Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back To Reality

Pasir Panjang, Redang
What a week we had! Sorry for taking off on you guys all of the sudden but the hubby decided at the very last minute that we MUST dive in Bidong & Redang before he started his new job this week so off we went! I thank God that this wonderful job of mine allows me these little vacations on a whim.

View from the veranda of Mantaray
First up, we traveled up to Merang, Terengganu & stayed at Sea Monkey’s new Mantaray Diver’s Lodge with some friends in order to dive in Bidong (you can’t actually stay in Bidong as it’s a research center for University Malaysia Terengganu). Mantaray operates more like a dormitory but it’s very comfortable as it’s a large kampung house with comfy beds for at least 12 people, a large sprawling veranda, large field & it’s own patch of beach. As we had the Lodge to ourselves along with the Sea Monkey crew, lodge manager Lisa & lodge owner Amin, who are all very nice & accommodating, we felt right at home. Diving in Bidong I was told by the hubby is actually really fascinating but unfortunately we experienced bad visibility underwater due to the overwhelming presence of plankton & currents. What little I did manage to see however was really intriguing, like the promise of seahorses at Macha’s Rock, soft coral formations at the Midway Reef & the Vietnamese ship wrecks, plus the submerged bus & lorry so I can’t wait to try Bidong again in the near future.

After 2 days in Bidong, the hubby & I left our friends & went off on our own to Pasir Panjang, Redang for 3 days for more diving & relaxation. After hearing all sorts of rather off-putting stories of the island (like how noisy it can get at night with the various resorts blasting bad techno music all night long), we were pleasantly surprised to find that the side of Pasir Panjang we chose was quiet, charming & clean. If you’re ever planning a nice retreat at Redang, check out Coral Redang Resort folks. It’s worth the little extra moolah, trust me. Right now, they’re under renovation (which we hardly noticed while we were there) so there are not too many rooms available but the good news is that they’re offering a really good rate for divers & non-divers alike so it’s worth checking out.

A peaceful moonrise over Redang Island
We had better luck with visibility underwater at Redang but current was pretty strong at most of the sites but nothing to worry about for most divers. I was particularly taken with a dive site named Terumbu Kili, so much so that we went back there twice. It has very pretty hard & soft coral formations & a resident Black Tip Shark, plus large Titan Triggerfish (who is friendly at the moment). While we were in Redang as well, a group of snorkelers spotted a whale shark & fled the area not knowing that whale sharks are actually very gentle creatures that only feed on plankton. Hearing of the presence of a whale shark, we went out diving everyday in hopes of spotting one ourselves but had no such luck. Oh well, better luck next time!

Right after coming home from Redang, we were on the road again to Johor. This time, for 2 weddings; one in Johor Bahru in the afternoon & another in Muar at night. Spending a night over in Muar, we were brought to a little cafe, literally called The Little Cafe. Originally a government quarter, this little wooden house has been converted to a cafe while still retaining much of its original fixtures. Complete with vintage & kitsch Malaysian decor, I couldn’t help but be charmed with the place. I took quite a number of pictures of the place & perhaps one day I’ll do a blog post about it but here’s a little peek in the meantime…

Nice, right? Little Cafe, Muar
The very next day was my thirtieth birthday (yup, I hit the big 3-0!) which was spent stuffing our face silly with the local delicacies of Glutton Street in Muar for brunch, then a couple of hours on the road back to KL followed by a gastronomic feast at La Risata in our own neighborhood of Ampang. The hubby surprised me by inviting our very nearest & dearest to dinner which is just the way I would’ve planned it. I was so overwhelmed with love & gratitude for those who mattered most in my life were there to help me celebrate a large milestone & an end to a fantastic trip/honeymoon.

All in all, I had a pretty spectacular week if I do say so myself but I’m really glad to be finally back home, working on my jewelry & various crafts with a nice cat named Hassan sprawled belly-up on my desk, gently nudging my hand with his paw as I type this as a reminder that he needs a tickle under his chin every now & then. How was your week my lovelies?


Waheeda said...

hello! just wanted to ask what type of camera did you used? thanks ya!

Murni said...

hi, thanks for dropping by! :)

for the pictures in this post, i just used the camera on my iphone & added the filters & frames with an app called instagram. nothing fancy ;)