Pulau Tioman has been called the most beautiful island in the world. It's underwater environment is no less stunning — the wide variety and brilliant colour of the marine life off Pulau Roman has earned the island a reputation for offering some of the best diving in Peninsular Malaysia. This is a longnose hawkfish camouflaged against a gorgonian fan coral
Pahang Marine Park comprises 64 volcanic islands off the coast about halfway between Kuantan and Singapore. Pulau Tioman, 20km by 12km, is the largest of these islands, and considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Despite its proximity to the mainland, Tioman remains isolated and, for the most part, undeveloped. The island's geography is dominated by a central spine of rugged hills that run north to south. This upland area is covered in dense rainforest, with many hidden cascading waterfalls. Wide, white-sand beaches fringed with swaying palms are scattered around the rim of the island.
The volcanic, jungle-clad peaks above are mirrored in an underwater environment of rugged undersea pinnacles, caves and canyons. The intensity and colour of Tioman's marine life is brilliant multi-coloured corals and anemones attract great numbers of tropical fish and pelagics. Manta rays and whale sharks are often seen from March to May.
More than a dozen established dive sites can be reached within 20-40mins from Tioman. Divers usually go down at one spot and swim or drift around stretches of reef, covering two or three spots in one dive. Most dives are relatively shallow, safe and accessible to anyone with basic skills and certification. The best time for diving is from May to September, when fine weather means calm seas and visibility of up to 20m; but diving is virtually impossible from November to March, due to the strong winds of the northeast monsoon, which brings rough seas and rain.
The two biggest diving operators, Berjaya. Imperial Resort and Sharkeys Dive and Adventure, are highly organized. If you bring your own equipment, prices start at US$70 a one-day, two-dive trip. There are mashy small dive operators on the island
with two lower prices from US$45 for a one day two dive trip butthey are mainly geared to inductory course.
Accommodation on the island varies from the five star Berjaya imperial Beach Resort to moderately priced bungalows and basic backpacker huts. There are direct fights daily from Kuala Lumpur Singapore and Kuantan. Fast terries run daily from Singapore and Mersing to Tioman Marsing on the mainland, is a small place and accommodation is always in a state of flux.
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