Island Hopping Adventure: Pulau Papan

Hello everyone! Thank you for all the birthday wishes. πŸ™‚

On my birthday, Boifren treated me to luxuriate in the blue waters of South China Sea, namely on Kuraman Island. But he’s a bad travel planner and didn’t research so after walking around mindlessly in Labuan looking for information, we ended up going to Pulau Papan instead. It was very annoying walking around under the hot sun in a foreign city when you’re already in a beachy mood. More annoying is that all that walking and wasting of time could’ve been avoided with proper research before we left! Hmmph. I was definitely not happy about that!

Anyway, it all began when Boipren picked me up from home at the ungodly hour of 645am. Actually he came at about 620am but I was not up yet cause my alarm clock did not go off!!! Horrors!!! So I woke up on my birthday, to the sound of my mum banging on my bedroom door. Rushed to the Ferry Terminal in Muara and thankfully there wasn’t so much traffic. Phew!

This is Boifren, he ate all my animal crackers.

When we arrived there, so pleased to discover that there’s a NEW Ferry Terminal in Serasa! Rushed to the ticketing counters and realised all the rushing was for nothing! They’re not open yet, and the earliest ferry only leaves at 830am. Hmmph! Planning fail! However, quite a number of people were already there, and while waiting for the counters to open, I occupied myself by taking photos.

The earliest ferry is at 8am, by the MV Seri Anna, a catamaran ferry. However, we didn’t go on that ferry because…

As of 23rd January 2010, they have discontinued their services until “further notice”. No reason was given. So we can only go on Suria Express. There was also some information on the MV Shuttle Hope, the infamous ferry that goes from Muara to Menumbok.

Then suddenly the Suria counter next to the Hope counter opened!

We were the first to buy them tickets. Yeay! To purchase, you need a passport.

They cost B$15 one way, so B$30 for a return trip. You also need to pay a Passenger Service Charge of B$2 per person.

Long line behind us.

It was 753am and we had 40 minutes to go.

Found out there’s a daily bus to Lawas every 10am.

At 815am, it was finally time to leave.

Here’s Suria.

As we sat waiting to leave, they put on Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. I like! First time watching it too. Hehe.

Other people next to us.

Half an hour later we’re still not moving! :S Nonnie would have been furious if she’s on this ferry!

Finally we left and very soon were out in the open sea.

About an hour later we spotted a ship. We’re finally nearing Labuan!

Blue waters means we’re in Labuan!

Went through immigration.

Saw the world! This photo was outside the International Ferry Terminal, while waiting for Boi to change money.

After some initial confusion and walking around that I refuse to discuss further, we confirmed a trip to Pulau Papan, instead of Kuraman.

We went on this fancy yellow boat, for RM80. Price is for a return trip. However, if you could collect more than 5 people it’ll only be about RM15 per person.

When I first arrived in Pulau Papan, I felt very angry with Labuan, or more specifically Labuan Tourism. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the ultra efficient way the KK Tourism is handling their island hopping tours, but I can’t help but feel how disorganised the whole thing is! There is very little information on how to get there, or what happens when we get there. You may think that they’ve dedicated all their energies into Kuraman, but actually, even for Kuraman it’s pretty vague lah.

I know that it’s pretty much the same with Brunei Tourism, perhaps even worse. But we have a murky dark waters owing to the natural sedimentation of the seabed.

Labuan on the other hand is blessed with clear blue waters! Beautiful coral! White sands! What potential, makes me very sad.

You dare tell me that’s not beautiful!

Anyway, Pulau Papan was absolutely deserted when we were there. Felt like our own haunted little island. Hehe.

Splashy splashy!

Also went to take underwater photos.

Also took photos of fishes and coral!

After three hours of frolicking in the water, was pretty tired and burnt! So rested and lazed around until our boat finally came to pick us up. πŸ™‚

I like that it’s number 86. Hehe. Guess whose year of birth that is? Anyway, our boat driver is from Lambak Kanan. What are the odds right? Thought that was quite funny.

Back to the main land. This photo looks like a scene from CSI Miami. Hehe.

Back at the Ferry Terminal, we’re not going to Sipitang, but paying Port Tax. Hehe.

Tax costs RM5.

At 3pm finally boarded the Suria.

Then finally left Labuan. They put on another Indiana Jones movie for the trip home, but made me very sleepy. So napped. The waves were quite big and Boifren got seasick. I think, it feels like being on the Second Floor of Nippon Maru on a normal day hehe.

Back to the land of dark green waters.

What tan lines? πŸ˜› Yes is extremely sunburnt!!! Applying some aloe vera every hour. Hurts ok! But I enjoy being this colour. πŸ™‚

Saw the Sultan on the way home!

Ahhh… yes day ended very nicely I think. πŸ™‚ Happy birthday to me.

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10 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday Mau!

    I don’t know why (maybe I do know why) but when I received your new blog post notification by email, I saw JAPAN in “Pulau Papan”. Everything else didn’t register. I think I like Japan so much I’m experiencing withdrawals. =)

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    1. Hehe thanks Jan. πŸ™‚ I miss Japan everyday too. Sniff sniff. Sometimes even a vending machine reminds me of Japan. BTW do u know it’s snowing in Tokyo now? Weird. Weather is all wacky.

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  2. Yes Nonnie will be really mad if the boat doesn’t move after 15mins (max). That’s my tolerance level on transport i guess.

    At least GD make an effort to make your birthday memorable kan!

    Oh ya, you look sexy in lobster red.

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  3. I see Sea Urchins in your underwater pics. U shud’ve yanked some and see if it attacked u. They’re very delicious though!

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