31 march 2015 – 5 nights
One of the highlights of Malaysia, is Tioman island’s Salang Village to me. Such beauty and peace.. Can recommend anyone to go here if you feel like a relaxed atmosphere and being surrounded by nature.
Tiomans rough interior jungle landscape, makes it hard to travel over the island. The only places being civilized, are directly at the beach. Even walking from one bay to another can be hard and takes some time. Although stated as a popular tourist destination, I’ve never felt being more in midst of nature than on Tioman. Hills, covered with jungle, rise high up behind your tropical whitesandbeach. Monkeys jump from palmtree to palmtree and big lizards are peddling around in the inland river. On the other side of the beach an amazing rich coral life appears under the surface of the deep blue sea, with big chances of spotting stingrays, turtles and reafsharks, swimming around peacefully.
What to do in Salang village?
Tioman is a divers and snorkel paradise. So much to see! There are diveshops (80R/one dive) around. You can also make excursions to other beaches. There are taxi boats or tracks along the coast if you rather go by yourself. I liked reading a book in palmtree shadow and wandering around the bay. There are not many shops, but the boulevard stretches far, so you can walk around looking for a place to have a drink or bite. There’s also the duty free alcohol shop, so enjoy that. Don’t forget to go to Salangs ‘Complex’ for having delicious breakfast and lunch for amazing prices.
The southern part of the bay has the better beach and coral landscapes. I liked to stay here, so I could roll out of bed onto the beach 🙂 I checked out al the places to stay in Salang, and Pandok Sri Salang was the best to us. Cute bungalows setup around a nice garden for 60R a night. Nice bed, mosquito net, terrace, internet included and free books for rent.
Other budget (50-70 R) places to consider:
-Ella’s Place (cute, far walk from good beach) and Paklong (next to Pandok, similar bungalows only not a nice garden).
Midrange (120-160R) places all with facilities and restaurants attached:
-Salang Pusaka (best looking of all), Salang Sayong (right at the beach), Indah’s place (looks fancy, bungalow’s a bit cramped) and Puteri Salang in (nice setup around garden, very nice owner).
Cheap but not good:
– Nora’s (cosy garden, but crap rooms), Salang Beach resort (very unfriendly owner, crap rooms), cheaper rooms of Puteri In, Indah’s and Salong Sayong. Try to avoid!
Which village to choose on Tioman?
Of course ones experience will differ according to the village you choose to stay on the island. For me it was hard to choose with lack of detailed info online. We opt for Salang, with no regrets at all. The main options to choose from are from north to south:
– Salang village: liveliest, ca 10 budget and midrange accommodations, ca 7 restaurants, dutyfree (alcohol) shop, 3 diveshops beautiful beach
– Ayer Batang village (ABC): 10+ budget accommodations, ca 5 restaurants, mainly backpackers come here, rocky beach
– Tekek village: biggest village. Most shops and accommodations. Not much happening. Good location for trekking over the island. Road to the eastside of the island. Small beach stroke
– Paya, Gunting and Nipah: small villages, just a view accommodations on each place
– Juara village: this is the only place on the eastside of the island. Apparently it’s beautiful, but a little hard to reach
Mersing is the main hub for the ferry to Tioman. There are departures 3 or 4 times a day each day on different times. There are lists at the ferry office, but couldn’t make out a structure. The most early boat can leave already at 4 AM. Due to tides and weatherconditions ferry’s can be cancelled. If you are on a tight schedule, make sure you call ahead to be updated on departure times. We arrived on a nightbus at 5:30 am in Mersing to find out the first ferry was cancelled. We had to wait for the one at 2.30 PM. Mersing is a nice village with enough shops and restaurants, so that wasn’t that much of a problem. 1 hour before you can board, you have to register and pay the marine park fee (25R, students 15R!). The boatdrive took 2,5hr to Salang. A return ticket is 70R, you can buy anywhere around Mersing. It’s not possible to make a reservation in advance!