How Go To Tioman Island | Tioman is off the south-east coast of peninsular Malaysia, just north of the Johor-Pahang state borders. It is reachable by speedboat or ferry from the coastal town of Mersing or from Tanjung Gemuk.
Fly to Tioman
Berjaya Air has direct 40 minute flights from Singapore (Seletar Airport) and Kuala Lumpur (Subang Airport) to the airport at Tekek Village on Tioman.
A large number of international and regional airlines fly to Singapore’s Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport(KLIA) from where you can take a short cab ride to either Seletar or Subang airports.
Alternatively, the closest airports to Mersing are the Senai airport in Johor Bahru and Changi airport in Singapore.
Senai airport is serviced by Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines with flights from various national and regional destinations. Long-haul international flights to Johor Bahru connect through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
Ferries to Tioman
Ferries depart from Mersing or Tanjung Gemok (north of Mersing). If you are booking a package stay on Tioman, a return ferry transfer is almost always included.
From Mersing, the ferries (150 passengers) can take up to 3 hours. Tickets cost RM 35 each way and they leave every two to three hours between 07:30 and 18:00.
Ferry and boat services are less frequent from Tanjung Gemuk, but prices and journey times are roughly the same.
- Tidal conditions may influence the departure time of your boat.
- Ferries will stop at all villages (except Juara) and also some resorts, but inform the staff if you are heading for the village of Mukut.
- Ferries are often delayed and there are sometimes cancellations. During the monsoon season (November to March) services are less frequent and delays are more likely.
- Book your ticket in advance if travelling over weekends, public holidays and Singaporean and Malaysian school holidays.
Getting to Tanjung Gemuk
Tanjung Gemuk is best reached by car. For those coming from Singapore and Johor Bahru or those relying on public transport it is more convenient to reach Tioman from Mersing.
Driving from Kuala Lumpur
1. Kuala Lumpur – Kuantan – Pekan – Rompin – Tg Gemuk:
Take the East coast Highway(E8)from KL to Kuantan; Route No 3 southwards through Pekan and Rompin to Tanjung Gemuk
2. Kuala Lumpur – Seremban – Bahau – Muadzam Shah – Rompin – Tg Gemok:
Take the PLUS Highway (E2) south from KL to Seremban; Route No 51 eastwards to Bahau; Route No 11 eastwards and route No 12 north-east to Muadzam Shah; Route No 63 east to Rompin and Route No 3 south to Tanjung Gemuk.
Driving from Melaka
Melaka – Tangkak – Segamat – Muadzam Shah – Rompin – Tg Gemok
Take the PLUS Highway (E2) south to Tangkak; Route No 23 east to Segamat; Route No 12 north-east to Muadzam Sha; Route No 63 east to Rompin and Route No 3 south to Tanjung Gemuk.
Driving from Kuantan
Kuantan – Pekan – Rompin – Tg Gemok
Travel south along Route No 3
Driving from Singapore and Johor Bahru: follow directions to Mersing and continue travelling north to Tanjung Gemuk along Route 3 (approximately 1 hour).
Getting to Mersing
Mersing lies on peninsular Malaysia’s east coast, around 3 hours’ drive north-east of Singapore. If you are relying on public transport, you may need to spend the night in Mersing in order to catch the early morning ferry or boat to the island. Book well in advance if your trip coincides with the weekend or Singaporean and Malaysian public and school holidays.
Take a bus
From Johor Bahru (Larkin Bus terminal) take the Causeway Link, Transnational or S&S Express bus to Mersing (2.5-3 hours; about RM 10 each way):
An alternative is to take the local bus between Johor Bahru and Kota Tinggi and then transfer to the local bus between Kota Tinggi and Mersing.
From Singapore (Lavender St. Terminal) take the Transnational bus to Mersing (3 to 4 hours). Tickets cost around RM 12 (if bought in Malaysia) / SGD 27 (if bought in Singapore) each way.
From Kuala Lumpur take the Transnational bus to Mersing (5 hours). Tickets cost around RM 23.
From elsewhere in Malaysia: Transnational, S&S Internasional and other bus companies that serve destinations along the east coast (Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Kota Bahru etc.) mostly stop at Mersing as well. S&S Internasional also has a service from Melaka.
- It is strongly advised to book your bus ticket (including return) between Johor Bahru and Mersing or between Singapore and Mersing well in advance if you are travelling on weekends, public holidays and Singaporean and Malaysian School holidays.
- Buses are often delayed, but will not wait for you if you are late. Call bus operators to be sure of bus schedules.
- Remember to bring a sweater as the air-conditioning in the buses can be quite severe.
- In Mersing buses arrive and leave from the bus station close to the ferry terminal or the newer bus station in the centre of town (about 15 minutes walk to the ferry terminal). Check which bus station your bus uses.
Take a taxi
From the Johor Bahru Larkin bus station, you can charter a taxi to Mersing. The cost is around RM 100 and the journey takes around 2 hours. To get to Larkin from Singapore, take a shared taxi from the Queen St. bus terminal (S$ 10 per person).
You can also charter taxis from Tanjung Leman (1 hour, RM 70-100) and Kota Tinggi (1 hour, RM 70-100).
From Singapore cross the border to Johor Bahru and Malaysia at the Causeway and continue down Jalan Wong Ah Fook. Keep an eye open for the left-hand side exit and flyover to Kota Tinggi. Continue east on the Tebrau highway and follow the signs to Kota Tinggi. From Kota Tinggi, the way north to Mersing is clearly signposted on Route 3. The journey should take around 3 hours.
From Kuala Lumpur the most common option is via the PLUS highway (E2) to the south, exiting at Segamat and continuing east on Route 50 through Kluang to Mersing. Alternatively, take the East Coast Highway (E8) from KL to Kuantan and Route No 3 southwards through Pekan and Rompin to Mersing.
Frequent travellers may want to consider these shorter, less busy roads that cut through the palm oil plantations and are advisable for daytime driving:
i. KL to Kuala Pilah (winding road) to Bandar Muazzam Shah. The exit is between Endau and Mersing, continue south to reach Mersing.
ii. KL to Kluang to NITAR to Mersing (avoiding the winding road before reaching Jamaluang).
At the ferry terminal itself, there are restaurants and convenience stores for any last minute needs and pangs of hunger. In town, about 15-20 minutes’ walk from the jetty, there are banks, ATMs, internet cafes, supermarkets, shops and hotels (in case you need to spend the night in Mersing).
Many of Mersing’s resorts have offices in Mersing, close to the ferry terminal.
There is a secure car park that charges around RM8 per day.