Marine Park

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.

Juara Turtle Project

Juara Turtle Project (JTP) is a sea turtle conservation center at Juara Village, proving education to locals and visitors on eco-management of this endangered marine species. The center also runs a volunteer programme complete with half-board accommodation to help with patrols, data collection, repair work, cleaning, tour guiding and more.

Turtle nesting season lies between March and October; during this time, JTP roams the beach at night and collects eggs from nests, transferring them to a hatchery for incubation, then releasing the babies to sea when due. During the day between 10am and 5pm, the center opens to visitors, providng a tour and information gallery at a donation fee of MYR10 per pax.

Nature in Tioman

Pulau Tioman is a vibrant nature destination that invites discovery and exploration from intrepid visitors. Large granite boulders and karst formations provide exciting rock climbing pursuits, especially along the south, while the summit of Gunung Kajang, the highest off-shore mountain of Malaysia at 1,038 meters, can be assailed from Paya Village.

Meanwhile, the coastal jungle and hilly dipterocarp rainforest that drapes the island in a shroud of green, support a diverse range of ecosystems. Many new species of wildlife have been described here over the last years, including colourful mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish living on land and sea. Most recently, Rafflesia flowers were discovered growing in Juara’s backyard of hills.

For beginners, an easy 20 minute hike through the rainforest starts from Berjaya Resort in Tekek to Kampung Paya, which in turn, connects to Genting Village with a similarly short jungle trek. From Air Batang, a jungle trail starts at the northern end which will take you through Panuba Bay (30 minutes), Monkey Beach and Monkey Bay before ending at Salang.

There’s also the popular cross-island jungle trek from Tekek which starts at the village mosque on top a hill. After 3km of trekking through hilly rainforest, the trail cut outs to the paved road to Juara. Finally, avid rock climbers can attempt conquering Tioman’s Dragon Horns or Twin Peaks from Mukut Village.

How To Get To Tioman

Directions

From Kuala Lumpur, use North-South Highway and head south towards Johor Bahru. Turn off the Ayer Hitam exit and drive towards Kluang, which will pass through Kahang and isolated rainforests. Follow the signboards to Mersing and you should arrive in four or five hours, over a distance of 400 km. If you have a map and do your homework, trunk roads are a good alternative which will evade all tol costs.

An example is the road from Bahau (after Seremban) to Kuantan; turn off at Rompin and follow it south to Mersing. From Singapore, visitors can drive up across the Causeway to Johor Bahru and follow the coastal road towards Mersing, passing through Kota Tinggi via the Tebrau Highway over a 150km journey.

Once in Mersing, a parking lot can be secured at the jetty complex for MYR10 per night, which gets a little cheaper the longer you park (pay when you leave). Some of the hotels at Mersing town provide free parking if you stay a night in their rooms (such as Timotel), with complimentary transfer to the jetty. Buses are available are available from Puduraya Station (Kuala Lumpur), Larkin (Johor Bahru), and Queen and Lavender Street Bus Terminals (Singapore).

From the bus terminal at Mersing, it’s a quick 1km walk to the jetty or a MYR10 cab ride. Alternatively, the jetty at Tanjung Gemuk (35km north of Mersing), also offers ferry rides to Pulau Tioman during non-monsoon months – with a slighty faster duration of sea travel and no tidal issues.

Ferry

Bluewater Express runs the main ferry service, accompanied by smaller operations during peak months between February and December. There are generally three rides (once during monsoon season) per day, from 8.30am to 2.30pm. The trip takes about two to three hours depending on tidal conditions and wind speeds, with the ferry making a stop at every village except Mukut and Nipah.

Tickets cost MYR35 per way; pay double for a return ticket. A small MYR5 marine park conservation fee is levied on visitors at the jetty gate. Ferries also operate from Tanjung Gemok during normal season, a jetty 35km north of Mersing along the coast. A premium ferry service is offered here, from Cataferry that uses a catamaran-type ship equipped with roomy seats and plush amenities.

Finally, Berjaya Air operates a 10-passenger flight service from Subang Airport (Kuala Lumpur) or Changi Airport (Singapore) to Tioman, open to public but only on charter basis. The plane lands at the airstrip in Tekek, which is just opposite a jetty and customs complex to get your passport chopped or travel to other villages by speedboat.

Pulau Tioman can be reached by a combination of land and sea transport from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The major gateway to the island is Mersing, a coastal town at the west of Johor state. The common route for most visitors is to drive or take a bus ride up to Mersing, then wait for the next available ferry out to sea.

Berjaya Air formerly operated flights from Subang Airport (KL) but this has been suspended indefinitely (since 2014). For those with private yachts, a new marina facility lies in Tekek, with power, water supply and easy customs clearance. The moonsoon season (Nov-Jan) suspends the frequency of ferry departures, though at least one trip is usually made daily.

Mersing

Mersing is a modern town with fishing villages along the east coast of Johor, about 140km north of Johor Bahru. The main gateway by ferry to Pulau Tioman, Pulau Besar and other marine park islands, Mersing has a bustling economy with rustic tourist attractions and charming beaches nearby, such as Penyabung and Air Papan. As a transit point to Tioman, the town is rich with facilities.

These include electrical stores, fast food outlets, supermarkets, phone shops, banks and a decent range of budget hotels for overnight accommodation before the early ferry. Another popular island that lies off shore from Mersing is Pulau Sibu, but access is by speedboat from Tanjung Leman jetty 72km south.

Paya Village

Paya is a small village and beach at west coast of Pulau Tioman, located south of Tekek and north of Genting. It’s a popular tourist sport, especially for Singaporean visitors and families, with two major resorts and a small budget hotel providing chalet accommodation. The beach area stretches slighty more than half a km – a beautiful expanse of fine white sand fringed by gentle seas.

The deeper waters off the jetty and neighbouring Tomok Island is where living coral reefs reside for snorkeling activities, while cooling mountain streams, spectacular boulder formations and lush rainforest views occupy Paya’s hilly backyard, with a dramatic view of Gunung Kajang. The village is named after its abundance of mangrove swamps -‘paya’ in the local language.

Behind the tatty wooden huts and homes along the beach, a shallow river feeds through a rich mangrove landscape, with boats parked at deeper sections under the shade of a thick forest canopy. Nature lovers will appreciate the rich rainforest scenery, with a jungle trail from Tioman Paya Resort that leads to Rock Falls, a rocky stream with small pools for swimming.

At the northern end of the village, visitors can follow another trail across a moderate slope that ends at a beach (Teluk Sri Intan) and then continue their journey on a gravel road to Berjaya Tioman Resort, before exiting out to Tekek town. Finally, at the southern end of Paya, a partly-paved jungle trail leads to Genting Village.

Tioman Island

Like mainland Malaysia, Tioman Island has a hot and humid climate, with sunny afternoons and warm evenings but cool nights. Temperatures are usually consistent and the calm weather peppered with occasional showers and storms. The tourist season peaks between May and August, when the weather generally displays the least rainfall.

The monsoon winds begin to blow from October, bring heavy rain and strong waves till January (surfing season).During this time, ferries run once a day, while only select hotels (usually the larger ones) will open, providing significant discounts off their standard rates.

Commercial development at Tioman Island is still relatively low compared to other tourist islands, such as Langkawi. This restricts most major facilities to Tekek, the largest village along the west coast. Since the island is duty-free, beer is a staple while the local pastimes are fishing and surfing.

Pulau Tioman is an island off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, acclaimed as a geological wonder, ecological paradise and one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful travel destinations. Located 32 nautical miles off Pahang state, but connected through Mersing town in Johor, the island continues to enchant visitors with its warm beaches, lovely seas and lush rainforests.

Budget and midrange hotels provide quick accommodation at every village, but there are also luxury resorts nestled within private coves and beaches. A melting pot of cultures, Tioman Island attracts youthful travellers from around the world – a great place to make friends every season.

Travel Information

Like mainland Malaysia, Tioman Island has a hot and humid climate, with sunny afternoons and warm evenings but cool nights. Temperatures are usually consistent and the calm weather peppered with occasional showers and storms. The tourist season peaks between May and August, when the weather generally displays the least rainfall.

The monsoon winds begin to blow from October, bring heavy rain and strong waves till January (surfing season).During this time, ferries run once a day, while only select hotels (usually the larger ones) will open, providing significant discounts off their standard rates.

Commercial development at Tioman Island is still relatively low compared to other tourist islands, such as Langkawi. This restricts most major facilities to Tekek, the largest village along the west coast. Since the island is duty-free, beer is a staple while the local pastimes are fishing and surfing.

Pulau Tioman is an island off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, acclaimed as a geological wonder, ecological paradise and one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful travel destinations. Located 32 nautical miles off Pahang state, but connected through Mersing town in Johor, the island continues to enchant visitors with its warm beaches, lovely seas and lush rainforests.

Budget and midrange hotels provide quick accommodation at every village, but there are also luxury resorts nestled within private coves and beaches. A melting pot of cultures, Tioman Island attracts youthful travellers from around the world – a great place to make friends every season.