20 Feb - 22 Feb 2013 Mersing

Southeast Asia
Flawed-Democratic Federation of Malaysia
Johor Darul Ta’Zim
Jalan Ismail 2
Embassy Hotel +6077982864
Clean and spacious twin room with air-con and homeopathic wifi for MYR 55.- or US$ 17.80 per night. Friendly Chinese staff; reasonable English.
Beer: 600-ml bottles of cold Legend Premium Lager (5 % alc./vol.) for a costly MYR 12.- or US$ 3.90 in the attached Golden Dragon Restaurant.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Embassy Hotel in Mersing, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Enjoying our second stay (first stay in 2011) at this pleasant fishing harbour with its fast disappearing small-town feel that once pervaded all of Malaysia, and "provisioning" for our upcoming trip to Tioman Island aka Pulau Tioman (DEET for prevention, Dettol as antiseptic and Bactroban as antibiotic), a beautiful tropical island, situated in the South China Sea, c. 30 nm northeast of Mersing, which offers excellent snorkelling and diving and where biting midges, commonly called sand flies, are endemic (comparing sand flies with ordinary mosquitoes is equivalent to comparing fuming nitric acid with lukewarm holy water - don’t say nobody warned you).
“The mortal enemies of man are not his fellows of another continent or race; they are the aspects of the physical world which limit or challenge his control, the disease germs that attack him and his domesticated plants and animals, and the insects that carry many of these germs as well as working notable direct injury. This is not the age of man, however great his superiority in size and intelligence; it is literally the age of insects...”

Embarking on speed ferry “Bistari 2” (Bluewater Express, +6077994811) for ATM-free Kampung Salang on the tropical duty-free paradise of Pulau Tioman (MYR 45.- or US$ 14.50 per person, one way) and beating for more than three hours without mercy straight into the steep waves of the still howling northeast monsoon, until the ship’s crew was running out of unused seasickness bags and the skipper skilfully managed to berth his ship in dangerous swell at the kampung’s concrete jetty, right in front of Azmi Dive Centre, owned and run by our friend Azmi, a passionate Malaysian u/w photographer and experienced PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, with whom DM Konni has already dived off Sumatra in 2012.

Click below for more blog posts about West Malaysia's underrated east coast

Click below for a summary of this year's travels
Facing Malaysia
© Konni & Matt

Recommended gear – click below for your Amazon order from Canada:
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For Amazon bargains from the United States, please click here 
For Amazon bargains from the United Kingdom, please click here 

From the 2013 Moral Travel Compass for our Grand Children's Journey of Life:
It’s bad to believe in any gods;
It’s good to have faith in yourself.
Keep your bearings!