Salang: A quiet village on the north tip of the island. there are a smattering of dive shops, restaurants, and bars in Salang. There are also a couple of resorts nearby.
If pictures of Tioman Island remind you of French Polynesia, there's a reason for that: the island was used in the filming of the movie "South Pacific." The Malaysian island of Tioman, in the South China Sea, is Bali Hai.
What do you want? Tioman boasts some of the most fabulous beaches in the world. The waters are filled with coral and marine life of every hue and shade. You can walk in near-virgin jungle, climb picturesque mountains, wade in glassy streams, and talk to friendly natives (though not many of them). And you can spend your sunsets walking on the white sand beaches...
Tioman is not a big island -- 23 mile long and seven miles wide. It is, however, the biggest of the 64 islands in its chain, just off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. In the 1970's, Time magazine named Tioman one of the world’s 10 most beautiful islands.
The island is a diver's paradise. The water is clear to a depth of 100 feet. Gardens of coral ring much of the island and include lace-like sea fans, and the alyconarian soft corals, and multi-colored staghorn coral. Parrotfish and butterfly fish are common, and many of the fish have neon colorings.
The island's land areas are populated with natural attractions, as well. Tioman has five distinct ecological zones. Animal life includes monkeys, mousedeer, flying foxes and lots of reptiles and amphibians -- including the python (and 25 other species of snakes), the large monitor lizard (and over 30 other lizard species), and both land and sea turtles.
Accommodations on the island are not expensive. While you can spend a lot of money at one of the resorts, you can also get a hut on the beach (with a bathroom and ceiling fan) for about $7 US a night. Want more comfort? For $25 to $30 a night you can rent a small chalet with a television, fridge, hot water, bathroom, and air-conditioning.
Tioman is populated mostly with tourist resorts. The island can become very crowded during holiday period. Arriving without a reservation can mean that you sleep on the beach. That's not unpleasant, but be prepared for a crowd at times...
The boat trip from Mersing, Malaysia, takes about 90 minutes. From Singapore it is about four and a half hours (and Tioman is a favorite among the Singaporeans). Pelangi Air and Berjaya Air both fly to the island daily from Kuala Lumpur. Flights from Singapore also exist.