WARNING: DO NOT STAY HERE
Myself and friends decided to take a short trip to Tioman over the holiday weekend of Hari Raya. The island is mostly deserted as it is monsoon season so we went without booking accommodation. We stayed at Mokhtar's place because we thought it was cheap and cheerful for 1 night. They have signs up that you need to check out by 10am. The next morning there was NO ONE around, (still sleeping) so we went for breakfast to come and deliver back the keys. The owner comes running out at noon when we were delivering back the keys and was very insistent that we pay extra nights because we did not follow by the rules. We calmly explained no one was around, lest no one on the island and he got very angry and started to push our friend. He told him not to push him or touch him, and the owner very aggressively ran for a hammer to intimidate to pay. The owner completely flew off the handle and started yelling and advancing towards us with a hammer, then resorted to get a pair of hedge clippers to intimidate us to pay and screaming and yelling like a crazy person. Slamming the hammer into the desk and yelling and screaming at us and advancing towards us. If we thought he was joking we would have just left, however he had a crazy look in his eye and we really thought our friend's life could be in danger so we paid an extra 50RM to get away safely. THIS GUY IS CRAZY AND NEVER STAY HERE. We found out later they have a bad reputation on the island. We thought he could have been on some sort of drugs, he was very much capable of harm and it was a very very unpleasant experience. Tell all your friends, DO NOT GO HERE. We finally found the sweet spot on Juara beach at Tim's Beach hut. Brilliant place, very very very highly recommended! Saved the whole experience.
Manana Chalets closed down their ops in Juara Tioman for 1.5yrs now...and recently just open their new venue in Borneo,Sabah!!!
Make sure dont be fooled by locals saying its still there!!
Unique Suggestions: Tell them you know the owner..and will call him...
Fun Alternatives: Better off staying in ABC or Salang....Juara definately a NO..NO...
As there are not much local souvenir shops in Tioman, you will find higher prices compared to mainland shops. Delay the shopping for Mersing and you will find same things at a cheaper price.
Unique Suggestions: You can still bargain the price and if you know of prices at Mersing, you may get it at the same price as long as you are good with bargaining.
Beware, if you are white and travelling by bus to Mersing to go to Tioman, the bus may drop you off at a garage / round a bout where you will be greeted by a person from a travel agency called island Connections and pushed into buying a ticket through them, with the usual excuses "island is nearly booked out" "must book now" "must get return ticket" etc. But, this usually is a LIE!!!!! DON"T fall for this. (We are Maori so we are brown and did not get kicked off the bus there, but all of the white people did! We were taken to the REAL bus terminal)
Fun Alternatives: Go and look around, checking out all of the agencies in town, or check out the info with East Coast Backpackers who will give you unbiased opinions, not push you into anything and only if it is true that accommodation can be booked out will suggest that you book a room for one night only so you can look around yourself. You do not even have to be a guest to get help and info from the East Coast Backpackers (http://www.sleepcheap.info/my/eastcoastbackpacker/)
Since the Manana boyz moved out of Tioman(damn they treatment they ve been getting...its great they did!!) the locals from Juara or even Tekek still trying to sell either the bungalows or 4x4 rides to Juara by lying to tourist that this operations is still there!!
They are blindly stupid not thinking some of these mates are old friends of Yan@Manana owner..and they have known each other like myself for a good bloody 10 years mate!!Viva Long beach Perhentians!!!!
So no point lying to the new ones too....I think the Tioman crowd has always wants to make a quick buck and does not think wisely....cheap arroggant lyiars!!
Firts timers to Tioman..Juara...beware!!
Unique Suggestions: Say you know the operator and will call him...or ask other tourist around...or you are a friend and knows the operators have close down!!
must agree on the other write up regards to plp in Juara village by fellow VT.
As i have came across the worts experience in my life last 3 month....
never been insulted and definately will never set foot again in jaura or even Tioman in this case!!
It seems plp are so pushy and will lie their hearts out just to get your money....the cheated us with a 20 min dive with a DM thats probably only has 4 dives in his life,no proper PADI school like they advertise...my girlfriend lost 2 sets of her undies at nite..the car ride cost us 50RM each which is riduculous...and at the cafes they will be so rude to you if didnt eat at their premises...the gf was chased out by one of the owners..
on top the beach has nothing to offer beside the sand flies...its a seriousthing there!!!
DEFINATELY our last trip to JUARA and TIOMAN....lots of other nice places that is worth the money and time and local companion....
Unique Suggestions: avoid going!!!
Fun Alternatives: other east coast island is a better advise
IF any of you travelers intend to stay over the South End of Juara,Tioman...its where there is only 2 operators...one is popular among travellers....ITS is STILL OPERATING!!!
Dont be duped by anyone that says its closed down or there is no such chalets....you bound to find it if you are staying in Juara....childish jealousy fr the locals that is just wasting our money and time...
Unique Suggestions: If you have already paid for a certain days...and in the end you discovered the intended 'place' is still open.....chk out and ask for refunds on the reamaing days....freedom of choice...
There are many jetty at Tioman. You have to be careful as to which one to alight. The boatman will not announce it to all. There are passengers who missed their jetty and have to waste time to travel back. Sequence of jetty as follow (do not know if they will change);
Before you purchase your ferry ticket, check out the tide first. During low tide, speed ferry will not be able to anchor at the jetty. They will have to transport you from jetty using their speed boat to the speed ferry anchoring at a distance away from jetty. Although the distance is short but taking into consideration that the speed boat can only take 40 passengers at one trip, therefore it will have to go to and fro for 3-4 trips.
We make a mistake in purchasing a speed ferry ticket instead of speed boat. The total trip took us 3.5hrs to reach Salang instead of the original 2hr.
However speed boat will not have the problem of not being able to anchor at the jetty, therefore its timeline of 2 hour will be a fixed committed time.
Batteries at Tioman is expensive. Try to bring lots of it there to prevent having to replenish there. I ran out mine. Searching thru shops, cheapest I can find it at Khalid's store, 2 energizer at RM5.50. Rest of the shop I found at RM7.9 and RM8.9
Drinking water in Tioman is quite expensive. Most people bring theirs from the mainland. However if you do not want too much thing to carry, this is a guide to the cost of water at Tioman.
Big bottle of mineral water cheapest at RM3 (shop nearby to jetty). Others are selling at RM3.5 or RM4.
Small bottle of soft drink at RM2.7
Price for speed boat from Mersing-Tioman-Mersing is RM70...nothing wrong with that coz it's fixed n you'll get a ticket for that. But, you have to be careful when travelling by boats in between villages...though there're also prices been fixed for that...some boatmen will charge you extra n frequently much more expensive than the price already fixed. So, please ask around first before hopping in any speed boat without a ticket. Ohhh...and they don't do this to the locals...only to foreigners.
Unique Suggestions: Try reasoning first...convincingly...if it doesn't work...I guess you have no choice...
Fun Alternatives: When you don't have a choice...just pay... but bear in mind to be extra careful next time...
We spend 3+ hours riding speed boat to arrive mainland from Pulau Tioman. The ferry/driver almost round the island before really heading to mainland!!
We took our ferry that was arranged by our tour operator from our Kampung Genting at 3.30pm. The boat move up from Kampung Genting to Kampung Salang, it stops at each and every jetty, picking up more and more passengers. Imagine the boat from 25% passenger became 105% passenger at last! (5% extra means those passengers without seats!)
From Kampung Salang, it travels down back to our Kampung Genting, then only starts journey heading to mainland. Hence, our whole return trip took us more than 3 hours!
Luckily we chose lower deck with aircond this time. Otherwise, we gonna suffer buttock ache again!
Unique Suggestions: Ask before ride.
Ask the boat/ferry driver they are heading which direction, Salang or mainland.
Fun Alternatives: Take direct flight from Subang Airport with Berjaya Air to bypass ferry transfer hassle.
Of course, that will cost you 10x ferry fare!
If you want to stay in 5 stars resort, Berjaya Beach Resort is for you. If you want to meet many divers, Salang village resorts will be your choice but if you want the best of both, check out other resorts before you decide.
Unique Suggestions: There are many resorts in Tioman island. Choose one that is within your budget and according to what you expect. You can find out more at www.myoutdoor.com/tiomanisland
Fun Alternatives: Compare and choose the resort that you want to stay in. There are many photos for you to view and compare. Don't forget to compare the prices too. Find out if their package prices offer, snorkeling trips, return boat and land transfers, meals inclusive or not and whether they have diving facilities/equipment available.
This island is supposedly duty free but there aren't many shops anyway. The few available shops offer limited choice and the reduction in taxes are not wholly reflected in the price of goods here. Do not compare with Langkawi.
Unique Suggestions: Stock-up food. Essential items are expensive.
Fun Alternatives: If u have space in ur luggage, purchase ur duty-free liquor at the kuala lumpur airport.