You'll arrive on Tioman in the
little kampung of Tekek by plane or by boat. Tioman Island is located off the
shores of Johor state in Malaysia.
It's the largest in a group of 64 volcanic islands. The legend goes, that Tioman
is the final resting place of a fabled dragon princess who had turned herself
into the island. The story is, that the princess was on the way to Singapore
from China and had stopped by the area to admire its charms. She became so
enraptured with its beauty that she decided not to continue with her journey and
turned herself into Tioman, remaining to be a place of shelter and comfort to
The island is about 24 miles from
the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, with three of its peaks rising to about
1,000 metres (some 3,000 feet) and visible far out in the South China Sea. Much
of its 44 square miles is covered with tropical rain forest. A narrow coastal
strip is partly cultivated, and on it are found small villages and settlements,
with a local resident population.
to sunbathe on its lovely beaches and splash around in its warm, equatorial
waters. As scuba diving became a more popular and accessible sport, Tioman also
became a popular diving destination stop off. The growing influx of divers led
to the Pahang State Fisheries Department establishing a full-time marine park
centre in Kampung Tekek where underwater activities are closely monitored by
park rangers to ensure that conservation rules are adhered to. These
restrictions have contributed towards the conservation of its marine
environment. Recent changing climatic conditions have helped as well.
The waters around
the island are fairly clear divers can expect better visibility conditions in
other waters, but one can generally expect between five and 10-metre visibility
around Tioman. This, however, does not detract from the beauty of its coral
reefs, which are a veritable underwater garden of colourful marine life.
When you scuba dive and
snorkel on Pulau Tioman, be sure to bring along a camera. The neon hues of
parrot fish, butterfly fish, Napoleon fish and silver snappers swimming amid
a colourful sea garden are well worth capturing on film. Pulau Tioman's
oasis of coral and tropical fish can also be viewed without ever getting
wet. Round the island, tours are available on glass bottom boats operated by
Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort. The waters around the island also offer plenty
of adventure for sportsmen wishing to windsurf, canoe, sail or fish; your
choice of catamarans, canoes, sailboats and fishing rods may be easily hired
snorkelling are generally done around the reefs of Pulau Tulai, Pulau Renggis,
Pulau Sepoi and Pulau Labas. For the more adventurous, there are the underwater
caves around Pulau Chebeh to explore.
The water around the island also offer
visitors other fun filled water sports like water skiing and jet skiing with Salang, Juara, Air Batang and Bunut being among its best beaches.
is the most important village on the island. Here is the jetty, coming from
Mersing or Singapore, and the airport is there.
Near the jetty is a row of food stalls
beside the road, selling mainly local dishes like nasi lemak, roti canai,
fried rice, and drinks.
Over a bridge there is a 2-storey building selling souvenirs and more food
and to the left of this is the airport. Just a stones throw from the bridge
is also the islands only clinic.
From the clinic, the road leads all the way to the upmarket Berjaya resort
with its own private beach and golf course. But for those of you who prefer
a cheaper chalet or room, there are a number of small resorts and hotels on
There are also a few Chinese seafood
restaurants on the way to Berjaya Resort, towards the southern end of Tekek.
Otherwise, there is always the resort restaurant.
Just outside Pesona Island Resort in Kampong Tekek, there is a "Cheers" Souvenir
shop, which sells films, souvenirs, drinks and insect repellent if required.
They also rent bicycles at RM25 per day or RM5 er hour and motorbikes for RM85
per day or RM15 per hour. There is an internet caf just down the road from
Cheers souvenir shop which also has colour printers.
there are about 4 restaurants, and the two of these that we tried served very
decent food. You can get seafood barbequed daily, and one of them does a great
BBQ'd half chicken. While we didn't drink the tap water, drinks with ice in them
and made with water seemed fine and didn't cause us any problems....yet!!! The
most popular bar, Four-S Cafe, has a good atmosphere and is a good place to meet
up with other visitors on the island, and you also get a few locals drinking
here. Tiger is RM6, Heineken and Carlsberg are RM5, all 330ml cans. The bar
owner loves his music, and does requests. When Four-S Cafe closes at 1 a.m.,
another bar opens up on the far end of the beach (look for the flashing light),
and this bar stays open until everyone goes to bed or when the sun begins to
There's a new road going to Kampong Juara.
The road starts Kampong Tekek. The road looks more like a dried up stream.
It's bumpy, it's treacherous and it's narrow. When we went, we took the a
4WD jeep for RM35 per person per way. And a wise choice too. Along the way,
we saw people falling off their motorbikes and hurting themselves pretty
badly. Although there are motorbike 'taxis' for hire at RM25 per person per
way. We suggest that you pay a little bit more for a jeep hire. Only thing
is that for jeeps, you may have to wait for some time for seats to fill
before they leave. Ask around at the jetty for the jeep to Kampong Juara or call the owner Kennet at 013 - 780 9543.
Another route to Juara would be to hire a sea taxi for about
RM150 - RM160 a boat from Salang or Tekek which will take you right to the
resorts' doorstep. The going rates fro sea taxis are a little strange - if a
minimum of 2 persons charter a sea taxi across to Juara, it'll cost RM60 each
However, if it is more than 2 persons then they
charge RM30 to RM50 per person depending on the numbers. The boat ride takes
about 40 minutes to 1 hour from Salang or Tekek depending on the weather.
Getting to Juara is not easy nor cheap though. As single travellers, many
actually attempt to cross the Tioman hills via a trek that has been carved into
the belly of the island. It's a old open path hacked through the jungle during
the 2nd World War by the Japanese.
The trek runs from Tekek to Juara and takes approximately 3 hours to
complete. According to travellers the most affordable way round it would be to dump most of
your heavy gear at Tekek. Some left their heavy rucksacks with dive centres
which they dived with and trekked over with overnighters. The trek can get
pretty tricky at some parts where incline can be as steep as 75 degrees. Once
you get to the peak, coming down over the Juara side is sort of aided by a
concrete path winding all the way to kampong Juara.
beautiful 'playground' is a 18-holes golf course at the Tioman Island Golf
It is built alongside the blue waters of South China Sea.
You can simultaneously witness the swaying palm trees whilst you have a game
Number of Holes
Weekend - RM100.00
set - RM50.00
Shoes - RM10.00
Buggy - RM40.00 (weekdays)
- RM50.00 (weekend)
Putting practice - RM15.00 (15 green balls)
Island Golf Club
Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort
Pahang Darul Makmur
Tel : 609-419 1000
Fax: 609-419 1718
Diving trips and lessons can be arranged at Tioman Dive Center (in Tekek
and Minang Cove Resort),
Bali Hai Dive Center (Kampung Panuba), Dive Asia (Tekek, Salang and Air Batang) en B & J Dive Center (in Kampung Salang).
Tioman has some of the best dive sites in
the South Asian region. With 18 dive sites to choose from they can offer exiting
dive sites for newcomers as well as more challenging dive spots for experienced
divers. In the close range there are12 spots where you can go to on your daily
The underwater landscape is of granite rock, a perfect ground for coral growth
which provides shelter and food for fishes and other marine life. Come and
explore the swim-throughs at Labas, swim along the dense fan coral garden at Fan
Canyon or enjoy the soft corals on one of our wrecks.
Tioman offers you a large diversity of hard, soft corals and sponge corals.
GETTING TO TIOMAN
(to Mersing point)
Transnasional buses (Tel:
603-20311430 / 607-7993155) ply the Kuala Lumpur Mersing route several
times a day. Buses leave from the Pudu Sentral Bus Station next to the
Chinatown area in Kuala Lumpur and you need to physically get your tickets
from the ticket counter there.
Buses are normally at 9 am,
10 am, 10 pm and 11 pm and takes 6 hours to Mersing. The bus' LAST stop is
the Plaza R & R which is right next to the Mersing Ferry Point.
(Driving - From KL to Mersing point)
If you are driving from
Kuala Lumpur, a suggested route would be via Seremban and Kuala Pilah,
passing Bandar Muadzam Shah onto Rompin and Endau and into Mersing. This
drive takes about 5 hours.
Alternatively, take the
North-South Expressway, turn off at Ayer Hitam (Toll charges about RM30),
head for Kluang then onto Mersing. This drive is shorter and takes 4
Parking fee outside the
ferry terminal in Mersing is RM8 a night.
(Driving - From Johor Bahru to Mersing)
Taxi fare is approx.
RM120/cab per way (charter).
One of the coach service
operator is Causeway Llink Express. Depart at 8:00a.m,11:30a.m, 3:00p.m
& 6:30pm . These are not frequent though. Alternatively, you can take
any bus to Kuantan from Johor Bahru/Singapore but should not be
surprised if you get charged the full Johor Bahru-Kuantan (RM25) fare
even though you might only be going halfway.
Many ferry operators operate
boats and ferries between Mersing and Tioman several times a day.
Amongst the most reliable,
Blue Water Speedboats (Tel: 607-7995696) operates its first speedboats
from Mersing at 7.30 a.m. and its last ones at about 4.30 p.m. depending
Tickets cost RM35 one way.
From Tioman, the first boat leaves at 8.00 a.m and the last at about 4.30
In Mersing is a travel office, which "picks up" all tourists for Tioman
from the buses. Then they tell you, that you must book at them, because
everything is "full" on Tioman. Be careful, because now you're paying
far too much for your accommodation,
which you have never seen. The chalet you've booked is mostly a
disappointment. The boat
trip you can book at them, but don't book the accommodation.
There's enough accommodation on the island.
Take only a one way ticket by boat, because then you can choose the boat
on your way back to the mainland. The name of this travel agent is:
The people on Tioman don't like that way of dealing, because they can't rent
a chalet themselves. Most of the tourists are going to the village of the travel agent.
Are you going to dive with the "Sunrise Dive Centre",
then you can
get a direct boat to Juara.
Consult for that the dive school.
Japamala Resort by Samadhi
Japamala Resort by Samadhi is Tioman Island’s only boutique resort and one of the three Samadhi Retreat properties in Malaysia. This small and exclusive resort of 13 rooms is hidden amidst 11 acres of lush tropical rainforest, where charming Malay, village-styled villas and chalets are positioned in the most breathtaking spots.
Best described as an eco-luxe resort, Japamala Resort by Samadhi transcends the experience of living close to nature by redefining it with a touch of luxury. Designed by natural streams, steep cliffs, towering boulders, and where no trees are fell, the entire resort borrows from nature its elements to offer an exceptional sense of paradise and freedom from the real world.
Secluded in a peaceful area in Tioman Island, Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort is a two-hour ferry ride from Tanjung Gemok jetty. Boasting a relaxing and excellent location, the resort offers guests many activities such as snorkeling, a spa, and souvenir shop. Genting Village is about 15 minutes away by boat, while the Tekek Airport on Tioman Island takes approximately 30 minutes. In addition to its fantastic location, Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort offers spacious and uniquely designed villas with a balcony overlooking the beach or rainforest. The air conditioned villas come equipped with a flat screen satellite TV, an electric kettle, and tea/coffee maker. After a long day, guests can indulge in pleasure with some massages or a luxurious body treatment at Tunamaya’s Sarang Spa. Family with children can enjoy the resort's babysitting service. Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort is simply perfect for a getaway.