Beach bum for four days!

Gemia Island

Gemia Island has only one resort and a neighbour in the form of Kapas Island. It is privately owned and thus, sees only a handful of visitors at one time, which is excellent if you’re interested in looking for an island that will offer you a good yet quiet time away from the mob. If you’re on a tight budget, forget about Gemia Island – your wallet will suffer a huge setback from just the food alone. Also, if you’re looking for a more active nightlife like a karaoke session or a bar that’s crowded with people, forget about the island too. You’re better off at Perhentian where bars are filled with people…and more noise too. Come here only if you’re rich, like the quiet and like being lazy (or a beach bum).

The water villas

There are no rooms here; your most basic of accommodations are in the form of Water Villas – they look like rooms in a longhouse but facing the open sea and naturally, Kapas Island’s beaches. Contrary to what you would expect of a longhouse styled building, the Water Villas are private and oh-so-wonderfully exquisite. Sounds of ocean waves lashing against the rocky shore greet you day and night, not to mention tiny schools of hungry fish hoping to catch a bite during either breakfast or lunch or dinner. I usually feed them during breakfast though.

Longhouse styled Water Villas Side lounge sofa The bed One of the mirrors and a basin for washing up The view

All rooms come with a TV, mini-fridge, ensuite shower & toilet, a safe, two nice big mirrors, a side lounge sofa, a double bed complete with wonderful fluffy pillows and a mozzie net, plus a balcony complete with a rattan chair and a loveseat. Don’t worry about the heat though – you have the option of air-con AND fan if you can’t make up your mind. Excellent combo, if you ask me, for sleeping the nights away after getting sunburnt. By the way, the view from the rooms are wonderful…at least they were better than a view of other chalets or worse, a wall. -.- Housekeeping was a gem too even though it would have been better to leave me my towels in order to save water; I liked the fact that they come every morning to sweep the sandy floor (after a trip to the beach, what do you expect?) and fluff the bed to get rid of more sand.

The view from our room during sunset

So what do you do there after chomping down on your meals? There is the usual snorkelling, which is a good option considering that you don’t have to go very far to see some marine life (just a few feet from shore will do). You could do like what I did and sneak out some bread to feed the fish later. No one will bat an eyelash. Then there is the sun tanning session on the beach. Don’t forget to slap on some tanning lotion or sunblock every few hours. The sun here can be very brutal.

A view from the highest point on Gemia Island Feeding the fishies Struggling with the hammock Tusitsa spa

There is also a spa on the island that offers some form of pampering and relaxation but note one thing though: it’s not just for the ladies. A good many male guests have entertained themselves in its spa rooms and I don’t mean the notty kind of entertainment. Pure heavily bliss induced by a masseur’s expert and deft touch. I took two spa packages; both included a one-hour to one and half hour massage followed by a half hour soak in the outdoor tub. Esther was my spa therapist and boy oh boy, was she good! Those 25 years of experience really made the difference. The surroundings were very tasteful and relaxing – you could hear the ocean from where you were and feel the breeze too, not to mention smell the aromas of oils, herbs and what-nots. The view from the outdoor jacuzzi is not too bad as well and there is just something about feeling as if you were the only one on this island.

Spa house Inside the therapy rooms The outdoor tub

Two-hour spa packages start from RM250 onwards (they usually include an hour of massage, half hour of scrub/compress and a final half hour of soaking in a tub) and there are special daily promotions going for RM100. If you like something for your feet, those start from RM55 onwards and therapies range from a simple manicure and pedicure to an all-round pampering session for your hands and feet. I’d recommend their aftersun spa package designed for those beach bums who suffered a burn or two. Their aftersun gel is excellent stuff!

The view from inside the spa tub

I can now boast to having seen a dugong – something my parents can’t even jokingly brag about. It is a very rare sight as these gentle creatures are one of the endangered species of marine life in Malaysia. One of the guys who uses Gemia Island as a turtle sanctuary (he came out recently in the newspapers) rescued this poor creature that first strayed from his pod; second, got injured after being cut by propeller blades of boats nearby; and lastly, refused to eat out of fear and stress. Being an opportunist when it comes to taking pics, I took a video of one of the feeding sessions, of course, from the sidelines.

The view from the main beach

Anyway, the Fishery Dept – after talking to them – will move the pup to a better facility (s/he is now residing in the Gemia Wellness Spa & Island Resort swimming pool) within this month since the monsoon will be hitting the island then. They will then decide what to do and hopefully it’ll be good news for the little creature. Just some info, dugongs feed primarily on sea grass and you can see more of them around Johor – there are very little patches of sea grass around Kapas and Gemia island. Cuts around the body do not hurt since dugongs have a thick layer of blubber under the skin. The area around the nose and mouth are sensitive though.

Btw, I’m referring to Puteri Kapas – she made the papers on Sunday. Now lets hope she’ll be alright.

Overall, it was a nice place – I really enjoy the quiet atmosphere – and certainly worth another trip. Hopefully by then, the food won’t be that expensive anymore. πŸ˜‰

A view of the other side of the island

Overall damage for two people?
Room & board for 4D/3N: approx RM1600 (includes transfer from hotel to jetty)
Misc charges: RM650 for two spa packages, two drinks and three dishes (for lunch on the last day)
Bus tickets: approx RM50 per person (KUL-KTG-KUL)

More pics here.

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  1. It sounds blissfully peaceful. Hmm..can’t wait for my next island trip when I come back next year.

    [Don’t forget to invite me too unless your better half is going with you la. Don’t want to be a lamppost in that case. πŸ˜‰ ]

  2. You could do like what I did and sneak out some bread to feed the fish later. No one will bat an eyelash

    Do you know feeding fish with bread is one of the leading causes of coral death in Malaysia?

    The fish don’t eat all the bread which then falls to the coral and attaches itself, this attracts algae which grows covering the coral and eventually killing it..

    Sorry to pick out a negative point, looks like a great trip πŸ™‚

    [OH! New info for me. Luckily they finished the bread – I made sure of it! πŸ˜‰ ]

  3. gorgeous! i wonder if it beats redang. because redang was very much already a paradise to me.

    [Hm. I dunno. Only islands I’ve been to are Perhentian and Tioman – as far as I can remember. I heard Redang is more packed with families and stuff. Kinda nice if you are into activities. This is a quiet place…can be too quiet for some. @.@ ]

  4. heya,
    chanced upon your website while researching on Gemia for my malaysia trip this end may. Anyway, how are the beaches there at Gemia island? White sands? and clear waters for swimming?

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