I was at Sibu, Malaysia, soaking in the sun and the sea right in the middle of the ocean, up on a quaint authentic Kelong run by a group of young hot-blooded men – who named their fishing resort operations – HOT BOYS FISHING.
The Kelong is situated along the East Coast of Malaysia and is thus far away from any fault lines, earthquake zones and tsunami disasters. The Kelong itself has been around since 1990 which is a testament to its stability and safety. In fact, one of the young bosses told me that the best period to come would be the monsoon season, ‘cos that’s when you may be able to catch some of the best fishes!
My first fishing experience
Speaking about fishing, I for one have always thought of it as a very boring hobby. Expensive too as one has to invest in the fishing equipment, baits and all. I once joked to my friend that I have the best and cheapest hobby of all. Writing needs no other investment apart from your linguistic skills and a creative mind. All other hobbies require some form of investment – be it reading (books), singing (KTV), cycling (bike), swimming (trunks/bikini, goggles), photography (camera, prints) etc.
However, being at the kelong allows me to sample the experience of fishing, without having to fork out any money. Andy, the marketing manager at the kelong practically shoved the fishing rod to me when he heard that I have never ever fished in my entire life.
Holding the fishing rod right by the side of the kelong felt surreal. Andy helped me cast my first bait, taught me how to feel if a fish is tugging at it, and how to reel my catch in when that happens. It was quite an exhilarating and gratifying moment when I caught my very first cuttlefish. We caught two more that night.
The experience of fishing, was so simple but yet - so very extraordinary. It lingered on even after I left the place, forming unforgettable memories that I would cherished for as long as I lived.
The second day, I have my fill of mouthwatering food: Sambal sting ray, fried fish (fresh from the sea!), chicken curry, stir fry vegetables, eggs, soup and fried bee hoon. Besides fishing, reading and chatting with the staff, I have been eating non-stop ‘cos that's basically what a kelong retreat offers! I hope I have not put on any more fats around the waist!
One thing that truly touches me about the kelong is the staff. Knowing I was there by myself, they spent lots of time chatting with me, engaging me in fishing and telling me funny stories about the kelong. I have not laughed so hard in a long time.
Besides Andy, the young Kelong boss Eugene, was especially warm and hospitable. He made me feel like a Princess throughout my vacation – making sure that I eat, that I am having fun, and that I am not left alone.
He was concerned that I would feel bored - and would rope me in whenever they were playing mahjong or singing karaoke. He even took me out swimming with all the other guests at a private beach. The great thing about this is that only guests from Eugene’s kelong get to enjoy the beach because it is exclusively owned by Hot Boys Fishing. Privacy guaranteed!
I spent 4 hours sun-tanning and reading the Da Vinci Code at the kelong yesterday morning. The air was extremely crisp and fresh when I woke up at 7.30am. With the breeze stroking my hair, and the warm sun on my skin, I completed at least 30 chapters of the book! I hardly have time to do something like this – and the simplicity of it all made this moment an extremely special form of luxury.
Well, maybe you think I am bias right? So why don’t you read what other people have to say at this forum: http://www.fishingkaki.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3819
Boring? Definitely NOT!
The tranquility of being at a kelong right out in the middle of the sea would be the best reason to be here – because it gives you all the time in the world to chill out and get away from all the irritating hustle and bustle of city life.
But if you are the restless kind, and feel that you would not be able to just read and fish, then Hot Boys Fishing has set up other kinds of facilities that can help you while your time. Just so you know, including Hot Boys, there are a total of four kelongs in that vicinity. Other than the adventure and experience of rustic living, Hot Boys Fishing is the ONLY one that offers a variety of other facilities to keep their guests totally entertained.
· Fishing @Kelong (guaranteed catch!)
· Swimming (at the private beach)
· Mahjong and Card Games
· Carom Board Game
· Cable TV with a full range of channels
· Island Hopping / Swimming
· Beach soccer / Volleyball
· Karaoke by the sea in a private room with a computerized system containing 10,000 songs! - RM15 / Hour
· Pool Table - RM15 / Hour
· Play Station - RM5 / Hour
· BBQ (one week notice required) – RM25 / head
· Canoeing (seasonal)
· Snorkeling (seasonal)
· Boat Fishing (maximum of 7 persons per boat) – RM80 / Hour
Sounds fun?? You bet!
If you are on a shoestring budget, then try this unique getaway for less than S$100. Here’s how.
What’s the price tag?
2 days I Night Kelong Getaway
Adults – S$71 (inclusive of S$2 jetty entrance fee)
Extension – S$38 per night
Children – S$38 (regardless of how many nights they stay)
You will get:
· Meals – 5 meals a day, namely basic breakfast, fresh seafood lunch; fresh seafood dinner and simple supper;
· Jetty entrance fees;
· All sea transport
· Free flow ice and sotong bait;
· Free flow coffee, tea and water; and
· All of the “Kelong Activities” mentioned above which are free of charge!
** Please note that a 50% deposit is payable on confirmation of your booking.
How do I get there?
Land transport to Hot Boys Fishing Kelong is provided by their third-party transport vendor, and subject to availability.
· Private Car – up to 3 pax @ S$135 per car
· Minibus – up to 10 pax @ S$270 per bus
· Minibus – up to 12 pax @ S$320 per bus
· Coach – up to 42 pax @ S$850 per coach
The abovementioned prices are for 2-way travel. The transport can pick you up from any location in Singapore and send you back thereafter! How convenient right?
Should you wish to drive up on your own, the route is straight forward and easy. Hot Boys Fishing offers its own private car park, complete with security gantry, parking space and guards on 24-hour patrol. Ask Hot Boys Fishing for directions and map!
Details to Note
You should try to reach Tanjung Lehman Jetty by 9.30a.m. Which means – you have to get all your lazy asses out of Singapore around 6.30am, taking into consideration the causeway jam and traveling time of about 2 to 2.5 hours.
The kelong is a 25-minute ride from the jetty. Personally, I love the bumboat ride because you can really soak in the panoramic view of the vast ocean and let the cool icy breeze massage your face and hair. Super turn on, I must say...... Haha...
Who do you call?
Hot Boys Fishing la, not Ghostbusters!
Just in case you wanna go there on your own for a secret rendezvous, you can contact Hot Boys Fishing at:
Website: http://www.kelongfishing.com/ (Some of the info has not been updated yet. My blog is the most updated – at this point in time! :P)Online booking: http://wilkit/kelongform
Kelong Getaway anyone?
So – after reading all that wonderful stuff that I have written above, are you guys itching to go already? Maybe I should organize a Bloggers’ Kelong Getaway next weekend!
Well, drop me a note and let me know if you are keen. If we can round up 10 people, here’s how much it will cost per person:
2 days 1 Night Bloggers’ Kelong Getaway for S$98 ONLY
S$71 + S$27 (transport: $270/10 pax) = S$98
A holiday for less than $100, as promised! If you would like to extend one more night, it’s only going to cost you a total of S$136 (extension at only S$38 per night)!
Meanwhile, watch this space for my story on the little accident I had @the Kelong.
…to be continued