Pulau Tioman

Malaysia

Pulau Tioman
Pulau Tioman is an island off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, acclaimed as a geological wonder, ecological paradise and one of Southeast Asia's most beautiful travel destinations. Located 32 nautical miles off Pahang state, but connected through Mersing town in Johor, the island continues to enchant visitors with its warm beaches, lovely seas and lush rainforests. Budget and midrange hotels provide quick accommodation at every village, but there are also luxury resorts nestled within private coves and beaches. A melting pot of cultures, Tioman Island attracts youthful travellers from around the world - a great place to make friends every season.

There are many legends behind the island's origin - the most popular story attributes its formation to a dragon princess who flew over the South China Sea en route to Singapore. Enchanted by the beautiful waters, she decided to make it her final resting spot. A far more practical account narrates the settlement of local fishermen from the mainland, as civilisation spread across the Seribuat Archipelago. Among their number was one who kept a pet mynah, called 'Tiong' by locals. This bird was an excellent singer that greatly entertained the villagers. Warmly endeared, they decided to name the island 'Tioman' after its passing, a portmanteau of 'Tiong' and 'teman', which means 'friend'.
Travel Tips
Commercial development at Tioman Island is still relatively low compared to other tourist islands, such as Langkawi. This restricts most major facilities to Tekek, the largest village along the west coast. Food is generally expensive here, but there are some cheaper hawker stall restaurants that you can find. Since the island is duty-free, beer is a staple while the local pastimes are fishing, surfing and smoking substances. Most places (and people) are tourist traps - do some research before your trip and check around to evaluate prices. If you're a lady, it's best not to travel alone - and there are many beach boys at popular beaches.

The only bank with an ATM machine is located near the jetty in Tekek, but most hotels (even budget chalets) will accept foreign currencies at higher exchange rates. Broadband internet is available in most villages, from cybercafes or as part of a resort's facilities. There are clinics in Tekek, Paya and Genting. Most sundry shops are stocked for travel needs, including mild medication for general ailments, raincoats, shoes and spare clothes. Besides jungle trekking, water taxis (speedboats) are the main method of getting to different beaches and places of interest around the island. It's best to book a package tour from your resort for the best value, as one-way stops are incredibly expensive.
Best Time to Go and Weather
Like mainland Malaysia, Tioman Island has a hot and humid climate, with sunny afternoons and warm evenings but cool nights. Temperatures are usually consistent and the calm weather peppered with occasional showers and storms. The tourist season peaks between May and August, when the weather generally displays the least rainfall. The monsoon winds begin to blow from October, bring heavy rain and strong waves till January (surfing season). During this time, ferries run once a day, while only select hotels (usually the larger ones) will open, providing significant discounts off their standard rates.
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