It has been years since I’ve returned to Tioman, since those carefree diving days. We came to Tioman over a long weekend with the hubby and his colleagues, and flew on a tiny quaint (read: kinda old and nostalgic) Berjaya Air Dash 7. The flight was delayed for 3 hours due to late arrival of air craft from Tioman. It flies Subang-Tioman-Singapore-Tioman-Subang, and apparently due to bad weather in the first leg to Tioman, and smaller planes I’m guessing are more affected by the weather, had to wait in JB before finally making it to Tioman before heading to Singapore to pick us up. If there’s anywhere you need to kill 3 hours at, Changi Airport makes it pretty easy to do so. We had 2 lunches and went to 2 playgrounds (in 2 terminals), which made for an eventful start to the journey.
Eventually we made it to the Berjaya Tioman Resort & Suites resort. I wasn’t sure if I was more apprehensive bringing 3 kids on holiday or taking a tiny plane, but all worked out well. In fact, when we got there and heard how some of our friends came by road and ferry which lasted 9-10 hours with no lunch stop, I was so thankful we flew. I’m pretty sure if the hubby had suggested the ferry I would’ve refused because I know (been there, done that!) the drive and ferry can take around 2-4 hours each, not factoring in waiting time. If you’re young and carefree 5-10 hours (yes 10!) is fine, but when you have young kids, it can be torturous.
The Berjaya Tioman resort has been here for ages, and although many of the finishings are a little dated, the Executive Suite is still very comfortable and can fit 2 extra beds comfortably. I know the executive suite sounds fancy, but it isn’t the Four Seasons, neither was I expecting it to be, so I found it pretty decent. It was nice to have some extra space since we do have 3 little bodies running around.
If you have kids who are old enough to snorkel, Renggis Island, just barely 1km from the Berjaya beach, has some fantastic marine life. I still remember seeing white tips, turtles and squid while snorkeling here 8-10 years ago. This trip Mittens totally surprised us by taking to snorkeling really well, and perhaps that means he’ll be the hubby’s dive buddy in years to come, since I’ve long hung up my fins.
They also have 2 pools, one of which has water slides for the kids, and bicycles (even kids ones) for guests. The food is decent, and there are a number of baby chairs in the main restaurant. They don’t have any kids clubs or kids amenities but there are lots of kids around.
Did you know that Tioman was the location for the 1958 movie South Pacific, that featured the Rodgers and Hammrstein song “I’m going to wash that man right out of my hair“? No, I’m not that old, but there you go – proof of the importance of a mother’s (my mother, that is) influence on her children, and that my brain or what’s left of it, is full of random facts that might come in useful should Jeopardy one day make a comeback. Tioman is also well known for its biodiversity – both marine and flora and fauna, and I was surprised when some celebrity researchers/hosts from Animal Planet or NGC featured the island! It’s been understandably nicknamed Malaysia’s Galapagos island.
I don’t think I’ll be back here so soon because there are so many options out there, but I do think that it’s a decent option for short getaway!