Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Night to Remember

Continuation from Cherating Day 2...

After napping for about 1 hour, I was dragged out of the cosy hotel bed by daddy and mummy. While I was asleep, they had planned a spontaneous trip to a special place. Well-equipped with mobile Internet and a GPS, they were raring to go while I was still groggy and in a daze because of my interrupted sleep.

I wasn't too keen on their idea so I continued sleeping in the car for another 1 hour or so while daddy drove around looking for the place.

This was where we were going

After successfully finding the place, we turned back to Chukai town for an early dinner because we couldn't find anything to eat in the nearby kampung area.


Our very, very simple and so-so dinner in Hai Peng, a kopitiam in Chukai town

We returned to the firefly sanctuary, simply called Kelip-kelip Sungai Yak Yah in Ibok (about 22km from Legend Resort, Cherating)

One of these fibreglass boats took us on the firefly river cruise

The mangrove river

As we were early, we waited at the carpark for our guide until the sky turned dark. It was rather scary waiting in a totally deserted, pitch black forest. The whole place wasn't lighted up at all. We waited in the car and from the car, we noticed that the surrounding trees were illuminated with thousands of flickering dots! Those were the fireflies that we've been waiting to see. What a sight to behold!

It was only after Pakcik Ghani (our guide) arrived that we dared to alight from the car. Pakcik Ghani must have laughed in his heart when he saw daddy leaping and running around, apparently trying to catch a firefly for me to have a closer look. A few minutes later, Pakcik Ghani handed me a bottle (held upside down, uncapped) with about 10 fireflies in it...

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Fireflies in a bottle... caught by Pakcik Ghani the firefly expert (video not very clear but it was very much brighter in real)

Wearing a life-jacket for the first time, ready to go for our river cruise (still holding the bottle of fireflies, which we later released)

Pakcik Ghani maneuvered the boat very close to the trees so that we could watch the fireflies close-up... many even landed on our clothes, heads and limbs. What a magical experience!

Hey, a firefly at the tip of my middle finger!

The firefly river cruise was beautiful beyond description. Too bad, our camera was unable to capture the magnificent scene.

"When thousands, if not millions, of fireflies get together, the result is a wondrous symphony of lights that is truly a sight to behold. The memory of these ‘Christmas trees’ lining the mangrove riverbanks of the river can often be cherished only in one’s mind, as it quite difficult to capture the scene in photograph".

The above is quoted from Kemamanguide.com, the website where we "found" Pakcik Ghani.

After watching the fireflies, we drove and tailed Pakcik Ghani's car to Pantai Teluk Mak Nik (Monica Bay) just a few kilometres away for turtle-watching. I grumbled a bit and told mummy I wasn't interested in turtle-watching citing boring as the main reason. I wanted to go back to the hotel instead. Both daddy and mummy turned a deaf ear haha.

We were told that there were around 5 turtles laying eggs on the beach that night (peak season). While turtle-watching, there were strict rules to adhere to. Flash photography was prohibited and we were also not allowed to make too much noise or walk about lest we distract the mother turtle. To take photos of the turtles, we just had to make do with the very limited lightning provided by the rangers' torchlights.

Mama turtle laying eggs

Holding freshly laid eggs (photo taken at a corner far away from the mother turtle)

The turtle and us (pic not very clear because it was too dim... mummy is in this pic but she's hardly visible at all)

Next, we were given the opportunity to release newly hatched baby turtles into the sea. We did this away from the mother turtles so flash photography was permitted here.

These 3-hour-old hatchlings were really hyperactive!

Eeeeeee so CUTE!


Gently stroking a baby turtle with one finger... it felt rubbery/leathery

After holding and playing with the baby turtles, we lowered them on the ground so that they could crawl back to the sea. I even took a baby turtle from the basket on my own and surprised daddy and mummy with my "bravery" haha.

See, I'm holding a baby turtle!

Ready, get set, go!! Releasing the baby turtles with our tour mates (a young couple). 

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Bye-bye baby turtle... I miss you!

I loved this experience so much that I kept repeating how much I missed the baby turtles. I told mummy "it's not boring after all". When we bade farewell to the last baby turtle, it was already 1am! We returned to the hotel at 1:30am and finally went to bed at 2am. Luckily I was fully-charged after a 2 hour+ nap earlier on. Oh what a day!

16 comments:

  1. wow...you are so lucky to found turtle lay eggs. Hard to see nowadays

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  2. Chloe, you're a lucky girl~ I havent seen/touch a baby turtle before ler!! *envious*

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  3. this is such a wonderful experience. wish we can see all that without having to drive to the east coast :)

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  4. so good! i never experience this before. You are so lucky that your parent bring you over there. happy for you.

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  5. This is what I've always wanted to do. Watch the kelip-kelip in thousands! Such a wonderful experience to watch the turtles laying eggs and touching those babies! Your timing's really good!

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  6. I love fireflies! It's been ages since I last saw them in my area... They left after so much of tree cutting and development :(

    Once, I saw a firefly and showed it to my daughter. She never seen any before *jakun* How I wish to visit the sanctuary and refresh all my childhood memories.

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  7. Seeing the turtle laying eggs with my own eyes was one of my DREAM! I still don't have the chance to do it.

    A very suitable title for this post! haha

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  8. Cool la. I think must be the weekend. During the weekdays..so quiet the town. I myself would love the turtle activity. For kelip-kelip, can go Kuala Selangor too.

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  9. Pity U couldn't bring a baby turtle home, Chloe!

    Good educational trip for u.Next time when ur teacher teaches about all this, u can tell her...been there, done that!

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  10. What a great experience! Gwen saw the pics of the turtles and she said she wants to go wor. Is the turtle beach in trengganu? Sounded so far from cherating.

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  11. what a lovely experience!!! I would love to go there to :-)

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  12. It was indeed very amazing experience. I like the video of the bay turtle crawling back to the sea. I have never see turtle laying eggs before. My first time see firefly was in Gold Coast, the fireflies there macam don't fly one..

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  13. wah....we always go to Kemaman just for Kemaman coffee ler, but hubby din tell me about this place. Bet he don't know about firefly himself!

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  14. eh so nice! so shiok get to see all these live! love the family pic with the turtle :)

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  15. Chloe will sure grow up wise and adventurous with constant nurturing frm the nature!^^

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  16. Wah really nice experience to you Chloe. I enjoy watching fireflies once at Kuala Selangor. Fireflies full on the tree look alike Xmas tree. Oh turtle laying egg, this is awesome experience. I never watch this b4.

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