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Diving Malaysia-Borneo >> Tioman Island

Tioman Island Tioman Island Tioman Island Tioman Island Tioman Island

Tioman Island, known locally as Pulau Tioman, is a small island located off the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia. It was first recorded and mapped by ancient Chinese mariners, who along with other passing sailors, fishermen and traders used the island as a refuelling and waypoint on their way to, and from, what is now Singapore.

The richness of life on Tioman Island extends to its surrounding waters. Legend goes that the island was formed when a dragon princess stopped to rest in the water on her way to see a prince in Singapore. So taken by its waters, the princess instead turned herself into the island, so she could forever enjoy its beauty. After diving here it is very easy to understand why this legend stands. Tioman Island has arguably the most beautiful coral gardens in the South China sea with a huge variety of tropical reef fish, turtles, sharks, cuttlefish and nudibranchs.

Although this stunning island is remote, it is within proximity to two of Asia’s biggest airports, making it the ideal getaway for any scuba diver and nature lover travelling from Australia.

  • Tioman Island Geographical Information

    The rich island paradise of Tioman Island is just 137 square km in size with 98% being covered in thick rainforest, home to numerous endemic species such as sea eagles, monkeys and deer. Around 2,650 people call this island home. Six main villages, called kampungs, are nestled along the edge of the island between dense jungle covered mountains.

    Tioman Island is one of the most popular islands on the eastern side of Peninsula Malaysia. It lies within the Mersing Marine Park, about 32 kilometres off the coast. Most visitors arrive on Tioman Island by ferry / boat from the town of Mersing which can be reached by road transfer from the main gateways of either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. There is also an airport next to Kampung Tekek on Tioman Island.

  • Things to do on Tioman Island

    Tioman Island is known for scuba diving and snorkelling. Other water activities include freediving, kayaking, swimming at the various beaches, wakeboarding, jet skiing, fishing, surfing and windsurfing in the wet season. Jungle trekking is popular. There are hiking tracks the villages, to waterfalls, beaches and bays and up to the summit of Mount Kajang at 1,038 metres, the between island peak off Peninsula Malaysia. There is an 18 hole golf course at Berjaya Tioman Resort.

  • When to Travel to Tioman Island

    The best time to visit Tioman Island is from April to October during the dry season. Tioman Island is affected by the yearly monsoon season when there are heavy rains and wind. Many of the resorts close between November and March although some dive operators remain open at the tail end of the season in November and March if weather permits.

    Tioman Island experiences hot and humid weather. The average daytime temperature is 32˚C. The average water temperature is 28˚C.

    Generally the best visibility is expected in the months of March to May and late September to November.

  • Scuba diving in Tioman Island

    Tioman Island sits on the edge of the Coral Triangle and thus has extensive coral reefs teeming with a wide variety of tropical fish both large and small.

    The shallow, calm waters of Tioman provide over 30 + dive sites. Soyak Island, Pirate Reef and Renggis Island are ideal for less experienced divers. A little further afield, sites such as Chebeh, Labas and Tiger Reef provide deeper waters, sometimes with challenging currents, plus the chance to see larger species, as well as incredible macro life.

    In addition to the beautiful reef dive sites, Tioman includes over a dozen wrecks, mostly scuttled wooden hulled fishing trawlers, and one larger 31 metre long, ex-Navy and marine police patrol vessel.

    Tioman Island lies in the South China Sea, with depth ranging between 10 – 70 metres, and has something to offer every level of diver regardless of experience.

    For those interested in technical diving, one day excursions can be arranged upon request to dive great WWII wrecks. Visit the famous HMS Repulse or the HMS Prince of Wales.

    To dive these wrecks a minimum certification level of PADI Tec50 or an equivalent technical diver certification (i.e. IANTD Technical Diver, TDI extended range) is required.


  • Hotels and Resorts on Tioman Island

    Berjaya Tioman Resort
    2.5km from Tekek jetty/Tioman Airport
    Budget: $$-$$$
    Pool: Yes
    Beach/Beachfront: Yes
    Bar: Yes
    Restaurant: Yes

    Wifi: Yes in public areas
    Onsite Shop: Yes
    Gym: Yes
    Spa: Yes
    Onsite Dive Centre: Yes
    Misool Eco Resort Tioman Dive Resort
    In Air Batang Bay (ABC Bay)
    Budget: $$
    Pool: Yes
    Beach/Beachfront: Yes
    Bar: No
    Restaurant: No
    Wifi: Yes
    Onsite Shop: No
    Gym: No
    Spa: No
    Onsite Dive Centre: Yes


Guide to Malaysia

  • General Details
  • Entry & Visa Requirements
  • Medical & Health Requirements
  • Currency
  • Baggage
  • Duty Free
  • Weather
  • Clothing
  • Electricity
  • Banking
  • Language
  • Religion
  • Water
  • Shopping
  • Tipping
  • Diving
  • Departure Tax

General Details

Malaysia is situated in the heart of South-East Asia and is composed of Peninsula Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the north coast of the island of Borneo which is  the world’s third largest island. The state of Sabah sits on the north western tip of Malaysian Borneo and it’s capital, Kota Kinabalu, is the gateway to a tropical paradise of natural wonders, scenic beauty and a diversity of culture. The international country code for Malaysia is 606. Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Entry and Visa Requirements

(subject to change)
Australian passport holders do not require a visa for social visits of up to 3 months. Other passport holders please contact the appropriate authorities to check current visa requirements.

Medical and Health Requirements

Hospital facilities are located in all the main cities. Those visiting remote villages are advised to take malarial medication. Please check with your physician for the best precautions to be taken.
(For further details contact Travel Vax on 1300 360 164).


The currency of Malaysia is the Ringgit (MYR), often referred to as the Malaysian Dollar. Money can be exchanged at most hotels, banks and the airport. Major credit cards are accepted at hotels, resorts and most shops. Please be aware that it may be difficult to exchange foreign currencies outside the main tourist centres.  
1 AUD = approximately 3.20 MYR (June 2017)


Baggage (International flights Ex Australia)

Malaysia Airlines-30kg
Domestic carriers are often restricted to 16kg. 
(Subject to change without notice)

Duty Free

The allowance is 200 cigarettes or 225g of tobacco, 1 litre of  spirits or wine. Cosmetics and perfume to the value of 200 MYR. 


Malaysia enjoys a warm tropical climate which is influenced by the Northeast and Southwest Monsoon. The period of May to September is usually the drier period. The east coast of Peninsula Malaysia and the states in Borneo normally have their rainy season between November and February. Generally the best time to travel is between April and October, but diving is year-round with temperatures ranging between 
22 °C to 30 °C.


As Malaysia's climate is sunny almost year round, light clothing is ideal. For dinners and nightspots, smart casual wear is the norm. There are accepted dress codes at certain places, such as taking off shoes before entering. It is advisable for ladies, when entering mosques and temples, to wear long sleeves and loose pants or long skirts. Topless or completely naked sunbathing is not allowed.


220-240 volts AC, Plug G. (For further details refer to  http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ ).


Major banks in Borneo are located in Kota Kinabalu and are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday with some branches open on Saturday mornings. 


Bahasa Malaysia is the official language, however English is widely spoken. Other prominent languages spoken are Mandarin and Chinese which are spoken by minorities.


Malaysia is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse nations in the world today. Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, with a large Buddhist community. Other religions, including Christian, Hindu and animist are also practiced. 


Tap water is generally safe for drinking in the cities although boiling prior to consumption is recommended. A jug of drinking water is supplied by most hotels and bottled water is sold everywhere. In the tropics it is important to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration.


Kuala Lumpur is a major shopping destination and worth a stop over if time permits. Kota Kinabalu also has a major shopping mall offering brand name goods and local handicrafts. Bargaining is expected in the markets, unless fixed prices are displayed. Most shops keep their own opening hours, usually within the range of 10am-4pm. 


Tipping is not necessary as most tour packages and meals are inclusive of service charges.


Borneo has it all; from macro life to pelagics, wreck diving to wall diving, coral gardens teeming with a rich diversity of fish life and underwater caves. Some 3,000 species of marine creatures were first found and classified while diving fabulous sites in Malaysia around Sipadan and Layang-Layang. Dive operators supply tanks, weight belts and dive guide services. There will be an extra charge if equipment hire is required.

Departure Tax

There is currently no locally paid departure taxes for Malaysia.
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