Tioman In General
Tioman Island or locally we called it 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, and is some 20 kilometres (12 miles) long and 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) wide. It has eight main villages, the largest and most populous being Kampung Tekek in the north. The densely forested island is sparsely inhabited, and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a popular scuba diving spot.
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 Johor coastal town of Mersing. Within Tioman Island there are four kampungs: Salang, Tekek, Juara and Air Batang.
Tioman has been used for thousands of years by fishermen as an important navigation point and a source of fresh water and wood. 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.
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. Moreover, Tioman has species that are endemic to its shores. The Tioman walking catfish Clarias batu can be seen on rainforest walks. Kajang slender litter frog is only known from Mount Kajang.
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.
According to legend, Tioman Island is the resting place of a beautiful dragon princess. 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.