Going on even a short getaway is becoming a rarity for me unlike way back few years ago. My present job assignment hold me 6 days a week, and it means I can only have Sunday as my free day. What more is I cannot easily just file a leave if I want to. That is why only when a public holiday falls on a weekend can I plan to travel. But the downside of travelling during these period is, it is expensive because of the expectation that everybody is travelling out in Singapore. During public holidays in Singapore, hotels and resorts in neighbour countries have mark up their rates.
The Hari Raya public holiday falls on a Sunday so the following day is the official holiday. This means I have only 2 days to spare for this holiday. I was thinking of another beach getaway that does not require me to take plane to go there. Two options came up for me, the nearby islands of Indonesia and the beaches in Malaysia. In Bintan Indonesia, all the cheaper nice beaches have been fully-booked already and the only left are those high-end resorts which way too expensive for my liking. So I searched for possible getaway in Malaysia. I have been longing to go back to Fort Dickson, the first time I went there years ago I enjoyed the place and have a nice recollection of the place. But when I searched online for a nice resort to stay, the one I love to stay were all fully-booked. I was looking for the stilt rooms by the sea but all were taken up already.
Then I searched for a resort in Tioman Island. The first time I was here I told myself I will come back. As expected the popular resorts were fully-booked too. Then there are two nice resorts that have 1 room available each, when I decided to book the other resort the room is no longer available. So I settled for Minang Cove Resort.
Minang Cove Resort is one of the private owned resort situated nearby Mukut Village. The entry point from Mersing is at Genting jetty, the first of the few public jetties that the public vessel dock-in. From Genting jetty we were picked up by the resort boat that brought us to the resort. During our arrival the resort owner was in hand to welcome us guests. A welcome drink and a brief introduction from the owner settles us at the reception lobby while the room is being prepared. The owner chat with us about the facilities and the activities we can do while we are at the resort. After the introduction and learned that the room is still not available, we started to walk around and appreciate the beauty of the resort. Our first impression was the resort though it has a narrow beach and quite compact we find it idyllic. The resort has a scenic view thanks to the picturesque mountain range as background.
|The ferry that will bring us to Tioman Island|
|Arriving at Genting Jetty after 1hour and 45 minutes boat ride|
|The resort boat that pick us at Genting Jetty|
|The resort owner personally welcome us|
|The three of us on holiday|
The resort though has a narrow beach front, it cannot be crowded since the resort have only 12 deluxe chalets and 3 traditional malay villas. Ideal time to go swimming is in the late morning to early afternoon in where the beach is on just in the right tide and the beach is gentler. The beach bed is slimy though but water is clean and clear enough.
One activity at the resort that need not to be missed is snorkelling. There is an impressive coral garden within and underneath the jetty with a variety of fish swimming around. Diving is available in the resort too, Two British certified divers are stationed at the Dive Center. The resort have also boats available for island hopping.
What we have done exactly while were there. Soon as we were settled at the room and appreciate the view from the balcony, we headed to the beach right away. The weather was cloudy when we arrived at the resort so we don’t mind swimming at high noon. But immediately after we were in the beach the sun came out and beamed to us brightly. Lucky the water is cold so the harsh sun does not impact our enthusiasm for the swim. After an hour we decided to snorkel. We rented the equipment at the dive center and shifted to the jetty area. The coral garden is impressive. There are soft and hard corals in variety of colors. First time I saw a green hard corals, it took me longer to be convinced that indeed it is green because I thought it is just covered by green algae. There are school of fish, big and small in variety of colors. But I find it not enough many fishes, it would be nice to see a lot given the area has a healthy coral garden. And also it would be nice if there are others like turtles maybe.
|The sundeck area|
|Us getting ready for snorkelling|
We spent the rest of the afternoon jungle trekking. The sign at the entrance trail says the nearest village is 2 kilometres away. We walk leisurely, aside from the lust rainforest there nothing much interesting to see. After a while we got bored and planned to go back instead, but then decided to push through our trekking until be reach the entrance to the village and stop there for some photoshoot and just see the village from afar. After that we hurriedly went back to the resort worrying we might be caught by darkness in the jungle, but still we reached at the resort in time for sunset viewing at the jetty. The jetty is the perfect place to view the sunset and sunrise.
During dinner, the resort owner prepared a special banquet in celebration with the Hari Raya. Local malay cuisine was served. All the staff wears the traditional malay dress, the baju melayu. It was nice evening and was capped by open bar courtesy of the owner, as they celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary that night.
By the way the resort has this feeding session with the fish right after all the guests were done with the dinner, usually around 9:30pm. All the wastage during the day were fed to the fishes. It is nice to watch as chances are the sharks were there to partake the food as we were told. That night we saw a few numbers of sharks. We were informed that the sharks were present only at night time during the feeding session, imagine if they appears at day time while you are snorkelling!
|The narrow road in the jungle that lead us to the nearby village|
|The Mukut Village|
I woke up early in the morning the following day to catch the sunrise at the jetty until breakfast time. Breakfast are fried noodles cooked malay style, sausages, the usual bread, and cereals.
We supposed to leave the resort at 9:30 in the morning, but we manage to rescheduled it at a later time for us to have ample time to prepare for departure. We managed to leave Genting jetty around 12:00 noon for Mersing. From Mersing we took bus as the taxi fare is way expensive and uber is not available in Mersing.
Minang Cove Resort is an upmarket resort which is tacked in a small cove with a magnificent mountain range background. Price I believe is a bit expensive but somehow it is compensated by friendly staff and by its location.