Apparently the setting for South Pacific – Tioman island is a real must for Backpackers. It’s an idyllic place – clear waters and palm fringed beaches surround inland mountains and jungles.
Forget the Luxury Berjaya resort, unless you want to wile away the hours sitting in a cacooned compound surrounded by overweight tourists. My tip: head to Salang and get a beach hut. You’ll find plenty of other “real” travellers to keep you company and the local food and cuisine is cheap and wonderful – you can order your fish supper pretty much from the Fishermen.
Scuba diving and snorkelling are a must – make sure you take your snorkel and mask (although there are cheap diving courses available if your prefer).
You can also buy fairly cheap round-island boat trips (I would avoid buying anything at the main tourist resort) – which stops off at various points to give you a secluded entrance to stretches of jungles, inland waterfalls, good places to snorkel etc. All picture postcard / idyliic stuff. We saw a couple of Turtles on the trip.
The marine game park is also quite fun – you basically get to swim in the sea alongside swarms of fish that will quite merrily surround you and eat food (bananas) straight from your hand right infront of your googles. It’s quite an unnerving experience – just remind yourslef that they’re not Pirahannas and are perfectly harmless.
Check out the fruit bats dangling from the beach-side trees. They all come alive at dusk and proceed in huge colums like great flying foxes.
A fantastic place!