So, it has been ages since I visited this space and I literally kill myself everyday for neglecting my blog. But you know the Mojo has to be there and only then can you write.
In the month of April, we visited India, my home Madras aka Chennai and the “travel” we did was to visit the Shore Temple. Two months later, with A’s mum in town, we thought we must take her to an island and introduce her to the world of snorkeling and clear beach waters.
And this time, unlike our Redang trip, we chose Tioman which is easier to reach (sooner) by road (and ferry subsequently) as our destination. Our new car was waiting for us to go out on a long road trip, so it was decided.
On a Saturday morning, we started at around 5.30 am and decided to take the shorter route (from KL) via Route 51, Route 9 and finally Route 3 to reach the Jetty point at Tanjung Gemok. Mind you, this route goes via Kuala Pilah and is kind of winding, so if you are prone to motion sickness, either you avoid this route or take the longer E8 route to reach the Jetty.
You can reach Tioman island from Tanjung Gemok jetty or from the Mersing Jetty. I presume the Mersing jetty is a bit bigger than the Tanjung Gemok one. We had no problem finding parking space and after 3 days, our car was intact. (LOL) In all, we covered about 318 km with 2 stops and reached the jetty at 10.15 am. The longer route has an additional 70-80 km but avoids the winding roads and the palm plantations. Please note that I would not recommend the route we took for late night/late evening driving because the palm plantation stretch (about 150km roughly) is a 2-lane road and has no street lamps, you are at your own risk when taking this route at night. So, keeping this in mind and to avoid the extra 80km for our return, we started a bit early – at around 4.30 pm on Monday from the jetty so we managed to make use of the daylight and covered 2/3rd distance. The remaining part was the highway so it was OK for us.
Other forms of transportation:
By Bus: You can board the bus from TBS if you are leaving from Malaysia and disembark at Mersing. Ticket costs around RM 30-35 one way per pax.
Ferry: You can either book the ferry with the resort you are staying at or use this site to make a booking or do as we did. (By the time we could book our ferry tickets with Berjaya, it was all full and the timings were not in our favour.) We stayed at Berjaya Resort in Tioman so you can choose to book the Berjaya ferry. We booked our tickets on Blue Water Express which was scheduled to leave at 11 am.
At the Jetty
As you arrive into the jetty, get your boarding pass from the ticket counter by producing your ticket printout. They will ask to see your IC/Passport as well, so keep it handy. The rep gave us the return boarding passes as well, keep them safe.
After this proceed to the next counter where you have to pay the Marine Park tax. If you have the i-pass or an IC, you only need to pay RM 5 or RM 10 per head for child/adult. Tourists have to shell out RM 30 per head, senior citizens are charged RM 15 per head.
This done, we moved to the waiting area. Unfortunately, the ferry arrived late and we left for the island only at around 12.15 pm. You have some snack shops in the Jetty waiting area – the waffle shop I highly recommend, they had peanut butter, kaya, and blueberry flavours. RM 4 a waffle! Syiok!
Note: If you have motion sickness, I recommend you take the vomit medicine (Novomin). I did this for S so she slept through the journey and woke up all fresh when we reached the resort at around 3 pm. Berjaya resort is the last stop – Tekek village. There are 2 stops before this – Genting village, Paya village. The ferry ride was close to 2 hours for us, once you arrive at the jetty, Berjaya shuttle bus will take you to the resort.
Check-in was quick, we had booked a Deluxe room since we were 3 adults and 1 child. Check their website if they are offering any package deal – room + food+ activity. The chalets are built in the Malay style and quite pretty to look at.
We spent the evening at the private beach, keep in mind sand fleas can bite you anytime so please take the insect repellent with you and apply it generously. You can request some natural insect repellent from the front desk as well.
Tioman, being an island, our food options were limited to the hotel. Another fact that we are vegetarians, brought the choices down further haha. You can try out the small seafood shops outside the resort premises. The resort is quite big so you can either request for the buggy to transport you to your room/chalet or walk or use the bicycles that are at the Reception area.
Overall, this resort seemed to be a favourite among families with children.
What did we do? Read more here.
You can check out the activities you can do at the island at the front desk, lots of options available.
Check out was smooth, you can request them to extend check out by an hour or so. The resort has a golf course, a games room equipped with pool tables; you need to get the tokens to unlock from the Shop at the Reception area.
The resort has 2 restaurants – Sri Nelayan serves Malaysian and international cuisine, they do cater to your specifications. The Matahari restaurant serves Thai food, we didn’t try eating here, unfortunately. The Coriander Seeds restaurant is closed down FYI. You can choose to take drinks and light snacks at the sunken pool bar as well as the beach bar.
Somehow the data plan on our phones was not working so we had to rely on the Wi-Fi offered at the hotel – quite good.
On the whole, it was a pleasant stay and a comfortable journey for all of us. Just a small hitch we had was, we got bitten by the sand fleas and ended up scratching after our arrival at KL 🙁
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