Pulau Tulai is a small island off the coast of Tioman, more popularly known as ‘Coral Island’. A favourite snorkelling spot, the sea waters around the island are rich with coral reefs and marine life while some famous dive sites can be found within its vicinity, such as Chebeh. Many hotels and speedboat operators on Pulau Tioman offer day tour packages to Coral Island, landing at Pasir Panjang (its central beach area) but also anchoring around Genting Bay and Batu Malang Rocks for deep water snorkelling.
Asah Waterfall is the most famous waterfall on the island, located at the abandoned village of Kampung Asah off Mukut. A beautiful cascade that drops into a pool hemmed in by granite slabs, Asah Waterfall is nestled within lush greenery of Tioman’s rainforest. Often included in the itinerary of tour packages from speedboat operators and hotels, visitors can access the waterfall park via jungle trail from Mukut.
Mukut is a friendly fishing village at the southern tip of Pulau Tioman, a hot spot for nature attractions and activities on the island. The village has small bits of beaches scattered along its shore, but visitors are inclined to explore its vast backdrop of granite mountains and centuries-old rainforest, where the famous Dragon Horns of Tioman and majestic Asah Waterfall reside.
Accessible by speedboat from the nearest jetty, there are only a few budget hotels here that provide basic full-board accommodation, but a few boutique resorts slightly northwest of the coast cater for luxury accommodation – Minang Cove, Bagus Place and Tunamaya.
Pulau Tioman offers an eclectic range of local and international cuisine that reflects its tourist demographics. Local food that encompass rice, noodle and bread dishes are the most popular choice of cuisine on the island, while also being the cheapest. At higher-end resorts and hotels, more exotic offerings such as steamboat, continental and Japanese cusine becomes available.
The majority of restaurants compose hawker stalls in food courts and budget hotels, some which display fresh seafood for instant grilling that are then served with gravy for dinner. Some hotels also offer full board packages that typically feature a barbeque dinner with chicken wings and seafood for a night.
TAT (Tengku Arif Temenggung) Turtle Sanctuary is a turtle hatchery and conservation center at Tekek Village, located along the gravel trail to Paya Village after Berjaya Tioman Resort. Hidden on a beautiful private beachfront at Teluk Sri Intan Bay, the sanctuary comes under royal patronage of Pahang together with Department of Fisheries Malaysia. Open to public during the day, a caretaker manages the place during nesting season between March and October, when eggs are collected from the beach and incubated at the center.
Air Batang, or ABC Village as it’s popularly known, is a rural village along the west coast of Pulau Tioman, at immediate north of Tekek. Located south of Panuba Bay and 3km before Salang via jungle trail, the village is a traditional backpacker hideout, with a high concentration of budget hotels offering basic accommodation, though quite a few resorts have upgraded their chalets in recent years.
The beach is a linear 1.5km stretch of sand, with emerald clear waters and lush landscapes, but the immediate seashore suffers from being overly rocky. Because of sparse development and a small population, the village retains a pleasant countryside environment.
Pulau Tioman is one of Malaysia’s most popular scuba diving destinations, counting among the likes of Pulau Redang, Mabul and Sipadan. Vibrant coral reefs reside under the sea waters off Tioman and neighbouring islands, as well as wrecks and caverns that attract a tropical variety of marine life, including fish, crustaceans and turtles.
Most dive centers are concentrated in Kampung Tekek and Salang Beach, but smaller establishments are found at Paya, Juara, Genting and Ayer Batang villages. These dive centers provide a variety of diving courses with full board accommodation, from beginner to veteran under PADI certification.
Genting is a large village along the west coast of Pulau Tioman, located between Paya and Nipah Village. It occupies a 1.5km stretch of beach with a hilly backyard of lush rainforest. A favourite spot for mainland locals and Singaporean tourists, Genting has a sizeable collection of budget hotels and local restaurants clumped tightly along the beachfront.
The weekends usually bustling with activity, people and karaoke music throughout the night. The sea here is moderately rocky, but the waters are clear while the large boulders give the landscape some aesthetic character. Most of the resorts offer chalet-based accommodation that spill along hill slopes from the beach.
Pulau Tioman’s beautiful beaches, framed by lush greenery and crystal clear sea waters, is a enchanting attraction that draws visitors from around the world. An overwhelming number of the island’s major beach stretches are found at villages along the eastern coast, which includes Tekek, Salang, Paya, Genting and Ayer Batang (ABC Village).
Along the west coast, Juara is the sole village here but with an incredibly large beach stretch, nestled in a spacious bay that faces the might of the South China Sea. At the south, Mukut has sporadic strips of sandy shore. Finally, several luxury resorts have occupied some of the smaller coves with isolated beaches around the island.
Marine Park is a coral sanctuary at Tekek located at its east edge, with an information center opposite the beachfront that highlights Pulau Tioman’s underwater heritage. A popular snorkeling spot for tourists on round-island tours, the marine park really only has artificial reefs, though there is a great amount of marine fish.
A jetty extends from the small rocky beach area, allowing visitors to walk out to the reefs and feed the fish below. Entrance to the marine park and information center is free; both open from 9.30am to 6pm daily. During the monsoon months, the information center is closed but the marine park remains open.