Beach at Coral Island

 Tioman Island


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.

Setting sun as seen from the ferry on the way to TiomanSunset at Salang Beach 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.

Coral reefs in shallow waters off Coral IslandLocated 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.

Shadows of palm tree on Salang Beach Some chalets at Salang Village, Tioman Island

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