Pulau Tioman - My 3-Day 2-Night Trip to Pahang State, Malaysia

Pulau Tioman – My 3-Day 2-Night Trip to Pahang State, Malaysia

Are you the kind of person who loves the sun, the water and white, sandy beaches? Tourists enjoy visiting Pulau Tioman for its sporting activities such as snorkelling, its amazing cruises and beautiful corals!

I am not known to be extremely diligent when it comes to posting my itinerary for overseas trips as I believe that nice surprises have that opportunity to pop out in a loosely planned free-and-easy tour.

It really depends on individuals; some prefer to have tightly packed schedules, typically tour packages sold by travel agencies whereas others (like myself) love the freedom to slowly relax and absorb the local culture of the place I am travelling to.

Day One

Anyway, much has been said and I shall now begin with a pretty detailed itinerary of my most recent Pulau Tioman island trip. It all started at 6.40am on 12 October 2013 when I was in a half dead mode as I boarded the coach (CEO Classic Coach Cruiser) from the Galleria (DFS) entrance in Orchard.

By 7.20pm, we were already crossing the causeway to the Malaysian checkpoint. With Second Link being favoured by coaches traversing the Singapore-Malaysia route, I realised it has been a long time since I last took this route via a travel coach.

Within an hour, we were brought to this coffeeshop for breakfast!

Don’t ask me its location which was way beyond my comprehension (only remember it was slightly further than AEON Tebrau City). I can recall the RM 5 wanton noodles though (duh right); not very sweet yet it won my heart for its tastefully made savoury sauce and generous serving of tender minced pork!

Our next stop was to Tanjung Gemok ferry terminal; one of two gateways to Tioman Island. More on that later but I thought I should just highlight that the time taken to reach the terminal from the coffeeshop was roughly 150 minutes and the coach didn’t come with entertainment like movies or even games! 🙁

It started pouring halfway through the journey and I was superbly worried that this might be the case for the boat ride later on. You can’t blame me as I have heard stories of very rocky conditions along the route and news reports on capsized ferries were not exactly uncommon.

The weather was not as bad when we reached the terminal. Ferry tickets were issued as part of the full board package I bought prior to the trip.

By the way, please be prepared for RM 5 conservation charge for entering the marine park. Money collected would be used to support their conservation and heritage programmes.

Health advisory tips!

Besides Tanjung Gemok ferry terminal, there was another terminal that used to be the only gateway to Tioman; Mersing ferry terminal. According to the locals I spoke to, Mersing is slightly nearer to Singapore but it has an unfortunate problem: when the tide is low, no boats can enter and this can be problematic as ferry delays are so frequent!

No-frill ferry to our destination; frankly, no difference at all from the ferries we took to the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan. Oh, there’s one key difference.

How on earth is anyone supposed to shit in this small hole?!

The uneventful journey took us approximately 105 minutes to reach the first stop, Kampung Genting.

I was more in awe of those weirdly shaped mountains that provided a scenic backdrop to the village. At certain angles, it did appear to be a turtle with its snout facing the sky.

Divers-to-be in training! Could I possibly be one of them in a year’s time!?

In less than 10 minutes, we arrived in Kampung Paya where we were supposed to stay for the next two nights. In all, the journey from Singapore to the village took us six and a half hours. It was comfortable compared to the 10 over hours ride I had to endure to Pulau Redang!

After checking in and dumping our barang barang, we started to check with Paya Beach Resort’s activities counter for our half day snorkelling trip that came with our package.

We wandered around the small village and marvelled at trees with very smooth barks.

The water was still relatively choppy when we first arrived.

Conditions improved by around 4pm and we decided to go for snorkelling at a hidden spot just a short distance away from the resort. Given the love Alex and I have for snorkelling, we figured it would be better for us to get our very own snorkelling mask set at RM 90 each!

As you can see, I had donned a life jacket which I rented from the resort.

We were famished after all that kicking under the water! Time for a buffet dinner provisioned in the full board package.

Day Two

Rise and shine for a beautiful Day Two! We managed to secure enough people for a full day snorkelling trip even though there was a top up of roughly RM 70 each.

The sea was much calmer compared to the day before and I saw many people sunbathing and snorkelling right outside the resort.

We waited quite some time for the speedboat and we only departed 45 minutes later. Damn, how come i get the feeling that I was being short-changed?!

Had so much time that i started taking more and more pictures like the one above.

Finally we left for our trip. Our full day snorkelling package  was only RM 110-120 and came with a packaged lunch. We went to Tulai Island, Kampung Salang, Marine Park and Renggis Island that day.

That package ended at around 3pm! 4 hours is considered to be half a day, not full day! We were very annoyed. Anyway, it was insufficient to satisfy us and we went back to the hidden spot for an additional two more hours of fascinating snorkelling.

We ended the night by having a fabulous cultural exchange session with a group of new friends we made on the full day snorkelling package. I was supposed to sleep early but before we knew it, it was already midnight! I should meet up with them soon!

Day Three

After another restless night and a rather boring breakfast, we proceeded to return the rented life jackets and settle our bills.

We proceeded to the jetty after a filling lunch at Pantai Paya seafood restaurant.

Pantai Paya is a sea-facing cafe that appeared to be very popular! It was actually quite empty in the first two days I was there so I am unsure what resulted in its spike on the popularity chart.

Mid-day sun was just too torturing for leaving visitors who would prefer to jump into the inviting water yet couldn’t because the ferry crew would likely bar them from boarding!

This was our last view of Paya Beach Resort!

Here are more photographs as the ferry was late!

It arrived almost 40 minutes late! I was more relieved than angry to see it arriving! I did not want a situation where I’d reached Singapore only at midnight and have to wake up early the next day for work.

We went to Kampung Genting again to pick up passengers. The jetty stops were pretty straightforward: from Tanjung Gemok, it would stop at Genting followed by Paya, Tekek and then Salang after which the ferry would make a U-turn for passengers who are going back to Tanjung Gemok from Tioman island.

Biding a final goodbye to the tortoise island.

I will be back!

I appended some photographs taken on the coach from Tanjung Gemok back to Singapore via the Causeway. The one above was a cemetery!

This was a bird house where bird’s nest can be harvested! I counted no less than twelve such houses on the way back.

Want to guess where this is? Mersing!

Oops, yet another cemetery. Remember, I have always been fascinated with the land of the dead.


Contributed by Entree Kibbles.

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Cavin Teo


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