To Rawa Island From Tioman

Old Mar 12th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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To Rawa Island From Tioman

Is it possible to hire a speedboat and go to Rawa from Tioman? We are flying in to Tioman from Kuala Lumpur. Thanks
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Old Mar 13th, 2004, 04:08 AM
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Are you talking about going for the day from Tioman or are you going to stay on Rawa? Have you contacted either your hotel in Tioman or Rawa Safaris to ask about transport between the two? It is possible, although you might end up on a local fishing boat rather than a speed boat. If the hotels can't assist, I believe you can hire boats with drivers at the main pier area on Tioman. In either case, you should ask how long they estimate for the trip. I have done dive cruises in the area on larger boats, and the distance between the two is pretty far. I would estimate at least two hours by fast speedboat, longer on a bigger or slower boat. I would not do this as a day trip, as there are other islands in the Tioman area where you could go for a day trip like Pulau Renggis, Pulau Sepoi, Pulau Labas, Pulau Soyah, Pulau Chebeh, Pulau Tulai, Pulau Sembilang and Pulau Seri Buat. What time of year are you going? The waters can be rough if you are going during monsoon season, from late October through March.
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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Hi Cicerone: the plan was to fly from KL to Tioman (stay in Tioman for 2 nights) and then fly onto Singapore. When I looked at reviews on Tioman though, many people said that it was not that nice. Since I have my flights booked into and out of Tioman I was just trying to go on from Tioman for the 2 days. That does not look like an option now though. We are going July 10, 11th. Looks like you have a lot of experience with these islands, what do you think of Tioman? Thanks so much, A
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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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I am not a fan of Tioman. I lived in Singapore for 5 years and spent a lot of time in the east coast of Malaysia and just think that there are many prettier places than Tioman. Run a search on Tioman here and you will see my previous comments plus those of others. By way of comparison, I also don't like the beaches on Langkawi either, so if you have been there and liked it, than you may find like Tioman as well.

To me, Tioman's only advantage is that you can fly to it, the other islands in the area are only accessible by ferry. Other than that, it is overdeveloped, the beaches are not really that pretty compared to other islands in the area, there diving and snorkeling are average (you need to go to other islands for better diving and snorkeling), there are no really good hotels (a lot of very average ones charging more than they should, IMO) and there are lots of people. You will be there on a weekend which means you will be contending with Singaporeans coming for the weekend, adding even more crowds. However, if you haven't been to other places in Malaysia or SE Asia, you may find it pretty. If your flight cannot be changed, then I wouldn't worry that much, just don't spend too much time in Tioman, hire a boat for a day and get to some of the outlying islands mentioned above. What hotel were you considering on Tioman? The Lonelyplanet guide to this part of Malaysia always proved helpful to me for restaurant and off the beaten path suggestions.

If you are interested in Rawa, then you should send an e-mail to them (website is www.rawasfr.com, e-mail is [email protected]) and ask if transport by boat from Tioman could be arranged, how long it would take, and how much it would cost. Give your specific flight details as well. I would not rule out going to Tioman, esp if you can get there in a few hours. It really my favorite island in SE Asia, can't say enough good things about how beautiful it is and how laid back, comfortable and friendly the resort is(there is only one hotel on the island); although not luxurious like the Tanjang Jara Resort mentioned below.

If you can change flights, I would look into flights from KL to one of the following (Singapore Air and Malaysian Airlines go to these):

(1) Kuala Terrenganu (about directly opposite KL on the east coast) where you can stay along the coast south of KT (my fav is the gorgeous Tanjang Jara Resort, go to the website for Small Luxury Hotels of the World at: slh.com). If you really only have 2 days this may be a longer trip than you want, as the resort and the other nice beach areas are about an hour south of KT.

(2) Kuantan which is a pretty beach (not as nice as Kuala Terrenganu area but still pretty), and there is a nice Hyatt there plus cheaper hotel alternatives.

You should be able to fly onto Singapore from either place. You could also drive from Kuantan down to Singapore in under 4 hours, would be an interesting drive. You could rent a car or arrange for a car and driver. Might be easier and cheaper than flying.

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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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Cicerone: you are a star! Thank you. I did email rawa but no answer yet. I am off to research your other suggestions. I would love to drive down the coast, and I am very comfortable in doing so although I have been advised not to before on these boards. Thanks again, Aine
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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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I am sure Rawa will reply, remember that depending on where you are in the US, Rawa is 13-16 hours ahead of you, so it was probably the middle of their night when you sent the message.

Curious you said you had read on this boards not to drive on the east coast; I certainly think it is perfectly safe and easy (although on the "wrong" side of the road, and I have posted several times on what a pretty drive most of a trip up or down the east coast would be. Others have recommended this as well, which posts are you referring to which advised against driving?

With only 2 days, I am not sure it is worth driving, if you can extend your trip, then it might be worthwile. If you want to consider this, re-post again as myself and others may have more advice. (e.g. renting in Malaysia versus Singapore, drop off charges, etc)
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 08:14 AM
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Hi again Cicerone; we will be spending the first two weeks on the beach and diving in Thailand. What do you think of the highlands in Malaysia instead of going off out to the beaches? Have you been, do you like? It might be better use of our time. Thanks.
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Old Mar 18th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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The interior mountain areas of Malaysia would be an interesting change, and the temps would be cooler. You can walk or hike, bird watch, canoe/kayak and play golf in most areas. My only concern is that with only 2 nights, you may not really have time to see much. I did trip of just over a week to some of the areas more than 10 years ago, so I am going on memory and some hotel websites which I found.

The closest area is Genting Highlands, which is about an hour from Kuala Lumpur. My feeling is that it is overbuilt (several high-rise hotels) and crowded because it is so close to KL. It is also one of the few if not only place in Malaysia where you can gamble, so they get a lot of people from KL and Singapore on weekends. We did stay at a very nice golf resort called the Awana, take a look at http://www.awana.com.my/.

The next closest area would be Fraser's Hill, which is about a 2-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. You can pick strawberries and tea in season. It is very pretty and quite English, it was used as a hill station by the English colonists. Tea with scones and clotted cream, and little half-timbered houses, etc. I stayed at the Smokehouse Hotel, but I can't find a website other than on-line booking websites.

A bit further out is Cameron Highlands, which is 3 ? hours from Kuala Lumpur by car. Like Fraser's Hill, it is very pretty and quite English. I have stayed at Strawberry Park, which is a large resort and was very nice; it has been more than 10 years so I can't vouch for it, but I did find a website at http://www.strawberryparkresorts.com

I think you can take trains to these areas, although you may end up taking a bus or taxi to reach your final destination. You can rent a car in KL as well and drive yourself. The website for Malaysian trains is https://www.ktmb.com.my
Tama Negara national park would be too far for 2 nights, IMO, as it is about 4 hours by road from KL and then about a 3 hour boat ride (I have not been but have friends who have).

Given the short amount of time you have, have you considered going to Bangkok or Singapore for your last 2 nights? You will have had a long time in more remote places, so a few days in a city might be a nice change.


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Old Mar 18th, 2004, 06:25 AM
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Thanks Cicerone: Thanks, I think we will go to the Cameron area. It will be a nice break. Our trip is 3 weeks - Koh Nangyuan - Koh Samui - Kuala Lumpur - Cameron Highlands - Singapore -Angkor Wat and finishing up the last two nights in Bangkok. We were actually discussing the idea this morning of just staying in KL for the 3 nights and taking a City Break with day trips up to the highlands (avoiding Genting), I thought they looked a little like the Chang Mai area in Thailand. Thanks for all your help, I think the highlands will be a lovely contrast to all the other stuff we are doing.

Anne
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Old Mar 18th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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The highland areas of Malaysia are very different from the Chiang Mai area of Thailand. The elevations are higher and it is much cooler in terms of temps, I don't think it gets above 70 F any time of the year. (Average temp in Chiang Mai is like 80 F) The flora and fauna are more temperate than tropical. They grow strawberries and tea, which need cool and wet climates. The English colonial history also has influenced the look of the place, i.e. rose gardens in many places. It is Muslim and animist (and the odd C of E) as opposed to Buddhist. I think it would be a good contrast to a beach holiday as well.

Sounds like a great trip, hope you will post a trip report (esp about the diving) when you return.

Hope you get to Rawa some day!
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Old Apr 6th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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I was curious if Cicerone could recommend any resorts/hotels on islands he prefers to Tioman. I'm interested in going to that area for my honeymoon this September and don't want to rough it completely. I've been interested in Rawa but would love to hear about something else, too.
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Old Apr 6th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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In my experience, most of the hotels on the islands off the east coast of Malaysia can't be classed as much above a basic hotel, even the Berjaya on Tioman. Rawa has improved a lot over what it used to be, but is still like a nice 2 star. Other islands in the area which I think are almost as pretty as Rawa would be:

Pulau Besar
Pulau Sibu
Pulau Tinggi
Pulau Perhentian
Pulau Redang

After I found Rawa, I really was not interested in staying on other islands, other than on weekend boats trips where we lived on the boat, so I don't have a lot of recommendations for hotels on the islands. On Pulau Besar, I did once stay at the Hillside Island Chalet Resort, basic chalets but perfectly fine, good food as I recall; however that is more than 10 years ago so I can't say it is the same. I could not find a website for the Hillside Chalets, but did find the following:

Hillside Chalet Island Resort
Office Address: Gerai Majlis Daerah,
5B Jalan Abu Bakar, 86800,
Mersing, Johor.
Tel: 07-799 4831

My personal view is that Rawa Island is prettier and offers better snorkeling and diving, esp if you hire a boat for the day to go to outlying islands and reefs. Pulau Besar would be a close second to Rawa, and better in my view than Sibu. If you haven't already seen it, a good website is http://www.visitmalaysia.com/terenisle.htmyou can find information on Besar as well as Rawa, Sibu and other islands in the Malay archipelago. I think you will find fairly basic accommodations generally in these islands. These islands and most of the east coast of Malaysia aren't nearly as developed or heavily touristed as places like Koh Samui.

For a honeymoon, I would recommend the Tanjong Jara Resort which is on the mainland of the east coast, north of Kuantan and almost at the Thai border. This is a gorgeous 5-star resort, built of teak in Malaysia long-house style. They are part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which gives you some idea the quality. They have a spectacular infinity pool. The beach is beautiful. The diving and snorkeling is the world-class, you can hire boats for the day to go out into the South China Sea where there is even better snorkeling and diving on deserted islands. There are small Malay villages in the area and you can drive down the coast past beautiful beaches or go inland to forests. Take a look at http://www.tanjongjararesort.com or the website for Small Luxury Hotels of the World at: slh.com

The Hyatt in Kuantan is also quite nice, but not as private or unusual as the Tanjong Jara, and I the beach is not a pretty or wild.

If you want a larger selection of luxury hotels which might be appropriate for a honeymoon, take a look at Koh Samui which is further north.


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