Ah…we are here!
Mersing is the port of call for Tioman. Mersing is a small seaside town in Johor. Trust me when I say you can't possibly go missing in this town, its really small and quaint.
Now I wouldn’t say they are the best ferry providers, as they can get slightly over crowded. Having said that we were put on a smaller boat as the larger one was full and it was a pretty slow ride into the island.
Tekek is the main town where the airport is located. Yes, the island is large enough that it actually has its own little runway for a landing strip. Here is where most tourist would end up, especially those seeking a bit of nightlight, lush hotels and a buzz of activity.
All the beach villages face the mainland except one, Juara, it faces the open sea.
Air Batang is small village, with a few dive shops, eateries and bars. Its rather quiet, chilled out and there is nothing to do other than, snorkel, dive and lie on the beach.
There is nothing much you can possibly do other than to do nothing and unwind. The snorkelling here… I would like to say its nice but since I’ve been to Tenggol and Perhentian… its just alright in comparison. But to have a chilled out time and enjoy island life, this place is it.
Soft sandy beach, the sea and a hammock during sunset are just what the doctor ordered. Plus a cocktail on the side isn’t too bad either. Oh, did I mention the island is duty free? Expect the cocktails to have a little extra punch.
Trekking is another activity you could do, which is to Juara beach from Air Batang or from Tekek. But do be prepared to spend about 2-3 hours each way as the trek is dense and steep. Obviously we didn’t do it, like I said, we were beach bums!
Yes, Malaysia actually has a lot of islands. More than you know and mind you they are some of the best kept secrets in Malaysia if not South East Asia. You’ll find more locals on holiday on these islands than you do tourist, as not many tourist know about these gems.
Fly: Berjaya Air (Berjaya Group) does flights into Tioman. They are expensive so you might want to think twice about it if you are on a budget.
Drive: It’s a 5 hour drive and it’s a really nice drive on the last hour as your drive through palm oil plantation with possibilities of spotting and elephant or tapir. Don’t worry; there is a safe parking spot just next to the pier. It is about RM18 a night and its perfectly safe.
Bus: There are buses that leave Kuala Lumpur on a daily basis to Mersing directly. Most of them leave from Pudu Raya bus terminal in Kuala Lumpur and takes just over 5 hours to get to Mersing.
Where to stay?
Well in Tioman, it’s a large selection… so check out this site www.journeymalaysia.com; scroll to the bottom and you’ll see the list of accommodation according to the beaches.
Bluewater Express. Not the best but the only ones that take you to Tioman and they cost RM35 one way. Do book your return in advance, especially during peak season as I have seen people being left on the pier. Alternatively, check with your accommodation if they have their own ferry shuttle service, it might work to your advantage.