Sunday, April 06, 2008

143444 (The Pulau Redang Adventure)

This is not an entry about love-- it doesn't even closely resemble anything about love. I promise you I won’t write anything about people holding hands with matching “pa sway sway pa!” It's not an entry about romantic trysts and lovebirds dating.

But why the famous "numbers" (plus one that is)? 143444 was the vault combination in our room at the laguna redang resort in pulau redang where I spent 3 days and 2 nights last March 29 till the 31'st. The trip was originally set for the end of Feb but unfortunately the weather was not permitting hence the delay.

We left for Kuala Terrangannu Friday night. I felt as if I was on the amazing race since I was coming from work at 9pm and the bus was leaving at 10pm. True to form I had a classic "hazel" blooper moment when my thing just fell out of my bag while running from the monorail to the LRT station in Titiwangsa where Jay and Tina were waiting for me. Afterwards we met Wilai at the PWTC bus station where our journey was set to begin. The bus took 7 hours. We had a quick breakfast at KT (nasi lemak and teh o ice limau) while waiting for the Merang Jetty port to open then afterwards we took a 1 hour boat ride from the jetty to the resort.

12 hours after our journey started we finally made it to Pulau Redang. The heat was scorching hot but the beach was so inviting. After a quick freshening up in our fully airconditioned room, we trekked to the buffet hall where we pigged out on local and western dishes. I enjoyed the beef and lamb dishes and the roasted chicken was also great. After lunch we went back to the room to dress up for our first trip to see-- the open water snorkeling.

Snorekling in the open water was such a wonderful experience. The coral reef was amazing and the fishes were a sight to look at. I've never seen so many colorful fishes in my life. The fishes were so friendly that you need to only submerge your head in the water and they will actually come to you. We fed the fishes with some bread and enjoyed the cool and clean water. One hour later we headed back to the resort to swim in the pool.

While waiting for Tina and Wilai to shower Jay and I enjoyed a cool beer by the beach. We met the pinoy bartender and a couple of other pinoy resort personnel. Afterwards the four of us headed off to dinner-- buffet number 2. This time they had the roasted beef and man was it good! After dinner the four of us went back to the room and drank the mango rum I brought all the way from the Philippines. I guess it was the fatigue of travelling and swimming that after 4 shots I was sleeping already.

I woke up really early the next day-- 7:00am which is considered still very dark in malaysian time zones. Jay was about to leave for his sunrise photo session so I quickly got dressed and followed him. I walked along the shoreline while watching the sun rise. It reminded of a previous blog entry I made-- the things I'd do if i had 24 hours left to live. Now I'm glad I didnt have to wait till that day came to watch the sunrise. There were a number of early birds--couples and photo buffs in the beach area. Willai said I was easy to spot because I was all by myself playing by the water. I didn't feel alone though. It was just pure bliss. One doesn't get this chance to experience one of nature's miracles too often.

After breakfast we went for a swim in the waters. Jay and I taught Willai to swim (funny, i don't know how to myself hehe). Tina on the other hand decided to go for a walk in the beach. Willai and I had the time of our lives gazing at the hunks that seem to magically appear everywhere in the beach. haha. We thought of nica and how he would be so happy to be there (although he did say he was happy to be back in KL with Roby. hehe)

By 12 noon we were too hungry to swim. We went up to the buffet hall again (its my favorite place in the resort) to eat lunch. The sun was very hot already so we decided to hide for a few hours. I had a short siesta before waking up for our Marine park trip.

The marine park was the island's protected area for sea creatures. About 15 minutes away from the resort, we were taken there by the resort's boats. We fed the fishes and marvelled at their beauty and number. I've never seen so many fishes in one area in my life! There were fishes of all colors-- blue, green, combinations of gold and black, white and black, blue and green, etc. I loved watching the schools of fishes roam around searching for bread crumbs brought by the tourists.

After getting back to the resort, Willai and I went to the resort's shop to buy conditioner. I also bought some souvenirs for myself. After showering, Jay, tina and I went for a walk along the other end of the island on top of the rock formations. We took some majestic pics (see Jay’s flickr site for more of these— Willai joined us a little later and afterwards the four of us headed to the BBQ buffet where I had the best beef bbq (ok, it’s the second best next to Bala’s cooking).

We spent our last evening in the resort drinking the rest of the mango rum and playing cards. We did several rounds of tong its, the classic 1-2-3 pass and bluff. Panalong panalo ang mga sinungaling(Go jay cool! Hehe).Favorite ko yung “Four threes!” ni tina while bringing down only three cards.

The next day itwe woke up early to watch the sunrise one more time. We took countless pictures and the island gifted us with the most magnificent sunrise ever.

After a quick breakfast, we quickly packed up and went back to reality—we took another 12 hour journey back to KL. We finally made it to PWTC at 8pm. We had dinner at the Chinese mamak near Jay and Tina’s place and afterwards Willai and I went back to our homes in Sri Petalling. The vacation was over.

So like I said, this is not an entry about love. But it’s about a lovely time. It’s not anything remotely romantic but it can be sentimental. After all you have a dreamer here telling the story. It was 3 days of beautiful memories—memories that I’ll treasure forever.
For more pictures.. visit my shutterfly site:

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