Tioman

by Mentiga Fatiha | 10:23 PM in |

Lying some 56km off the coast of Mersing, Tioman is an instantly recognisable name, an island that is internationally acclaimed as one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world and made famous by the 1958 Hollywood classic, ‘South Pacific’


Tioman Island is the largest island off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the most developed of the volcanic islands that make up Pahang’s Marine Park, complete with its own airstrip. Tioman island is about 38km in length and 19km at its widest point. With Gunung Nenek Semukut (Dragonhorn Mountain), standing at 690m or twice the height of the Eiffel Tower, being the highest peak on the island. Tioman is also one of the most developed islands off the east coast, with a wide range of accommodation choice, from five-star resorts to simple comfortable wooden chalets.
Tioman’s underwater world is equally seductive. Tioman averages at about 10m, this can increase on occasions up to 30m. Just 13km north-west of Tioman, just off Salang Village, a cluster of five smaller islands - Sepoi, Labas, Soyah, Chebeh, Tulai and Burong - harbour an array of dive sites. Protected from the open sea to the east, these islands offer the perfect conditions for a thriving underwater metropolis. The other islands are Renggis, Sembilang and Seri Buat.


Most resorts are closed from November until February due to the Northeast monsoon, which brings strong winds and rough seas. However, Tioman remains open during this period. But the best time to visit Tioman island is between February and October. The average temperature on Tioman is between 28 to 30 degrees Celcius.


Dive Sites At Tioman
* Chebeh Island
Slightly further away, northwest of the main Tioman Island, Chebeh gives divers a chance to encounter pelagic species including giant mantas. It also harbours a notable garden of gorgonian seafans.

* Magician Rock
Facing the open South China Sea, Magician Rock offers and opportunity for divers to catch a glimpse of pelagic species including whale sharks and mantas as well as school of fishes. Magician Rock is located about 15 minutes away from Tioman Island.

* Sri Buat Island
Located closer to the mainland coast, Sri Buat island is known for a variety of beautiful hard corals as well as clusters of soft corals.


* Soyak Wreck
One of several man-made reef in Tioman, Soyak Wreck is located just 20m below the surface. Adorned with an array of soft and hard corals, the hull of this sunken vessel teems with beautiful reef fishes.

* Renggis Island
One of the most popular dive sites in Tioman is Renggis Island, which lies on the west coast of Tioman, just a 5-minute boat ride from Tekek Village. Although it is possible to explore the full circle of Renggis in a single dive, it would be a shame not to take the time to eyeball the array of reef species that inhabit this dive site. Among others, divers can easily encounter blue spotted rays, angelfishes and cuttlefish.

* Marine Park Centre
The marine park centre dive site is perhaps the most easily accessible dive site on Tioman, located on the west coast of the island, near Tekek Village. One attraction of the marine park centre dive site is a concrete reef near Teluk Air Batang. This concrete reef, which measures 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2m, lay at a depth of 25m .

* Tulai Island
The crystal clear waters surrounding Pulau Tulai, also known as Coral Island, draws snorkelers with its variety of corals. Over 150 species of hard corals alone have been identified around Tioman and Tulai islands. Divers to Tulai enjoy not only these beautiful coral bouquets, but also keep an eye out for schools of wrasses, trevally and barracudas. Tulai Island also boasts a beautiful strip of beach.

* Tiger Reef
Tiger Reef is famous for the sway of Gorgonian and Sea Fans that mesmerise divers here. Named after its spreading fan-like shape, the sturdy structure of these corals enables it to flourish in waters with strong currents, common in these areas. Other marine animals often sighted at Tiger Reef include nurse sharks as well as schools of yellowtails, angelfishes and snappers

* Labas Island
An interesting landscape of submerged and semi-submerged volcanic boulders make Labas – or also known as Pirate Island – a very interesting dive site to try. These tumble of boulders form underwater tunnels, highlighted with multicoloured soft corals, which allows divers to indulge in slow, meditative, tunnel swim-through.


* Malang Rock
Like Labas, the Malang Rock dive site also features a terrain of large boulders that dip down to a depth of about. Located off the east coast of Tioman Island, Juara dive site is a good place to see rays, snappers and barracudas that congregate around a landscape of hard corals.
* Tokong Bahara
* Seafan Garden
* Layang layang Cave
* Batu Mambang
* Golden Reef

How To Get There
The nearest point of departure Tioman is from Mersing jetty in Johor, although it is also accessible via Tanjong Gemuk in Pahang. Fast ferry services are available from both Mersing and Singapore. Regular flights from Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan and Singapore are also available.

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