Postcards from Tioman Island, Malaysia
Oh friends, you know when you’re just SO excited to write a blog post? Well that’s the case today cause 1. I just cannot wait to tell you about the amazing Tioman Island and 2. I just can’t wait to relive those gorgeous memories! You see after we headed to Malacca and then had a busy time in Kuala Lumpur, well, we needed some proper relaxation right?
This all stemmed from a family holiday to Thailand which we did a few years ago – we had a few days of busy busy and then a few days lounging on an island and it was perfect. Checking out the best villas Thailand helped us make our decision on where to go and what to do, it really is a stunning and culturally beautiful place to go to. So we all got researching into Malaysian Islands and well.. there’s not that many off the main peninsula, but the best ones are off the Eastern Coast.
So we all jumped in two taxis from KL and did the long haul across the island – 5 hours in total through mainly rainforest to literally the other side of the peninsula. We were dropped off in a little town in Mersing where we killed some time waiting for a ferry by admiring a bunch of the cutest local kittens. We then jumped on a ferry to Tioman Island for 2 hours before then being whisked off in a jet boat for a further 20 minutes.
What I’m trying to get across is just how IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE Tioman island is. Like literally if you wanted to get there from London we are talking 24+ hours of travel. But, oh my, it was worth it when we got there!
Tioman island itself is still covered almost completely by lush forests. There are a few resorts dotted around the coast but they are literally next to the sea. There are no roads and if you want to get anywhere then getting in a boat really is your best option.
We decided to stay in Japamala Resort on Tioman Island – an eco-luxe resort dotted right by the coast. The speed boat pulls up to a piece of island where you can almost see little houses poking out then you cast up on a long jetty and walk in. The lush green ahead and crystal clear water below make you feel like you really are entering a tropical paradise.
We did our trip in the off season which meant that the resort itself was a little quiet. It was of course, filled with honey mooning couples so we were a nice group of 6 which were generally far too rowdy. We split into two groups – 4 of us staying in their only house, and 2 off in a jungle villa.
The resort itself was amazing, the whole thing was built without changing any of the natural habitat, which meant that our bathroom consisted of a giant boulder and I was regularly woken up in the morning by monkeys playing in our plunge pool outside. You just cannot beat it.
At first we had grand plans of doing things, but soon island time set upon us – the first time we all had to relax in a busy year. We fell into a grand routine of getting up for a leisurely breakfast before setting up shop in some of the beachside huts. The day filled itself with sunshine, reading and me trying to get everyone in my family to take candid instagram shots (because of course). The island actually had very little internet so it was a great break.
We then always headed to cocktail at 6pm, sitting at the end of the jetty and watching the sun begin to set. The resort had two restaurants – italian or thai, so safe to say that we ate very well!
Although I’ve heard that wailea snorkeling is some of the best in the world, Tioman Island is also really famous for its snorkelling and diving. I was brave and went in a few times for a little snorkel – sometimes I get nervous in the sea. And I’ll admit that I had little experience with snorkeling… I didn’t even know there were different types of snorkel – there I was thinking “what is a dry snorkel?!” before being handed one and heading out. But it turned out that I had no need to be nervous of this particular bit of sea – with its gentle current and crystal clear waters, I saw SO many fish, rays and coral. My sister was even lucky enough to see a turtle!! I did manage to cut up my knee on the coral (always the way) so after that I stuck back to lounging. If you are on vacation and you get the opportunity to go snorkelling, I would strongly urge everyone to give it a go. Some of the underwater life that you come across is just simply beautiful. So before you go on your next vacation, make sure that you have snorkel equipment with you as you never know when you will get the chance again. You won’t regret it!
We did have one excursion where we took a 45 minute walk to a waterfall. And let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve sweated more in my entire life (TMI soz). But omg that humidity was INSANE. I mean the waterfall was lovely but I was happy to be back in my lounger with a long drink to recover!
So really the lesson of both of those is that you can’t beat time by the seaside, in the sunshine on a lounger, with a cocktail. Perfection.
And really, I need to let the pictures speak for themselves and I don’t think you can capture the joy of Tioman Island in any other way. If you ever need a paradise island break then I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s quiet, idyllic and tbh waaaay cheaper than the same kind of things you’d find in places like the Maldives. Get it on your travel list now!!
Do you fancy Tioman Island?