There's no doubt about it, Tioman Island is, by some paramaters, one of the world's most breathtaking islands. In fact, back in the late 70's, when TIME Magazine used to publish its annual "Top 10 Most Beautiful Islands" list, Tioman actually scored a top spot on that list. It was voted the world's most beautiful island.|
To be sure, back in those days, Tioman was little more than a sleepy bounty island, surrounded by a crystal clear sea, a white sandy beach and with a few settlements dotted here and there.
Fast-forward a few decades. Whilst the little settlements morphed into 5 distinct but more tightly-knit kampungs and pretty much all sides of Tioman have seen an influx of various kinds of accommodation types, the island itself is by many still considered Asia's last hidden paradise.
The waters around Tionan are turquoise blue and on certain days resemble liquid glass. Tioman's beaches meanwhile, certainly the longer ones, are renown for their stunning beauty. As a matter of fact, Kampung Juara, Tioman's east coast village, offers a beach that has been included in CNN's World's Top 25 Best Beaches.
Many Tioman travelers are astounded to learn that an island that has been "discovered" by international tourism several decades ago, still has sections of jungle that are for all intents and purposes as good a unchartered. In fact, not so long ago, a biological survey revealed a number of new species of amphibians that hitherto had not been seen anywhere in the world.
At world's End
It's been said that Tioman is located at World's End. And whilst it's true that getting to Tioman isn't as easy as hopping on a plane, unless you're staying at one of the more exclusive resorts, the very fact that it's not all that accessible is probably what has preserved Tioman's unique allure and lovely tropical atmosphere.
That being said, if you're ok with taking a 2 hour ferry ride, then Tioman is well within your reach. Just make your way to a town called Mersing, which is located in the Malaysian state of Johor. Once you're in Mersing, head for the ferry terminal and buy a ferry ticket.
So long as the ferry hasn't left yet, you may be able to hop on. If the ferry has left, then just take the ferry the next day. If you prefer to have a guaranteed ferry seat, then it makes sense to buy your Tioman ferry tickets online, i.e. before going to Mersing.
Please note that the ferry to Tioman is only able to run at high tide. Your online booking confirmation will include the ferry schedule, so just go by the times noted in that email.
For your information, Tioman's peak season is from about April to September. The months of November/December to February/March are considered monsoon season. Tioman remains open during this time, but expect cool, sunny and very clear days with fresh crispy air to alternate with blustery rainy spells.
Lastly, Mersing Harbour Centre has just been opened and has already taken on the role of nerve centre for anything to do with the various paradise islands offshore from Mersing, as well as the ferry to get there. Go there to save lots of time!