Join STV, as we go Day by Day through our incredible trip to Malaysia... with photos, too!!
DAY 4: Life of Locals
As it was our final day on the island before departing to Singapore, we opted to spend our last day exploring the island rather than diving. Tiger Reef was a perfect way to end our Tioman diving adventures, anyway.
There’s only a couple hundred yards of flat land on Tioman Island before it sharply ascends into steep hills. Therefore, all of the island’s inhabited areas are on the beach, or not far from it. A main road stretches from northern ABC Bay, where Dive Tioman is located, to the southern end. Quaint collections of local settlements sprout along this road. There are plenty of local-run mini-marts and eateries, almost all of which are primarily in service for travellers. Most of the travellers here are backpackers, and there are plenty of hostels and cottages for rent at fair prices.
We rent bikes and cruise south down ABC Bay. Just past Tioman’s lone airstrip lies Tekek, a Tioman village with very much its own flavor. There’s a small police station, a fire department, a school (which contains various dormitories – most of the children on Tioman stay at the school during the week days), a clinic, municipal government buildings, and small restaurants and markets. A young Tioman man plays guitar in front of a dive shop, listening to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and playing it in tune.
At the southern end of ABC Bay is Berjaya Tioman Resort, a more upscale resort for those travellers who desire poolside amenities and spa treatments. The beaches down here are beautiful and there’s a finely kept golf course for those seeking to whip out their 6 iron. Anyone on the island can come and utilize these particular facilities, and the resort’s jungle trek to a nearby waterfall is also open to non-guests (we highly recommend).
Let us take a moment to discuss Malaysian cuisine. The Peninsular Malaysia is a nice blend of different Asian menus. You’ve got your chicken and your beef (but very little pork, if any at all – this is a predominantly Muslim country). Noodles and fried rice are popular, too, and almost all of the food is served with delicious herbs and spices. Milkshakes are commonplace at Tioman eateries, so those of you with a sweet tooth can happily indulge yourselves.
Our last sunset on Tioman is the most beautiful that we’ve seen yet. We ordered pizza from a nearby restaurant and munch on it at the bar. We share it with some of Dive Tioman’s staff.
And that’s one of our favorite things about Dive Tioman. The staff is incredibly friendly, and, following every day’s dive, they gather together at the bar to hang out and converse with the divers. More than any other dive staff we’ve encountered upon our travels, this one has an extreme chemistry as a family unit. Watching them together is enjoyable. Every night, they gather at the bar and eat a meal that one of them has cooked for everyone.
They’re welcoming and sociable, and we’re totally swept up in their lifestyle. It’s nice, while travelling, to temporarily assimilate into a caring, extended family.
Wherever you go in the world, we hope that you find one, too.
Call us or email us to make your reservation today! 1-800-298-9009
**Each Day of the trip will be posted, check back for updates**
(all writing and pictures copyright of Scuba Travel Ventures)