Imagine yourself walking down pristine white sand beaches on your next vacation, surrounded by swaying palm trees. You look out to the sea, marveling at it’s crystal blue clarity, and decide that tomorrow you’ll try your hand at a little deep-sea fishing. You’re on an island that has been rated by Time magazine as one of the ten most beautiful in the entire world, but you’re hardly making a dent in your checkbook. You’re on Tioman Island, about 36 nautical miles off the Eastern coast of Malaysia, and you’re about to have the time of your life!
Tioman Island has much to offer for today’s adventurous traveler, from hiking to scuba diving and windsurfing. Located on the South China Sea, the island is populated with friendly locals, and offers very affordable entertainment. In fact, 100 U.S. dollars translates to about 325 MYR, or Malaysian Ringgit, which is the accepted currency on Tioman. The main village on the island is Tekek, which has a permanent population of about 2,000, but it is such a popular vacation destination that most of the citizens speak English fluently.
You can reach Tioman Island by air or by sea, and either way, you get an incredible view of the azure seas and lush vegetation that the island has to offer. Once you arrive, you can bask in the sun, with a cool breeze drifting through your hair on one of the many beaches, such as Tekek, Genting, or Salang. Or maybe you’d rather raise the hair on the back of your neck as you try your hand at windsurfing! Scuba diving and snorkeling are great ways to check out the gorgeous coral reefs that border the island, but if you’d rather not get damp, there are glass bottom boat tours, which can be just as exciting and unique.
If you’d like to stay on the island instead of in the waters around it, you can hike from one town to another. The trek from Tekek to Juara offers gorgeous scenery, from the flora and fauna to crashing waterfalls. And where would your vacation be without a relaxing 18 holes of golf? Tioman Island is home to a stunning 18 hole international-standard golf course. To golf 18 holes, plus club rental and a buggy (cart) will cost approximately 180 MYR, or about 55 USD.
There are several restaurants on the island, including Chinese and local Malaysian cuisine, as well as a more recent seafood barbecue restaurant in Tekek. Maybe if you’re lucky on your deep-sea fishing trip, you’ll be inclined to have your own barbecue on the beach! Some frequent catches include grouper, moray, tuna, sea-bass, and blue marlin.
Beyond the standard “must see” list lies an island that is full of great culture. According to local legend, Tioman Island itself is the final resting place of a dragon princess. While she was flying from China to visit her prince in Singapore, the beautiful maiden stopped to seek comfort in the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea. Intrigued by it’s beauty, she decided to discontinue her journey. By taking the form of an island, she pledged to offer shelter and aid to travelers, and this pledge is fulfilled by the island’s current inhabitants.
Overall, Tioman Island in Malaysia is a beautiful and very affordable place to vacation, full of adventure or relaxation Whatever it is you’re looking for. With luxurious accommodations and a great ambiance, Tioman Island is the place to go for your next trip abroad.