When work and your hectic schedule take a toll on you, what do you do?
Escape to the nearest available island for a weekend getaway! And that’s precisely what we did over the weekend. Here were some considerations we had for our perfect two-day retreat:
- Minimal travelling time from Singapore
- Rustic feel, away from the city
- Outdoor activities for some adrenaline rush
- Decent food/accommodation options
We did a quick google search and read through TripAdvisor forums, and it seemed like we managed to snag the perfect weekend getaway!
Ladies, gentlemen and bears, presenting to you…
Have we got your attention yet? 😀
Not to be confused with Cebu Island, an island in the Philippines, Sibu Island (or Pulau Sibu) is an island off the eastern coast of Johor, Malaysia. The island spans about 6km long and is home to slightly over a 100 residents. The rest of the island has been developed to house basic resorts and hotels for weekenders looking for a place to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
We booked our accommodation with Sea Gypsy Village Resort and Dive Base, and were extremely pleased with all they had to offer. 🙂 Transport from Singapore to the resort was arranged seamlessly and we had absolutely no problems getting to the resort. The driver picked us up in his minivan at Grange carpark (opposite 111 Somerset), before driving us to Tanjung Leman Jetty for us to board a ferry to Sibu Island. The boat ride was approximately 20 minutes. When we arrived, we had to wade in shallow waters to reach the island, as there was no jetty on Sibu Island itself. The entire journey from Singapore to the island took us about two hours.
En route – just so excited! 🙂
Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted with a warm welcome and ushered into the dining area, an open air hut-like structure with a bar, cosy armchairs, and a more proper dining extension.
We were also given a pina colada each to sip on, as we enjoyed the marvelous view and the cool sea breeze.
The waiters, who were hired locals, were extremely polite and attentive. They could speak English well too. When we were ready, they briefed us on the check-in procedure and proceeded to show us our private huts. We left our passports and valuables with the general office, before proceeding to our huts excitedly!
Ta-da! The hut we booked was for two, and was just the right size. It was very well-kept and clean, and had all the basic facilities (en-suite shower, bath towels etc), with just a little bit of comfort. We were glad that there were mosquito nets too, but soon found that they weren’t that necessary in the room.
This was the view from our hut. There were cosy arm chairs for us to sit on out in the deck, and to just spend the lazy afternoon reading/ enjoying the cool breeze. We’d even brought our very own hammock along and succeeded in tying it around two trees! It was a wonderful feeling to rest without a care in the world.
Warning: Lazy bear in the hammock!
Besides relaxing and exploring the island, we were also treated to loads of yummy food for lunch, dinner, and breakfast the next morning. It was such a spread – BBQ buffet dinner, buffet lunch and buffet american breakfast… you get the idea! The bar also had a good range of drinks at pretty decent prices, if you consider sipping on a glass of Bailey’s as part of your perfect holiday. 🙂
Breakfast spread 🙂
Tea break, anyone? 🙂
The dining area is also linked to an adult’s swap library, so you can borrow some books/magazines and leave yours behind, if you wish. We found that it was perfectly relaxing to just chill with a book in hand in the late evenings – something that’s become somewhat of a luxury in our busy lives.
If you are the adventurous sort, there are also lots of activities for you to choose from. We rented a double kayak on our second morning there, and managed to kayak about a quarter around Sibu Island. We even made a stop on another sandy beach, where there were loads of pretty seashells and corals for some snorkelling to be done.
The resort also had a mini basketball court, as well as a playground for children. If you are travelling with kids, you can leave your kids with the play centre, where there are staff to help engage your children in various activities such as colouring, reading, amongst others. Not to mention a lovely pristine beach for some tanning, or beach volleyball if you like!
Besides ad-hoc activities, there are daily planned excursions/trips to engage in, such as diving trips, reel fishing, jungle walks and snorkelling trips. We signed up for reel fishing and it was an interesting experience, though we didn’t get to catch any fish. 😦 The planned activities were written on the boards at the dining area the night before, so we could plan for the next day. 🙂
We had such an amazing time in Sibu Island, and two days just whizzed by in a flash. All too soon, it was time to leave – and we could hardly believe that we’d survived two days without wi-fi and cellular connection!
Sibu Island (Sea Gypsy Resort and Dive Base)
Address: Pulau Sibu, 86800 Mersing, Johor, Malaysia
Contact: +60 3-8320 3191
Please note that the resort does not operate during the monsoon period, which is between late November to March – do check with them regarding this! It is best to avoid peak periods (e.g. during school holidays, in the middle of the year etc). When we were there in mid-November, there were just a few other families, making our experience very enjoyable. We will definitely be back for more! 🙂
*This is a non-sponsored post.