Circles in the Sand
Tioman Travel Blog› entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
We have booked a flight back to Australia leaving from Singapore on the 18th so have decided to head to Tioman for a few days rest. We weighed up a few other options but there are plenty of buses to Mersing from KL from where it is 1 1/2 hrs on a fast ferry. It also makes the journey on to Singapore easy as it should be less than 4 hours by coach.
After studying the Lonely Planet we opt to disembark at ABC and then walk north from the jetty up the track. There are plenty of places to stay but accommodation turns out to be harder to find than expected; the better places are all full so we take a basic room at SPC and will check out other options in the morning.
In the morning we look around south of the jetty and come across the Irish couple we first met on the bus to Mt Kinabualu, spent 2 nights with at Uncle Tans and then ran into again in Semporna where they were diving. The world is a small place after all! The best beach here is south of the ABC jetty near to Nazri's Place and it is full tonight but they reserve us a room from tomorrow. We take a stroll into "town" where there is an airport (flights to KL and Singapore) and a duty free shop, but this only seems to be open when the flights arrive and depart.
They are building a new marina here and most of the areas near to the airport is a building site. It will be interesting to see how this place develops over the next few years. I was expecting Tioman to be much more commercialised than it is since it has an airport and regular boats to the mainland. Around ABC the places are all small family setups fairly basic but OK and although it is reasonably busy it doesn't feel crowded. It's the sort of place that really grows on you and we are very happy to spend some time here and just relax and read some books.
I decide to see what the scuba diving is like here, but don't expect to be impressed after Sipadan, but I am surprised as the DM is probably the best guide I have had anywhere in Asia and the diving is excellent. I am also lucky as there are just 2 guests and the other diver is a recently qualified DM so we can enjoy the dives and have a long dive time. The first dive is at Chebeh one of the best sites here with plenty of barracuda, turtles and trevally. On the second dive we come across an octopus eating its lunch and it looks unimpressed with the interruption so we give it plenty of room and move on before it becomes angry.