First stop – Kuala Lumpur (KL)
We had a first layover in KL, for a couple of first days in Malaysia, taken up by our fellow friend Asia (actually a daughter of our former boss at POSiR ;)) who blissfully gave us a hand and a shelter in her apartment, shared with her female co-workers. It was delightful to have some free days from 'living on our backpacks' and being able to cook what we actually really wanted to eat at that moment. Such a basic thing, but so much underestimated by a lot of us! You start to appreciate such details whilst being unable to cook for yourself due to overall lack of kitchen facilities (not to mention the common sense when the circumstances allow one to eat for pennies).
There was not much to see in KL, so to speak, but we hanged out a bit together, saw famous Patronas Towers (real skyscrapers indeed!) and swam in the common pool in the apartment's complex. Even managed to go to the fancy party were, to my full surprise, Tim Exile was going to play. There was no line-up at all and according to our presumptions that the biggest (to my understanding) electronic-deck showman of the evening was going to play much later than..8pm?, we showed up at about...7:50 so we managed to see him for about... up to 10 last minutes of his show, which was apparently of a very good quality (comparing it to my previous experiences, in Berlin where he was brilliant, and London – when he didn't actually smash the dance floor). Such a shame, but hey, better 10 mins than nothing right? ;)
|good shot for a first coffee in KL ;)|
|proper muslim-skate swag ;]|
|Lake Gardens (Botanical G.) KL|
|little mouse deer :)|
After bouncing about in the capital we took a night bus to Mercing, where, thereafter, we hoped to catch a ferry across open waters to the beautiful TIOMAN island.
Tioman appeared to us out of the blue (mainly because we were falling asleep sitting upright, me at least) as an undulated landscape covered out-and-out with a dense jungle, evergreen forest! We disembarked on the ABC island where, almost instantly, found scuba centre we wanted to dive in. After logging in in one of the gh's, the furthest one on the beach un/fortunately, we signed up for our courses: advanced and open water diving, J.and me accordingly. Both starting right the following day, Jay in a group of 4 (him inclusive) and I got my own instructor (cause at that moment there're no more beginners ;) For me it was my 1st experience with a scuba gear, in general, so started my 4 days course with a bulk of theory, but as it was all very new me, I pretty enjoyed learning new stuff. After some movies and quizzes I had to fill up, Marc (my British, post-banker :P, instructor) put me in the swimming pool playing with the gear and familiarizing me with everything I watched the introduction about. The second day – theory again and the swimming pool, and surprisingly, the next jump to the pool was replaced with..a walk to the ocean instead ;) So my first offshore dive, very shallow one though, in the open water it was! Jay's course was only 2 days, mainly diving (so much fun!), but eventually the last day of mine, when I officially got certified he went with us on a boat to dive out on the adjacent island. So we dived together, saw amazing and huge bump head parrot fish (a whole school of them!), a big sea-turtle, a ray lying on the bottom and other stunning representatives of this fascinating underwater world!
Waters of South China Sea, around Tioman Island, were so transparent, turquoise and rich in marine life that's actually pretty hard to depict the underwater scenery genuinely and realistically. Such a good shot for the first diving in one's life :) I kind of overcame some of my fears and fight prejudices and found out that, after all, I'm not that much scared of fish... hehe.
|taken over by the nature, evidently.|
|our diving centre - the office|
|the training pool|
|let's catch a bat!|
|ominous, grim look he gave me it seems...|
|our lovely little hut on Tioman :)|
|first, unexpected diving from the shore|
|let's do some diving folks! ;>|
|diving there was a real mind-blower...|
|got my open water diver's certificate!|
|beautiful evergreen jungle|
|sweeping along to have me safe and sound |
there on the sand :D
|2,5hs jungle walk,|
to the other side of the island!
|trees overtaken by some parasitic plant,|
a common view
|the other side, finally!|
|last glance at the Tioman Island,|
will we ever come back...?
Heading next: Malacca (Melaka) on the south-western shore of peninsular Malaysia.