Redang: 27 Apr - 1 May 2009 Diving

2
Day 1 - Monday

My friend and I flew in to Redang by Berjaya Air from Seletar airport. The tickets are by no means cheap. A return ticket costs S$305 and the baggage allowance is only 10kg! That's hardly enough for anyone with a full set of dive equipment. I don't own my own set. It's going to be too heavy for me to carry. I only bring what I can carry on my own because I don't think it's anyone's obligation to carry my stuff for me. Boyfriends are pretty useful for this purpose but since I don't have one, so I'd better not bring too much stuff.

The duration of the flight from Singapore to Redang was 1 hr 30 mins. There were 20 people on the flight. Upon arrival at the airport, there was a minibus waiting for us which took us to the jetty and transferred us to a small boat to take us to the island (5 min ride by road, 5 min ride by boat).

We arrived at the Redangkalong resort past 2pm. We were grateful that the staff kept some food for us for lunch because there's no other place nearby to eat! After lunch my friend tanned in the sun. I wanted to swim but the tide was low and the beach was rocky so I waded in the water for a while and then lay partially immersed in the water close to the shore amidst curious fish that occasionally bit my toes and gave me a pedicure.

View at the resort:


After the sun set, we had dinner and then we weren't sure what to do. There was a karaoke room, a games area, tv in the dining area but no tv in the room. (Btw, I hate karaoke. Fortunately my room wasn't near the karaoke room.) No wonder I was told that people who go on dive trips tend to have flings and ONS! Now I understand why - there's nothing to do except to dive, eat, sleep, drink, smoke and have sex!

My friend went to bed early so I sat alone at the dining area (no, I didn't get any). The resort's diving instructor came over to chat with me and later on a guy from Singapore, who also happens to be an instructor, joined in. I went to bed at around midnight. I had to make sure I get enough sleep so that I can wake up for the morning dive.


Day 2 - Tuesday

This is probably the most memorable day of the year for me!

I was awakened at about 6am. There were kids running around and screaming outside. Gosh, what a nuisance! I know many people find kids cute but I don't, especially when they're disturbing my sleep! My friend was in the room that was closer to the noisy family and he complained about the noise over breakfast too. After breakfast when were were returning to our rooms, we were happy to see that family checking out. Great!

The guy whom I met the previous night and his 2 friends were also going to dive. They were all from Singapore too. They arrived 1 day before us and already dived the previous day and that the water was very cold.

However, today, the weather was perfect! The water felt just right. We did 3 dives. We saw a school of about 20 Bumphead fish. They were huge! I suppose I have to deduct 33% of the size of what I saw but they're still big. It was magnificent! That was the best moment in all the dives! It's the kind of thing that you've got to witness personally; no words, pictures or videos can capture its splendor.

Then we had an unexpected visitor on the beach in front of the resort in the evening! A turtle crawled up and dug a hole to lay its eggs. Almost everyone in the resort was excited and intrigued. Not many of us have seen turtles laying eggs. This was the 1st time for me. According to the owner of the resort, this is the 3rd time this turtle has come here to lay eggs and it always uses the exact same spot. We were asked to stand back and stay away from the turtle while it dug the hole because if it is disturbed, I will go away and not lay its eggs. But once it starts laying the eggs, we would be able to come close to the turtle and it will continue laying its eggs. While the hole was dug a few overly curious people had to be reminded to stay back. A few staff of the resort went closer to observe the turtle and once it started laying eggs, they informed everyone that we could come closer and snap pictures.


Here is a picture of me with the turtle. I hope I get a thousand years of good luck from touching it!




Day 3 - Wednesday

We did 4 dives today including a night dive. Because the long weekend was approaching, more guests started to arrive at the resort. Our 3rd dive was with a rather big group. Most divers don't like diving in big groups and neither did we. So for the night dive, we all kept quiet about it! The last thing we want was for the others to hear about it and join us. The night dive was rather short. Some of the divers felt cold so we didn't stay on long. I didn't feel cold at all probably because I have too much unseen natural fat! Haha!


Day 4 - Thursday

The previous night I informed the dive center and my friend that I wasn't sure if I wanted to dive because I might want to rest. I thought we would have to join the big dive group again. I'm glad I got up early because the dive master planned to take us to dive seperately for 2 dives. In between the dives we ate some biscuits for lunch and I snorkelled in the area where the boat anchored. I snorkelled alone because I was the only person who had a snorkel (it came along with my rented mask). It was very relaxing observing the fish nibbling off corals (it was their lunchtime too). I found a shell with some specks of food on it and held it out for the fish to nibble off. The dive master also threw some food in the water near me so that the fish gathered round me. The fish here must have plenty to eat because they didn't seem to find my feet tasty.

Our 2nd dive was project cleanup. Everyone was trying to get a fish net off the corals. I didn't help much though. I know I would have to come home to clean up my place and nobody's gona help!

We would only do 2 dives. Our flight the next day was in the morning. It's recommended that we wait at least 18 hours before flying. Again, there's nothing much to do back at the resort. After an afternoon nap, my friend and I walked to the other side of the island where the other resorts are. It was very very crowded and noisy. I suppose it would be more exciting to stay on this side of the beach if one enjoys beach games, pubs (playing Hokkien songs) and watching gals in bikinis posing for the camera. Here's a picture of me at that beach.



Back at the resort in the evening, a few children spotted a crab. They managed to catch it and walked away proudly with their catch.



I got a Rm30 "discount" for my diving. Usually the resort packages the dives with the rooms, i.e. 2 dives per day, if the dives are pre-booked. It is Rm30 if the dives are pre-booked. Although I did not pre-book, I asked whether I could get the pre-booked rate but I also said that it's ok if they can't give it to me. The resort owner came over and explained that pre-booking discount and he said that he will give my friend and me the discount even though he doesn't normally do it. I was happy with that. I'm not sure whether my friend was embarrassed by my request - I know some people do get embarrassed. To me, if I can save Rm30 by asking a question, why not? A dollar saved is a dollar earned.


Day 5 - Friday

We made our way to the airport to arrive there an hour before the flight. Coincidentally, the other 3 divers were scheduled to be on the same flight. At the check in counter, the people behind us gasped when they saw the weight of the bags. Everyone exceeded the 10kg baggage allowance. I didn't check in anything so my allowance was used up for the group. Thankfully nobody had to pay the exhorbitant excess baggage charge of Rm15 per kg. Everyone was surprised at the size of my bag. I think one of them suspected that I must have hidden some stuff in my friend's bag because she asked me "all your toiletries are in there?".

Back in Singapore, there was quite a queue at the taxi stand. I didn't have any baggage to collect so I got to the head of the queue. Travelling light sure has its benefits! I don't think I'll be buying my own diving gear :)


Cost

Flight
Berjaya Air Ticket charge: SGD 305

Accommodation & Dives
4D/3N Diver package with 7 dives: RM 850
Add 1 night with 2 dives: RM 220
Single supplement for 4 nights: RM 280
Meals and hot drinks included.
Sub-Total: RM1350

Padi Advanced OW Course Fees
Advance Instructor Guidance Fee: RM 250
PADI Gold International Certification Card: RM 130
PADI Advance Open Water Manual: RM 180
Sub-Total: RM 560

Equipment Rental
BCD rental for 3 days: RM 75
REG rental for 3 days: RM 75
Mask for whole trip: RM 10
Full Foot Fin for whole trip: RM 10
Wetsuit rental: Rm 40
Torch rental: Rm 30
Sub-Total: Rm 240

Total: Rm 2150 + SGD 305 = SGD 1275

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yawn.....

But, I will forward or link this to some Travel guide web page for you..
Keep up the Boring Diving details..
You did a great job in putting people to sleep..

Hahahaha

Nah.. Just Teasing..
It's your story, you can tell it anyway you want, no one can stop you.

Mr Choo

Illuminati said...

I think the kids didnt fancy you much either.