Sunday, July 20, 2008

Retrospect on Redang

I know i've held back on blogging about the Paradise Island. Well, what do you say, I was facing a post-trip writer's block. Haha! A little shopping trip yesterday had cleared the unfunctional brain cells in my mind, and so, here i am. I foresee a long entry comin' up. Enjoy!

Last Wednesday was me and Hon's so-called 3rd Honeymoon (aka Couple Getaway after marriage), no celebration date to note in particular, just an out-of-the-blue moment where you jump out of your stiff chair and shout," I wanna go away on a holiday, far from here!" And so, off we went to Redang Island for a nice holiday. Yes, just like that. We did plan the trip for weeks, though. We stayed at Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, and we took a 1+ hour flight from Singapore's very own Seletar Airport right into Redang Island itself. It is a straight flight. Here's how the flight went.

Reaching Seletar Airport, we exchange for our Boarding Passes and yes, they have a Seat Number. So you do not actually have to rush for your seats.

This is the holding area, very elementary. You only have the luxury of 2 shared flat screen TVs and air-con.

Behold the airplane with the deafening propellers. A 27-seater. You walk to the plane, climb up the steps and get seated. Just like taking a bus.

Me in the Hype of flying. Oh just to mention, yes you have air-stewardesses on flight as well. They'll serve mineral water and wet tissues.

It was a fast one. Escape from the realities of the harsh life here in our country. Can you tell the difference?

These are from the hustle and bustle of our very small country.

Up and up the plane went and we are reaching there soon, thus this scenic view of a meandering river.

You can tell we are reaching shortly. Note that the water turned blue magically. Ta-Dah!

You could actually see what lies underneath the ocean.

The only jetty on the island.

Hon ready to alight. Note that t-shirt. haha!

Quick pics with the plane.

We have booked a Deluxe Garden View Chalet, the most cost-effective of the lot. We don't see the need for a luxurious room, as we'll be spending most of our time out on the beach or sea. Hon said," This almost feels like Pasir Ris chalet with all these Singaporeans around." Aaah.. a food for thought. Our chalet as seen below. The reception actually wanted us to upgrade to their sea-view villa so that they can decorate the bath-tub with Honeymooner's rose petals but naaaaaah, it's RM100 a night, so we took a raincheck.

As always, we explored the compounds. Beautiful place. Gorgeous private beach. =)

The Swimming Pool

The long stretch of Private Beach specially for Berjaya's resort-ers.

Tall swaying coconut trees and Hon sitting on a beach chair.

Almost post-cards perfect.

Well, I'm such a sucker for scenery photography. That explains the many scenic pictures above. Oh and below is the chic reception.

Well, and so we wanted to explore what endless possibilities of activities we have. They have a cosy little area just for it. Perfect.

See? Even the locals deemed their island as Paradise Island. Hee! This map locates the many dive and snorkel sites around Redang.

After contemplating over what little time we have, we chose the round island trip to 4 snorkelling sites for the next morning, and a trip to the marine park in the afternoon.
As for that day, we decided to just relax, have a breather and just suck in the beautiful scenery. Or so we thought. Hmmm.....Wonder why? Read on...

We switched on to our 'adventureous' mode and decided to explore the village life that encompasses the island. The REAL island life, sans paradise. Away from the pretentious plastic Barbie touristy life. A real eye-opener to the two ends of the economic stick. It was a wonderful walk down reality lane. Little boys riding on motorcycles waved at us. Little children playing with fire smiled at us. Goats, sheeps, cows and their dung greeted us as we walked down this little lane. And so we explored.

A momma Cow.

Sheeps and goats roam free.

That little long lane.

Papa Goat.

My artistic Picture of mama lamb and baby lamb. Thankfully they looked up at the same time. Difficult shot to take.

The sun setting behind the hills. The lambs made a special appearance again in the foreground here. Cute ay?

The only school they have on Redang Island, i think.

Kids playing with fire. Donned in their pyjamas, they are awed by the simple beautiful things in life... like playing with fire.... er.. not so good advice there.

3 kids on a motorcycle. How enjoyable. And dangerous. Never do this in Singapore, kids.

We had a great time exploring the village. Bought some junks for snacking and back to the resort we headed before sundown, or we will get lost due to the non-existant lighting on the roads.

Me and Hon.....

Back to the resort now... My Honey looks so charming here, *melts*

Honeymooning is great. Me and Hon after our buffet dinner.

Looks like a club, but it ain't. It's just the reception area of the resort. hee!
Loving you lots, Honey. I love this pic.

The next morning, we decided to capture the sunrise.

Serenity captured.

And yes, I have had my bath.

A little something something. Commemorative art? Hah!

A SheZai Sunrise.

The powdery white sand...

Another 2 scenic shots.

Ok now moving forward to food! The buffet breakfast and dinner was superb. The food was very delicious indeed! Here are some of a few.
Western Breakfast

Baked pasta, grilled seafood kebab, lamb meat, chicken ham, etc etc. There's more believe me.

Salad and cheese-baked salmon.

Roti Kirai/Jala with meat curry.

Just because we are on our 'Honeymoon', we got the Honeymooner's perks. =) Comprised of a heart shaped cake, some fruits and cookies sent discreetly to our room at night. Kudos for service.

Ok, enough about food, let's get on to the activities. The round island trip was splendid! There were altogether 4 stops where you just jump off the boat and snorkel around the area. I admit I was afraid at first due to my sea phobia, but at the 3rd stop, I managed to calm myself down and snorkel freely in a 3-6 m deep of the sea. The corals are magnificent. The fishes are in abundant. The only set-back was I was too afraid to go deeper, when Hon could. If not, we could have seen huge turtles at Turtle Bay and baby sharks and sting-rays and other what-nots at other areas. Sigh... IF only I was braver enough and more confident in swimming... We do not have a water-proof camera or casing, so we bought a disposable one to capture life underwater.
You can see how deep we are in this one. Thank God for life-jackets.

Crystal blue waters amidst lush greenery.

I hung on to Hon for dear life.

As you can see from all the pics, I refused to open my goggles for fear of drinking sea water or getting it up my nose. haha! My goggles are so tight, they pull my eyes back and so i have achieved a funny look, thank you. Free facelift aka skin-tightening. Hon, on the other hand, is a natural. He told me that he wants to try diving next time. Errr... not with the cowardly me I suppose.... haha!

When bread was thrown to the fishes, they hurriedly swam in shoals to get the best crumbs. Damn, they're hungry! If you looked closely, you can see them. All kinds of colours.

Some dead staghorn coral reefs. Cheyyy... See i know the name. Did some reef research before coming. Haha! Sheikha the reef scientologist marine biologist environmentalist.. Like real. But seriously, i DO feel for these dead reefs.

This reef I donno the name. O-si-m armchair beanbag U-reef-reef, perhaps?

This looks like a brain coral. Because it's shaped like a brain. Or maybe i'm wrong. Jeez!

Haaaa.... This one I know. It's called Table Coral Reef. Nice right? The water so clear.

This is a parrot fish nibbling on the dead corals. Poor little fishy.. alone in this world.

Haaa.. Phique, all these are your ikan bawal. (white pomfret fish)
i cannot take home la because against the law.

OK, that marks the end of this post-Redang trip. To summarise, just like Hon said, SUPERB!!!!!

On another note, yesterday, Hon and me woke up at 6am to join the other runners at the the Nike 10K Human Race Training at East Coast. Most of the crowd are elite runners i must say and I for one am NOWHERE near these runners. Hon did a special thing for me by running and pacing with me for my 4 km run, even if i was among the last few and even when Hon can run way faster than me. The experience was overwhelming, coz when I was reaching the finishing line, Everyone cheered for me. Hon was on my left, spurring me on, telling me not to give up, and another Nike runner was on my right, telling me i'm doing great. It felt good! Something like the movie "Run Fat Boy Run" but instead it's a fat girl running instead; me. Haha! Next week, is 5km and subsequently 6,7,8 km at different parts of Singapore. All these just to be in geared shape for the 10Km run happening on 31.08.08. The Nike Human race where the whole world runs together. The training led me to think that I am not alone in this runners' world. I clocked a timing of 26 mins for 4 km. That's quite bad really, but Hon said," I am very proud of you today. This is your personal best, and you ran non-stop. Keep it up!" I am getting there..... somehow. Thank you Hon. Later in the evening, I'm running with Hon again around my estate. Maybe another 4 km. =) I AM so happy! Also, it's Payday and I'm gonna give Hon a Prince Day!!! One Lobster Shoes coming right up!