First off, this is an expensive night away. But as they have an excellent record of turtle sightings, I thought it was worth it. It is much better to be organised and try and book direct or through a Malaysian agent, rather than pay pretty much double the price in UK agents.
Good sea journey to the island.
Yes, accommodation is basic but it was perfectly adequate. There were no complaints whatsoever from us. We were only in the room to sleep and shower anyway.
Spent the day on the beach - did try snorkelling. There were quite a lot of fish, but the coral was dead and the water was cloudy. I went for a walk round the island and was lucky enough to see a couple of baby turtles emerge from the sand and head down to the sea. I made sure they got in the sea ok as there was a monitor lizard lurking. It was nice to wander round the island and see all the places and tracks from the turtles nesting.
The food was ok - buffet style. Not brilliant but perfectly adequate and they are more than likely constrained by their location in the middle of the ocean. There is a small shop that sells a couple of souvenirs, but not many. They really could make money from the addition of a few more souvenirs.
There were a lot of rules at night but that is perfectly understandable.
The whole turtle experience was fantastic. Luckily the first turtle arrived at about 10 so we had a relatively early night. Nice to see them in their natural habitat and the guides tried to ensure there was minimal disturbance to the turtle. Unfortunately there was one muppet who kept on doing flash photography. Idiot!
Be warned - you were constantly asked to rotate between standing and sitting on the sand for pics when the turtle is laying or when they release the babies. I would suggest you forego the slightly better view for photography by standing all the time, as despite wearing trousers and socks, my legs were COVERED in sandfly bites the next day - these got infected and I ended up having to have several trips to the pharmacy when back on the mainland. As the only one kneeling in my group, I was the only one with bites.
When we got up the next morning, we went for a walk before breakfast on the beach and we were lucky enough to see a late turtle on the beach. Unfortunately, without the guides around, several TOTAL IDIOT tourists thought it would be acceptable to touch and stroke the turtle whilst she was laying her eggs. I asked them to stop, but they carried on regardless. The turtle then got scared by the contact, stopped laying eggs and headed back to the sea. A guide came and told us that she had been scared off as she hadnt really covered her nest. This experience really upset me and I was so angry that these stupid people potentially stopped the successful hatching of lots of baby turtles.
To be honest, I would rather have basic accommodation and have the money I pay go to the conservation of the turtles than be paying lots of money for the accommodation and little going to the turtles. So I have no complaints and was happy to pay extra to take photos etc.
Great experience! I would actually really love to work there. Would definitely return.
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- Also Known As:
- Selingan Island Hotel Pulau Selingan