When you mention kelong, we probably think of the days long gone or some seafood restaurant in Pulau Ubin or Changi. However, I had the chance to visit a kelong (resort) in Pulau Sibu months ago.
Being stationed in Tekong for at least a year, the whole trip felt familiar. The long ride to Tanjung Leman to board a boat to the kelong is just like the ride to SAF Ferry Terminal or taking that harbour launch across Selat Johor during the wee hours (with the inseparable smell of fuel).
Here's the “bunk”
Not to mention the fluorescent lights powered by rambling generators and stuck in the middle of the sea is not so different from those nights I spent in an ulu training shed on the reclaimed land. All these were just too familiar.
However, food was good (you can read up more here) although those brightly-coloured plastic plates just reminded me of cookhouse tableware. There is even night snack.
A kelong stay is perfect for two kinds of people, those who love to fish the whole day or those who simply wishes to get away from the concrete jungle.
Fishing can be quite gruesome.
It was a very peaceful stay and at night the sky was filled with stars and at other times of the day the combination of dramatic looking clouds, the sea and green islands in the horizon makes a picturesque setting.
You could spot another kelong on the horizon. There are at least 3 other kelongs nearby too.
Included in the package are dorm-style beds and a western-style toilet with (cold) showers. It is no-frills at Wing Sing Kelong and 5 meals are included in the price.
The structure at Wing Sing Kelong was a result of several modifications. Part of the kelong has a wooden structure with thatched roof while other parts uses zinc roofing, this is definitely not your Aman-sibu here so frequent flyers who whine about champagne and picky people should think twice.
Overall, it was a worthwhile experience. It was a joy watching other people fish. Furthermore, the kelong is more than just an ordinary lodging. It is also the workplace and living quarters of the fishermen. You could witness how they carry outing fishing and on top of that, the scenery was gorgeous.