park Information Centre (Pusat Informasi Taman Laut).

The fourth ferry stop is the village of Air Batang. It is also the second last stop one before the village of Salang.

The rocks & boulders at the promontory offer an elegant sight of the sea front.

The golf course is an 18-hole scenic course with views of hills, beaches & sea.
The tip of the golf course is a promontory with elegant stacks of boulders.

Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort together with the adjoining Berjaya Tioman Beach Golf & Spa Resort has an exclusive beach sandy front which runs a few kilometres from one end of a bay to the other end. The beach too is wide.

Tekek too houses the 600-room four-star Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort which is popular with the high-end tourists from both Malaysia & abroad.

Tekek is the largest village in Tioman. It has the only airport on the island as well as the only police station, health clinic, Tenaga Nasional (National Power)power station, Post Office-cum-Bank Simpanan Nasional (National Savings Bank) with an ATM. It also has the Marine Park Information Centre.

The village of Tekek is the third ferry stop from Mersing. Tekek has a beautiful marina beside the jetty.

Paya village is more boisterous than Genting. Visitors from the nearby village often make a bee-line for Paya especially in the evenings

The second stop for the ferry from Mersing is the village of Paya. Paya has many chalets built on the hillside facing the sea & its beaches.

Tioman today remains very much a paradise island with many clean sandy beaches which are unspoilt as they are spread out over various parts of the island. Genting village is popular with visitors from Singapore the neighbouring country.

TIME Magazine in the 1970s selected Tioman as one of the world's most beautiful island. Arriving from Mersing on the Mainland the first ferry stop is the village of Genting

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Tioman got its name from "tiong" which means a mynah bird in Malay. The word "man" is short-form of "teman" which according in Pahang Malay dialect means "ours". The photo shows a statue of the mynah bird standing facing the sea from the Esplanade of Tekek Village

The photo of the real mccoy, a mynah bird. They are found in abundance on Tioman Island

Besides mynah birds monitor lizards are found aplenty in Tioman Island. They hardly have predators other than perhaps the sea eagles. As Tioman Island have few Chinese (some of whom love monitor lizards stewed with Chinese medicinal herbs)
the reptiles are spared from the cooking pot. This particular monitor lizard was oblivious of the presence of yours truly.It was so coolly nonchalant

The one that got away! This particular monitor lizard or biawak in Malay was so afraid of people that it just scampered madly up a tree on seeing me

Cattle Egrets or Koereiger (Bulbulcus Ibis) are found along the coastal areas of Tioman Island

A specimen of a Green Turtle commonly found in the waters around Tioman Island

Pusat Informasi Taman Laut (Marine Information Centre) Pulau Tioman located on the northern fringe of the bay where Tekek Village lies

A close-up of a long-tail macaque monkey which was a member of a family of monkeys residing near the TAT Turtle Sanctuary

Fishes swimming unharassed in the waters just outside the Marine Information Centre of Tioman Island whose surrounding waters including other smaller islands are protected as a marine park

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The sign shows Jalan Jeti or Jetty Road in English. It leads the way to the jetty.
The sign also the town's tagline, that is, Bandar Tepian Sungai or Town on the Banks of a River

The Mersing River is the centre of life for Mersing town

The town of Mersing owes its origins to the Mersing River. Mersing lying close to the river mouth started life as a fishing village.

The hill that gets into the way of downtown Mersing. It is an iconic landmark

Whilst the town hill is Mersing's landmark so is the Chinese temple lying at the foot of the hill

This Hindu temple shares a common boundary with the landmark Chinese temple. The mutual co-existence between the two temples speaks volume of the harmony between Hinduism & Taoism in Mersing

This row of wooden residential houses are the oldest existing structures for human occupation. They are close to the Mersing River

This is the main bus terminal for Mersing. It is a hub not only for local buses plying nearby it is also the terminus for buses bound for & from towns as far away as Kuala Lumpur,Ipoh, Kota Baru, Alor Star as well as Singapore our neighbouring country

This is the main market for vegetables, fruits, meat, live poultry & fish. It is just beside the main Mersing bus terminal

Mersing is renown for seafood restaurants. The photo depicts Mersing Seafood Restaurant which enjoyed a reputation for serving good seafood. An English girl tourist whom I met in Tioman Island told me about this restaurant as she had patronised it sometime during her earlier visit to Mersing. She gave it a strong thumb's up

This is the Fong Coffee Shop Seafood Restaurant which operates from the ground floor of Mersing Hotel an old landmark

Another seafood restaurant. This one is named Restoran Makanan Laut Yong Seng located in Persatuan Hainan (Hainan Association) building

Yours truly enjoyed a feast of fresh crabs steamed Chinese style, that is, with rice wine & ginger

Goods & many materials are also transported between the business town centre & the sea via the Mersing River waterways

The centre of Mersing town where the two main roads Jalan Ismail & Jalan Abu Bakar meet near the town bridge over Mersing River

The beginning of Mersing town centre close to the traffic circus near the Chinese temple

Mersing town centre, Jalan Ismail

Mersing town centre heading towards the Jetty & the Mersing Stadium

In recent years many new hotels especially budget-class hotels have sprang up with the growing popularity of Tioman Island among foreign tourists
Photo depicts the new Timotel Hotel

New complex housing Malay food stalls & eateries along north river bank of Mersing River

New signs of Mersing's prosperity: Rows of new shophouses along Mersing River

Mersing the ferry gateway to Tioman Island besides ferry jetty at Tanjong Gemok

Mersing welcomes visitors arriving by ferry from Tioman Island

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The Genting Plantations Bhd signage installed close to the Tenegang Besar River bank in the riparian buffer zone. The buffer zone lies between the river and the Tenegang Estate belonging to Genting Plantations Bhd. Genting Plantations Bhd in its Sustainability Report (included in its 2010 annual report) mentioned that "When it comes to plantations development & expansion we take a careful & meticulous approach to avoid any encroachment to HCV (High Conservation Value) & riparian buffer zones."

The Great Egret (Egretta Alba) is a solitary bird & they are found in abundance along the Kinabatangan River banks. They wait patiently by the river bank while hunting for fish. This Egret took off after being disturbed by our boat when it came too close for its comfort.

This is a close-up of one of the Oriental Pied Horn-bills

This is a flock of Oriental Pied Horn-bills. They are resting after they had foraged for fruits especially figs before they return home to roost later in the evening. Photo taken in the riparian buffer zone along the Tenegang Besar River.

The Asian Forest Scorpions thrive in most of the tropical forests in Asia. These black shiny scorpions will readily sting when they feel cornered or threatened. Our guide however can coolly & gently handle them in a manner that they would not sting.
This family of long-tailed macaque monkeys seek refuge from a herd of much fierce pig-tailed macaque monkeys by playing along the "monkey bridge" built over the Tenegang Besar River a tributary of the Kinabatangan.

This young long-tailed macaque is standing on the branches of mangrove trees along the Tenegang Besar River bank in the riparian buffer zone. It is foraging for wild fruits as well as hunting for fishes which come close to the river bank within the monkey's reach.

This is a monitor lizard found in the Tenegang Besar River riparian buffer zone. It is fond of clinging to the branches of trees as it enjoys basking in the sun. It is perched high up to look for prey which comprise rats, small animals as well as fish as it is a good swimmer. It also like to steal all kinds of eggs for food. In addition it feeds on all kinds of carrion.

This is an Oriental Darter found atop a tree by the banks of the Tenegang Besar River. It is also known as the Snake Bird as it looks like a snake when it is swimming in the river with most of its body submerged except for its head while hunting for fish. It uses its long sharp beak to pierce the fishes.

This is a sleeping black-backed kingfisher. We spotted it during our jungle night walk. These birds are often found in the swamps which are subject to periodic flooding from the river tide. They are hardly found along the river as their favourite food are the insects & worms.

This blood sucking critter crawled stealthily into my right rubber boot while I was trekking in the swamp forest. It lodged on my leg just above my ankle. I only discovered its presence when I removed my boots when I returned to the nature lodge. It was still enjoying its meal & I had to pry hard to remove the pesky fellow. Blood continued to ooze for another half an hour before it started to clot. My fellow visitor found another blood thirsty leech clinging strongly to my neck below the Adam's Apple.I therefore qualified as a blood donor to Kinabatangan River Basin.

Tiger Leech, a vicious blood thirsty creature commonly found in tropical rain forests. They live on the blade of grasses & leaves & are attracted to animals by body heat. Their bite are painless as they inject a kind of anesthesia & they also inject a type of coagulant which ensures that the blood of their victim keep on flowing while they are feeding. They will drop off when satiated, otherwise their grip to the skin of the victims are tenacious.