Tioman - Island

Tioman Island

Tioman Island (Malay language: Pulau Tioman) is a small island in Rompin District, Pahang, Malaysia. It is located 32 kilometers (20 miles) off the east coast of the state, and is some 20 kilometers (12 miles) long and 12 kilometers (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. There are also a lot of resorts and chalets around the island which has duty-free status.

Its beaches have been claimed to be depicted in the 1958 movie, South Pacific as Bali Hai but available evidence suggests this is a false claim. In the 1970s, TIME Magazine selected Tioman as one of the world's most beautiful islands.

The island is served by ferries from the Malaysian mainland, and a propeller plane service by Berjaya Air from the Changi Airport in Singapore and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Selangor.

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 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 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).

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