To get here from Singapore, I first had to take a bus to Mersing, back in Malaysia, and then a ferry to Tioman Island.
The bus dropped me off to in small bus station in Mersing. Nearby the station there is a Bluewater Express office, where you can buy a round-trip ferry ticket to Tioman Island.
From there you can take a taxi or you can walk for 15 minutes to Mersing Jetty, where you’ll have to pay some extra fees, environmental and whatnot.
Of course, the AirBnb bungalow I booked is on the opposite side of the island, in Juara village. And in-between there’s a small mountain. As there’s no taxi service, nor public transport on this island, I found a random guy with a car, that together with 3 other random tourists, drove us on the other side of the island, for 25 RM / person, straight to the bungalows. The road is pretty steep, so this trip takes about 45 minutes or more.
Arrived at the place. Everything is closed. And it’s only 14.00. Wtf.
There’s a small terrace attached to the place, just a few meters from the sea. Pretty nice.
I finally get to see a guy who knows the guy responsible with my check-in. Now waiting for that check-in guy to arrive.
More guys appear. They’re chilling. They don’t seem to speak English.
Okay, they don’t. However, they’re friendly looking. They’re now singing, guitar and voice. In the middle of the day. Islanders, island life. Not bad.
Check-in guy arrives. I get a small and simple bungalow facing the sea. Not too shabby.
Next day, while working on my computer on the terrace, a friendly French guy pops by. He’s a world traveler, hopping from place to place, and currently working as an English teacher not too far from Penang, Malaysia. We talk for quite a while, and invites me to a hangout with other travelers.
Later, on the same terrace, people started gathering. 12 persons later, a big fat cigarette pops up from two Libyan dudes. And apparently Libyans have this strange tradition to share such cigarettes with people. What a kind bunch.
Couple hours later, I find myself hunting for a Mango tree in the middle of the night for some reason. No mango there.
Today is paddle board day! I’ve rented a paddle board for the day, and went out in the sea. In contrast with most of the beaches I’ve seen in Malaysia, this beach has one of the clearest waters I’ve seen around. The views were great, but unfortunately I didn’t have the camera with me.
Rest of the days, I spent walking around, hiking through the jungle, and working. Awesome place. Deserves a revisit.
Next — I’m going to Philippines: 1 week on El Nido island and 1 week on Boracay island, where I’ll be meeting a former classmate from highschool.
All events depicted above took place a few months before the date of publication of this article. Due to lack of spare time and because of laziness, this late post is merely a vague recollection of a past trip.