South Port has changed a lot since the last time Papa and Mommy went there. That time (in 2006), we were married already but Mommy did not plan to get pregnant yet. These are the changes since 2006: (i) the ferry tickets are no longer sold in the jetty building itself, instead they are sold via the ferry conductor when you are already seated in the ferry, (ii) a new extension jetty dedicated only to Pulau Ketam trips has been built and this new wing of jetty is something like 1km away from the old jetty building, and (iii) the old jetty building now becomes the waiting area for ferry trips to certain districts (Dumai in Riau and Tanjung Balai Asahan) in Sumatra, Indonesia (so you can expect to see a lot of Indonesian immigrants waiting there).
Papa parked at the new wing jetty (RM3 for parking), and we walked to the actual waiting area. Unfortunately, there was no signboard whatsoever to indicate the timing of the ferries, instead there was signboard indicating the ferry's fare! *Does that sound like Chinamen's way of doing business? Money, money, money only and no other proper information!* ^_^ The fare (one way only) for adult is RM7 and children RM4. However, the ferry operator did not define children of what age to be chargeable. There were other people waiting for the ferry too and when Mommy asked one of them whether she knew the timing of the ferries (perhaps she is a local?), she shrugged her shoulders and said she would merely wait until the next ferry arrived. So with an uncertain waiting time (it was 10am then), Mommy managed to take some photos at the jetty.
These are snapshots of the jetty. See the plump lady in light blue T-shirt and a little girl in pink dress? She was the lady that Mommy asked about the ferry's timing. This jetty looks 'funny' because shortly after the roofed walkway part, the large waiting area is built without any roof for shelter and shade! Funny, isn't it?
And of course, not to forget too are photos of Juan Or and Papa waiting at the jetty....
...and a scenary of the South Port itself.
Finally after about 15 minutes' wait, a ferry arrived at the jetty, and this type of ferry, the open-air type, is the one fancied by Papa to ride on (rather than the air-conditioned ferry). After asking the ferry man, turned out this ferry was not heading towards Pulau Ketam. But then, Mommy could see passengers coming out from the ferry, so how can it not be from Pulau Ketam? So both Papa and Mommy hypothesized that this open-air type of ferry probably only catered to their Pulau Ketam locals and that maybe the open-air and air-conditioned ferry operators must have some sort of agreement and arrangement about what kind of passengers to carry.
Finally at 10.30am, the air-conditioned ferry arrived and we hopped in. The ferry did not start to move until 10.45am. When going into the ferry, Mommy saw a signboard in the ferry itself indicating the ferry's timing. Apparently there is supposed to be a ferry trip in every 1 hour's time and the sailing off time is at 9.45am, 10.45am, 11.45am, 12.45pm and so on.
The ferry conductor came and Papa paid tickets only for two adults and Juan Or's ride was for FREE! Juan Or had a good time looking out of the ferry's window - looking at the ships, barges, buoys, and even the waves formed from the moving ferry!
We passed by the morning market area of Pulau Ketam, to which most of the traders were already packing up their stuff because it was almost noon already.
And turned out too, Monday is the worst day to visit Pulau Ketam if you intend to eat seafood there. We had hard luck - all the seafood restaurants were closed that day. What's left were only the small stalls and coffee shops that cater for the locals. What to do? So no choice, we ate char kuey teow and drank barley water for lunch, altogether for RM9. By the way, Juan Or refused to eat any char kuey teow, but only took some sips of the barley water.
Here are some snapshots of Pulau Ketam. We didn't really walk our way deep into the island because the sun was very, very hot and Juan Or already showed some sign of sleepiness when we got out from the ferry just now.
We saw a big slithery lizard too.