"Pulau Tioman" Top 5 Page for this destination Pulau Tioman by mansionion

Pulau Tioman Travel Guide: 445 reviews and 1,046 photos

Of bird and dragon

Located on the South China Sea, Pulau Tioman is the largest island on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is part of the Seribuat Archipelago which is made up of 64 volcanic islands (including the mysterious Seribuat island) off the southeastern coast of Pahang and approximately 32 km off Mersing.

The name of the island is said to be derived from a bird known as "tiong" (jungle mynah) among the locals. In the early days, the local islanders love to keep the bird as pet and affectionately called the bird as "tiong mas" (golden mynah) or "tiong man" (my mynah, ‘man’ means ‘my’ in the island's local dialect ). Hence, this is how the name Tioman is derived from.

Legend has it that the island of Tioman was formed when a magical dragon princess flying from China to join her beloved prince in Temasek (old Singapore) settled herself on South China Sea for a rest. The dragon princess became so enchanted with the warm crystal clear waters of this particular spot in the South China Sea that she decided to discontinue her journey and formed into this beautiful dragon shaped island to provide shelter and comfort for weary travelers. The high ridge of the island is believe to be the form of the dragon's backbone and the clouds that circles around the twin peaks on the island's Western ends are said to be smoke breathed from her nostrils. It is not suprising then that the early Chinese traders referred to Tioman as "the island with 2 horns".

Of fame and fortune

Due to its strategic location on the open sea, Tioman used to be a stopover for sailors, fishermen, traders and even pirates to get fresh water and firewood or for seeking shelter from storms in the early days. The island later became a settlement for Malay fishermen and there are now six major villages (kampungs) on the island, mostly on the west coast of the island.

Apart from its strategic location, Tioman is also blessed with beautiful beaches with bountiful marine life and natural luscious green landscape with majestic cascading waterfalls. All these making it an ideal tourist destination for snorkeling,scuba diving, jungle trekking or even rock climbing.

Tioman claim its worldwide fame when in 1958 it was used as the setting for the imaginary supposedly mythical magical island of "Bali Hai" from the 1958 Hollywood movie "South Pacific". Additionally, the Time magazine once voted the island as one of the 10 most beautiful island in the world.

Eventhough Tioman today is the most developed island on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, slow pace of life still the order of the day on this rustic island. However, things are set to change when it was granted the duty free island status on 2004 (Malaysia's third duty free island after Langkawi and Labuan) as more developments will take place here. A controversial marina project that may threaten its marine life is already taking shape. Plan is also underway to upgrade its airport to accomodate bigger planes in the future.

Eventhough over the last 10 years the development in Tioman has had some adverse impact on the it's environment, it still remains a beautiful and restful place. Expect more development to take place here in the near future with its new found fortune as a duty free island. With all the developments and anticipation of more tourists arrival, it is better to go to Tioman now before it is too late.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:A beautiful and restful place, go to Tioman now before it is too late.
  • Last visit to Pulau Tioman: Oct 2005
  • Intro Updated Feb 4, 2006
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Comments (10)

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Fantastic page!! We are thinking of visiting this year. Enjoyed the read and loved the dolphin & sunset pix :o) Cheers, Ann.

  • Aug 4, 2007 at 7:41 PM

    kg juara and its locals are like dogs and filthy pigs..rudest. i've met in my life...arroggant bastards and low life scums who just cheat plp for a living...to hell with their future and def. not recommending and travellers to go to this part of Tioman!!!

  • May 8, 2007 at 4:59 PM

    Juara has the rudest arroggant bastards I ever met! Been in Malaysia for more then 10 yrs,in n out of so many villages but Juara is so backdated...I ll never recommend to any one to come as its a waste of time....there are so many nice villages on Tioman!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2007 at 3:46 PM

    Excellent page and great introduction to Pulau Tioman. The twin peaks and dolphins are great. Have not been to Tioman yet. Must go :)

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2007 at 9:30 PM

    lovely page ;-)

  • juliewong's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2006 at 7:53 PM

    There is a luxurious villa in Tioman.. cool. Informational tips you have there.

  • sweetie_inc's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2006 at 2:40 AM

    there's dolphins in tioman?!! unbelievable.. i got to see this myself one day... cheers, Nora

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2006 at 11:11 PM

    hmmm, duty free? never knew about that.

  • kelnsha's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2006 at 10:02 PM

    Did u get the chance to go up there? - greetings from Kelvin, Singapore.

  • ifam's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2005 at 4:04 AM

    i ve always wanted to visit Tioman, hmm...jus donno when....or with who shd i go..one day i must...well done mr bawang

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