While it is a car ride away for most of us to get vaccinated, the story goes a little differently for Nur Nadirah Sakinah.
This girl on Pfizer took a fun and exciting speed boat ride as though she is on an island-hopping vacation but she was actually headed to the vaccination centre in Pulau Tinggi, Mersing. Just as all of us have missed the pre-covid holiday experience, Nadirah too relishes the opportunity to enjoy breath-taking scenery on a thrilling speed boat ride.
She is even more pleased to finally have her second dose of vaccination! There's another reason apart from the obvious reason which we will tell you towards the end of the article.
Nur Nadirah Sakinah Mohamed Zainudin works with a travel agency based in Mersing, a coastal town in Johor, Malaysia. Since May 2021, Malaysia has seen a resurgence of the Covid-19 infection rates. Like many other countries, the tourism industry is forced to shut its doors until it is safe to travel again.
While waiting for restrictions to be lifted, Nadirah has been living with her grandparents at their village in one of the most untouched and secluded islands in Malaysia. Her story has provided us with some insight into this amazing island call Pulau Tinggi!
Pulau Tinggi is part of the Johor Marine Park which consists of 13 islands in a sea-zoned area. According to Nadirah, Pulau Tinggi is not your typical resort island. There are no roads and hence, no vehicles. Not even motorcycles are used as a mode of transportation on this island. Here at Pulau Tinggi, the main transport for the islanders is speed boats. Yes, even to travel around the island, you hop into a speed boat!
Psst! Not sure about you, but Pulau Tinggi already sounds like the next best travel destination to us!
Nadirah's grandparents live in a village called Kampung Teluk Tigi and the PPV (Covid vaccination centre) for the Pulau Tinggi community is located at Chalet Tok Mok in Kampung Tanjung Balang. Nadirah informed that it is about a 10 to 15 minutes boat ride, followed by a short 10-minute walk from the jetty to the PPV.
Villagers who live on the island would normally take a 30-40 minutes boat ride to get to Tanjung Leman town in Mersing to buy their necessities.
During her time with her grandparents who are now in their 70's, Nadirah shared that she spends most of her free time by the beach, go out fishing and visits the durian farm during the fruits season.
Pulau Tinggi is popular for fishing, snorkelling, jungle trekking, island hopping and other water sports activities.
In searching for places where visitors can stay on the island, it seems that the options are limited to Shaz Resort, Chalet Tok Mok and Tad Marine Resort for now. However, there are more resorts options in Mersing and other surrounding islands such as Pulau Sibu that can arrange trips to Pulau Tinggi for their guests.
Thanks to Nadirah's story and her unusual transportation to get vaccinated we're getting to know this incredible offshore island in Malaysia that seems like a perfect beach getaway once it is safe to travel again!
Also, congratulations to Nadirah and her family who have finally completed their second dose of vaccination. With full vaccination soon becoming a criterion for entrance to public premises all around, Nadirah can't wait to be able to dine in at a restaurant again.
One of the things she has missed the most during the pandemic is having sushi! She shared that the last time she had sushi was in 2020.
“There are barely any eateries here at Pulau Tinggi, what more to say a sushi restaurant. Everyone here cooks at home. If you want to satisfy your sushi cravings, you need to take a speed boat to Tanjung Leman jetty. From there, it is another 40-minute car ride to Mersing town where there's sushi,” she said.
Well, with the majority of the population being vaccinated already in Malaysia, here's looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, and here at WADD, we hope this "Girl of Pfizer" will be getting her sushi soon enough!
As for tourism in Malaysia, there has been progression as well. Malaysia's Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry recently announced to reopen travel to Langkawi for fully vaccinated domestic tourists from September 16 under a pilot travel bubble programme. Fingers crossed, if all goes well, more resort islands can be reopen as well. We know Pulau Tinggi is now on our to-travel list!
In the meantime, continue to take all precautions to stay safe. Be sure to protect yourself and others if you plan to travel once the restrictions are lifted!