Sitting 32 kilometres off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia this heavily forested tropical island is regarded as one of Asia’s most beautiful tropical island playgrounds featuring sandy beaches, coral reefs and resorts.
I love this island as an escape from life’s daily grind and for myself, it is conveniently reached from Singapore from where a 40 minute flight gets me to Tioman Island airport.
Here the island offers all the attributes that one conjures up when imagining that perfect tropical island. It’s all here! Lush tropical forest slopes down to white sandy beaches that gently ease into the blue azure of the ocean and on arrival one is struck by the realization that the daydream has been replaced by the real thing.
Some serious conservation planning has ensured that this popular resort island has also been allowed to retain its rich and endearing natural attractions. Tioman is a dragon shaped hilly island covered in the main by rain forests that make up 8,296 hectares of the Palu Tioman Wildlife Reserve. The magic of myth is here also with the legend that Tioman Island is the resting place of a beautiful dragon princess. While flying to meet her lover, was so enchanted by the area that she forsook him and turned herself into the island. Jungle trekking here will expose a range of protected fauna and allow for swimming under waterfalls. At the traditional village on Juara Beach one is welcomed to experience some of the local culture.
The natural wonders don’t finish on land here for the island sits on the edge of the Coral Triangle in the South China Sea and as such is a magnet for divers. With its warm sea and good visibility divers may view a diverse range of marine life including Gorgonian sea fans and Staghorn corals along with the amazing sculpture of sea sponges.
Close inshore there are a collection of wonderful snorkelling sites. Spots to visit are Monkey Bay, Marine Park and the close by islands of Coral Island and Renggis Island.
My stay here was spent with the Japamala Resort & Spa, a member of Secret Retreats. This luxury resort prides itself as being ‘One with mother nature’. Here local timbers have been authentically used through their 5 star appointed structures where ‘rustic-luxe’ epidermises their six enchanting room types. The resort sits in breathtaking surrounds, offers two restaurants, a spa and an alluring boutique.
Tioman Island offers it all here from the comfort and relaxation of 5 star luxury to exciting adventure activities and vistas of unimaginable beauty. Don’t miss it!