On the 3rd of February, the first day of the Lunar New Year, my wish to go to Pulau Tiga finally materialised. Yeay for great weather that day!
I chose not to go by land (boring) and found a boat operator that offers a daytrip there - the trip was dependent on the sea conditions and was not confirmed until late the evening before.
We left KK at 7:40 am and reached the Kuala Penyu waters just before 9:00 am. Approaching Pulau Kalampunian Damit a.k.a. Snake Island, our first stop.
The jetty has solar panels to power the lights. Cool.
The very 'enthusiastic' group of tourists from China; a couple and a family of 8. Altogether there were 11 of us and I am the local sesat :P
Ugh. I debated whether I should go and walk around looking for snakes after reading this warning. I eventually did go walk a bit, very cautiously.
There were two snakes (maybe more) sleeping under the jetty and that was enough for me.
Does anyone know what that white 'tombstone' like thing is on the rocky shore? The boatman did not know.
Next stop was across to Pulau Kalampunian Besar, which is actually a long sand bar.
Burying my feet in the cool wet sand.
I managed to ask one of the tourists to take this for me. The sun was so bright I had to wear shades! (my fav white tee I *heart* Tabin)
Next we went snorkelling in the waters between Pulau Tiga and Kalampunian Besar. It took the group ages to get themselves ready that the boatman looked at me and shook his head in amusement. Thing is, they were talking (shouting?) so loud to each other we were not sure whether that's just normal or they were angry?
The boatman gave me this live shell thingy (sorry I don't know its name). Took some pictures - so did the group - and let it back into the waters of course because Pulau Tiga is a gazetted area under Sabah Parks. Don't want to get into trouble.
Anyway, snorkelling was AWESOME because I conquered my usual fear and jitters of jumping in the open water. Blocking out all negative thoughts I floated, rather elegantly I'd like to claim and believe, haha! And the boatman took me to see huge colourful Nemos a distance away from where the boat was anchored. I was as excited and grinning as much as I could underwater :DDDDDD
Then the granny in the family (yes, it was three generations) felt unwell and was throwing up so we had to send her to the Pulau Tiga jetty first. Thankfully only five of us decided to continue snorkelling and we went to another deeper area. After some time, it was time for lunch so we headed to Pulau Tiga for a simple packed lunch. I went for a walk along the beach and the resort area while the group took their time for the meal.
Welcome to Pulau Tiga! Survivor Island! Where the tribes had spoken!
Gazetted areas of Pulau Tiga.
If I had time to nap I'd nap here under the tree, on the beach.
Remember these from Survivor? They're weather-beaten already but still intact lah. What were the tribes - Pagong and ... Linguini? No, that's not right.
Any place that has a hammock is okay by me :) I love hammocks.
Relics - two bombs and an anchor.
The island is quite well-maintained I must say. Sabah Park rangers and staff are stationed there so it was all clean and green.
Found someone's recent declaration of love that got washed away. Must be that couple we had seen earlier.
After lunch, 7 of us headed towards the mud volcano which was about 1.1 km away on a short trail. The boatman was our guide (in black right in front) and he was happily bouncing away barefoot, for a reason I found out only later.
Yeay! We reached there in less than 15 minutes. The rest got bitten by mosquitoes. I was safe!
Four feet deep?
This 'caged' area is for a mud spout reserved for facial use only. ('Maskar sahaja. Mask Only')
So, this is the famous mud pit of Pulau Tiga. Looks very much like tempat kerbau berkubang.
Plop, plop, plop, it bubbled softly. Sorta.
The mud was really slick and slippery.
Jump in, folks! (Though you can't really do that because .. well it's not encouraged)
My name is mud. No pics while I was wading through like a kerbau. Inside the pit the mud was actually quite cool, no wonder kerbaus enjoy staying inside. It did have one kind of smell, but nothing awful. Since the pit is right in the middle of the jungle, there were a lot of debris from vegetation around it so that's why the mud is not as pure as the one in Tabin.
My declaration for JM :) xoxo.
So the reason you don't need to wear footwear to the mud pit is that there is absolutely no way you can walk back in them! I decided to walk back barefoot and hand-carry my flip flops. Oh, there is small water tank to wash your hands only, so in your full muddy glory, you walk back to the beach to wash up.
We walked back and as soon as we reached the beach the boatman told us to hurry as the wind was getting quite strong and the seas would be very choppy. True enough, the return leg was awfully bumpy and as much as I tried to hold back the contents of my stomach, I threw up FOUR times about 1.5 hours into the journey. I can't remember the last time I threw up like that. It took us longer this time, almost 2.5 hours due to the choppy waters.
All in all I enjoyed the day very much (except the part when I regurgitated my lunch) and won't mind going again on a whim!