Who Went? One 2yo, one 5yo, Mum and Dad, and two more families with one and two kids under five respectively.
Review: Back to basics beach holiday, without being too basic. No hassle – door to door transport arranged as part of the package. Simple huts by the beach with a bed and clean bathroom, but no AC or television to detract from the beachside feel. There was a little kid’s playground at our front door and lots of other families, and a gentle beach just right for the little ones. Meals included – set menu. Lots of kid friendly items (such as foot stools, bed rails, cots, training seats for the toilet, etc) available. Flexible schedule, plenty of opportunities for retreating, resting and splitting up.
Highlights: Bumming around on the beach. Swimming in the ocean. Playing in the playground.
Challenges: The eldest found the boat ride a little scary on the way over, but was ok with it on the return leg. No big deal.
Splitting up the dinner into kid’s tea party at 6pm and adult’s meal at 8pm didn’t work all that well for us. The youngest couldn’t go alone to the supervised after-dinner kids club and it was still too early for her to be asleep. The eldest would have been allowed at the supervised kid’s club without us but was getting to the weird end of the day and it didn’t work out in practice. So we ended up feeding four people in three different rounds (which is silly) and taking turns battling both kids single-handedly during the one time of day when we really need to unite. It would have been more enjoyable to all eat together at 6pm. We are keen to go again, but next time I will probably talk to them about having mum and dad join the earlier kids’ meal. It seems like the kind of place where they would be flexible with that (as long as we don’t mind eating from the kid’s menu, which looked fine!).
The only other negative really was that we didn’t spend long enough. There are plenty of excursions around the island/to nearby islands, especially for divers, as well as sailing and kayaking.
Price Bracket: Low. Mainly because it’s a nearby road trip (no airfares!) and we pretty much just bummed around on the beach for a couple of days. It’s not exactly in the same price bracket as somewhere like Tumpat (also in Malaysia). You would probably spend a lot more if you packed it full of drinking and escorted dives (not immediately in that order, I hope).
- 11am – pick up from our very own front door in a private vehicle.
- 1:30pm – arrive at ferry terminal
- 2pm – speed boat to island
- 2:30pm – arrive at Sea Gypsy Resort, meet up with our friends and their kids (both other families arrived a day earlier than us)
- Beach play, swimming/snorkling in the sea with the fish, playing in the playground, eating, looking at things with the travelscope,TV in kid’s club from 7:30-10pm only
- Friends departed after
- Overnight on Pulau Sibu
- Beach play, swimming/snorkling in the sea with the fish, looking at rock pools, playing in the playground, eating, looking at things with the travelscope,TV in kid’s club from 7:30-10pm only
- Friends departed after lunch
- Overnight on Pulau Sibu
- Beach play, swimming/snorkling in the sea with the fish, looking at rock pools, playing in the playground, eating, looking at things with the travelscope
- Pack bags, check out
- Depart on speedboat after early lunch
- Private vehicle back to our house, arrive home about 5pm