Tioman Islands off the coastal town of Mersing have progressively garnered fame from divers and snorkelers looking for a short get away from the chaotic swing of city life.
Its accessibility from Singapore affords it quite a lot of visits with the bulk of it happening during the weekend. A collection of resorts, convenience stores, souvenir shops and dive centres peppered the long stretch of Tioman beaches proffering an array of varying choices for the travellers. Mostly situated amidst a Kampong or local village, Tioman beaches present a nice fusion of community life and tourist activities.
Tourists, both local and international, have been since frequented this island for quite a few advantages over the other options for diving and snorkelling that the region has to offer. From the bustling city of Singapore, Tioman is the nearest destination to do diving, snorkelling and other similar beach activities. The visibility, underwater condition and dive sites are worthy to note of because Tioman Islands are fairly versatile to cater for beginners through experienced divers alike.
Greater popularity was gained by the island as dive centres based in Singapore and nearby towns do their dive courses certification every weekend in Tioman. With the growing demand of this industry, Tioman has responded quite well with the provision of resort accommodations and services to cater to customers with backpacker to higher end requirements.
Best Time to Dive
The best time to dive in Tioman would be from March to October. Peninsular Malaysia which includes Tioman Islands experiences monsoon during November to February. Diving and other similar activities in the islands halt around this time. With considerable volume of tourist influx when diving season opens, it is highly encouraged to make an early booking to get spaces and strike a better deal.
Getting There and Around
Getting to Tioman from Singapore has the options to travel by land and ferry, by air and by liveaboard. It takes 3 – 4 hours drive from Singapore to Mersing Jetty in Johor Bahru. There are public utility buses that travel daily to Mersing however schedule of departure is subject to changes. It is highly important to take note of the possible changes on the departure timing as ferry schedule going to Tioman has to be considered. Ferry service to Tioman Islands from Mersing Jetty is provided by Blue Water Express. They have few trips daily which are likewise subject to changes. From Mersing, the ferry sails for about 2-2.5 hours to Tioman with stops to the following areas: Genting, Paya, Tekek, ABC and Salang.
To facilitate a smooth and convenient journey to Tioman, Singapore based dive centres usually offer an all-in weekend dive package which includes all the related transportation costs. This proves to be remarkably cost effective and comfortable for travelers as coach from Singapore to Mersing Jetty and ferry from Mersing Jetty to Tioman Islands are both chartered. It saves all the trouble of possibly missing the connection to the island as well as the dive itinerary for the day.
Berjaya Air flies to Tioman on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. They fly only once per day so trip itinerary must be planned carefully especially with reference to surface time interval.
The best option to go to Tioman would be via liveaboard. The trip saves all the hassles of land travelling, queuing at the immigration and carrying around of heavy dive gear. Trip itinerary starts on Friday early in the evening. Liveaboard sails overnight to Tioman with dive starting at Renggis area. Diving usually ends around 1300 on Sunday to head back to Singapore with expected time of arrival at around 2200.
Check before you go
- Passport expiry date (most countries require at least six months prior to the expiry date)
- Visa requirements
- Travel Insurance (make sure coverage for Scuba Diving is included)
- Medical status (Visit your doctor if you are unsure)