Category Archives: Tioman

Tioman island

What an adventure (SE Asia)


1 idea, 1 baby, 1 husband and wife, 2 backpacks, 2 daypacks, 1 buggy, 6 months, 25 weeks, 176 days, 175 nights, 6 countries, 55 destinations, 70 temporary homes, 67 guest houses, 2 friends houses, 1 tree house, 525 meals, 12 planes, 66 taxis, 11 cars, 22 buses, 17 coaches, 14 ferries, 7 MRT journeys, 6 4x4s, 23 local minibuses, 6 speedboats, 8 tourist buses, 2 rib boats, 3 x cycle rickshaws, 1 tourist boat, 4 trains, 1 horse and cart, 3 motor rickshaws, 14 sky trains, 5 underground trains, 1 canoe, 1 small wooden boat, 1 jeep, 2 tug boats, 6 long-tail boats, 38 tuk tuks, 10 saangthaew , 1 elephant, first 2 baby steps, 9 new teeth, 2 baby haircuts, 19 new words, 1 happy toddler, 1 new job, 1 new life…

…a backpack, a buggy, a baby 

1 BIG adventure.

backpacking with a baby SE Asia

Heathrow Airport aged 11 months, day 4 of our trip in Tioman, a toddling chap on China beach and 18 months old at the end of our journey.


‘The boy’s’ new friend (Tioman Island, Malaysia)


Result. Two consecutive nights of uninterrupted sleep. This cot is my new best friend and we are fast realising that maybe the bed sharing idea wasn’t a good idea.

my new babysitter

On another note the staff have taken a shine to ‘the boy’. They love to walk him around the beach café and take him off our hands. He’s in sight at all times so I decide we should make the most of it whilst we’re here.

Once the sun has gone down we take a walk to the next beach using the sling and visit the turtle conservation centre where ‘the boy’ got to see and touch a rescued turtle. Shame he won’t remember any of it.

We end the day sharing a few drinks with a lovely couple who we met on the bus from Singapore to Mersing. Travelling with a baby certainly opens conversations with people who you may not otherwise get to meet. We really enjoy finding out about other people’s traveling experiences as it opens your eyes to other places to explore.  It was a great way to finish a great beach break and luckily for us ‘the boy’ slept soundly next to us in his reclined buggy. Always a bonus!

Daddy and 'the boy' enjoy some male bonding time on the beach

Top tip of the day:
So far high chairs have been readily available but they often don’t have straps. ‘The boy’ is becoming more and more adventurous and frequently tries to escape. We’ve found that the baby walking straps that double up as high chair straps are great. They take up very little space in our daypack and we can use them later in the trip once he’s toddling around.

My back garden is a beach (Tioman Island, Malaysia)


Thirty minutes after jumping in the 4×4 and we’re in Juara. Juara is a quiet beach with a handful of varying beach resorts adorning the sea front.

We’re in luck. We opted for one of the cheapest huts at Juara beach resort and it’s right on the sand. It’s costing us £20 a night including breakfast and comes with AC, a bathroom with hot water, a kettle (essential sterilising equipment) AND BONUS, they have put a cot in the room too. Maybe tonight we’ll get a much-needed good nights sleep.

Look at my lovely new back garden

The beach is beautiful and there’s a huge tree on the sand offering all day shade. It’s the perfect set up with a baby. ‘The boy’ is content playing in the sand next to our sunbeds (shadebeds would be more appropriate!) and LOVES swimming in the sea. It’s actually proving to be very relaxing, more so than we expected. Now this really is the life…

Top tip of the day:
Take it in turns to be on baby watch so that one of you can fully unwind and read or take a walk. It really helped us to re-charge our batteries.

Three in the bed and the little one said roll over…(Tioman Island, Malaysia)


Four nights in and the trip is going brilliantly apart from one thing. Sleep

I'm alright Jack, I'm sleeping like a baby!

We contemplated taking a travel cot with us but decided that although it was lightweight it took up too much precious space.  We decided that in places where a travel cot was not available we would put him between us in the bed.

Two months ago this would have been fine. ‘The boy’ hardly moved in his sleep and would often wake up in the same spot that he’d gone to sleep 12 hours earlier. Now it’s a different story. Not only does he wriggle constantly, he turns, sits up and flops back down on the bed lying horizontally between us. I’ve either got a pair of legs or bum on top of my face, or I’m woken up by him rolling half way down the bed, in which case I’m conscious that he could catapult himself off.  I’m hoping in time he will improve but we’ll have to see.

Top tip of the day:
‘The boy’ has hardly eaten anything in the last few days. We’ve met other parents of babies and found that this is quite common with the change of temperature, time zone and food. We’ve increased ‘the boy’s’ milk quantities and make sure he gets plenty of water to keep hydrated.

City to paradise (Singapore to Tioman Island, Malaysia)


I have muscles aching in places I didn’t even know existed!

We have removed and returned our luggage and ‘the boy’ onto different modes of transport no fewer than 10 times today.

This morning we left the comforts of our friends flat and headed to Tioman Island. This is where the real experience begins. We will no longer have the luxury items and space that we’ve had for the last few days. Instead we’ll be staying in basic budget huts.

The journey comprises of 3 hours on a coach across the border into Malaysia

Our basic beach hut

a and a 2 hour ferry journey but includes the exit from Singapore and entry border control into Malaysia.

We finally arrive at ABC beach late afternoon.  Seven hours door to door and ‘the boy’ was fairly calm for most of the day. On arrival we find a basic hut for £14 a night. There’s no hot water or AC but it’s clean (ish) and we figure it will be fine for a couple of nights.

Tomorrow the beach beckons…

Top tip of the day:
The Phil and Teds wriggle band was incredibly useful today and ‘the boy’ fell asleep on my lap on both the coach and the ferry.  It’s a great piece of lightweight equipment and is proving very useful.