Tioman Island

Swashbuckling buccaneer hideout of yore, Pulau Tioman lies about 45 kilometre offshore from the Malaysian town of Mersing.


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Whilst the island remained off the tourism radar until the early 90s, Tioman has now well and truly splashed onto the worldwide paradise island holiday scene, renowned as it is for its gin-clear seas, breathtaking bounty beaches, exclusive resorts and top-notch spa retreats.

Blissful times ahead
Blissful times ahead

The slow-boat ride of passage to the island of the 80's has made way for modern ferry vessels, complete with aircon and all the features expected from an operation of this standing. In fact, the sleek ferry that plies the Mersing - Tioman route typically gets the crossing duration down to under 2 hours of usually fair weather sailing.

That said, during the months of December to February, monsoon season, winds and sea state tend to become more boisterous as a result of the punchy northeasterlies that blow in from the South China Sea. The rest of the year, March to November, seas are calm, apart perhaps from the occasional Sumatra Squall passing through.

Why Tioman
Unlike most other popular island destinations, Tioman is not only blessed with stunning coves, bays and hidden castaway beaches, it's also endowed with expansive swatches of verdant, practically untouched rainforest that to this day is rich in wildlife, large and small.

Stunning vistas abound in Tioman
Stunning vistas abound in Tioman

Exotic birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibian species are abundant in Tioman's undulating jungle, to the extent that research expeditions from far and wide still periodically survey the island, more often than not discovering hitherto unknown species.

In addition, whereas popular getaway islands like Redang and Tengah more or less aim at the upper crust end of the visitors' scale exclusive, Tioman offers a comprehensive range of lodgings. To wit, each of the six Tioman kampungs feature at least a few backpacker-type accommodations, as well as quite a few mid-range establishments. And yes, Tioman also boasts a number of swanky hotels, resorts and retreats, some of which boasting exceptional Spa and Wellness services.

In short, Tioman Island has appeal for everyone, regardless of budget. And this is borne out by the island's increasing visitors numbers, at least in part the result of the burgeoning number of attractive accommodations available.

But it's no secret the main reason for Tioman's growing popularity is its world-class Spa and Wellness appeal. And, truth be told, Tioman's gin-clear seas, stunning natural treasures and countless fun activities are nothing short of the icing on the cake.

How to go to Tioman
Tioman can be reached by sea or air. The ferry departs from Mersing and tickets are available online. In fact, given the dynamic ferry departure times, the result of Mersing's shallow river mouth, it's advisable to not count on availability of walk-in tickets at the ferry terminal, especially if and when you've already booked your Tioman hotel or resort. The last thing you want is to start your tropical island holiday stuck in Mersing for want of ferry tickets.

All aboard the Tioman Express
All aboard the Tioman Express

Incidentally, after you've got your ferry tickets booked, it's best to stay informed of the schedule, since ferry departure time can at times be subject to change. The better ferry ticket providers offer Twitter updates.

How to go to Mersing
You can get to Mersing by bus or private vehicle. Tip: Book a passenger car taxi from Singapore, as you'll be spared the inconvenience of having to join the huge passport control queue at Woodlands CIQ. Passenger car occupants are screened by drive-through counters: not just super convenient but an awesome time-saver too.

Hopefully, above Tioman narrative gives you a little insight into some of the goodness that the island offers and how to get here. If you've decided to spend your next getaway with us, then Mersing Harbour Centre, Mersing's all-new tourism portal, is a great place to start.

Tioman's Villages