Tioman - A Diver's Paradise

by Audrey Lim, Mar 21, 2001 | Destinations: Malaysia / Tioman Island
A school of jacks

A school of jacks

A school of jacks
A reef cuttlefish.
A green turtle.

Tioman Island is like a glittering jewel set amidst the South China Sea. It is one of the largest isles in the group of 64 volcanic islands, welcoming its visitors with beautiful white beaches and crystal clear azure seas. This place is enchanting and picturesque - a tropical paradise.

The island is mainly populated by friendly villagers, by people who know how to enjoy life in an unhurried manner. When you're amongst them, you'll feel as if your burdens are lifted off and the worries of your everyday life seem a thousand miles away. Tioman made its first movie debut in the movie "South Pacific". In the movie, it was known as "Bali Hai". This beautiful island is considered one of the world's ten most beautiful islands. There are steep slopes with lush green vegetation and there are also colorful burst of orchids and other tropical flowers on the island. Imagine the wonders of nature with its spectacular waterfalls cascading down these slopes and finding their way through secluded sandy beaches to join with the clear blue waters and iridescent coral reefs.

This is the untouched natural beauty of Tioman.

Each year, this popular tourist spot draws thousands of people to its awesome beauty and sandy white beaches. Sun lovers will worship the land and will be able to enjoy hours just languishing on the pearly beach whilst those who love collecting seashells will have a whale of a time gathering a myriad varieties of these lovely sea creatures found along its palm-fringed beaches. Several popular beaches include the ones around the villages of Tekek, Genting and Salang. For the romanticists, do take a stroll on one of these beaches during sunset to experience that enchanting moment; it'll take your breath away!

Tioman is also known as a diver's paradise. The island, blessed with sparkling blue waters and stunning beaches with fine white sands, will delight many divers. The prolific coral gardens fringing the coast are not to be missed. Around the underwater promontory, the water is crystal clear as far down as 100 feet. And this is where you'll find a rich variety of corals, fishes and shells. Within the cool glassy depths is an underwater paradise with glorious acropora corals, delicate sea fans, and the alyconarian soft corals. There are also many multi-colored staghorn coral. It is truly heavenly to dive amongst the bright colored fishes? watching them swim around and about the corals in its vivid neon hues! You'll find fishes like sweetlips, cardinal fish, parrotfish, wrasses, butterfly fish, damselfish and the aggressive anemones fish with its soft tentacles.

The best time for diving is between the months of May and October. The water then is known to be at its prime. It is advisable to bring along an underwater camera where you'll surely get some of the best shots of your lifetime. Many are contented to be swimming amongst the colorful water garden, drinking in the sights. Some of the popular diving spots are along the shallow reefs at Salang beach and the neighboring Tulai and Renggis.

To get there, you can take a flight onboard Pelangi Air or Berjaya Air. Both operate daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Tioman. Pelangi Air flies daily from Singapore too. Alternatively, you can get to Tioman Island via the passenger boat services from Mersing located in the state of Johor. The trip takes about one and a half hours.