Tioman Island, which lies 60 kilometers from the east coast of mainland Malaysia, is part of the Pahang National Reserve and is under state protection. This is not surprising, because the nature of Tioman is so rich and magnificent that it has long been recognized as one of the most beautiful Asian islands. Moreover, Tioman is one of the ten most beautiful islands on Earth.
If nature endowed Tioman with incredible beauty, then people surrounded him with many ancient legends. According to one of them, the Chinese dragon princess, who was heading to her fiancé in Singapore, was so impressed by the beauty of this place that she turned into the island of Tioman.
Holidays on Tioman are recommended for all travelers who dream of being in a remote place with azure sea, white sand, coconut palms and wild flowers of the brightest colors. Here tourists are awaited by excellent hotels and entire resort areas, offering a wide range of recreation and entertainment. Also, the island can become a real find for divers, since the underwater world of Tioman is no less rich than the flora and fauna of the island itself.
|Population||about 3,000 people|
|Square||245 km 2|
|Population density||12.24 people / km 2|
|Currency||Malaysian ringgit (MYR)|
|Timezone||UTC + 8|
|International dialing code||+609|
Climate and weather
Tioman Island is located in a humid equatorial climate zone, so hot weather always reigns here. The air and water temperatures are stable all year round and practically do not change. Thus, the air is warmed up to at least +30 ° C , and water – up to +29 ° C . The dry season, and also tourist, lasts from May to September and is an ideal time for a beach holiday. The rainy season runs from November to March. It is characterized by showers and strong gusts of wind, which form quite dangerous waves. Some hotels are closed during this period.
Tioman Island, which is part of the Pahang National Reserve, has an incredibly rich and truly unique nature. For this reason, the entire fauna and flora of this island, as well as its natural landscape, are under the protection of the state. On the territory of Tioman there are many virgin beaches, picturesque mountains, mountain rivers and waterfalls. Also, a large number of various animals live here: lizards, bats, iguanas, monkeys, dwarf deer, turtles and others. And of all the birds living here, it is worth highlighting the mine , the singing of which is recognized as one of the most beautiful among all birds.
The underwater world of this paradise island is no less rich and unique. While diving, shoals of neon fish, whale sharks, parrot fish and the bizarre outlines of the magnificent coral reefs can be seen.
There are no mosques and temples, museums and historical monuments on Tioman – the main attractions of the island are rich flora and fauna, underwater beauty, picturesque beaches and tropical jungles.
Several unusual and rare species of animals live here, for example, the giant black squirrel, panda, mouse deer, red flying squirrel, long-tailed macaque, etc. Guests of Tioman can see them in close proximity.
The village of Juara , which is famous for its pristine beaches and the reserve of sea turtles, is especially popular among tourists . Here you can always not only look at these amazing reptiles, but also feed them. Also the main attractions of the island are the mountain “Donkey’s Ears” overgrown with lush rainforest and the mountain “Horns of the Dragon”, to the top of which only a few people could climb.
Tioman is part of the famous “Coral Triangle”, which is why there are many different types of soft and hard corals in its waters, including the rare Acropora and Aliconarian corals. The easiest way to experience these riches is to visit the Marine Park on the coast in Tekek village.
Tioman is famous not only for its gorgeous beaches and great hotels, but also for its excellent restaurants offering cuisine for all tastes. The best restaurants are located near the Berjaya Resort and offer a wide variety of Malay, Chinese and European dishes. Also, many different restaurants and eateries can be found in the towns of Tekek and Juar and in the village of Salang.
Of course, the overwhelming majority of the island’s gastronomic establishments offer national cuisine, which is replete with many aromatic and spicy seasonings. Most local dishes are based on nasi rice. Most often it is cooked bland and used as a side dish. In addition, rice is fried, stewed in coconut milk and used to make desserts and noodles. The most popular dishes from it are “cha quai tyu” noodles with eggs, herbs and shrimp, fried rice “nasi goreng” and fish curry with rice “nasi dagang”.
Vegetables, fruits and coconut milk are also widespread here, which are added to most Malay dishes. For example, the national gado gado salad is made from vegetables, peanut sauce and coconut milk, while the rojak salad is made from pineapple, cucumber and shrimp pancakes.
Local chefs rarely cook meat, but the dishes made from them are very unusual and tasty, for example, chicken sati ayam kebabs with sweet and sour sauce or rendang meat stewed in coconut milk. But seafood treats are ubiquitous: fish curry, shark fin soup, fried scallops, cuttlefish salad, etc.
The most popular drinks are coconut milk and juices. Alcohol is served in all hotel restaurants. In addition, since Tioman is a duty-free zone, strong drinks can be purchased at any duty-free store.
Tioman offers its guests a variety of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to affordable hotels with basic amenities, as well as many small houses and chalets on the coast. It must be said that all Tioman hotels consist of detached villas in traditional Malay style. Most of them are located on the west coast of the island.
For lovers of comfort, the luxury hotels Tunamaya Beach & SRA Resort (from $ 145), Japamala Resort by Samadhi Retreats (from $ 144) or Berjaya Tioman Resort (from $ 109) are suitable, which offer a luxurious vacation with all amenities and a full range of entertainment.
Most of the less expensive accommodation options are concentrated on the western coast of the island in the villages of Tekek, Salang, etc., for example, the Sun Beach Resort hotel (from $ 37). Also, in the villages and their surroundings, you can always find a place in a hostel (from $ 6.5) or a room in an inexpensive hotel (from $ 20).
Entertainment and recreation
One of the main attractions for tourists on Tioman is a beach holiday. All the white beaches of the island are clean and picturesque, and the water has an amazing emerald hue. The most popular beaches include Air Batang and Salang, as well as beach areas near Tekek and Gentings villages. Well, the most popular water entertainment on the island is diving. The abundance of marine life and corals, the warm sea and excellent underwater visibility provide ideal conditions for diving here. Moreover, most of the resort areas and villages have decent diving centers. No less common here are such types of water activities as snorkeling, fishing, water skiing and boat trips on a canoe, boat, yacht or boat with a glass bottom, through which you can see all the underwater beauties and their inhabitants.
Fans of extreme sports and rock climbing are advised to try to conquer the slopes of the Dragon Horns mountain or the tropical thickets of the Donkey’s ears mountain. There are also many scenic trails here that will appeal to hikers. And for eco-tourists a route has been laid to the village of Mukut.
Nightlife on the island is not very popular, with the largest number of noisy parties taking place in the village of Genting, where there is a nightclub with a disco and restaurants. You can also visit the Kontiki Bar in Tekek Village or Ari’s Cafe in Air Batang Village. Well, the hotels and resorts of Tioman offer a wide selection of restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as swimming pools, sports fields, spas and much more.
Despite the fact that Tioman is a duty-free zone, local shopping is not rich and profitable. The largest number of shops and shops are concentrated in the village of Tekek. First of all, you should visit duty-free shops, where you can find a good selection of alcohol, cigarettes and sweets at very competitive prices. It should be borne in mind that if you are going to transport the purchased alcohol or cigarettes to neighboring Singapore, you will have to pay a fee. Also in Tekek you can buy an original T-shirt, a bathing suit and some kind of memorable souvenir, such as a pumpkin-shaped jug, national beads or wooden clogs.
Other villages on the island (Paya, Salang, etc.) also have small shops and shops, but the choice of goods here is quite limited. There are also shops on the territory of each resort area, mainly they offer souvenirs and the most necessary things for recreation, for example, mosquito repellents and personal hygiene products.
In general, Tioman is not the best place to buy souvenirs. The fact is that goods are brought here from the mainland, as a result of which they are much more expensive here. Therefore, fragments of corals that washed ashore can become memorable trophies for vacationers. However, in no case should you try to break off and take with you the living part of the coral.
Not far from Tekek village is a small airstrip, where direct flights arrive from Kuala Lumpur (1 hour) and Singapore (35 minutes). You can also get to the island by boat from Mersing (Johor state) and by ferry from Singapore or Tanjung Gemuk (Pahang state).
There are practically no roads on the island, and transport is limited to SUVs and boats. The only exception is the short concrete road that runs from the airport to Tekek village and the neighboring resort of Berjaya. The cheapest way to travel between the villages is by ferry, which runs from Mersing to Tioman. As a rule, he stops in most of the settlements on this island. The cost of the trip ranges from $ 3 to $ 5 per person. It is much more profitable than taking a private boat (about $ 16).
From the village of Tekek to Juara, there are so-called “off-road taxis”. The fare for this type of transport is $ 24 per person, $ 38 for two and $ 11 per person if there are at least four of them.
Mobile communication on Tioman does not work everywhere; it is easiest to pick up a signal in the southern part of the island. Internet access is a bit easier, although not all hotels offer this service. Broadband internet is available at Internet cafes in Tekek and Air Batang villages, as well as at the resorts of Berjaya Tioman Beach, Tioman Cabana, Panuba, Golf & Spa Resort, Paya Beach Resort, etc. The cost of a session is approximately the same everywhere and is about $ 3 per hour … Some resorts offer wireless internet.
Landline telephone communication is not available in every village, and almost all telephone machines on the island are out of order. Therefore, it is most convenient to make basic calls from hotels in the resort complexes. In addition, in areas where there is Internet, it is always possible to make a call via Skype (you can pay for the call online).
On the island, both in the resort area and in the villages, tourists can feel completely safe. Crimes are very rare here, and the local population is very friendly. Of course, despite this fact, you should not completely neglect the precautions. Vacationers should remember that a frank and defiant appearance is allowed only in the resort area, but not in the villages.
No special vaccinations are required to travel to the island, although prophylaxis against hepatitis A and B and malaria is recommended. You should not drink local water; it is better to give preference to boiled or bottled water.
All visitors to the island should use mosquito nets and insect sprays, especially outside the resort area. It is highly recommended not to neglect hats, sunglasses and protective creams, as the sun is very insidious here. Some species of the local marine life are poisonous, so before diving, it is imperative to clarify which of them may be dangerous.
Tioman Island has long been one of the country’s most popular beach resorts, so its economy is based on serving tourists. The entire island is a free trade zone, but there are no large shops and no other massive buildings. The fact is that the island is an important part of the Pahanga National Reserve, so the construction of a large building here is almost impossible.
Now all cities and resorts in Malaysia are experiencing an investment boom, so real estate prices here are gradually increasing. In this regard, Tioman Island is no exception. Of course, local real estate is not as diverse and plentiful as in the capital of the country. Most foreigners here are interested in villas on the coast, where you can come for a vacation. They can also be rented out. True, their number is very limited.
In general, any foreigner has the right to purchase local real estate. However, there is one important condition for this – its cost must be at least 500,000 ringgit (about $ 161,000). Also, foreigners are not allowed to own more than two objects of any type of real estate.
While on holiday, you should beware of local monkeys, which are here the full-fledged masters of villages and streets. The total number of expensive telephones and cameras torn from the hands of affectionate travelers, as well as every little thing, simply cannot be counted. In order to protect yourself from this kind of theft, you should hold on to valuables tightly and not approach the animals with enthusiastic exclamations of “uchi-way”. It is also advised not to leave your belongings and food on the verandas and balconies of the rooms, since all the same monkeys often make organized raids for the purpose of profit and leave behind chaos from overturned chairs and broken cups.