Tioman Island

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Tioman Island
Native name: Pulau Tioman
ڤولاو تياومن
Tioman Island is located in Malaysia
Tioman Island
Tioman Island
LocationSouth China Sea
Coordinates2°49′N 104°11′E / 2.817°N 104.183°E / 2.817; 104.183Coordinates: 2°49′N 104°11′E / 2.817°N 104.183°E / 2.817; 104.183
Area136 km2 (53 sq mi)[1]
Coastline245 km (152.2 mi)
Highest elevation1,038 m (3,406 ft)[1]
Highest pointGunung Kajang
Population2023 (2016 Census)
Ethnic groupsMalay, Chinese
Tioman Island's southern mountains

Tioman Island (Malay: Pulau Tioman) is a mukim and an island in Rompin District, Pahang, Malaysia. It is located 32 kilometres (20 miles) off the east coast of the state,[2] and is some 21 kilometres (13 miles) long and 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) wide. It has seven villages, the largest and most populous being Kampung Tekek on the central western coast. The densely forested island is sparsely inhabited, and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a popular scuba diving, snorkelling, and surfing spot. There are many resorts and chalets for tourists around the island, which has duty-free status.

In the 1970s, TIME Magazine selected Tioman as one of the world's most beautiful islands.

The island is part of Pahang territory, although it is geographically closer to mainland Johor than to mainland Pahang, and is accessed via ferry service from the Johorean coastal town of Mersing. Within Tioman Island there are four kampungs: Salang, Tekek, Juara and Air Batang. The telephone numbers in Tioman start with 09-413, 09-419, 09-582, 09-583 and 09-584.


"Paulo Tymon", Nieuhof: Ambassade vers la Chine, 1665

Tioman has been used for thousands of years by fishermen as an important navigation point and a source of fresh water and wood.[2] During the past thousand years, it has played host to Chinese, Arab, and European trading ships, and often Chinese porcelain shards can be found on beaches around the island.

In more recent history, Tioman played host to both the British and the Japanese navies during the Second World War, and the waters around the island are littered with war remains (including HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales).

Tioman island does not allow buildings to have more than 3 stories.


The marine area around Tioman Island and eight other nearby islands have been declared as marine parks and marine reserves.[2]

Apart from its diverse marine life, the inland rainforest area was protected in 1972 as the Pulau Tioman Wildlife Reserve. However, a large part of the original reserve was sacrificed for agricultural and touristic development in 1984; the remaining area is approximately 8,296 ha (20,500 acres). There are several protected species of mammals on the island, including the binturong, long-tailed macaque, slow loris, black giant squirrel, red giant flying squirrel, mouse deer, brush-tailed porcupine, and common palm civet, from a total of 45 species of mammals and 138 species of birds, including the majestic frigatebird.[2] Moreover, Tioman has species that are endemic to its shores. The Tioman walking catfish Clarias batu can be seen on rainforest walks.[3] Kajang slender litter frog is only known from Mount Kajang.[4]

Tioman's corals have been affected by a mass bleaching event in 2010 whereby the island lost a significant portion of its live coral cover. That resulted in a lot of the corals turning a dull white colour and some even fragmenting into pieces of dead coral skeleton. The 2016 bleaching event only just touched on Tioman's Coral Reefs, and as such, the coral has remained in good and healthy condition.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Tioman Island[edit]

  • Tioman Airport
  • Panuba Bay
  • Salang
  • Tekek Village
  • Minang Cove - The only cove of Tioman Island
  • Asah Waterfall
  • Bagus Place Retreat - The most eco-friendly area on Tioman Island
  • Juara Turtle Project - volunteer sea turtle and environmental conservation
  • Golden City - part of Salang village
  • Air Batang - also known as ABC

Around Tioman[edit]

  • Pulo Jehat
  • Tulai Island
  • Three Little Islands
    • Sepoi Island
    • Labas Island
    • Soyak Island


Tioman Island lends its name to the state constituency of Tioman, comprising the island and part of the Rompin district including the town of Kuala Rompin. Its representative to the State Legislative Assembly is YB Mohd. Johari from Barisan Nasional. Its representative to the Malaysian Parliament is former MOSTI Minister Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, also from Barisan Nasional.

Non-governmental organisations[edit]

  • Juara Turtle Project- volunteer sea turtle and environmental conservation



The island houses the Tioman Airport with flights from Subang.


The island is served by ferries from the Malaysian mainland.


A picture of a wooden tomb with Tioman Island's legend written on it.

According to legend, Tioman Island is the resting place of a beautiful dragon princess.[1] Whilst flying to visit her prince in Singapore, this beautiful maiden stopped to seek solace in the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea. Enraptured by the charms of the place, she decided to discontinue her journey. By taking the form of an island, she pledged to offer shelter and comfort to passing travelers.

Local mythology claims that the island is the embodiment of the mighty dragon Sri Gumom. The dragon was on his way to visit his sister Gunung Linga (Lingin Peak) but the great Sri Rama forbade the meeting and Sri Gumom was turned into a stone and fell into the deep sea where he now remains, frozen in eternity as this beautiful island with its distinctive topography.

Radio and television[edit]


Community radio within Tioman:

  • FM 90.0
  • FM 103.2 (Airport radio)
  • FM 104.0 (Tioman community radio)
  • FM 104.1

From Malaysian mainland:


  • TV1 - Channel 50 (Temporarily unavailable)
  • TV2 - Channel 53 (Temporarily unavailable) - Currently broadcasting on Channel 11
  • TV3 - Channel 32
  • NTV7 -
  • 8TV - Channel 7
  • TV9 - Channel 9
  • TV Alhijrah - Channel 40


  • TV5 - Channel 5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Pulau Tioman". Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Abdul, Jasmi (1999). "An Introduction to Pulau Tioman" (PDF). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. National University of Singapore. Supplement No. 6: 3–4.
  3. ^ "Jungle trekking in Tioman". Tioman Ferry Tickets, Singapore. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  4. ^ Stuart, Simon (2006). "Leptolalax kajangensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2006: e.T61840A12566282. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2006.RLTS.T61840A12566282.en. Retrieved 27 December 2017.

External links[edit]