Escape to Tioman: the place to get moist and wild on Malaysia&x27s journey island – Lonely Planet


Sitting like an emerald dragon guarding the translucent waters of the South China Sea, Pulau Tioman presents each attainable shade of paradise. Whereas many journey right here with a relaxed seaside vacation in thoughts, the island has sufficient actions to maintain adventure-seekers occupied for a minimum of per week. Chart-toppers embrace world-class diving and snorkelling, jungle hikes to waterfalls, adrenaline-pumping climbing and culinary exploration.

Swimming and beach-bumming

The idyllic palette of blue waters surrounding Pulau Tioman is unattainable to withstand. Dive into this ocean of delights at Juara. Situated on the japanese (windward) facet of the island, this little village has an impossibly beautiful seaside dotted with chilled-out bungalows that look proper onto the ocean. Whilst you’re right here, don’t miss a day studying about turtles on the Juara Turtle Undertaking. You’ll additionally discover a dazzling blonde seaside at Salang, on the island’s north-west coast. This backpacker-friendly enclave is equally well-known for its curious monitor lizards and thumping late evening events.

For a particular deal with, go to Nipah, a distant bay on the island’s northwest coast the place bioluminescent seaweed glows at the hours of darkness. By day, take into account a swim by the river mouth on the finish of the seaside at Nipah, the place cool recent water mixes with the salty ocean in a swirl of gorgeous blues.

Diving and snorkelling

The underwater world across the island presents among the finest (and most accessible) diving and snorkelling in Malaysia. It’s additionally one of many few locations within the nation the place you’ve a superb probability of seeing pods of dolphins.

There’s good snorkelling off the rocky factors on the west coast of the island, significantly these simply north of Air Batang (ABC), however one of the best snorkelling is round close by Pulau Tulai, higher often known as Coral Island. Snorkelling tools for rent is simple to search out (masks and snorkels are usually RM15 per day) at many locations on the island, and a snorkelling day journey with boat transfers will set you again round RM40 to RM100.

Prime dive websites embrace the 30m depths close to Renggis, Coral and Labas islands, plus a handful of epic wrecks. By no means been diving? Think about signing up for a four-day Open Water Diver (OWD) course. There are many glorious dive centres on Tioman (resembling B&J and Tioman Dive Centre), and OWD certification programs are priced competitively. Anticipate to pay about RM1100 to RM1200 for a four-day PADI OWD course and RM115 to R130 for enjoyable dives. Uncover dives (newbie dives that don’t require pre-certification and embrace fundamental instruction), value RM200 to RM250 for a half-day course.

Mountain climbing

A lot of Tioman is roadless, with footpaths connecting the varied kampung (villages) on its leeward facet. These paths provide fantastic wildlife watching alternatives. Look fastidiously for snakes up within the bushes, lizards within the rivers and the ever-present monkeys which are hilarious to observe. The hike to the Asah Waterfall from the island’s southern tip is a should for intrepid adventurers, whereas the day-long trek over the ridge of the island from Tekek to Juara will actually get you acquainted with this wild kingdom.

Critical trekker? Native lore holds that the island is the ultimate resting place of a dragon princess who stayed right here to supply shelter to passing travellers. A 3-day trek takes you to the princess’ ‘crown’ atop the summit of Gunung Kajang (1038m), an extinct volcano. Alongside the way in which, you’ll go waterfalls and may spot monkeys, colugos (flying mammals that may soar 100m) and uncommon mouse deer together with an unimaginable number of native vegetation, bushes and flowers.


Need to actually get vertical? A brand new climbing outfit out of Juara, Tioman Volcanic Rock Climbing, runs day-trips for top-roping and sport climbing on among the island’s vertical cliffs. You can too head out with the guides for an adrenaline-pumping rappelling tour.

Glorious barbecued fish may be discovered throughout Malaysia © Sam Camp / Getty Photos


Malaysia is legendary for its meals, which blends flavours from India, China, Indonesia and past. There are many good spots to pattern this vibrant delicacies on Tioman – the fish, prawn and squid barbecue particular at Air Batang’s ABC Restaurant is a high decide, whereas Juara’s Santai Bistro is a good place to pattern regional delights together with sambal prawns, tom yum soup and combined vegetable salads.

There are many lodging choices on Tioman island © Pietro Scozzari / Getty Photos

The place to remain

Backpackers rave in regards to the easy cottages in peaced-out ABC. Mokhtar’s Place prices lower than US$20 an evening and locations you just some steps from the water in a clutch of 16 basic-but-clean bungalows.

In Juara, a half dozen seaside bungalows provide stable midrange worth. Many of the rooms step instantly out to the bedazzled white seaside; open your home windows at evening to catch ocean breezes and be lulled to sleep by the sound of lapping waves. Prime midrange Juara picks embrace the perennial favorite Rainbow Chalets and trendy boutique sleep Coconut Grove.

On the increased finish, indulge on the Tunamaya Resort close to Genting (on the island’s southwest) for spa remedies, a beautiful white-sand seaside and top-shelf facilities. The Swiss Cottage Resort ( in Tekek, between Genting and Salang, is an incredible mini-resort with picket decks, Zen-inspired decor and ocean views that stretch to infinity.

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