Tioman Island (pronounced Tee-oh-mahn), a tiny island off the south of Malaysia's east coast, is visited mostly by backpackers, who have a multitude of cheap chalets to flop in; scuba enthusiasts, who have a range of coral gardens to explore; and nearby Singaporeans. The island is only 39km (24 miles) long and 12km (7 1/2 miles) wide, with sandy beaches that line several small bays, clear water with sea life and coral reefs, and jungle mountain-trekking trails with streams and waterfalls. So idyllic is the setting that Tioman was the location for the 1950s Hollywood film South Pacific.
Tioman has been snubbed by scuba enthusiasts because it was developed before its northern island neighbors, Redang and Perhentian. For many, Tioman's accessibility didn't jive with their expectation of "unspoiled" ecology.