Joey's Diving Trip | Tenggol, Terengganu X Viking Scuba

screenshot from Viking Scuba Instagram page

My first diving trip for year 2017. Our destination this time is Tenggol island, which has recently gain some fame over the year mainly because of whale shark sighting and only recently, like few weeks ago, some divers did met one and video-ed it down.

There were 10 of us on this trip. 5 from KL, and another 5 from Singapore. 2 fresh blood taking Open Water Course, 3 Open Water certified, and 5 Advanced Open Water certified. Oh yes, we are building a diving army soon (jk, even though it's not that funny, idk why i crack that joke). We signed a package deal with Viking Scuba (I think our friend found them in an expo or something) and got some discount, since we have quite a number of people. 

*Disclaimers: We divided some cost equally among us, so what I am writing does not represent the official cost they are charging and also keep in mind that this is a package deal. 

To break it down:
RM888~ per person which includes

- Accommodation at Permata Resort 
- 6 fun dives
- Breakfast & Lunch
- Equipment Rental (U.P. RM60 per person per day for full equipment)

The resort and the diving centre was just established this year, so everything was very new. New equipment, new boat, new rooms, etc. I stayed in one of the Quad room there and instead of the typical bunk bed set up, we got a queen size bed, a single bed and an extra bed set up for us. The room was very roomy and very modern. Each of the quad room has a living room which is good for gathering me thinks. Unfortunately, no pictures taken. I have embraced the culture of "living the life" with "minimum" phone interaction (hah!). 
For your info, there is no night diving in Tenggol because the dive site is too far away from the main land. Night diving possible if you are staying at the island. I hope this will change in the future. As for equipment rentals, no per item price only set price. Meaning you will have to pay RM60 per day for any item you are renting regardless of having some of your own equipment. Maybe there was some misunderstanding or misalignment too, because we were told there were discount if we were partially renting at first, but on the last day, the boss told us a different story. So yeah.

// T H U R S . 15 . J U N E . 17 // 
Journey to the North

We started our journey from Singapore at 6pm, had Ikan Bakar Rompin for dinner in Johor (highly recommended for cheap and nice seafood), and reached our destination at around 5am. Our car had some battery problem so we were stuck for awhile at some petrol station near the resort until some kind-hearted Samaritan helped us. Luckily it didn't happen in the middle of nowhere along the road.

// F R I . 16 - S A T . 17 . J U N E . 17  // 
Easy Water Rough Water

At around 8am, we got our gears, changed into our swim wears and rode off to the jetty. We did all 3 dives in one go and had our breakfast and lunch on the boat. So, it's kind of like a half day LOB thingy. It only took like 30 mins or so from the mainland to the dive sites near Tenggol.

On the first day, all 3 dives were easy, nice calm water. Our guide wanted us to test the water (figuratively and literally) before we go to a more advanced dive site. He was right, we needed them as we were very disorientated on our first dive. Since everyone knows everyone, we had no direct buddies but just groupies. On the second and third dive, we got better. Unfortunately, there wasn't much things to see. There were plenty of beautiful corals but not much marine life. During one of our rest time, one of the crew was squid jigging, it was a very interesting thing to observe. Squids actually looks very beautiful when they are swimming in the sea.

Catching some Zzz 

Tenggol island

On our second day, it was much more challenging. Strong current was observed. Some of us drifted away before descending but luckily we were able to re-group underwater. Even underwater, we were struggling. We had to hold on to the corals to avoid being swept away to who knows where. Man, it's time to train my stamina. But I do think we observed more marine life than the first day. We spotted 2 eels, bumphead parrotfish, barracudas, a giant jelly fish caught in some coral, a lot of small jelly fish swimming about, triggerfish, puffer fish, nudibranchs (which I spotted by myself, I am so proud), a turtle, and again abundance of corals and Christmas tree worms (adorable). The other group spotted an octopus during one of the dives too! 

Yes, shades. 

when we were all drifting and struggling to hold on to the corals, WC was doing this in front of us lol

For both days, we managed to finish by 3.30pm. We had plenty of time back on land. Although on the first day, everyone fainted after showering. Everyone was dead tired and was having lack of sleep issues. I was thinking of swimming but unfortunately they said it's dangerous to swim near the resort as a few people have died on the beach before (bummer).
For dinner, we went to C. B. Wee (lol, if you get it) restaurant on the first night, unfortunately for us, crabs were all sold out. Better to call in and order first next time. The food was mediocre even though most of  the locals recommended that place for seafood.
On the second day, we went to Ramadhan Bazaar instead and splurged on too many food. Somehow, me and my partner manage to spend RM90 on food and dessert. LOL. But of course, we were all buying for everyone to share. So, in total we spent RM240 on everything (which is in actuality was a lot of food that could feed 14 people I think).

nearby sceneries

Walked over to a small local durian store near to the resort.
Unfortunately they only sell Thailand durians, Charging RM13-18 per kg depending on the grade(?). Not sure if it is expensive or cheap as we were not durian experts. 
Gonna rant a little here as I experienced something that rather annoys me. Only me and another lady walked to the durian stall because we had cravings. Both of us were wearing shorts as usual. Gained some attentions, honks and some monkey shouts when we were walking. Okay, fine. It's Malaysia, it's normal harassment that we ladies have to endure, we have a lot of "monkeys" here especially in a more kampung kampung place. 
The worst came when we arrived at the stall, one of the seller (an uncle) was holding his phone upright and asked us to hold the durian so he could take picture of us with it. Note that this request was thrown at us once we arrived. I was like "Er, no thanks". The uncle wouldn't stop even after we were showing our discomfort. I still see him holding his phone upright towards us. I got really annoyed by then and said "Boleh jangan ambil gambar? Kita tak rasa selesa sangat ni." translated "Can you please stop taking pictures? We don't feel very comfortable". I don't know what it was. Maybe it was the shorts, or the blonde hair, or maybe just the lack of ladies walking about minding their own business in that small town. After that, I stop trying to notice what he was doing which is what my friend did from the beginning. Unfortunately, I am not as chill as she was. In the end, he still flip out his phone to "take pictures of the durian" when we sat down and ate some.

Even after ranting about it, I am sure my high school teacher would be screaming at me and say it is my fault. Because I was wearing something that menjolokkan mata which was a short and a sleveless top (luckily I wasn't showing half-boobs or anything, It was thoroughly covered thank you very much). I can hear it now in my head, the debates of girls being indecent by wearing less clothes, and guys raping girls are to be expected, blah blah blah (Which is ridiculously stupid, because victims are being blamed and the wrong doers are not being condemned??). Then the guy shall marry the rape victim because it will "fix" everything. Perghhhhhhhhhhhh. Okay, I think I'm being a little too serious and off topic there. But hey, this is the real world, and it is really happening here in Malaysia. Read the news and the comments on facebook, it's heartbreaking.  

Anyway, that is all about our short Tenggol diving trip. Thank you Viking Scuba and both our guides (and instructor) Kamil and Kamal for the wonderful 2 days! Ending this post awkwardly since I wrote 3 paragraphs of rant up before signing off. Hahaha. Till next time!

Psstt. Looking forward to my next dive trip in August. Manado, we are coming for you!

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