It’s been a while since my last dive trip and back then it use to be just me.. Couple months ago, I had a sudden urge to go diving. Maybe it’s the crazy haze that has been polluting our airs or maybe just because I needed to get away from all the hustle and bustle and just relax.. OK… maybe the relaxing part was a bit of an overstatement since I traveled alone with both my girls but what I can say that it was the best trip we have had for a long time.
When traveling with children, us parents always need to think for our children first. But when it comes to diving, we think about US for diving then look for somewhere that can accommodate the children WHILE we dive.. hahaha!!
It’s usually about a 6 hour to drive to Kuala Besut by car (an hour by plane and 8 hours by bus) and the last boat to the island is at about 630pm but when you travel with littles, a 6 hour long drive becomes an 8 hour drive. So I decided to leave a day earlier than planned and stay at a hotel just an hour away from the jetty.
We left KL at about 2pm because I had an event to attend to that morning. After 6 hours in the car with about 4 stops with 2 chatty little children who did nothing but play and fight and scream and cry and sing and laugh the WHOLE way WITHOUT a nap, we finally arrived at the Sutra Beach Resort in Merang. It was a fantastic place and we wished we could have stayed longer. We stayed the night in a cute chalet which was right on the beach. Like, you open you door and you’re standing in soft white powdery sand, gorgeous!!
Of course the thing we loved most about Sutra Beach Resort was their pool. It was amazing!! The whole resort was practically postcard worthy. (I would post all my pictures but I somehow can’t find my camera since coming back from Perhentian.. :'( and this is a sudden realization.. sigh.. Either the kids have been playing with it or I left it on the island..)
The next morning, we got up at 7am (like we do every day, argh!!) and got ready for breakfast. The girls had a little play in the sand out at our patio then it was mandi time, makan time then off to Kuala Besut time. Ariana of course was super excited to get on a boat and on the island. Ameera however, bless her little soul was just tagging along the journey.
Booked our ferry trip for 1030 am, we arrived at the jetty by about 10ish leaving merang just after 9am. OK, I had a pre-shooler and a toddler and 1 BIG bag to hog along with us so i drove about to find the nearest parking spot there was. Alhamdulillah there was a covered space which charged only RM10 a day (next time i’m there, will let you know where and contat number). PERFECT! For a mummy like me with the bag and the girls, there was no way I could deal with it all so I brought along my hippychick hipseat I had got from Bloom & Grow Asia a few years ago before I even had Ameera and OMG it was a monster blessing!!! handsfree with Ameera on my hip, one arm lugging the bag and the other holding hands with Ariana. Highly recommended, seriously!
HUGE brownie points to my girl Peisee and her hubs Ronnie who run a dive resort, Bubbles Island Resort, on the Pulau Perhentian which is on the coast of Terengganu. Why the brownie points? Well, Peisee and her hubs have been running Bubbles for 11 years now and now they have 2 children whom also live on the island with them from March through October when the monsoon season starts. They run a kids club on their resort so that parents can go ahead and dive at a couple and not having to take turns. Was convenient for me because I went alone.. hence, BROWNIE POINTS!! LOL
The trip was so great and so relaxing.. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the staff and helped with our things and brought to the reception which is attended by a real great guy who goes by the name of Dollah. Once all settled, we are escorted to our room. We were lucky because we got the first chalet, closest to everything! Oh, and just because it’s closest to everything doesn’t make it noisy ya.. Lights are dimmed by 8pm each night so that it doesn’t deflect the turtles from coming to the Bubbles shores.. which also means no noise so I could still put the girls to sleep around their usual time without worrying about them waking up due to noise. PURRRRFECT!
The first day we were there, we were welcomed by a 2 meter long python which was awesome! The girls were so excited to see it and couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. (I don’t mind letting them explore all sorts of animals, as long as they are under supervision. I know they’re in good hands when it comes to the animals on the island because of the supervision under this English zoologist dude, Tom, who runs the turtle conservation project.. Ariana loves this guy to bits.. So much to a point where she sneeked out of the room one morning at 7am to have breakfast with him.. LOL!! I definately need to have my eye on this one when she grows up… i see trouble a brewing!
The very next morning, we were lucky enough to catch a nest full of freshly hatched turtle hatchlings.. I mean, if you were to come to the resort as of July through September, you are bound to see turtles and release hatchlings almost on a daily basis but we went once the season was over and close to closing for monsoon.. So yeah, blessed we were indeed.. Ariana even had the chane to release those little hatchlings into the sea.. Very cool! They actually conduct a turtle watching project where you sit in a short turtle talk then brought out to do turtle walks every hour for a few hours.. You are given a turtle sign to put outside your door to inform the rew whether or not you wanna be woken up if a turtle came to shore to lay eggs.. I simply LOVE that idea! All that for just RM200.. But thats not all.. You can name a nest or donate a nest too! for a cost of course but for a cause.. all proceeds go towards the turtle project.. 🙂
Other than turtles and snakes, there is plenty of nature going on on the island and that include MONKEYS! These monkeys are the cutest ever! They’re kindda like the opposite if pandas but not fattys.. these monkies have white rings around their eyes and bushy hair on the head.. Total cuteness! And of course plenty of squirrels what throw nuts at you.. hahaha! well, i donno if they do it generally or to this one guy on the island.. it was so funny!!
Other activities on the island include kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and simply chilling..
Our stay was suppose to be just a 3 night trip and we ended up extending one night just because it was great, there was no haze (this trip was during the haze period) and the rooms were 50% off!! We didn’t really wanna go home… So much that I even stated to the managers that the next time I am at the resort, I’d be working there.. and guess what!! as of March 7th, I will be running the Kids Club inshaAllah!! So excited!!!
So if ever you wanna go to perhentian with the family, perhentian besar is the more clam, family part of the island whereas pulau kecil (long beach) is the more party side.. Don’t forget to come to Bubbles Resort for some good quality family time… www.bubblesdc.com