PLACES OF INTEREST : Pulau Tioman Island - Natures Wonderland



In 2003, National Geographic discovered amphibians and reptiles that are rare and

endemic to the island.


Tioman has one of the last untouched dipterocarp forests in the South China Sea. The abundant sunshine and rain creates a luxuriant setting of tropical trees, sprinkled with an assortment of ferns and flowers. The lush greenery is home to a wide range of wildlife including protected species such as mousedeer, binturong, long-tailed macaque, slow loris, black giant squirrel and brushtailed porcupine. There are no large mammal predators on the island. The ecological galore also includes an interesting array of reptiles and amphibians such as frogs, lizards, geckos, skinks, snakes and monitor lizards. Trekking is an excellent way to enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest while breathing in the fresh, cool air. There are several trek routes in Tioman. Among them is the 7 km route from Tekek to Juara which links the east and west coasts of the island. The path is fringed on either side with outstretched branches and dotted with moss-covered granite boulders. The cool and damp areas are haven to a variety of insects. Trekkers can stop to refresh themselves at the stream along the way. Watching the translucent freshwater prawns in the shallow brooks and other tiny insects along the rocky crevices livens up the break even more.


The island?s climate encourages the lush growth of Euricoma Longifolia (locally known as ?Tongkat Ali?), a potent herb for promoting vitality.


Avid climbers can take a sixhour hike to conquer Mount Kajang (1,038 metres), the highest peak on the island. For rock-climbing enthusiasts, the sites at Tekek, Mukut and Juara are ideal for scaling. Experienced climbers can embark on an adrenaline-pumping ascent over the Gunung Nenek Semukut (also known as Twin Peaks), Malaysia?s highest freestanding spire. Touted as a ?Big Wall? in mountaineering terms, this 690-metre granite monolith is well-known for its challenging terrain. ?Nenek Semukut? literally means ?The Old Lady of Semukut? as its pinnacle resembles the profile of an old lady when seen from a distance.


Gunung Nenek Semukut is more than twice the height of the Eiffel Tower. So far, only a few successful climbs have been made to its peak.


There are several waterfalls on the island. The largest is the Asah Waterfall, where white foamy waters cascade down several feet to a rocky pool. It takes 30 minutes from Mukut and 15 minutes from Asah Village to get there. The Lubuk Tija Waterfall is located at Juara, approximately a half an hours? walk from Juara Village. The splash of water and crisp, cool air make these spots ideal for picnics.



Tioman was the setting for ?Bali Hai? in the Hollywood musical ?South Pacific? and the Hong Kong TV series ?The Ultimate Goal?.


Blessed with a sunny, tropical climate, Tioman is the perfect spot for a host of water sports activities. Visitors can indulge in swimming, boating or simply cruise in a glass-bottomed boat to enjoy the breathtaking marine beauty. For a taste of adventure, you can contend the waves in a kayak or glide over the clear waters by windsurfing. The warm waters and high visibility (20 to 30 metres) make Tioman a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. The calm sea has an assemblage of corals and aquatic inhabitants such as bluespotted lagoon ray, slingjaw wrasse, royal dottyback, dusky parrotfish, blue-ring angelfish, clownfish and many more. The colonies of corals provide habitat for a variety of small marine life. Ideal for snorkelers who wish to swim alongside a symphony of fishes and enjoy the beauty of the undersea gardens. The Marine Park Centre is also a favourite spot for snorkeling. The waters here teem with rabbitfish, wrasse, sergeant major and parrotfish. Tioman offers many attractions for divers of all levels. Most dive operators cater to varied preferences; from introductory dives, night dives to technical diving. PADI certification courses are also conducted on the island. The calm dive sites such as Renggis and Soyak are ideal for novices and underwater photography. Outlying sites such as Chebeh and Tiger Reef are deeper with more interesting terrain.



Tioman?s fringing reefs are a riveting discovery. Gently sloping to the sea, the sites are perfect to explore hard and soft corals as well as multi-hued seafans. The submerged reefs, especially around the smaller islands abound with corals in a riot of colours. They are popular among advanced divers as the currents attract large pelagic species. Night dives can be arranged to witness the splendid display of nocturnal marine life. Dive sites such as Chebeh and Magicienne Rock are well-known for occasional sightings of huge manta rays, whale sharks, black tip reef sharks, great barracuda and turtles. Lucky divers may even spot a Seacow or Dugong, a rare marine mammal further south of the archipelago. The seabed around Tioman holds many secrets and mysteries. It is the final resting place for numerous vessels, mainly scuttled wooden hulled fishing trawlers. These include the Tom Yam, Pirate and Sawadee wrecks.


Dolphins have been spotted around Tioman. If you?re lucky, you?ll be greeted by these friendly mammals during island-hopping trips.


PLACES OF INTEREST : Pulau Tioman Island - Natures Wonderland