Urban Tropical Ecology in Singapore

Welcome to Malaysia
by -- March 22nd, 2012

We drove north trough Singapore and crossed the Strait of Johor into Malaysia (new passport stamp – yay) and continued north into Malaysia. The countryside is mostly palm oil plantations and some rubber plantations, the main agricultural products of Malaysia.

Palm oil plantations along the ride to Mersing

We arrived in the town of Mersing on the east coast of Malaysia. There were lots of European backpackers. Most of them were heading to Tioman Island, a very popular island off the coast. We, on the other hand, headed to Dayang Island.

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Dayang is remote from the coast in the South China Sea. Our ferry was a little old and slow, it took us 4 hours to travel the about 50 miles to Dayang, but we were able to take the time to enjoy the views from the boat. We watched the water color change from muddy brown in Mersing, to phytoplankton green near the coast, finally to brilliant blue. I also enjoyed watching the sun set and to watch the stars come out as it became dark. In the tropics it is hazy and cloudy, but there was no light pollution or moonlight to hide the milky way.

The stars and palm trees at night

We arrived in Dayang to a small settlement with a few cottages and a communal eating area right on the beach. We were sharing rooms with bunk beds, but for such a remote site it was surprisingly comfortable. We turned in early to get ready for a busy day of snorkeling.

 

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