Rawa Island : My Bittersweet Review

  • 0
This post is gonna help y'all who're thinking of going to Rawa Island, Johore. This is my utmost unbiased and honest review of my recent trip to the island.

My hubby and I had been planning to travel there 2 months prior. There're only two accommodations on the island; Rawa Island Resort and Alang Rawa. We decided to go for Rawa Island Resort because it has the waterslide that you've been seeing in all of Rawa Island catalogs. Plus I like how the rooms look like based on other travelers' pics on TripAdvisor. I've been searching for the most affordable package online. But so far, the official Rawa Island Resort booking site has the least price. So I made my booking there and a one-night stay at Timotel Hotel, Mersing.

The boat from Mersing Jetty to the island departs at 10am and 12pm everyday. Hence, there's no way we could make it in time from KL. That's why we chose to leave a day early and stay overnight in Mersing.

The expenditure (hotels alone)

Timotel Hotel: 
~ 1 Standard Double Room = RM 180 (breakfast included for 2 pax)

There're many hotels in Mersing so dont worry. It's just one night. You can choose to sleep in the car if you want. Or if you're hardcore enough, just leave at 4am and you'll definitely arrive by 10pm. The trip from KL to Mersing took us about 4 hours.

-----

Rawa Island Resort:
~ Beachview Room for 4D3N = RM  4,460.00 (including boat transfer, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for 2pax)

Of course, the room rates may vary according to what type of room you're getting. I chose beachview because I want quick access to the beach. Just three steps and I'm in the water.



Day 1

After breakfast, we headed out to the jetty, which is like 15 minutes walk from the hotel. Of course, I wouldnt waste my energy walking and carrying the luggage, so we used the hotel's shuttle van instead. It's very convenient.

Before departing, we've gotta check in at Rawa Island Resort Reservation Office at the jetty. The office also has a parking space so you can leave your car there but you need to pay RM18 per day, even if you're their guest. Talking about a major rip off. Not only do you have to pay thousands per night, but now you've gotta pay extra just for parking? No thanks. Being Asian, I'm a complete cheapskate and that was the point where I started to hate this resort.
** Hate count = 1 **

While waiting for the boat, I managed to catch some Pokemon's. Mersing Jetty is a pokestop too, ya know.  The boat ride to the island took less than 30 minutes. On stepping out of the boat, I had my camera ready. So here is my first shot of Rawa Island on our first day:


View from the room

We arrived just in time for lunch.  We had our bags delivered to our room right away, so no need to bring 'em yourself. Everything was very efficient. I was starting to like the place but it didnt last long.  After lunch, we decided to check out what activities the could offer.

Well, they have a snorkeling and scuba trip but this is the part that totally irked me. For the snorkeling trip, the price is charged per boat. So the total is RM 750 per boat. Are you f**king kidding me? Back in Perhentian Island, it was only RM40 per pax. So if there's nobody to tag along, you've gotta pay the full amount yourself. For the scuba trip, you need to pay in Singapore Dollar because the company that handles the activity is from Singapore. It costs SGD 150 per pax. So you guess what I did? I just walked out there and never looked back. Snorkeling by the beach for 3 days is fine with me then.
** Hate count = 2 **

Here's the thing. I dont mind spending money if it's really worth it. But from what I see, this resort is an amateur when it comes to water activity. They're excellent in terms of hospitality but apart from that, dont count on it. Just browse and read about the island. There's not much you can do there. It's a private island, so it was meant for you to stay there and leave when the time comes. 

That afternoon, around 5pm we headed to the beach. Yes, the water was as beautiful as it was claimed. But underwater, it's a different story. Being animal lover, all I care is the marine life. I wanna see beautiful fish and corals to match the beautiful water of the island. But again, I was disappointed.



video


As you can see from the video here, most of the corals were dead. They looked like plain rocks and so pathetic. There were fish but not a lot, compared to Perhentian Island. Yes they're colorful but those are all the fish you can see.
** Hate count = 3 **

The water was very shallow that afternoon and it was very difficult to swim. My husband wounded his toes after accidentally hitting the corals because the water level was too low. After asking the staff there, we learned that the high tide happens at noon until 3pm. During the high tide is the best time to swim so you can tread the water easily and swim further. So forget everything you learn in science class about the moon affecting the tide because Rawa Island tide defies the law of physics. Who in their right mind, is willing to swim under the scorching hot sun and risks getting skin cancer? So yeah, unless you dont mind getting roasted like a duck, I suggest you layer up on that sunblock.
** Hate count = 4 **

When night comes, there's not so much you can do. There's no TV in the room BTW. The WiFi connection was so poor so you can forget about watching YouTube. After dinner, we just strolled along the beach, caught some Pokemon's and went straight to bed.

Day 2

My mood was uplifted because I couldnt wait to jump into the water. So we headed to the beach around 10am. The water was beginning to rise and so did the temperature. Oh remember that waterslide you see on Rawa Island photos, you can only use it during the high tide. Otherwise you'd be landing on the sand and might injured your butt. lol

Here are some  pics and vids on the second day:

Yes, the water was so clear. This pic was taken at noon. So prepare to get roasted.


The infamous water slide of Rawa Island

There's a trail leading to the top of the hill

View from the top




Day 3

( Same shit. I forgot what I did 'coz this post was 1 year past overdue. I decided to post this anyway 'coz I'm going for another island trip next week. Cant wait! )

In conclusion, I definitely wont be going back to Rawa Island. Well, some folks would think differently but this is my honest review about it. Either you like it or nah.


Anniversary Trip 2.0

  • 0

It's 2.0 because it's our second anniversary. Yeay! Each year we'd have a trip somewhere interesting but I was too lazy to blog about it 'till now. Coz folks, this one is  worth mentioning. It's gonna be a long post so bear with me OK!

This year, my husband and I visited Lang Tengah Island, Terengganu. I've heard people claiming it to be as beautiful as Maldives. So, being a cheapskate and a skeptic, I decided to give it a try. I like having vacation locally because not only can I save on the expenditures, but also finding decent meals as well. I'm all about the food baby!

Disclaimer: All the pics which you're gonna see are all raw images; no touch up, no editing, no filter whatsoever. Nature is just beautiful!

Pre-Trip

Of course, if you're gonna go to an island for holidays, you've might as well gotta learn how to swim first. Well, I have no trouble floating whatsoever, thanks to my flabby fat, but I had hard time navigating and treading the water. So during this past month, my husband taught me some swimming techniques and we practiced two days a week at the National Aquatic Center. Lo and behold, I still suck at it. LOL!

Next, we've gotta find our baby kitties some place to stay during the holiday. Luckily I've found some affordable pet boarding on Mudah.my and I like the size of the cage that they have. So we sent the kitties a day before the trip coz I know it's gonna be a quite a rush to send them before we departed.

Finally, a cheap lodge for us to stay overnight before taking the boat to the island. Oh, we decided to drive BTW and it's a 5-hour journey. The boat departs at 1030am every morning so there's no way we could reach there in time.

... and of course finding the best travel package for Lang Tengah Island. It's almost Monsoon Season and most resorts are already closed during this time. It's really a fortune that I'd found one. I bumped across the package on Cuti.my. Do check it out coz they have tons of travel packages locally and overseas. So we took the 4D3N Full Board package which includes accommodation, meals, snorkeling trips and boat transfer from Merang Jetty to the island. I really adore their customer service and lightning speed reply. A five stars agency right there. Definitely gonna book my travel with them again!

Day 1

The boat to Lang Tengah Island departed at 1030am and we had to stand by at 930am. Our resort was Summer Bay and each resort on the island has their own checkpoints. This is very convenience coz we got to park our car inside the checkpoint and be sure that it's gonna be safe. While waiting for the boat, I met a couple of precious little angels. They seemed hungry so I got them some dry cat food. Look at how precious they are.


[ meowwww.. ]

Although no sight of mom, I'm sure she's out somewhere looking for food 'coz these kitties look well groomed.

Then, the boat arrived. The journey from Merang Jetty to Lang Tengah was about 30 minutes. The wave was quite strong and it's like riding a roller coaster. The service they offered us is really a first-class. The helped us carried our luggage onto the boat, and once we reached the resort, they sent the luggage straight to our room. How awesome! Not to mention, we were greeted with a welcome drink as well.

So after we checked in, we're briefed about the activities and the meal plans during the stay. Normally, the meals were buffet style, but since there were not so many people, the meals were served instead. Talking about feeling like royals.

Now, can we just take a moment to talk about the room..
Initially, when I booked the package, I'd asked for a garden view one coz it's cheaper.
Then during checked in, we were told that our room had been upgraded for free! We got ourselves a deluxe pool access room! Which means, we could just jump into the pool from the balcony. How freaking awesome is that? Here's a few pics of the room:


[ somebody is excited... ]



[ bathroom ]

So our first activity for the day is, of course, lunch.



Then we headed out for the first snorkeling trip at 2pm. The trip was short and it was only around the island but the view was spectacular! It was deep sea snorkeling, so I had to put a jacket on. But hubby is a pro. He even dived to the bottom of the sea bed. Unfortunately, we didnt get any picture underwater coz the last time we did, the stupid SONY Xperia Z got toast.

Next, around 4pm, we returned back to the resort. But the fun didnt have to end there. The water on the island is cystal clear and you can see the fish swimming by. So we just snorkeled near by the resort until dusk.

[ hubby was feeding bread to the fish. Fish love bread. lol ]


Then it's time for dinner. All the dishes were amazing and I had a hard time trying to stand up after eating.



There's not so much activity at night so that's why I already prepared myself with a book to read till bedtime.

Day 2 

The weather was extremely nice that day. Before breakfast, we walked by the beach and took tons of pics. Of course I aint gonna post everything here lol




[ walking by the beach like a boss ]

[ do you see that black spot? ]

[ it's actually swarmed by fish! ]

[ chillin' like a boss ]

[ view from the lobby ]


Then, breakfast time!


At 2pm, we had a snorkeling trip to Redang Island. We noticed that the tide was getting stronger each day. Luckily, it didnt rain, otherwise we'd have to cancel the trip.

Fast forward to dinner. Look at how fancy it was.


[ yep, we had mussels! ]

[ sardines - my fav ]

[ grilled lamb ]


Day 3

As early as 8am, we headed out to the final snorkeling trip to Perhentian Island. They say, save the best for the last. It's true! The ocean life in Perhentian was wayyyy more breath taking. Not to mention we also got to see a turtle as well.

Then we headed back to the resort just in time for lunch.


[ roasted lamb ]


It's our last evening on the island so this was the last chance to take more photos.


[ swam like a pro ]

[ sunset view]


[ enjoying the pool for one last time ]


Last dinner here.


[ beef dumplings ]

[ yummm.. oysters ]


Day 4

The boat to Merang Jetty departed at 930 am. Saying goodbye was the hardest. Definitely will return to Lang Tengah again. There's still so much more to explore...

We headed right back to KL after that, stopping to buy some Keropok Lekor on the way.

Overall, the whole trip was delightful and fun. The not so fun part was only the short duration of time we spent on and underwater. I wish I could snorkel and swim all day long...



Excruciating Process of Marriage Cards Application

  • 0

Dear readers, before I continue, I'd like to advise you that this post you're reading is gonna be full of curse words. Bear with me as I unfold the shitty operation of the so called Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor.

On one fine day after CNY, my hubby and I decided to get our marriage card done. It's the final legal step after the ceremony. If you don't obtain this card, you might get in trouble if people doubt your marriage status. Some backstabbers are gonna call the officers and claim that you're committing adultery while you're just spending the holidays at a cheap ass motel.

Anyhow, so we went to JAIS to get the card done. This is the procedure that I dont really fathom. If for applying the license you can just go to the district office, why in the world for a card you have to go all the way to the state office? Imagine one freaking Selangor are doing their cards at one small office. Yes I am not exaggerating.

When I got in line, there're already 150++ people waiting for their turn. Can you imagine all of people in Selangor are being served by only 4 officials? What kind of shitty procedure are you having here? Not only that, back at the district office, they dont mention that you need to photocopy anything but now you end up having to photocopy every fucking docs. 

So my hubby had to go a court next door to get the photocopy done. As expected, hundreds more people were in line at the machine. So here's a story that he shared with me. So there's this couple waiting in line to get their docs copied. Can you guess who's standing in line during the long hours? The wife of course! While the husband was busy playing flappy bird on the phone, SITTING at the cafe nearby. What a GENTLEMAN right? Sorry sister, I think you married an asshole. You better not reproduce or he'll end up leaving you with the kids while he's out having fun with some other girls.

Also while waiting for our turn to be served at the counter, there's this other couple whom the husband was also an asshole. There were only limited seats available in the waiting area. So he made the wife stand while he, as expected, sat down and played with his phone. I mean, WTF is wrong with the guys in this world? You can't even afford to stand for a bit? Imagine if the wife were going thru a labor, I bet he wont even be there to accompany her. 

So here's a look at the back of the form we have to fill in. Guess what, we had to come back after 5 days to collect the card. Are you fucking kidding me? I only have to wait for 30 minutes to get my passport done, without any human in the process. Just slot in everything in the kiosk. You call it a SMART card but the procedure isn't so smart after all.


Last Tuesday, my hubby had to take a leave to collect the card. Thank you for wasting his annual leave, JAIS. And.... he had to wait for more than 5 hours for that coz apparently the lady there needed to search thru all the records MANUALLY for our cards. 

Ok I just wanna point out one thing. Najib wants our country to be developed by 2020. If the procedures of applying a marriage card is as ancient as it was invented, then I don't think so. FIX this! Why do I have to go all the way to the state office when I can just apply my ID at any registration office? Why do you have to make this process so complicated? Dont give me lame excuses like controlling the database and shit. Everything is on the cloud. Have you ever heard of Internet? 

If you're wondering why are there so many adultery cases in Malaysia, well guess what? It's your OWN fault JAIS, for making the procedures more complicated than solving a partial differential equation! Yes that's true coz I can solve one in 1 minute while your shitty application process takes months! 

And... here's the so called marriage card. Look at that smart chip. Will I be able to pay my toll with it, I dont think so. 


Honeymoon 2.0

  • 0


It's called 2.0 because it's the second one. Our first honeymoon was at Langkawi. Not so much pictures nor activities (if ya know what I mean heheh) though, hence I do not wanna make a post about it. 

So after New Year, my hubby and I went for our 2nd mini honeymoon just to have some time out of this busy town. We spent 2 nights in Malacca. We stayed at Hatten Hotel, thanks to a suggestion by his colleague. It's a very nice hotel, located in the center of the town and any attractions are within walking distance.



We arrived in Malacca at around 4pm and checked in to room right away. Here are some pics inside the room:


Loving the wall between the bedroom and living room.



We got a seaview room. Superior suite they called it.



Somebody is enjoying his honeymoon :)



 Camwhoring inside the lift


After that, we went out to Dataran Pahlawan Mall for dinner and a movie, Paranormal Activity 4. I felt like the movie tickets are much cheaper in Malacca. We had durian mochi for dessert. Yum! Anyways, that's all for that night.





Awesome delicious durian mochi. Anything tastes better with durian


Posing in front of Hatten Hotel



Watching Lion King


2nd day, I'm too lazy to write, so here are the pictures of visited places:




Malacca Sultanate Palace


Cats sleeping below the museum 


Supermodel walking



A Famosa for sure



Oh and we went to our high school, MRSM Jasin too. Too bad it's still school holidays. No kids or teachers around. Then we went to Umbai for dinner. It's a must to go there if you're visiting Malacca. Nothing tastes like Umbai's roasted fish. 




MRSM Jasin



Dinner


A very friendly cat I met at Umbai


3rd day, before heading home, we went to the Maritime Museum. I've always wanted to go inside the ship. Now that I went in, there wasn't really anything to see. Just a bunch of statues and writings. 





Finally before leaving Malacca for good, we went to Mini Malaysia. There was a dance performance going on but I did not fancy traditional dance. Seriously, the choreographer needs to work harder. Those steps can be easily done by a kindergartner. Took a bunch of pics then headed home.




Hello there horsies!