A month or so ago, when my tourist visa was about to expire, G and I decided to have it renewed and go out through Pengerang, Malaysia. It was supposed to be a quick lunch trip but we got more than that.
Not even that well known to locals, Pengerang is a small town at the southern tip of Johor, Malaysia. Only a 45 minute bumboat ride away from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal (far east!) in Singapore, you would think it will be somewhat similar to the (in)famous Johor Bahru, which looks like a less developed Singapore with malls et al. because of its proximity to the city-state. But it’s far cry from it.
You would only probably hear of Pulau Tioman if you are (1) Malaysian as it’s in Malaysia, (2) based in Singapore as it’s one of the best and ‘private’ beaches that’s easily accessible from SG, or (3) that well read and/or well traveled that you’ve been here or planning to go here because you’ve read and heard good stuff about the island.
In the 1970’s, Time Magazine selected Tioman as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. And because of its lack of easy access, the island remains unspoiled, free from commercialism and radical development for tourism.
If you are the type who is into pampered luxury, then Pulau Tioman is definitely NOT the place for you. Given, there are a few good luxurious resorts on the north and north-western part of the island. But if you want to rough it up a bit, enjoy the sun and sky to its fullest without having to bump into the tourist crowd and just laze around, not feeling guilty for doing nothing,(I think this is how Pulau Tioman is meant to be enjoyed.) then it’s best to ditch those resorts and head on over to Kampong Juara, a little seaside village, nestled in a quiet cove, at the eastern part of the island.