Pulau Tioman (Tioman Island) - The largest in a group of 64 volcanic islands which includes Pualu Seri Buat, Pulau Sembilang, Pulau Tulai, Pulau Chebeh, Pulau Labas and Pulau Renggis, is situated about 80 kilometers northwest of Peninsular Malaysia's east coast. Said to be the final resting place of the fabled dragon princess who had turned herself into an island in the South China Sea. Pulau Tioman is truly one of the most beautiful islands in the region.
Blessed with miles and miles of soft white sand, swaying palms, wild flowers growing in vivid profusion and cool waterfalls cascading down the green slopes, Pulau Tioman is an adventure's paradise for quiet retreats, trekking, sunbathing and sea sports. Noted for crystal Clearwater as far down as 33 meters, Pulau Tioman is a veritable garden of colorful marine life, offering underwater sportsmen some of the best dive sites in the world.
One such site is Salang Beach. A few fin strokes away a dazzling underwater garden of corals, sea fans, sea anemone, cardinal fish and damsel fish awaits the diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
The shallow reefs at the nearby islands of Pulau Tulai and Pulau Renggis are also popular spots for scuba diving and snorkeling, and should not be overlooked. Divers can also explore the underwater world caves around Pulau Chebeh and the incredibly beautiful reefs at Pulau Sepoi and Pulau Labas. All of these islands are uninhabited and within an hour's boat ride from Pulau Tioman.
When you scuba dive and snorkel at Air Batang Beach on Pulau Tioman, be sure to bring along a camera. The neon hues of parrot fish, butterfly fish, Napoleon fish and silver snappers swimming amid a colorful sea garden are well worth capturing on film. Pulau Tioman's oasis of coral and tropical fish can also be viewed without ever getting wet. Round the island, tours are available on glass bottom boats operated by Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort. The waters around the island also offer plenty of adventure for sportsmen wishing to windsurf, canoe, sail or fish; your choice of catamarans, canoes, sailboats and fishing rods may be easily hired.
For those who search for tranquility and sunshine, Jura Beach is the perfect hideaway. Blissfully deserted, it I located on the east coast of the island and accessible only by foot.
The more adventurous can head for the jungle clad hills of Tioman and scale the island's spectacular twin peaks in the south. The trek offers the serenity of undulating waterfalls and lush greenery at Mukut Village.
Around the waters near Mukut Village, divers have a chance to view a coral encrusted wreck of a Japanese war ship. Those who prefer to see the island by bicycle or horseback can make arrangements at Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort. Indeed, Tioman's simple modes of transport and your own two feet are the best ways to take in the sights. Getting around the island is also possible by sea bus. For details, check with your hotel reception and tour desk.
Pelangi Air operates daily flights to Tioman from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Berjaya Air operates daily flights to Tioman from Kuala Lumpur. Flight time is approximately one hour. Tourists from Singapore may take bus No.170 at Queen Street to the Johor Bahru Bus Station in Larkin. From there, take the Johor Express to Mersing followed by one and a half hour boat ride to Tioman. Tourists may also hire a taxi from Johor Bahru to Mersing or Tanjung Leman, the jumping off point to Tioman.
The Island Pearl catamaran ferry operates daily trips to Tioman from the Singapore World Trade Center. It departs in the morning, and makes the 122 nautical mile trip in about 4 ½ hours.