When you can’t get enough of diving and snorkelling on your island holiday, Pulau Tioman Pahang is the answer to your underwater adventures.
Glorious Pulau Tioman, the perfect destination for holidays. Source: tempatmenarik.my
Speak about Tioman Island and almost everyone in Malaysia will know about this popular holiday destination. Pulau Tioman has been a glorious haven for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts, especially since the island has a large variety of flora and fauna and the waters are clear enough to explore the underwater habitat.
As part of a National Marine Park initiative, you will be subject to RM5 marine park entrance fee upon arrival – that’s okay, considering the wonderful island adventures that await you there!
You will need to pay a conservation charge of RM5 upon arrival on Tioman Island. Source: daphnescapades.com
Where is Pulau Tioman Malaysia?
So where exactly does Pulau Tioman belong to? Some people got confused thinking that it’s Pulau Tioman Johor, but no, Pulau Tioman falls under the Pahang state, the southeastern side of West Malaysia.
Pulau Tioman is made up of an archipelago, a larger island which is Tioman Island surrounded with isles like Soyak, Sembilang, Tulai, Sibu, Chebeh, Labas and Renggis. And Pulau Tioman is among the most popular islands on the eastern side of peninsula Malaysia apart from Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian.
Pulau Tioman map. Source: pulau-pangkor.com
When is the Best Time to Visit Pulau Tioman?
The best time to visit Pulau Tioman is somewhere between March and October as the island will be closed during the monsoon period from October to March. No doubt, you will experience occasional rainy Pulau Tioman weather between April to October but that is expected of tropical climate countries.
The most popular time to travel here is between May and July. However, try not to visit during the school holidays and public holidays though – the place will be too crowded that it might make your vacation a little noisier and less fun (unless you enjoy having large crowds).
Interesting Things to Do on Pulau Tioman?
Tioman Island is a place with many activities to do. Some of the most popular things to do include:
Diving & Snorkelling
Look at that beautiful variety of sea creatures! Source: tempatmenarik.my
As part of the Marine Park, Tioman Island has a well-preserved diversity of fishes and corals. A diving session may be on the expensive side, costing around RM90 which includes equipment usage.
Consider diving at places near Renggis, Coral and Labas islands, where you will discover a handful of epic wrecks.
You can also get a diving license (Open Water PADI) here for about RM1,000 but you are required to stay on the island for at least 5 days. Some recommended diving schools include Tioman Dive Centre, B&J Dive Center, DiveAsia and Fisherman Divers. Beginner and fun dives are also available if you are not keen on diving certifications.
For snorkelling, some resorts may have their own reef area that you can snorkel around so you can check with your hotel for good Pulau Tioman package deals beforehand. Otherwise, consider Paya, Tekek and Ayer Batang (also known as ABC) for great snorkelling places.
And the best snorkelling site? Check out the area nearby Pulau Tulai, popularly known as Coral Island. There’s a good chance you might find some dolphins during your snorkelling trip!
What a nice catch! Source: arshadahmad.wordpress.com
Yes, you can go deep-sea fishing at Pulau Tioman! Such trips can be arranged from fishing charters there. However, you are only allowed to fish at least 25 kilometres from the coast, since any form of fishing out of the advised guideline is prohibited considering the island is within the Marine Park.
Hiking and Jungle trekking
The path less travelled in the jungles of Pulau Tioman. Source: travellingking.com
You could also go jungle trekking and explore the paths less taken in the jungles of Tioman Island. There are two popular tracks, one from Tekek to Monkey Bay and the other from Tekek to Juara. Trekking could take 2 hours or more, and do tread with caution as the routes are not well used.
As for hiking, you could hike up the twin peaks (also known as Dragon Horns) of Gunung Nenek Semukut , which is known to be Tioman’s highest peak and Malaysia’s highest freestanding spire.
The golf course at Berjaya Tioman Beach, Golf & Spa Resort. Source: mat-drat.blogspot.com
Golfers, rejoice! Yes, you heard us right – while golfing may not be an island kind of activity, it is definitely interesting to know that you can play golf here.
Pulau Tioman has a resort called Berjaya Tioman Beach, Golf & Spa Resort, where the place houses an 18-hole golf course. So if golfing is your thing, be sure to take the opportunity to try out the expanse!
Visiting Waterfalls and Beaches
View of Salang beach, one of Pulau Tioman’s most beautiful beaches. Source: lonelyplanet.com
What is an island vacation without enjoying the beaches? Pulau Tioman has a few beaches that are awesome for playing water sports (like jet ski-ing, kayaking, windsurfing), relaxing with a tan or watching the beautiful sceneries before your eyes. Some of the popular beaches include Genting Beach, Tekek Beach and Salang Beach.
Beautiful rainforest waterfall that makes you feel closer to Mother Nature. Source: lonelyplanet.com
Apart from the pretty, golden sandy beaches, Tioman Island also has lovely waterfalls which you can hang out and relax with people, and also swim in the waterfall pools. Many visitors usually will pay a visit to the most well-known waterfalls on the island, Mukut Waterfall. Another notable waterfall is Asah Waterfall, which is the largest waterfall on the island.
Some of these places may require a short trek or a boat ride so be sure to check the Pulau Tioman map of their respective locations.
Shopping at Duty-Free Shops
Vision Commerce, the largest duty-free shop in Pulau Tioman. Source: daphnescapades.com
Pulau Tioman is a popular go-to island for holidays that the island even has duty-free shops set up to please the shopping kakis! It is the one island apart from Langkawi Island that is awarded the duty-free status, so get ready to arm yourself with your shopping bags or luggage while you are there.
One of the largest duty-free stores would be Vision Commerce shop in Tekek village. Apart from that, duty-free stores are easily found almost anywhere on the island so you will definitely have the chance to shop till you drop!
Where to stay in Pulau Tioman?
Rainbow Chalet, in Juara village. Source: tioman.org
The picturesque Dragon Horns of Gunung Nenek Semukut in the background of Bagus Place Retreat in Mukut. Source: tioman.org
Pulau Tioman has some really good accommodation – depending on your budget and the type of Pulau Tioman package you go for, you could get rooms at affordable rates or indulge in a luxurious resort for the ultimate relaxation. Some hotels and homestay Pulau Tioman include:
- JapaMala Resort – A 5-star boutique hotel best suited for honeymooners
- Bagus Place Retreat – Great, comfortable lodging usually popularly booked due to the wonderful mountain view
- Bersatu Nipah Chalet – Affordable air-conditioned Pulau Tioman chalet at Nipah beach
- Berjaya Tioman Golf & Spa Resort – For golf, enough said!
- Mokhtar’s Place – Highly-rated by backpackers
- Rainbow Chalets – An all-time favourite Pulau Tioman chalet
- 1511 Coconut Grove – Comfortable, stylish, boutique kind of accommodation
- Tunamaya Resort – For luxurious spa treatments, access to white sandy Genting beach and top-rated amenities
- Swiss Cottage Resort – For a tranquil Zen-inspired stay
Seacliff Chalet of JapaMala Resort, nestled at a bay in between Genting and Mukut. Source: tioman.org
What to Eat in Pulau Tioman?
Seafood is a must-eat when on Tioman Island! Source: jalanjalancarimakan.com.my
There are some good restaurants on Tioman Island, though the majority of the food served are more local-based than anything else. So do not visit the island expecting to get Western cuisine easily, unless you happen to pick an accommodation that can serve you that.
Some recommended places to eat include:
- ABC Restaurant at Ayer Batang – Try the specialty there: The fish, prawn and squid barbeque!
- Santai Bistro at Juara – Great taste of local style meals, try their sambal prawns, tom yum soup and mixed vegetable salads.
- Hijau Restaurant of Nazri’s Place II at Ayer Batang – Great seafood at generous portions, you can also get some alcohol here.
- Babura Sea View Restaurant at Syed Bay, Tekek – For dining on seafood with close proximity to the sea.
- Salang Sayang Restaurant at Salang – If you are after fresher than fresh seafood.
- Sunrise Dive Centre Breakfast Café at Juara – A popular breakfast spot, try their fresh bread and cheese!
How to go to Pulau Tioman?
Ferry rides are available from Mersing to Tioman Island. Source: daphnescapades.com
In the past back in 2014, visitors were able to take a direct flight to Pulau Tioman as there is a Pulau Tioman airport that is near Tekek town. The flight was operated by Berjaya Air which you can board from Kuala Lumpur’s Subang airport or Singapore’s Changi airport but it could be an extremely expensive albeit the fastest way to get there. However, such flights are no longer available…perhaps in the future to come?
Currently, the main way to get to the island is via a ferry ride from Mersing jetty in Johor, even though Pulau Tioman falls under Pahang’s territory. Alternatively, you could choose to travel via Tanjong Gemok jetty in Pahang to get there too, though most visitors use the Mersing jetty more since boat rides are more frequent here than at Tanjong Gemok jetty.
You can take a look at the details of a ferry ride from the following jetties:
From Tanjong Gemok jetty:
- Ticket price: RM35 for adult one-way, RM30 for children one-way.
- Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
- Frequency: Morning and evening
From Mersing jetty:
- Ticket price: RM35 for one-way
- Duration: About 3 hours
- Frequency: Every 2 to 3 hours, from 7.30am to 6.00pm.
Both ferries to Tioman Island will stop at five places in the following order: Kampung Genting, Kampung Paya, Kampung Tekek, Kampung Air Batang, and eventually reaching Kampung Salang. In case your accommodation is not at one of the villages, you may need to get down at the nearest village and take a private water taxi to your place of stay. You could also consider checking with your resort if they can arrange a boat service to pick you up.
Tips to Pulau Tioman?
Know some tips before visiting the beautiful island so that you are well prepared. Source: travellingking.com
So what are the things to take note or keep in mind when visiting Pulau Tioman? We have listed out some tips for you:
- When booking your accommodation, apart from considering your room budget, do take note that some places do not provide internet connection.
- The ferry ride timings are weather and tide dependent so they can be rather irregular.
- Bring along enough cash and a credit card as the ATMs on the island are not easily accessible.
- Bring along your own sunscreen, mosquito repellent or snacks (if you are a snack junkie) as the stock for these items are quite weather-dependent and very expensive.
- You can buy alcohol from duty free stores but it may not be available everywhere as Tioman Island is largely populated by Muslims.
- Muslim prayers can be heard quite loud in villages, so if you are a light sleeper, you may want to bring ear plugs along.
- Try to book a full board package if you plan to go for a diving trip or a PADI course as you tend to get better prices when you book a complete package from resorts.
- Also, if you want to get a diving license, do arrange with the diving school early on or make reservations so that they can actually arrange a divemaster for you from the same country who can converse in the same language.
Another must-visit wonderful island – Lang Tengah Island
Enjoy a dreamy getaway at Lang Tengah Island!
Ever heard of Lang Tengah Island? This lesser known island is yet another gem in Malaysia that you should pay a visit at least once.
Lang Tengah Island is located in Terengganu and is one of the best places for diving and snorkelling. Apart from that, the island’s pristine beauty makes it one of the best places for island vacations.
When visiting Lang Tengah Island, drop by Summer Bay Resort to rest your tired souls! Our rooms are designed to make you feel at home right away, with warm hospitality and great amenities that makes your stay a pretty cosy and convenient one. We provide tour packages that can be tailored to your holiday needs – check out our packages for more details!
This article is brought to you by Summer Bay Resort.
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