Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tea for the Tioman

It wasn't until I came to Pulau Tioman that I really appreciated a good island. This is a bally good island.

I've been to plenty over the last few months, gradually overcoming my Bill Hicksesque distaste for the beach and learning to relll. But when I started to miss Pulau Perhentian after my last island trip, I vowed to give myself as long as it took to get sick of paradise the next time around.

I've been here 12 days and counting, which by my restless standards is about eight months. It's not like I have some place I need to go. Really, I'd be crazy to ever leave.

Air Batang

Air Batang (popularly, lazily and illiterately known as 'ABC') is the best place on Tioman if you're looking for that golden ratio of cheap accommodation, peace and quiet, funny wildlife and not being completely tedious.

Wilderness beckons

Beached boat

The Bachelor Pad, a.k.a. The Babe Lair, a.k.a. The Oven

Annyong (as I racistly call my Korean friend) plays a song to the sea

A sunset

Mawar Beach Restaurant for cheap food, irritating cats and apathetic staff.
You can usually find me here thrice daily

Sunset bar for expensive drinks, disappointing pizza and a mental Russian guy making pointless bonfires with twigs he spent all day needlessly gathering, like a pyromaniacal ant


Bigger, busier, noisier, Tekek's only good for a duty-free booze cruise.

Tekek river walk

Big stupid bird

Snorkelling at Coral Island and Renggis Island

Snorkelling is always completely fun, especially when you persuade two Chinese sisters to come along only to discover too late that they can't really swim, and you get to play hero. I saw a shark too. I AM SO ACE!

Unspoilt Coral Island.

Yes, I'm aware it looks exactly the same as every other island beach photo I've ever taken

Dave conspicuously not snorkelling on Coral Island

Spoilt Salang

Rugged Renggis

Trekking to Monkey Bay

When paradise gets tedious (I'm with Lucifer on that one - and on a couple of other points), subject yourself to oppressive heat and minor lacerations with an edifying jungle trek between beaches, along what are optimistically called 'routes.'

Power cables my only guide

Lovely clear water at Panuba

Lovely oily water at Panuba

Slightly disappointing Monkey Bay, where there are no monkeys

But at least there's a rock vaguely in the shape of an arse, so this treacherous trek is ultimately worth it


  1. I could not appreciate British humour until I met you and Oliver, and Mary! haha! I love it!

  2. What does the C stand for in ABC?

  3. 'Chalets' (interesting answer). It's the best known resort in the town, so lazy people appropriate it as the name of the whole place (even though they're both three syllables).

    Probably the same people who call Frankenstein's monster 'a Frankenstein.' Idiots. Everyone knows it's pronounced 'Frankingstein.'

  4. Or people who shorten 'world wide web' (three syllables) to 'www' (nine syllables).

  5. Or jokers who needlessly extend practical, concise words to ridiculous extremes, like when someone at our old workplace decided to call me 'Davidoff.'

    WAS DAVE TOO MUCH OF A MOUTHFUL??? (Not like that).

  6. Beautiful tioman island the water is super clear. I like it!!

  7. Hi! :-)
    I just saw your beautiful pictures from Tioman Island, since I'm going there in April I am wondering where Coral Island is. Is it a small Island near Tioman or can you actually get an accomodation there? It looks so awesome!! Can't wait to go there!


    1. Coral Island was one of the small islands a short distance from the main one, I don't think you can actually stay there (maybe) as they try to keep it nice for day trippers.

      Tioman is a great place to stay, I was only supposed to stay a few days but ended up staying more than two weeks. I still think about those two weeks frequently!

  8. This was probably the highlight of this whole enterprise, wasn't it? The spider bite on my ankle from jungle trekking never healed. That's my tattoo.