Tioman Island

You know how there are some people who make you want to be a better person? People who you admire, who challenge you, who help you grow up.

Whenever someone asks me who are the people I admire my mom is my first option. I mean who doesn’t love my mom? she is amazing, has a great personality, she isn’t afraid of anyone and is the strongest person I know. Other people I admire are my godmother who is magically good at EVERYTHING, my neighbour who is 20 something and has all her life figured out, and my cousin’s godmother who has an amazing job, amazing family, is an active member  at church and finds time to travel and party and have some fun. I mean how do they do that? #lifegoals

However until our trip to Malaysia I had never noticed how much I admire my boyfriend. Not because he is my boyfriend and I love him and all that cheesy stuff blabla who cares. But because the guy is BADASS BRAVE. Like seriously you have no idea, Merida from the movie Brave has nothing on him.

You see, I am the biggest coward in the planet. I hate when a boat goes over the dark parts in the ocean, I can’t sleep after I see a cockroach in the street and I never ever put myself at risk. Rollercoasters where you are upside down? NOPE, going somewhere alone in the dark? NOPE, watching a scary movie by myself? NOPE NOPE NOPE I’M OUT OF HERE!!! I mean, I can’t even ride a bike in the city because I’m scared I’ll get hit by a tram.

However being in Tioman Island, stuck with Leon for 4 days no phones, no internet, no connection with the outside world. I have never been as brave as I was there! Not that I actually achieved anything dangerous but hey AT LEAST I TRIED!

To go to Tioman Island from Singapore we took a bus until Mersing, a little town at the east of Malaysia where we had to take  a ferry for what seemed like forever since I discovered that, if im on a boat but not in the top where I can see the sky and everything (sorry I don’t speak boat language), I get ULTRA nauseous. TIP: just try to fall sleep and hope you get there soon it worked for me. The ferry took us to Tekek, which is the main village of the island and where our hosts where waiting for us.

Our host Jesse is a woman from Seattle that went to Tioman Island for a holiday for 3 weeks, and then ended up staying for 3 months. She went back home, sold all her stuff and then moved to Juara where she is now married to Soyok and have an adorable baby named Miko. They greeted us at the port and organised for us to go from Tekek to Juara in a light truck. I had never seen Léon so excited in his life (haha beginneeeer).


Juara is a small village with only one road, one supermarket, and many restaurants and hotels or private houses. Since the ferry arrives at the west of the island and Juara is on the east, most tourist stay away from this beautiful place you could call paradise. The Ombak house, made by Soyok himself with help of his friends, is at the end of the beach giving a panoramic view of the whole place.

Here’s the thing: I’m used to go to the beach, sit and relax, read a book, go in the water, fall asleep in the sun, and maybe do one or two water sports if my family insists. Oh, that sounds hilarious now. The only reason why Mr. Leon would sit is to eat the delicious food of the locals. You’ll find true love in the person who eats as much as you. Boy we ate like two teenagers who go back home after 2 months in uni eating nothing but noodles and found a full refrigerator of food made by their mom.


But what where we doing when we weren’t eating? (appart from planning our next meal, duh).

HELLO SNORKELLING: aka me being ambushed by a bazillion fish because I brought a bunch of bread underwater and Léon angry at me because he can’t film me underwater if I get out of the water every 2 minutes. And me flawlessly swimming away like Marcos Diaz when Léon says he finally saw a shark after half an hour of searching (YES HE WAS LOOKING FOR THE SHARKS, NO HE DOESN’T GET WHY THAT IS WEIRD).

marianny 3

HELLO SURFING: aka as me getting hit in the face with the board because I tried to get up too quickly and then competing with Léon to see who can sit faster without the board jumping away from our awfull skills. At least he was as bad as me at this one, so we decided to sit in the beach and watch in shame as the 10 year old locals dominated the waves.


HELLO HIKING: I’m actually good at hiking I guess. I really love how for every step you need an strategy so you won’t slip and fall rolling downhill (yes, that has happened to me before).  I also like the feeling when you are alone in the nature with your thoughts, while you walk as far as possible from Léon who is trying to find some snakes ( he didn’t and he was really dissapointed) ??????????


HELLO KAYAKING: aka I SWEAR I TRIED but every second I would see more and more jellyfish I don’t know from where they were appearing but stung by a bunch of jellyfish while crying because you don’t know how to get out of the water without help and your boyfriend won’t stop laughing is not how I wanted to die.

AND HELLO BABY TURTLES: As much as I love being scared to death. The best part of the trip was definitely when we got to watch baby turtles being born and walk into the ocean for the first time. Not only it was one of the cutest things I’ve ever witnessed but we also learned a lot about endangered species and how to help sea turtles survive. Like how they go into the water not towards the light of the moon but away from the darnkess HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT. Juara turtle project

Jo, a blind turtle that lives in Juara
Jo, a blind turtle that lives in Juara

In conclusion, Tioman Island teached me that if you are brave enough for a couple of days, you will be rewarded by nature for being a good kid. And that if you are scared of absolutely everything like me, you should find someone fearless to be with you so you will be stronger for them.


Here’s the video of our trip made by Léon, also with our trip to Hong Kong which I may or may not write about soon!


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