We’re about a week and a half into our summer adventure and what a week and a half it has been. We’ve been able to tick two places off our bucket list so far – the wonderful, bustling Singapore and much more tranquil, palm-covered Tioman Island, both beautiful in their own ways.
Singapore is a built-up business hub if ever I saw one, strewn with both high-rise skyscrapers and plants and green spaces that would leave London feeling jealous. It’s fast-paced and commercially–driven but this feels diffused by the incredible nature that they’ve let grow it’s way through the city centre.
We visited a handful of touristy spots, from the magical nature domes and attractions at Gardens by the Bay, to the lights and smells and energies of Chinatown, to the incredible views of the city centre from the topic of Marina Bay Sands (to name a few).
Despite the sunstroke I got as a result, our three hour exploration of Fort Canning Park on our last day was one of my highlights. A beautiful park situated 10 minutes away from our cute Airbnb in the Somerset area, you get views of the scrapers as well as a nature fix. We got lost trying to find the exit (it’s enormous) but sometimes it’s only by not knowing where you’re going that you stumble across the most exciting sights.
On Sunday, from a quiet Kovan bus station at six in the morning we rode a coach across the Malaysia-Singapore border to Mersing, one of a handful of towns where you can catch a ferry to Tioman Island. The ferry ride itself was pretty horrible – the winding, bumpy roads to the jetty made me feel super travel sick and the ferry definitely did not help.
Three hours later though we were finally stretched out in our new resort room with views of palms and a river through our double floor-length windows. We ordered room service (having not eaten for 24 hours) and relaxed a little by the pool before dinner.
It feels like such a long time since I’ve been able to sit with a book and switch off, and being surrounded by palm trees with the sounds of the sea coming from just beyond our feet made the experience even more magical.
We booked a snorkelling boat tour on our second full day, keen to find out which creatures lived in the shallow seas around Tioman and its neighbouring islands. We made four stops to snorkel and one stop at a village for lunch. The sea both amazes and terrifies me so I wasn’t the best snorkelling buddy for Jacob when the waves got super choppy towards the end (and then my seasickness definitely pushed me down to World’s Worst Snorkelling Buddy) but the fish we did manage to see were utterly beautiful. Coral Island lives up to its reputation as one of the top snorkelling places to visit in the area and Monkey Bay had lots of gorgeous colourful species.
As I type I’m sat in my new H&M bikini nursing a food baby from our buffet breakfast, enjoying views of beautiful Renggis Island and listening to the waves kiss the shoreline and palm leaves rustle in the breeze. Heavenly.
By the time this post is up we’ll be back in Singapore en route to our next dream destination, a place I expect will be very different from Tioman 😈
Hope you all have a magical ‘n summery weekend!