Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Of Island Getaway, Baby Turtles, Water Villa, Sea Urchins and a Lion Cave - Day 1


Baby treated us to a 4day 3nights holiday at Gem Island for my birthday and it was by far the best island vacation ever!

It took us 5 1/2 hours to reach from Kuala Lumpur to Marang Jetty, Kuala Terengganu. We left at 3am the night before and got to the jetty slightly before 9am. The schedule for the boat transfer to the island started at 930am, so we took the earliest one and got to the island within 15-20mins!


I was actually pretty surprised as we neared the resort as it was actually decent looking! Pictures from other tourists who posted their photos on the web really did not do this resort any justice! Perhaps, my photos should cover most of the island's beauty.

Most people whom we know, never really heard of Gem Island. If you've been to Pulau Kapas, you should have noticed a little island right opposite, which is on its own and that is Gem Island, also known as Pulau Gemia, in malay.

Upon reaching, we were treated to the resort's excellent service. As many of the islands' resorts that I've been to, none came as close to how great Gem Island Resort & Spa's service of hospitality was. You can consider their staff to have proper hotel management training as they were absolutely professional.


Gem Island Resort & Spa is also known for their turtle hatchery. They have a pool built, specially for baby turtles to be kept in and released when they are much stronger. It works as an education platform to the guests of the resort as well.


After checking those cute baby turtles out, I then headed to the reception area where we checked in. For the first time, our welcome drink is peach juice! Not sickeningly sweet cordial orange juice. A plus sign!


I was extremely eager to check out our room! We got the standard room, sea frontage Water Villa and the view was magnificent! They have other rooms as well, but we thought this has the best view and it was good enough for us.

It had been such a long drive to the jetty, so we took a nap before heading back to the cafe for lunch.


As we opted for their Half Board Package, we were only covered for breakfast and dinner but for lunch we were free to order from their ala carte menu. They have quite a wide variety of western, local and fusion. So, both of us ordered what we call, an island meal! It's never quite the same without a burger by the beach :)

Spectacular view from where we ate at the cafe.
That is the jetty and the island opposite is Pulau Kapas.


After lunch we took a stroll around the island. Yes, it is that small. It takes about an hour to check out the rest of the island and they are mostly rocks and trees. The special part is the cave actually, which we did not get to see because where it was once a nice place to sit and dip yourself, it was then covered with rocks that collapsed when the waves were crashing against the side of the cave. However, nothing major as after they are re-opening once the monsoon ends, they will be clearing the rocks, so that their guests can sit and dip in the cave again.


Mid afternoon, we went for a kayaking adventure where we were to kayak into the cave opposite the island. Met up with some of the staff at the resort and they suggested that we go explore the lion look-alike cave.

Unfortunately, once we hit the open sea, it was extremely choppy and we had to forgo the exploration. Can't be rowing ourselves into the cave when the waves might crash us against the rocks. So, instead we went over to Pulau Kapas to snorkel.

One thing that you've got to prepare yourself for during snorkeling is, gardens of deadly looking sea urchins awaits you at the bottom of the ocean. Just try not to freak while snorkeling and don't even go near them because once they pierce those thorns at you, you'll be crying your eyes out and the nearest hospital is like an hour away.


Snorkeling for 2hours straight pretty much took its toll on us. Had a shower when we got back, chilled at their deck while sipping a cup of nescafe was bliss. Bliss as in the view, not the coffee though. If you are like me, a coffee freak, I would suggest that you bring your own 3in1.

Called it night right after dinner. It was only 9pm. LOL


  1. so nice! am super jealous!! reminds me of when we bunked together for Where's The Party @ Sepang Gold Coast! nice pics, btw! Super review on the resort!

  2. LOL! Can't forget that 1 day vaca with you. Especially the room and making up in the hugeeee bathroom!

    You should go on an island vaca some day with your boy la. It's about time you go for a getaway :)