Adventures in East Asia

Pulau Tioman Part 1 - Malaysian Tropical Island Resort

During our visit to the neighbouring countries of Singapore and Malaysia, we took our friend B's suggestion to take an excursion to Pulau Tioman, the largest and most impressive of Malaysia's east coast islands.


I obviously haven't lived as our visit there was the first time that I'd ever stayed at a beach resort and what a fantastic experience it was! When we got there, I couldn't believe we were going to stay at such a beautiful location and at a resort right next to the beach. Not to mention the hot tropical climate!


About Pulau Tioman

Pulau Tioman is a massive twenty kilometres long and eleven kilometres wide and is geared entirely towards tourism providing a paradise for activities such as snorkeling and diving in the clear waters of the South China Sea. Jungle trekkers are also catered for as are landlubbers content to laze on the beach with duty free beer. Here's a map of Pulau Tioman as seen on the wall of one building at Genting.


Pulau Tioman was actually the setting for the mythical Bali Hai in the 1950's Hollywood film South Pacific and was ranked by Time Magazine in the 1970's as one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world.

Needless to say, crowds have since then converged on the island during the peak season leaving the island almost deserted during the off season from November to February.

Excursion Details from Singapore to Malaysia

From Singapore, we made a booking several days earlier from a tour operator called Discovery Tours, which seemed to exclusively offer bookings at Paya Beach Resort one of the many to choose from on Pulau Tioman and recommended by our friend.

We decided to take a three night package which cost S$430 (£190) for the both of us, inclusive of travel and board but not food. The excursion included travel from Singapore into Malaysia before returning. We considered the strange logic of returning to Singapore as we were planning to move onto Malacca and then Kuala Lumpur but it just seemed to be easier in the short term and cheaper to take the round trip package.

Here's our itinerary for our journey from Singapore to Pulau Tioman:

06.20 - Left opposite Singapore's Far East Plaza via coach
07.10 - Reached the Singapore - Malaysia border
08.15 - Coach stop for breakfast
10.30 - Arrived at Mersing ferry port, Malaysia and waited one hour and forty five minutes
12.15 - Left Mersing via ferry
13.45 - Arrived at Pulau Tioman

The Singapore to Malaysia border crossing was the strangest, since we had to get off the coach to exit Singapore via immigration, get back on for the short distance in between and then get off again (with ALL our luggage) to enter Malaysia through immigration before finally getting back on the coach.

After our three nights on Pulau Tioman we made the same journey back to Singapore.

On Pulau Tioman at Paya

Apart from snorkeling and a bit of forest trekking, Linh and I didn't do anything more strenuous than walking along the fantastic beach.


There were of course a few other people around, but it was just amazing to be on such a perfect sandy beach with blue skies, clear water, tropical climate and no crowds. I just wished I had spent more effort on getting better looking shorts (which incidently I bought cheaply at Singapore's Mustafa).


The palm trees of course, completed the picture and the whole atmosphere was of serene calmness. Nothing like the UK's pebbly Brighton beach on an unusually warm day.


This would almost be the perfect office.


However, anyone who has tried to work with a laptop on the beach will know how distracting the scenery is and how difficult it is to see the screen.


With nothing much to do in the way of modern distractions on the islands, I did wonder how simple the permanent local people's lives must be. It would personally be too simple for me, but the charm of Pulau Tioman's living environment was undeniable.


I found even the simplest things such as the typography on this sign, appealed to me.




However, the island is definitely mentally bookmarked whenever a real break from the complexity of modern life and the city is needed. I even thought that Pulau Tioman would make a great relaxing environment for a few days if some creative thinking is needed.



Next : Pulau Tioman Part 2 - Paya Beach Resort

This entry posted in : Attractions. Entertainment. Malaysia.

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