Happy New Year !
It’s really been a while since any one of us (Spinzer or me) has updated the blog. We have been pretty busy and I have so many postings to share with everyone especially “The Gem”. It was an invitation by a good friend of Spinzer since his uni days, Cheng Chun. for a celebration to mark their new age that ahem..starts with 3X with all the ex Imperial College & LSE mates.
A sneak peek!
It’s an island which located at Marang, Terengganu. Gem Island is quiet, private with clear water. A perfect getaway with your loved one and even family. They cater full onboard package which includes accomodation, meals and promised relaxation!
Let’s first talk about the journey.
We checked in at Subang Airport to fly there with FireFlyz, my current favourite air travel choice for the airport is WAAAAYYY NEARER than going to KLIA2. Once we arrived at Terengganu Airport, we took a cab ride approximately about 40 minutes to Marang Jetty for a pre-planned boat ride to “The Gem” (Fine… It’s actually widely known as Gem Island OR it’s original name, Gemia)
10.00pm of Day 1
We arrived in the evening and dinner was about to be served! YUMMMZZ
We have a big group of us, with steamy hot steamboat for the cold season (It was the start of Monsoon on the East Coast)
Some of the steamboat and seafood ingredients we’ve been served. Seafood is ultra fresh and yummy there!
Apart from the catching up between all the ex uni mates, there were of course many of them with their plus ones like me (Spinzer’s plus one) and making new friends there. Time flies I guess, everyone was once a student and now some are even parents!
Let me show you around and also the room!
The basin and mirror is situated out of the toilet. It’s the first item I see upon opening the door.
I love the open concept bathroom, it has natural lightings (apologies for the bad shot, but I only have this shot)
The Bedroom with cosy decorations. I’m a very earth friendly /conscious person, hence I strongly love basic decorations made of woods, mosquitos nets over the bed as the night itself, I laced the mosquito nettings to cover the bed and left the balcony doors wide open for breeze, air and calming sea sound.
5.20am Day 2
For the very first time, I see Spinzer woke up really early, about 5 am to catch the first glimpse of light from the patio
All we needed to do was look LEFT. Our camera was not the super pro one, hence, we couldn’t get the best photo as captured in my own head and stored in my mind.
Listening to the calming waves while enjoying the scenery.
7.15am of Day 2
You’re right! All the chalets are situated on the water. When the sun shone brightly, I can even see lil fishes swimming around the water underneath my chalet, and a lot crabs going on the rocks playing, sunbathing without the fear of humans.
My favourite rattan swing chair, wrapped me up perfectly for me to enjoy the scenery. The chair on the right belongs to Spinzer! Hmmmm! I DON’T SHARE! *joking*
How do you like the sea and chalet? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!
Gem Island is also a certified island to conserve turtles. This is where they protect the lil eggs till their hatched.
Once thet are hatched, the management ans turtle experts based on the island will keep them in a big tank where water will be changed and make sure they are big enough to be released back into the rough sea full of predators :”(
The above image is a plastic tank where all the turtles will be put in when their permanent tank made of cement which is way bigger is getting cleaned in the morning we were there.
They have a beautiful albino Hawksbill Turtle too!
8am of Day 2
Before heading to breakfast, I must again take some photos with the ocean view.
The groupie swing that I love. I just love swings…no joke, I even play it at the playgrounds on and off now.
The view towards the East. Well, there’s a sea water pool as above the pic.. I didn’t bother to jump in though. How can you compare to the gigantic sea?
Spinzer and the sparkling reflection of the sea. If you look into the top right of the photo, You’ll be able to see another island which I named it the Singa Island (Lion Island) .. More details up later about Singa Island.
9.20am of Day 2
Here’s where the fun starts!
Clear Blue Sea on a private island and now BEACH! The water is crystal clear where we can see fishes swimming really near us and a bundle of dead corals nearer to the shallow part. There are still live corals around the deeper sea and here and there.
What I did was make sure I do not touch the corals and putting minimal sunblock on my body as the chemicals component found in sunblock had been proven to be EXTREMELY damaging to our coral beds and water.
One of my favourite photo during the trip.
You might be wondering what are these guys doing? It’s also my first encounter throughout all the beach travels I have done. These men are loading the rubbish from the island and sending it back to the mainland for proper disposal.
Apart fro shells, you will be able to collect a lot of stones too as Gem Island is famous for being a “rocky” beach
After a while of snokerling..I became tired and I got into the other side of the island which has a pretty rough seas and much rockier! It much windy here and I took a short nap.
Look! It has huge rocks with stronger waves. Completely the opposite of the clear and calm beach where I snorkled earlier. You could come over and take a dip in this side of the beach. However, due to the Monsoon Season, we were advised not to.
Off you go for Kayaking!
Spinzer taking a shower before we head for our yummy lunch!
I couldn’t help but upload this to share with all of you reading this now. It’s this blue and clear.. The view is simply breathtaking. Back to Singa Island, If you see the waves there, this is also a place where visitors can do surfing. Generally for beginners or surfers looking for relaxing surfs. The waves are choppy but not exactly STRONG. But it’s good enough for Noobs like me to come back and learn.
This is the other end of the beach, nearer to Singa Island and shark point. The current and waves are strong here too, where I believe can do a lil surfing.
The lil creature is found between the rocks, where water are so clear!
Me being me.. My itchy hands decided not to let the lil crab to rest in peace. Spinzer took this an as evidence. YET… Sometimes, I wonder why curiousity kills the cat (Trust me, I’ve been in and out of troubles due to my why where how and WHAT attitude about everything!)
Singa land is actually the other end of Pulau Kapas, I have been observing it and trying to find road access to it. According to local staff, some parts have no beach and the fastest way is to take a speed boat! *YAY* Also, The area around Singa Island (Yes! also where we can surf) are the known “Shark Points” where sharks are often spotted at the areas. I swear to myself I will go back to Gem Island again to watch the sharks, kayak against to waves, surf and swim around the shark point area.
Next up, I skipped lunch and had the Thai Masseur for some relaxing time!
The massage room is for one person use and it’s near the end of the island. At good days, you can see baby sharks swimming around even below the patio of the chalet.
4PM of Day 2
About 4 plus, everyone decided to have picninc across the other island, Pulau Kapas. It’s so funny, Kapas actually mean Cotton in English. *Tee-Hee* Some boys like Yew Kuan and gang swam across to reach Kapas Island, some of us kayak across there with a few took the speed boat with our precious PICNIC food! >.<
Look at the heroes who swam across and Kayaks :O
Cheng Chun, our generous host who prepared extra foods including traditional local kuihs (cakes) and snacks for us to savour on and brought it across for us! YUMZ
The banana cheese fritters are to died for! This is also my first time trying it. Sinfully DELICIOUS!
After some snorkeling session and makan time at Pulau Kapas, we had to packed up to return back to Gem Island.. The sky’s getting darker 🙁
Pulau Kapas Snorkel: Nowhere near comparable to Gem Island (the part where Spinzer & I snorkeled in the morning), the coral beds has been badly damaged and lesser fishes with the sight of much more rubbish in it. I spotted an old shoe somewhere in it >_<
6.30PM of Day 2
We came back to the island with a whole mutton greeting us! Chef (the one in red) is an expert who caters all our western, local food in Gem Resort! I’m constantly hungry I know.. That explains my body size T_T
With two experienced chefs and sous chefs in Gem Resort, you know you will never have awry food! The feast with BBQ mutton, seafood and fresh fruit juices!
It’s our last night here.. Time flies so fast…Good night Folks!
9.00AM of Day 3
Spinzer decided to take a sunbath. He never did gets tanned anyway! As fair as a white chicken as always.
I visited the beach again.. I really love this place and planning for another trip with my girlfriends hopefully in 2015.
Apart from a beautiful getaway island. Gem Island could cater for private functions accomodating up to 100 people with 45 rooms all booked solely for you and your family and friends. Obviously It’s going to be a great place for Weddings. With the view, good food and island all to you and your loved ones, how awesome!
I’m pretty sure you would like to know how much we spent for the trip, here’s a breakdown for it
1) Return AirFare (FireFlyz) =RM450
2) Cab Fare (Terengganu Aiport to Jetty) = RM70 (I actually forgot the accurate sum, but it’s somewhere between here)
3) Boat Ride from Marang to Gem = Inclusive in the package
4) 3 Days 2 Nights Package = RM900++
*The above prices are solely for 2 person
** 3 days 2 nights including extra payment for Massage sessions (2 person), meals, Activities and Facilities onboard as seen as above
Best Time to Travel to Gem Island
End of March to August
You can still travel there whenever they are open. They are closed yearly during the Monsoon season from around Oct to Early Feb if I’m not mistaken.
Lastly, Spinzer and I would sincerely thank Cheng Chun for making this happen and giving us a good price for the trip as well as other friends. It’s a gathering so meaningful for everybody too 🙂 . Do buzz me if you are planning for a Gem Island trip and would like to have some good advise/deals!