I have a short visit to Tioman Island around May 1996 just
before I've got enlisted into national service. As I do
not yet have my own camera, this trip is done with a borrowed
Yashica FX-3 Super manual SLR. Looking back, I realised
that manual SLR, though simple in design, is a wonderful
tool to learn about photography.
There are several ways to get to Tioman Island from Singapore.
The fastest of course would be by air. Direct ferry services
are also available here. The cheapest way however would
be to take a bus to the town of Mersing in Malaysia and
to take a boat ride across to Tioman. Beware though. My
friend and I made the mistake of making a direct booking
(for the boat and accomodations) with the agent in Mersing
over the phone. Being a Friday, the agent went off for his
Friday prayer and could not be found when we reached Mersing.
By the time when we have finally located him, we had already
miss our boat, resulting in a wastage of several hours until
the next boat leaves. Needless to say, it was totally dark
by the time we reached the island.
on the eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia, Tioman Island
has an abundance of beautiful beaches. Diving and snorkeling
is a popular activity here in Tioman given that the island
is surrounded by the clear blue sea. Along the coast of
the island are a number of villages that visitors can stayed
in. I had stayed in Salang village, which is said to have
one of the nicer beaches around the island. While I have
not truly visited any other villages on the island, I must
admit that Salang beaches are indeed beautiful.I couldn't
say the same for the accomodations though. While there are
a number of different 'resorts' around, the one that I stayed
in leaves more to be desired. Creaky bed, roaches and mosquitoes.
Need I say more? That should teach us a lesson for not doing
our groundwork before the trip. That aside, Tioman is still
a great place to be. The calm and serenity makes it a fantastic
spot for some real relaxation.