Whilst the Seri Buat archipelago, located off the Peninsular Malaysian eastern seaboard, comprises a few dozen islands, arguably the most idyllic and certainly the most renown of the lot is Pulau Tioman.
Tioman lies about 50 kilometers off the coastal town of Mersing, which is also the location of the ferry terminal for tourists on their way to Tioman.
Other islands in the archipelago that draw in decent numbers of travelers are Pulau Rawa, Pulau Besar, Pulau Tenga and others. These islands offer their own private mode of sea transport, however.
Tioman comprises five main villages (or kampungs as they're locally known) along its west coast. These are Salang, Ayer Batang, Tekek, Paya and Genting. The east coast of Tioman, being the more remote section, features a single kampung, Juara.
By the way, there are other smaller kampungs, like Mukut and Nipah, both of which are in the south, but these are not major enough to appear on even the established maps.
Tioman is of a calibre that outshines the other islands in the archipelago. In fact, Tioman has received praise from both CNN and TIME Magazine for its natural beauty and quality of its beaches. But not just its beaches, Tioman's virginal jungle, ever-humming with a natural charge and teeming with an abundance of wildlife, big and small, is a major tourist-magnet too.
Tioman is nothing short of an experience.
Now, If you're not sure of the type of accommodation you want to book on Tioman, then rest assured there are plenty. Lodgings range from simple beach huts without aircon or hot shower, all the way up to resort villas Maldives-style. Both will be an awesome stay, as one thing is quite clear: it doesn't matter where you stay in Tioman, it's bound to be fun in the sun.
Activities include the ones offered on and in the water, as well as land-based recreation. Examples: snorkeling, scubadiving, SUP, windsurfing, kayaking and fishing. Whilst on land, you can opt for mountain-hiking, jungle-walks, eco-excursions or rock-climbing. Don't forget to visit the waterfalls as these are a must-see. And you may even get to see Rafflesia, which, at one meter diameter, is considered the largest flower in the world.
Ferry to Tioman
Whilst there is a flight to Tioman from Kuala Lumpur, by far most travelers make their way to the island by ferry. The ferry journey is about two hours and is quite a fun ride. The ferry terminal is located in Mersing, a coastal town located in the state of Johor.
That being said, do make sure you book your ferry tickets ahead of your arrival in Mersing, as the ferry to Tioman does not depart at regular hours. In fact, no two days are the same and the reason is the shallow mouth of the Mersing River. So having a ticket in hand will spare you from arriving in Mersing after the last ferry has left, or a fully booked ferry.
Bus to Mersing
How to get to Mersing? Apart from driving there of course, there are plenty of buses and coach services that have Mersing on their route. Just use below booking form to claim your seats. Don't wait too long though, because peak season is from February to September.
By the way, you can also rent a private vehicle, as there are taxis available that go to Mersing.