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Overview

It's not surprising that Tioman Island (Pulau Tioman) was used as the location for the movie South Pacific. Surrounded by turquoise seas, this idyllic 12 mile long, 7 mile wide island 31 miles off the southeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia is perfect Hollywood-movie, desert-island material. Divers and snorkelers will love its coral reefs teeming with sealife – it’s a great place to learn how to dive with lots of operators keeping prices reasonable. There’s a mountainous jungle interior that it’s possible to trek across and a great choice of accommodations – everything from luxury resorts with complete pampering to simple beach huts ...

It's not surprising that Tioman Island (Pulau Tioman) was used as the location for the movie South Pacific. Surrounded by turquoise seas, this idyllic 12 mile long, 7 mile wide island 31 miles off the southeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia is perfect Hollywood-movie, desert-island material. Divers and snorkelers will love its coral reefs teeming with sealife – it’s a great place to learn how to dive with lots of operators keeping prices reasonable. There’s a mountainous jungle interior that it’s possible to trek across and a great choice of accommodations – everything from luxury resorts with complete pampering to simple beach huts and banana pancakes for the budget brigade. You can arrive by flight or boat at Tekek, the island’s main hub and home to the island’s biggest resort – Berjaya Tioman Beach – which also offers a golf course, tennis courts, spa and swimming pools with waterslides. Air Batang (better known as ABC) is the backpacker’s choice with a relaxed kampung (village) atmosphere while busy Salang offers a lovely white sand beach and the chance to see giant monitor lizards. To really get away from the crowds take the boat (or hike!) across to Juara on Tioman’s practically undeveloped east coast.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located 20 miles off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia
  • Language: Bahasa Melayu and English
  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Avoid the monsoon months of November to February and any major holiday times in the region when the island gets packed.