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PULAU TIOMAN
Updated: Dec2012

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Pulau Tioman, for it's full title, is situated some 30Km northeast of Mersing on the mainland. It's long since been known for it's clear waters, low cost diving, back-to-nature feel and duty free status! This makes it a top destination for the long term backpacker that wants to experience the diving in this region without busting the budget. If there were a negative, it would have to be the sand-flies, though these only seem to appear when the tides have been low.

There are no real roads on the island, so getting between resort areas is on local boat or the ferry from the mainland. This means that you have to choose your destination before you travel. We've only really hit Air Batang (known as ABC to the locals) but we have listed accommodation for Salang Bay which is just next door. If you an share any updates on the other areas, we'd be pleased to publish it.

Accommodation

There's a real mixture of accommodation in the area. If you're heading here to learn to dive, then you can get better deals by booking in advance through one of the dive schools. Though the smaller guest houses don't take bookings by email, if you call them in advance, then again on the day, they will honor your reservation, though you really only need to do this high-season when the Malay's are also on holiday. We'd normally write the full address, but this place is just too small for street numbers, let alone names! So, instead we've grouped them by the ferry terminal that you get off at.

    B&J Tioman Dive Resort
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: Double/ Twin RM270-300, Triple RM315-345, Quad RM380-420
Includes: Everything!
Tel: +60 9 419 12 18 Email: Web:
You would expect all of the modern conveniences for these prices and you do. AC, hot water, fridge, kettle (with free tea and coffee), TV, DVD player and a personal safe as well! The triple and quad rooms have one double bed with the other bed(s) being singles.

    Johan's Place
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: Double/ Twin RM60-90, Family RM120-150
Includes: Fan, en-suite
Tel: +60 9 419 13 59 Email: Web:
The family room is either 2 double beds or a double and 3 single.

    Nazri I
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: Double/ Twin RM60-120, Triple RM 180, Quad 200
Includes: AC, fridge, hot water
Tel: +60 9 419 13 29 Email: Web:
The budget priced double has cold water, fan and no fridge.

    Nazri II
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: Double/ Twin RM60-160, Triple 180
Includes: AC, hot water, en-suite, kettle (with free tea and coffee)
Tel: +60 9 419 13 75 Email: Web:
The basic room has cold water, fan and en-suite.

    South Pacific
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: Double/ Twin RM45, Triple RM150
Includes: Fan, en-suite
Tel: +60 9 419 11 76 Email: Web:
The triple room comes with AC, a fridge and hot water as well.

    Tioman House
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: Double/ Twin RM60, Family RM150
Includes: Fan, en-suite
Tel: +60 9 419 10 21 Email: Web:
The Family room is a double and single bed with AC.

    YP Chalets
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices: Double 40RM
Includes: En-suite shower room
Tel:
The rooms are standard for the area, coming with nets, fan and cold shower. If you can get rooms 7-9 do. These look out on the river area with plenty of wildlife.

    Mokhtar Backpackers
Adddress/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: 50RM
Tel: +60 9 419 11 48
A little bit bigger than some of their competitors. En-suite with cold shower and fan as per the norm.

    Mawar Backpackers
Address/ Ferry: ABC
Prices from: 30RM
Tel: +60 9 419 11 53
Some rooms at the back for 30RM. A little grubby but for the money who can complain?

My Friends Place Backpackers
Tel: +60 19 902 19 24
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Eating & Drinking

The life-style on Tioman is very relaxed. A lot of the "street" restaurants close early if they are not busy. At the south end of the strip you'll find a beach bar that sells freshly made pizza and has good happy hour sessions. The larger hotels offer a mixture of seafood and western fare. But do try the smaller places along the "road" that runs alongside the seafront. You can get good local noodle dishes for as little as RM6 and beers in the beach bars will cost you around RM4 during happy hour or RM5/6 during normal hours. As with food, the hotels charge a lot more.

Travel

Tioman can be reached by ferry from either Mersing or Tanjong Gemuk (which is less effected by low-tides). Alternatively you can arrive by air.

From Kuala Lumpur

By Air: 

Berjaya Air offers up to 2 flights a day from Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur (+60 03 784682228, www.berjaya-air.com). Price is approx. MYR 228.00 per way. We can organize a pick-up service for you from the airport on Tioman Island, which will cost MYR 30.00 per person (min. 2 pax).

By Bus: 

There are buses leaving directly from Kuala Lumpur to Mersing. The buses depart several times daily from Pudu Raya Bus Terminal (near China Town). Currently the two companies operating buses to Mersing are Transnasional and S&S International. The journey takes approximately 6 hours and costs around MYR 30.00 per way. Once you arrive in Mersing you have to take a ferry (Bluewater Ferries - +60 7 799 56 96) over to either Ayer Batang (ABC) or Salang Bay on Tioman Island, where we are located. Since the last ferry usually leaves Mersing before 5pm you should either take the nightbus from KL (departs around 11pm) so that you arrive in the early morning in Mersing and can take the 1st ferry over (usually around 7am) or you have to take the first bus in the morning from KL (departs around 9am) and hope that you still catch the last ferry.

From Mersing

An alternative is to stay in Mersing for the night and then catch the first ferry in the morning. There are a couple of budget places and several places to eat in the town. Bluewater Ferries (+60 07 799 56 96) is at this moment the only operator who runs several speed ferries daily to the different villages on Tioman Island.

From Tanjong Gemuk

There is another ferry terminal available to go to Tioman which is at Tanjong Gemuk in Endau, approx. 45minutes north of Mersing (direction Kuantan). Ferries there are a little less likely to be affected by low tides.
 

Diving &  
Snorkeling

There are quite a few good dive sites that can be reached from ABC as well as an interesting wreck dive that can be reached from the beach. The site consists of 12 Thai fishing boats that were sunk by the Malays for illegal fishing in the area. Sweet-justice then that they become a haven for an amazing array of reef fish? Snorkeling around the rocks at the southern end of the beach or under the jetty, but keep clear of the mooring area for the ferry, though you will no doubt hear it!

With good diving comes  competition, and with competition comes good prices! There are several outfits along the stretch that you can pop into an organise diving with. They do follow a very relaxed island lifestyle though, so don’t expect to turn-up and for them to take you out; they may be taking one of their do-not-disturb siestas! Better to book the day ahead at least. If you're into night diving, then this is a must - the cat-sharks are amazing and just of off the beach area.

Local Information

There is an ATM at the airport. From ABC it's a healthy 20 minute walk. There's a duty free shop and a supermarket here, though their stock consists mainly of noodles. If you are looking at spending a little more time on Tioman and are on a budget then consider visiting the Giant Supermarket in Mersing and bringing some of the basics along with you. 

Other than the bigger hotels on the island, there is no FREE Wi-Fi. There are a few internet cafe along the strip, though expect to pay more than the mainland - on our last visit we were paying RM10 per hour.
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    The following are all Kuala Lumpur based Charities. If you’re looking for something fun and rewarding to do then get involved in volunteering at one of many charities who need your help! Whether you have a lot of spare time on your hands or just a little, there is something to suit. There are plenty of opportunities to use existing skills such as playing with children, teaching, nursing, marketing, accounting or learn some new skills. You really can make a difference and get to know a lot more about the community, culture and environment you are living in.

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    Home of Peace
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    United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
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Definition of Charity: 
"Generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy and suffering"

This is all about giving something back to the people of the countries that we've visited, to thank them for the wonderful experiences that we've had. There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. You'll also note, there are no pop-ups or sponsored links to businesses. So, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted on our charities page, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've received, then look into some of these worthy causes. Otherwise we'd gladly accept any support to help keep this site alive.

You will be directed to an Email window. 
If not, then email: volunteer@
TheLeapingLemur.com

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