Pulau Tioman

coral waitingPenumba Bay is so nice, I forget that I am a traveler and slip into a relaxed vacation mode. My days are spent snorkeling, hiking, walking the beach, collecting shells, watching the tides of the South China Sea and wondering about the weather.

There’s a lot of hype about Tioman–one of the ten best island and location for movie, South Pacific. It’s well-deserved. We avoided the eastern coast of Malaysia until the end of our trip because of the northeastern monsoon season. It typically ends February or March. During our visit, the wind sometimes blew full-force and the rain poured. Most of the time, clouds hang on the upper mountains of the island.

The coral, marine life and visibility are the best I’ve seen this trip and probably the best I’ve ever seen. I saw all manner, color and size of coral and fish. Highlights included a sea turtle, large bump-head parrot fish, and yellow and purple skates. A half-hour jungle work north takes you to Monkey Beach which has good snorkeling and and black-tipped reef sharks.

Lodging–the first night, we spent in a bungalow at Nazri’s II. The view was great, but at night, the bar in front of our hut attracted a loud, partying crowd that smoked, drank, and howled until four. We moved to the Penuba Bay Inn Resort. It had a great view and a coral reef along its beach. It’s relatively pricey and the food at the only restaurant become monotonous; but the location is superb.

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