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Beautiful Tioman Island
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Tioman IslandA mostly unknown, rustic kampong island back in the 1980s, Pulau Tioman has since evolved to become everybody's favourite paradise island getaway spot. Whilst Australia's go-to bounty holiday destination is Fiji, Europeans' default isle is Ibiza and the number 1 spot in the idyllic castaway island sweepstakes in the US is Aruba, in Southeast Asia, it's Pulau Tioman. Bar none. Tioman Island is by far the most popular island holiday destination in the region.
And with reason. To wit, Pulau Tioman is unique in a number of ways, to the extent that, almost 4 decades after it slowly started appearing on tourists' radars, the number of annual travellers is still going up even today.
Part of Tioman's appeal is, of course, it's sparkling clear waters. Mind you, not only is the sea around Tioman a wonderfully marbled gradient of turquoise blues of varying shades, but the water is also a balmy 25-30 degrees practically year-round. Ideal for swimming, snorkeling and, indeed, scuba diving, one of the island's main draws.
But the huge swatches of primary jungle, comprising dense emerald green rainforest vegetation, are another prime attraction for countless tourists keen to explore the island's pure and as good as uncharted wilderness. In fact, so untouched are Tioman's lush hills that on any given day, visitors may well be the first to set foot on some of the more remote sectors.
Interestingly, as a result of Tioman's geographic isolation, some of its endemic flora and fauna are unlike wildlife elsewhere in the world. Trekking expeditions on Tioman oftentimes encounter creatures most people would only see when watching Discovery Channel, or perhaps an old-school Tarzan movie.
Home away from home
Your Tioman room not yet booked? Fortunately, the island has seen its hotel and resort offerings grow pretty much at the same pace as its visitors numbers. Better yet, the range of accommodations has everybody happy, from budget travellers, such as backpackers, to tourists aiming for a bit of swank. After all, in each if the island's villages there's quite a few bare-bones cottages available, whilst you also won't need to look far to find one of the world-class full-service hotels, resorts or exclusive retreats Tioman now proudly features.
Tioman also stands out in the sheer range of recreational activities to be had. Apart from scuba diving, snorkeling and jungle trekking, there's kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, glass-bottom boat excursions, island -hopping, sailing cruises, to name just a handful of the water-based fun for visitors to revel in.
Landlubbers that prefer to stay dry have plenty of options too. Why not rent a bicycle or moped, go rock climbing, play tennis, visit the Tioman museum, or the turtle sanctuary, or explore some of the countless other fun ways to fill your days? Tioman, never a dull moment.
Spa Heaven, Heavenly Spa
That being said, if your idea of a tropical island holiday is indulging in blissful laziness, then there's always that too of course. Perhaps one of Tioman's wellness centres can help you achieve your Zen.
Ferry to Tioman
Logistics-wise, Tioman has matured as well. Gone are the days a Tioman holiday had to be preceded by a 5-hour bumboat ride from Mersing. Nowadays, the all-new Mersing Harbour Centre will see to it that passengers and Tioman ferry are a supply and demand match made in heaven. The ferry operator vessel is speedy, comfortable, fully climate-controlled and comprehensively serviced.
Still, in terms of seat availability, ferry bookings are best placed in advance, courtesy of the shallow Mersing rivermouth, combined with the area's somewhat quirky tidal ranges.
Also, please note that December and January are considered "bumpy" months, as winds and sea tend to be higher than the rest of the year, which typically entails smooth crossings galore. The ferry ride takes about 1.5-2 hours. For more details on the ferry, click here.
Meanwhile, if you're not sure how to get to Mersing, there's more details here.
Selamat datang ke Pulau Tioman :)