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Pulau Tioman - Juara

 

Tioman beaches - Salang Beach, Monkey Bay, Panuba Bay, ABC, Tekek, Genting, Juara

Visiting Juara after Salang, ABC and Tekek feels alien. None of the annoying din from rows of resorts and chalets, no big restaurants and cafes, no hordes of tourists - well, except for the occassional local student packages arranged by a few of the resorts closer to the jetty. Juara maintains the village life feel that most of Tioman's main tourist destinations have lost. Getting to Juara is not easy nor cheap though. As single travellers, many actually attempt to cross the Tioman hills via a trek that has been carved into the belly of the island. The trek runs from Tekek to Juara and takes approximately 2 1/2hours to complete. According to travellers who we met whilst staying at Mizani's, the most affordable way round it would be to dump most of your heavy gear at Tekek. A few left their heavy rucksacks with dive centres which they dived with and trekked over with overnighters. The trek can get pretty tricky at some parts where incline can be as steep as 75 degrees. Once you get to the peak, coming down over the Juara side is sort of aided by a concrete path winding all the way to Juara town.

The road to Juara is already open. Using much of an old open path hacked through the jungle during the 2nd World War by the Japanese, this new road connects Juara to the back of Berjaya Resort in Tekek. However, what is a road looks more like a dried up stream. It's bumpy, it's treacherous and it's narrow. When we went again (August 2004), we took the a 4WD jeep for RM35 per person per way. And a wise choice too. Along the way, we saw people falling off their motorbikes and hurting themselves pretty badly. Although there are motorbike 'taxis' for hire at RM25 per person per way, we suggest that you pay a little bit more for a jeep hire. Only thing is that for jeeps, you may have to wait for some time for seats to fill before they leave. Ask around at the jetty for the jeep to Juara or call the owner Kennet at 013 - 780 9543.

Although this beats having to pay RM160 per boat per way to Juara , we hope that with this move, massive development at Juara will not happen for another 5years or so....

Another route to Juara would be to hire a sea taxi for about RM150 - RM160 a boat from Salang or Tekek which will take you right to the resorts' doorstep. The going rates fro sea taxis are a little strange - if a minimum of 2 persons charter a sea taxi across to Juara, it'll cost RM60 each person. However, if it is more than 2 persons then they charge RM30 to RM50 per person depending on the numbers. The boat ride takes about 40 minutes to 1 hour from Salang or Tekek depending on the weather.

There are quite a few ready places to stay at Juara. Closer to the jetty are resorts catered to local tourists who come to Juara on package deals. Further up the beach are a few laidback resorts such as rainbow chalets and bushman's chalets. Across the headland there is Mizani's Place and Lagoon. Mizani's Place has 6 basic chalets and Lagoon caters mainly to International School Students on Field Trips.

Mizani's is the place to chill. The beach is clean and wide enough for a good stretch and the hospitality is great. Yan, the new owner of Mizani's has only been operating the chalets since August last year (2003). An ex-international airline pilot, having run a dive centre at Perhentian Kecil for 3 years and gone on a soul searching sabatical in Bali for a year, Yan has finally found his calling back home. SURFS UP!! Can you imagine Pulau Tioman as a destination for the surfing community??!! Well, that's going to happen here on Juara. 15-footer waves, rough seas - monsoon season. According to Yan, the monsoon season between November and January can catch pretty good surfing waves and already the local surfing community is beginning to show up for the rush. This is his busiest season. When the rest of Tioman goes into a hibernation, Juara will be rocking with rough waves and surfers. Yan's new set up at Mizani's will be called Basics and will include a surfing centre and a small relaxed cafe and that according to his schedule should be ready by October 2004.

Yan has quite a few place that he may want to share with his guests but not the entire world. When word gets out on Tioman about how pretty and pristine a place is , local authorities make it into a tourist attraction which eventually becomes a tourist dump. So if you really want to work out more than a tan whilst on Tioman - there's a nice little freshwater pool up in the mountains where not many people know about. The trek is not easy though - roughly 45minutes of uphill climb. Markers leading to the pool also disappears parts of the way, so listen out for gushing water and follow in that direction. The river is a good place to observe a bit of Tioman wildlife - snakes, lizards, monkeys, lots of spiders and insects. Take the little green 'free-for-all boat' left there to paddle into the river. Unfortunately, it's a little leaky so you may have to bail water along the way if you don't wish to sink with the boat.

If diving is something you've come to Tioman for, then try out Bushman's Dive Centre. There are a few chalets to stay there to but the owner says that he can only accommodate maximum 10 divers per trip as he has limited tanks and equipment. The food here is cheap and there's also cheap duty-free beer available.

 

CONSERVATION WATCH!

The other interesting thing that's been happening over at Juara is the sighting of Leatherback Turtle landings. Only thing is that when word gets out that the turtles have been coming up the night before to lay eggs, the next morning nests would be ransacked and turtle eggs - sold in the market by the villagers. So, if you do visit Juara and have the chance to witness turtles coming to shore, keep it to yourself - that may help save the species. Leatherback turtles disappeared from our shores some years ago and their comeback is a big relief. Unfortunately, education on conservation issues in Malaysia is almost non-existent and so, the villagers are not to be blamed for their ignorance. What could be a little worrying though is the apparent evidence of firearms used here for hunting in the jungle. Favourite game meat is the mousedeer which is a protected specie in Malaysia.

There have been cases that visitors to the island have had a chance to go hunting in the jungle for a fee. The danger of this is that these villagers may not have the proper training to use these rifles and can be a danger to themselves let alone anyone else they bring along with them on trips. The main source of income on Juara is surprisingly - rubber. Rubber plantations are seen along the interior. Income for them may be supplemented with other illegal activities such as collecting Giant Clams for processing into ornamental pieces. The clams are sold to middlemen in Mersing and Singapore. The same goes for collection of birds' nest deep in the caves within the jungle cover of the island. Unlike monitored birds' nest collection sites such as at the Niah Caves in Borneo, illegal nest collectors do not wait until the young leave their nest before collecting. They toss fledglings out of the nests, leaving them to die on the dank, slithering floor of the cave.

more on Tioman story...

 

Accommodation and Holiday Packages to Johor ~ Johor Baru, Mersing, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Besar, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Aur, Pulau Pemanggil, Pulau Sibu, Endau Rompin National Park and Surroundings

Accommodation & Holiday Packages:

Johor Baru

| 11@Century Hotel | Aman Sari City Centre | A Vista Melati | Bayu Marina Resort | Citrus Hotel | Crystal Crown Hotel | Dorsett Johor Hotel | Goodhope Hotel | Grand BlueWave Hotel | Grand Hallmark Hotel | Grand Paragon Hotel | Hallmark Regency Hotel | J A Residence Hotel | JB Central Hotel | Mutiara Hotel | New York Hotel | Okid Cottage | The Puteri Pacific | Selesa Hotel | Le Grandeur Palm Resort | M Suites Hotel | Suria City Hotel | Hotel Sentral | Hotel Seri Malaysia | The Zon Regency | The Embassy Hotel | Thistle Johor Baru | Tropical Inn |

Kota Tinggi

| Mayres Hotel | Pelangi Balau Resort |

Desaru

| Pulai Desaru Beach Resort |

Pulai

| Pulai Springs Resort |

Muar

| Hotel Sri Pelangi | Hotel D'99 | Riverview Hotel | Streetview Hotel | Townview Hotel |

Gunung Ledang

| Gunung Ledang Resort |

Batu Pahat

| Pelican Hotel | Pinetree Hotel | The Katerina Hotel | The Landmark Hotel | The Silver Inn |

Mersing

Budget Inns | East Coast Backpacker's Hotel | Omar's Backpacker's Hostel | Embassy Hotel |

Mid-Range Inns & Hotels | Havanita Hotel | Hotel Seri Malaysia | Teluk Iskandar Inn | Timotel Hotel |

Tanjung Leman

| Felda Residence Tanjung Leman |

Pulau Aur

| Aur Resorts |

Pulau Besar

| D'Coconut Island Resort | Aseania Resort | Mirage Resort |

Pulau Rawa

| Le Club Rawa | Rawa Safaris Resort |

Pulau Pemanggil

| Lanting Beach Resort |

Pulau Sibu

| Rimba Resort | Sea Gypsies | Sibu Island Resort | Sari Pacifica Resort and Spa |

Pulau Tioman (technically this is within the State of Pahang territory) but boats leave from Mersing

Salang | Salang Hut | Ella's Place | Salang Indah | Salang Beach Resort | Salang Pusaka Resort | Salang Sayang Tioman Resort |

Panuba Beach | Panuba Inn Resort |

ABC | Bamboo Hill Chalets | ABC(Air Batang Chalet) | Nazri's Beach Cabanas | Tioman House | Johan's Resort | Mawar Beach Chalets | My Friend Place | Nazri's Place |

Tekek | Peladang Inn | Pesona Island Resort | Babura Seaview Resort | Selesa Hotel | Swiss Cottage Resort |

Genting | Japamala Resort | Minang Cove Resort | Impian Inn (BM) | Island Reef Resort | Tioman Rock Beach Resort (BM) |

Paya | Paya Beach Resort | Tioman Paya Resort |

Juara | Manana | Bushman | Juara Turtle Project |

Kampung Mukut | Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort |

Kampung Nipah | Bersatu Nipah Chalet |

Dive Packages Salang/ABC | B&J Tioman Dive Centre |

Kluang

| UK Farm (Farm Resort) |

Endau Rompin National Park

Kampung Peta Entrance ~ | Endau Rompin Camping Package | Endau Rompin Chalet Package | Selai Entrance ~ | Endau Rompin Selai Trekking Package |

Tanjung Piai - Kukup Mangrove National Park

| Tanjung Piai - Kukup Mangrove National Park Homestay Experience |

 

Malaysia Islands

Peninsula Malaysia Islands

| Pulau Aur | Pulau Besar | Pulau Bidong | Pulau Duyung Besar | Pulau Gemia | Pulau Kapas | Pulau Langkawi | Pulau Lang Tengah | Pulau Pangkor | Pulau Payar | Pulau Perhentian | Pulau Pemanggil | Penang | Pulau Rawa | Pulau Redang | Pulau Sibu | Pulau Tenggol | Pulau Tioman |

Peninsula Malaysia Coastal Beaches

| Marang | Merang | Rantau Abang | Penarik | Port Dickson | Tanjung Jara | Cherating |

Sabah and Sarawak ~ Borneo Islands & Coastal Beaches

Sabah Islands ~ | Gaya Island | Kapalai | Pulau Mabul | Pulau Sipadan | Selingan Turtle Island | Mantanani Besar Island | Manukan Island | Mataking Island | Lankayan Island | Layang Layang Island | Pom Pom Island | Pulau Tiga Resort (Survivor Island) | Mari Mari Sepanggar - Sepanggar Island |

Sabah Coastal Beaches ~ | Kinarut, Papar | Tuaran |

Sarawak Coastal Beaches ~ | Damai Beach, Santubong | Kayakking with Dolphins |