Roughly 35 nautical miles off Peninsular Malaysia's east coast, i.e. about 50 kilometers, lies Tioman Island, or, as it's called in the local language, Malay, Pulau Tioman. Tioman, certainly by numbers of revelers who visit the island every year, counts as one of the area's most popular holiday get-away spots. It arguably is one the most alluring.
Alluring private beaches galore
World Class Leisure Destination
In fact, TIME Magazine once bestowed Tioman with the title "World's most Beautiful Island" and CNN listed one of Tioman's beaches as World's Top 25 Best Beach calibre. These are awards that only the prettiest of locations in the world can earn. Tioman is one such location.
Tioman isn't just exceptionally scenic and blissfully tranquil, it also boasts some of Southeast Asia's most memorable snorkeling and scuba diving sites.
But Tioman also has plenty of charm and allure above the waterline. Take the endless miles of paradise beaches for instance, replete with rows of obligatory coconut trees, swaying in the gentle breeze, and languorous Malay kampungs peppered here and there. Tioman even has virgin rainforest that instantly transforms you into a Tarzan movie the moment you cross into the emerald lushness.
Explore breathtaking Renggis Island, just off Tioman
Escape. Unwind. Discover.
Typically, the best months for visiting Tioman Island are March until October. February and November tend to be transition months from and to the monsoon, respectively. December and January are full-on monsoon, with typically, rainy spells, gloomy weather, lower temperatures and strong winds at times.
All this inclement weather results in more tempestuous seas, which renders the water less than its usually glass-like clarity. So the snorkeling and diving will be less than stellar as compared to the remaining months. Now, some Tioman hotels remain open during this wet and blustery season, but, even though there may be a few fair days mixed in amongst the drab ones, this is not the best of times to visit Tioman.
Beautiful & Bountiful
Speaking of water clarity, this is something Tioman is renowned for: visibility of 30 meters or more. Add in the stunning coral formations, abundance of marine flora and fauna, including macro, and you'll know why Tioman has enjoyed immense popularity since the late 1980s.
It's a veritable treasure trove down there. Shellfish, sea urchins, colourful flora, sea anemones, starfish, sharks, rays, as well as pelagic fish, along with sea turtles, dolphins and even whale sharks are spotted every so often. Tioman is a true oasis of life.
Stand up paddling playground
Paradise by ferry
How do you get to Tioman? Simple really. First of all, hop on a bus or a taxi to Mersing, which is the jumping off point to Tioman. You can catch a bus from Kuala Lumpur, Cerating, Ipoh, Kuantan and all the other major traffic nodes in Malaysia. There are buses (and coaches) from Singapore too.
After arriving in Mersing, head for Mersing Harbour Centre, which you can't really miss. Find the ferry, hop aboard and away you go.
Tioman ferry en route to bounty paradise
NOTE: The ferry departure time to Tioman is subject to the tidal range in Mersing. In a nutshell, the ferry only departs when the water level is high enough. To be sure you have a seat, it's best to reserve your ferry tickets online. This ferry is strictly seats only, no standing room, so if you want to be sure you have a ticket, best book in advance.