| ISLANDS OF MALAYSIA
The Independent Travel Guides to Malaysian Islands
|Snorkeling should be relaxing! |
I have witnessed how many people become lethargic after a few minutes in the water. Why? Because they do NOT wear a life jacket. No, life jacket is not for pansies, thank you very much. Rather it is an added help to float yourself while you're busy looking at that cute Nemo. You can be in the water twice as long and enjoy a lot of of the underwater world has to offer.
Payar Marine Park: Two access points
Payar Island can be accessed from either Langkawi (Kuah jetty) or Penang Port. The former is a lot cheaper and shorter trip. But Penang is a much bigger city with better transportation and more international airlines.
Merang or Marang?
There is possible confusion regarding the jumping-off point for the famous Redang Island. The correct name of the jetty is MERANG, a little fishing village some 30-km north of Kuala Terengganu city. Marang, located in the south of the city, is the jumping-off point for Pulau Kapas as well as Pulau Gemia. When in doubt, ask the locals!
Sipadan: The cheaper alternative
Staying in the islands off Semporna town could be costly. Yes, these islands (Kapalai & Mabul) are a lot closer to the world-famous Sipadan. But one can also get to Sipadan from Semporna (a mainland town) in less than 2 hours on a fast boat. And lodging + food at Semporna is much cheaper.
Tioman: Which jetty?
Until recently, Mersing (in Johor) was the sole embarkation jetty for the islands off the cost of Johor and Pahang. Only recently the state government of Pahang opened another jetty in Tg. Gemok for Tioman Island. Nonetheless, I found that the boat schedule is not favorable (3x daily boat) and the boat only goes to Kg. Tekek, the main jetty in Tioman. Then one needs to take local water taxi which can be costly. As for now, do stick with Mersing jetty which offers more boats, more destinations and time flexibility.
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