I kept this diary of things we have done in Singapore for 2 years. I have now moved some of it to other travel pages but you can still find links to many of our activities here. I have also created a reading list of books we have read about the region.

Western Japan

Birds in Singapore

Kuala Lumpur stopover

Thai Diving

Singapore Liveaboard

Local Residents

Beijing Summer

Diving with Sharks

Shanghai Heatwave

Taiwan Tourists

An Indian week

Where U bin?

Island hideaway

Steamy running

A Trip to the Zoo

Gardens by the Bay


Singapore walks

Mind the bus

Flower power


Early weeks


Vicky's Blog


lau TengahThe Malaysian town of Mersing is 130km from Singapore on the East Coast of the Malay peninsula and is the access point to a number of island resorts in the South China Sea. The largest of these, Pulau Tioman, has several hotels and diving operations. We choose to go instead to Batu Batu, a 22 villa boutique hotel on the private island of Pulau Tengah.

Batu Batu has only been open for a year or so when we visit in April 2013. A speedboat meets us in Mersing and whizzes us to the island in 15 minutes. We arrive on a Friday lunchtime and the resort is quiet. We are met on the jetty by Sheikh, very friendly and a relative newcomer himself. He shows us our villa - a steep climb up wooden staircases but finely positioned overlooking the sea and the mainland. Then a trip to the restaurant and bar where a welcome drink awaits. The resort is nicely laid out with walkways around the south of the island connecting the rooms and restaurant to the beach, dive shop and beach bar.

On Friday afternoon we relax on the beach, read and swim and on Saturday morning we go diving. The Dive operation is professional with a good boat and new equipment. All it lacks is ... a divemaster! The old one is leaving that day and Simon, an experienced but not fully qualifed instructor is holding the fort. As I am a qualified dive leader and we are both experienced he is happy to take us after we have signed numerous waivers for the resort!

Anenomes at Batu BatuOur dive site, Tokong Bahara, is a rocky islet next to a light beacon. It is far from land and despite the mixed weather the viz is pretty good. Current is unpredictable meaning that on both dives we drift in various directions as the current takes us. The coral gardens are very pretty - masses of staghorn coral and some fine table corals; what stands our are a multitude of huge anenomes of various colours - blue, green, orange, brown and white.

We miss the Baracuda that Simon spots and the sharks are not here today but we see plenty of smaller fish and a couple yellow and blue spotted Southern Stingrays. On the return trip in the boat our morning is completed by spotting a large turtle and a pair of dolphins lazily swimming around, popping up for air.


We would recommend Batu Batu as one of the more 'lux' Malaysian resorts. The rooms are very attractive as are the communal areas and the staff very friendly. It still needs a bit of polish and a bit more attention to detail before it can claim to be truly first rate but not bad for 12 months.

Bye Bye Batu Batu