Tioman Island is located in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and surrounded by numerous coral reefs is a popular scuba diving spot. It has tropical weather, crystal clear water and great white sandy beaches, which provide the ultimate relaxing environment you need to calm your stressful nerves down. It is almost a year-round location to visit except during the monsoon season from November to February due to high water currents.
The best option is to drive down or take a bus from Kuala Lumpur leading to a village called Mersing which takes close to 3-4 hours. From Mersing, you can take a ferry to Tioman (buy your Tioman ferry tickets here) which will get you there in almost 2 hours. Before you're on your way to the island, make sure you know at which jetty or "kampong" your resort is located and remember the name of your kampong. Kampong means village in Malay and it's these villages that are announced when you reach Tioman's various destinations. Also, confirm the hotel transport from kampong since taxis are not readily available.
After booking the Ferry tickets you will receive an updated timetable along with the tickets via e-mail. During the monsoon months, it’s possible the ferry won't leave due to high waves. It's good to call a day in advance to confirm the ferry timings since they are subject to change depending on the tidal conditions. It's highly recommended to reach well ahead of time to avoid delays.
There are a lot of resorts and chalets around the island to choose from. Here is a list of the recommended stays:
Japamala Resort www.japamalaresorts.com
Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort, www.payabeach.com/my
Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort, www.careluxuryhotels.com/tunamaya-tioman
Aman Tioman Beach Resort, amantioman.com
The Barat Tioman Beach Resort, barattioman.com
1511 Coconut Grove, www.1511coconutgrove.com
Scuba diving: Enjoy diving in clear blue waters, over beautiful coral reefs teeming with marine life. There are many places on the island offering scuba diving lessons and selling diving gear. Find the ones best suited to your budget and needs.
Check out these dive centers:
Abect Aqua Dive Centre, www.abectaquadive.net
Tioman Dive Centre, www.tioman-dive-centre.com
Blue Haven Divers, www.blueheavendivers.com/en/homepage
Seamonkey Divers, www.seamonkey.com.my/dive-tioman.html
Snorkeling: This is usually arranged by most of the resorts who would take you on the motorboats to the beaches, coral islands, and Renggis Island where the snorkeling is at its best.
Hotel beach: Most of the resorts have beautiful beaches with clear water and white sands to enjoy, relax, and play all day.
Sunbathe: Paya Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Tioman Island and is a great place to spend time on the golden sand and enjoy stunning views
Watch the fishermen: Head for Genting Village if you are looking for some authentic experiences on the island. It may not be one of the best beaches in Tioman but it backs on to a delightful traditional Malaysian village that is filled with local fishermen.
Surfing: The best and only place to surf in Tioman Island is Juara Beach. During the rainy season, you will be able to witness larger swells, up to around 20 meters depending on the weather.
Hiking: Also referred to as Mukut Waterfall, Asah Waterfall is one of the main waterfalls in Tioman Island. Enjoy the views of stunning flora and faunas as you trek through the rainforest to reach the Waterfall.
Sea Kayaking: Suggested by the locals, the best place to do is at ABC Beach where you can rent a sea kayak and get out on the water. Many visitors who choose to kayak will also take the opportunity to go snorkeling off the coast of Tioman Island at the same time.
Island Hopping: One of the best ways to explore Tioman Island is by chartering your own boat and island hopping at your leisure. For your information, the island is part of the wider Mersing Marine Park which is made up of eight other stunning islands.
Since snorkeling is mostly arranged by the resorts, you usually are provided with life jackets and snorkels for free or rent. But it's good to wear your swimsuits to avoid any rashes from life jackets. You can also rent special glass-bottomed boats for your family and enjoy the beautiful sea life without yourself getting into the water.
Don't forget to bring your sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn. It is recommended to carry some of the basic foodstuff and first aid needs for your kids as there aren't many markets near to the resorts. If you are looking to be one with the nature, do pack your shoes and mosquito repellent too!