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Renowned the world over, Tioman Island is today every bit as breathtaking as it was 30 years ago when it first appeared on the radar of tourists with a penchant for out of the way pristine beaches, gin-clear seas, multi-hued swatches of coral gardens and untouched jungle buzzing with wildlife, big and small.
Initially a hang-out for budget travellers and backpackers content to stay in back-to-basic A-Frames, Tioman has over the past few years grown into a fully-fledged holiday destination paradise island, offering luxurious resort rooms for generous budgets, whilst also retaining a number of back-to-basic Robinson Crusoe set-ups for the road-less-travelled category of travelers.
Tioman comprises more than ten kampungs, traditional Malay villages, but the most well-known ones are Genting, Paya, Tekek, Ayer Batang (a.k.a. ABC) and Salang, which are all located on the island's west coast. The east coast features Kampung Juara, the lone village on this side of the island.
The first exclusive hotel to arrive in Tioman was Berjaya Resort, found at the edge of Tekek. This grand old lady has undergone several rounds of upgrades and touch-ups, but continues to draw travelers in impressive numbers on account of its comprehensive nature. Guests never need to leave the spacious grounds, as facilities and amenities are plentiful here.
[Click here for a full overview of Tioman's accommodations]
Swanky Bagus Place, Japamala and Tunamaya, scattered along Tioman's Gold Coast, followed in Berjaya's footsteps, but are now equally established and self-sufficient resorts in their own right.
Thanks to Tioman's versatility, travelers keen to stay in less up-market properties can choose from a variety of mid-range to budget lodgings. Incidentally, as not every single accommodation on the island comes with their own in-house restaurant, it's good to know that each of Tioman's kampungs offer quite a few independent eateries.
That said, as Tioman's villages are peppered with a number of provisions shops as well, even travelers who prefer home-cooked meals are able to live it up here.
Speaking of living it up, if you enjoy a cold one every now and again, then you'll be pleasantly surprised that Tioman offers a few pubs. Better still, Tioman was declared a duty-free zone years ago, so alcohol and cigarettes are prized rather attractively. Keen to get some? Tioman's duty-free shops are listed here.
Please consume in moderation :)