There are quite a few budget/backpacker resorts in Tioman. Try Salang or ABC. Tekek also has a few.
You can do a snorkeling excursion for RM100 that starts at 9 am and ends at 4 pm. Usually, this involves visiting 3 or 4 snorkeling sites, depending on the weather and state of the sea.
You can ask the operator to go the day you like, because most operators get bookings every day, so they can fit you in any day you like, no worries.
There are 2 ways to get to Tioman:
1. The budget way: by bus (Transnasional or Five Stars) to Mersing, followed by the ferry (http://www.tiomanferry.com/).
2. The costly but fast way: by plane (http://www.berjaya-air.com/) from KL or Singapore.
You have ferry connection to Tioman Island from the malaysian mainland.
Most of them go from the town Mersing which is one and a half hours boatride away from Tioman and you have several ferries a day serving that route.
there are also a few connections from the town Endau, but i did not come from there, so i do not know much detail about that connection.
The ferries from Mersing are those awful jettys where they try to lock you in a closed cabin with a hundred other people where the air con is running crazy so everyone is freezing and the tv is balsting out some C movie noone with a brain want to watch.
But if you claim that you want to go out and smoke then they will let you stand outside on the back of the boat and that is much preferable to the cold smelly and noisy inside of the jetty.
Once i found out that i could go outside then i quite enjoyed the ride i must say.
The cost of a one way ticket is 35 Ringgitt.
For me, I booked a coach from Five Star Travel at $25 per pax. The coach would leave on 6.30am. Estimated time that would reach Mersing would be around 10.30am to 11.00am. Situations such as the bus' tyre puncturing do happen, so be prepared for it. If you are lucky, you might barely catch the ferry at 10.30am. The safe side would be plan for the "11.30am" ferry which generally arrives at noon.
For the return journey, the return ferry generally reaches around 12 noon. If you wish to take a bus back to johor or singapore, you might wanna book your return coach ticket before you leave for Tioman at the bus terminal. If not, you might need to take a cab which costs between $150 to $180 to johor.
With the exception of several close villages, most of Tioman is not connected by road.You can't drive, You can't cycle (too many headlands to trek up) and trekking is incredibly tiring.
From experience, never EVER believe when the local tells you the destination is just a cigarette stick away (which means by the time your cigarette burns out, you've reached your destination). That particular journey took me a tiring 45 mins up some pretty steep terrain.
The only way alternative to trekking is by boat and its pretty darn expensive. If you ain't Malaysian, they'll squeeze every drop out of you. One guy charged me RM80 for a short 10min boat ride.
To be truthful, just stay at your own village. It's just not worth coughing out the cash for the fun of visiting the other villages.
You get around Tioman by hiring taxi boats, e.g. a boat that you book for either a set journey, a fewhours, full day etc. As I stayed in a fairly isolated place, walking/biking/motoring to other places wasn't much of a possibility, so the solution was to ask the hotel receptionist to place a booking for you and ask them to take care of cost. The cost seems to be fairly well coordinated between the boat operators, but in the vening when you want to go back to your place and ask for a taxi boat the price is suddenly steep. Going in a group and making prebookings is probably ensuring a lower cost. All this said, it is a delightful way of travelling as long as you are prepared for bumpy rides and water spray.
Berjaya Air has a daily Flight from Singapore Seletar Airport to Tioman. The plane is a DeHavilland Dash 7 aircraft and has a capacity of 48 seats. The flight takes only half an hour but can get quite bumby. We had a lot of turbulence on the way to Tioman.
Also, be prepared for some delays. If the weather is bad, the plane can not start nor land in Tioman. Our flight to Tioman was delayed 2 hours and the flight back got canceled and moved to the next morning. In such instances, Berjaya would provide either free accommodation or free transportation to and from your home. I suggest to plan your trip wisely, i.e. don't make any plans shortly after your ETA.
Seletar Airport is very small and doesn't have a restaurant (only one for staff that is) nor any shop. Bring along something to read or play games and plenty of coins for the vending machines.
Seletar Airport can be reached with Bus 103M from Serangoon MRT, but that takes like 40 minutes. Strongly suggest to take a taxi.
Tioman Airport is about the same size and has some small shops and some restaurants in the surroundings. Suggest not to go through immigration until the landing of your plane.
Berjaya Resorts offer free flights in the off- and between-season, check their website for good deals.
Berjaya Air flies direct from Singapore to Tioman, though it's at least twice as expensive compared to the coach + ferry route. It was an interesting experience flying on a small 48 seater plane though. For other routes and rates please check the website below.
This is the fastest but also the most expensive way to get to Tioman from Singapore. Berjaya Air flies out from Singapore's Seletar Airport direct to the Berjaya Tioman Beach, Golf & Spa Resort on Tioman daily.
Seletar Airport is an airport in the northern part of Singapore and should not be confused with Changi International Airport which is at the eastern end of the island. Berjaya Air is the only commercial airlines using this airport. Plane used is a Dash 7 (48 seater)
Flight schedule is as (circa Apr 2007):
To Tioman Island
Fri J8 311 (1200/1235); Tue & Thu J8 313 (1325/1400); Mon, Wed, Sat & Sun J8 317 (1505/1540)
To Singapore Seletar
Tue & Thu J8 314 (1220/1255); Fri J8 312 (1255/1330); Mon, Wed, Sat & Sun J8 318 (1400/1435)
Return fare is about S$222++ per adult (without taxes and surcharges).
Please refer to Fare Chart.
We took bus from KL to Mersing town. There's the gateway for several beautiful island in Pahang, i.e. Pulau Tioman, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Aur, Pulau Besar etc.
We bought to and fro Transnasional bus tickets at Puduraya counter in Kuala Lumpur 3 weeks before our trip since our date of visit is on public holidays (Labour day). It cost RM 19.50 per person per way.
Not much choice for time, we chose night coach. Journey starts at 11.30 pm and we arrive Mersing before 5 am.
Though it's very early but don't be afraid because there're plenty of Malay food stalls opened to serve you right at bus station (R&R Mersing).
**Bus station is just next to ferry/boat jetty**
For coming back to KL, our bus starts sharp at 10 pm and we arrive Puduraya station around 3.30 am.
You could opt for Sutera Coach. They probably serve more frequent bus. I heard of 6 pm bus from Mersing to KL. You should arrive KL around 11.30 pm, not in the middle of the night.
=GOING TO PULAU TIOMAN (From Malaysia Island)=
It is pretty obvious that the only mean of transport to Tioman Island is the boats.
If you can't wait to hit the beaches fast, then take the HIGH-SPEED BOATS. They're fast, bumpy, and seems a little dangerous. But you'll reach the island in around one and half hours, which is the fastest way you can get there. Note that this is the most expensive.
Alternatively, you can take the HIGH-SPEED FERRY. The journey is about two hours. Slightly less expensive than the previous.
If you want to take the journey slow, the FERRY is for you. Three-hour journey and the price should be the same as high-speed ferry.
Honestly, the best way to get around is by foot. No renting of bicycles, or if there are, they're hard to find. So, remember to wear your good walking shoes. Now is the time to ditch those heels.
Within Tioman, you have two choices. The first is speedboat. These are a tad on the expensive side and you can expect to pay RM10-40 for a ride anywhere. Check the rates at the travel agents before boarding. Round the island tours for RM50 which are your best bet. To take the speedboats, wait at the jetty. Sometimes, the agents will require you to have two people minimum. In such a case, wait at the jetty and just hitch a ride with anyone going to your destination.
-Check out the website for more good info.-
There are two ways of getting to Pulau Tioman - by ferry from Mersing but you need to get a coach to Mersing from either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.... or by a 1 hour flight with Berjaya Air from either Singapore or KL.
We flew with Berjaya Air - booked in conjunction with our accommodation. We had a bit of a scare because they say you can only have 10K checked in baggage and 3K take on, so we knew we had to travel light. We had made extra purchases in KL and were assured that the airport would have lockers to store our extra stuff. However, we arrived to find out that there were no lockers so we had to take our extra purchases on the plane. We lined up prepared to pay a fortune in extra baggage costs but they didn't charge us!! Thank goodness!! :o) Phew!...that was relief!! :o)
As we did not book our bus tickets in advance, there was no more slot for the 8.30am coach to mersing even though we arrived early at larkin station. But we didn't want to wait for the next bus at 11.30am, so we found another way to mersing -- which is travelling first to Kota Tinggi terminal then change to another bus to mersing. Though it cost a bit more, we managed to reach mersing at 10.30am.
8.30am coach (S&S) -- RM 8
7.15am local bus 227 from larkin station to Kota Tinggi terminal -- RM 4.50
8.45am local bus from Kota Tinggi terminal to mersing -- RM 6.90
*One thing to note: The local bus will stop at bus stops to pick up passengers. And, in mersing, the bus terminate at a different bus terminal, not at the R&R plaza.
From Singapore we can go to Tioman either by Bus/Ferry or by Flight.
Flight is operated by Berjaya Air which belongs to Berjaya Resort. You need to take a Ferry from there to go to other resorts.
Going by Bus
I booked the full package for 3 days 2 nights including the Bus/Ferry rides.
From Singapore to Mersing - 3 hrs by Bus
Bus starts at 6.30 AM from Singapore and by the time you complete the immigration and step inside Malaysia it will be around 8.00 AM. From there it takes 3 hrs and we reach Mersing by 11.00 AM. It between they will stop the Bus once for a break of 20 mins. It's not a hotel it's better to carry your lunch.
From Mersing to Tioman - 1.5 hrs by Ferry
From Mersing the Ferry is at 12.00 pm. So need to wait for 1 hr since we reach Mersing by 11.00 AM. It takes 1.5 hrs in the Ferry and Paya Beach Resort is the second stop. First one is Sun Beach Resort and the third one would be Berjaya. By the time you reach the resort it would be around 1.30 or 2.00 pm. So do carry something to eat for the lunch. Otherwise you will be very tired.
Same like this on the way back, the Ferry is at 12.00 PM from Tioman to Mersing. So, have your lunch before that otherwise you won't have time to eat. The Bus will stop at the same place while returning back to Singapore and you won't get good food there.
The only way to go to Tioman is by ferry/speedboat.
Speedboat costs RM45: 1 to 1.5hrs
Ferry costs RM35: 2 to 2.5hrs
The earliest ferry departs Mersing at 0730hrs and departs from Tioman -Salang Beach- at 0730hrs also.
Boat tickets can be bought from Travel agents or Ticket counters; NEVER from Taxi Drivers.
There is also a RM5 "conservation" fee to pay.
Return ferry tickets to Tioman Island cost RM70 per pax. Took about 1 1/2 hr to reach Tioman. Call Lily from SS Service Travel Agency to purchase the tickets. She can find accomodations if you dont have any in Tioman.