Fantasizing about your next underwater adventure?
Or maybe you’ve yet to experience snorkeling in the warm waters of a real tropical paradise?
Look no further! Tioman Island off the south-east coast of West Malaysia, is famous for having crystal clear waters that are abundant with colorful marine life!
Owing to its raw island beauty and somewhat remote location, Tioman Island is where you can do some of the best snorkeling in Malaysia!
Table of contents:
- Best Time To Go For Snorkeling In Tioman Island
- Tioman Snorkeling Map
- 6 Best Tioman Island Snorkeling Sites
- 7 Resorts With The Best Snorkelling Direct From Tioman Island Beach
- 4 Best Resorts To Stay In Tioman Island For Great Snorkeling Tours
- Tioman Island Snorkeling Package
- How To Get To Tioman Island From Singapore
- Useful Tips Before Snorkeling In Tioman Island
Because Tioman Island is in the same region as Malaysia, it has a typical tropical climate.
Which means mostly sunny days with short bursts of storms.
There is also a dry and a wet season (aka monsoon season).
Therefore, best time to visit Tioman Island for snorkelling or diving:
November Till February (Monsoon Season)
- Resorts and ferry services are limited this time.
- Strong waves which lead to bad water clarity.
- For safety, diving is not allowed.
March Till September (Dry Season)
- More fishes to see due to warmer waters (better snorkeling & diving this time).
- Regular ferry service.
April Till August
- Perfect water conditions for diving.
- Water visibility is 15m to 30m deep.
- Water temperature is a comfortable 27 – 29°C.
October Till November
- Less marine life to see from October onwards as the water temperature become cooler again and monsoon season is coming soon.
Of course, you can always just snorkel right off the beach in front of your chosen accommodation!
And there are many resorts in Tioman that face the ocean!
But here are some designated spots around the west and south of Tioman Island where you can go snorkeling too!
Check out the map below to see other activities you can do around the island!
If you can swim, it’s well worth grabbing a snorkel to explore what Tioman’s marine-rich waters have to offer!
This is without a doubt, a must-do for visitors to the island!
Here are 6 of the best Tioman Island Snorkeling Sites:
Renggis Island may well be the best snorkeling spot in Tioman Island!
The reason for this claim lies in its shallow waters that are home to bountiful marine life! There are some hefty coral to be seen here as well!
Fish here have become accustomed to visitors and will boldly take food straight from human hands!
Marine Life: Depending on your luck, you may see yellowtail fusiliers, scorpion fish, turtles, lionfish, blue-spotted stingray and puffer fish may be seen here
Depth: 5 – 15m
How To Go: Take a short boat trip (5 minutes) from Tekek Jetty
Malang Rocks off Coral Island is another popular best snorkeling spot in Tioman Island!
You can easily get to it from Tekek village via a private charter boat or a public ferry.
Despite some broken coral, there is still a huge variety of fish to see in the shallow waters!
Coral Island is so beautiful that you will probably want to spend your whole day there!
Marine Life: Fish that you can see here include butterfly fish, trevally, angelfish, moray eels, trigger fish, sea anemone, clown fish, parrot fish and even nudibranchs (colorful sea slugs)
Depth: 10 – 25m
How To Go: Boat ride of 20 minutes from Tekek Jetty
You can certainly get some good Tioman snorkeling in at Marine Park Centre!
As well as some other water-based activities!
Feed the fish underwater and try to spot a turtle! They have a sizeable population of turtles in this area!
If your tour package doesn’t include snorkeling gear, you can rent a full snorkeling set here at around RM15. The fins are sadly not included and will cost an additional RM7.
Marine Life: Besides turtles, you can see blue spotted stingrays, lionfish and scorpionfish
Depth: 8 – 15m
How To Go: From Tekek village, take a boat ride of 5 minutes
Somewhere behind Salang Village is the alluring hourglass-shaped Monkey Bay, another frequented location for snorkeling at Tioman Island!
You can choose to get there by speedboat or hike there!
Hiking trails to Monkey Bay include a 1-hour jungle trail from Salang village or a 2-hour trail from Air Batang (ABC village) where you will pass both Panuba Bay and Monkey Beach!
Tioman snorkeling is fantastic south of Salang Jetty!
You will see a mishmash of different fish species among the coral and maybe even a turtle without having to swim to deeper water!
But if you do venture out (following the rocks) in the direction of the small island off the headland, you will see even more fish and get a likely sight of a black tip reef shark!
Tomok Island close to the Paya Jetty, has an appearance similar to Rengis Island and it is also coincidentally a great site for snorkeling at Tioman Island.
Admire the boulder and coral combinations here. Lovely conch shells and cowries may be lying hidden around these formations!
If your tour package doesn’t include snorkelling equipment, you can rent the snorkeling gear at under RM30/day at the nearby Paya Beach Spa & Dive Resort.
Marine Life: Numerous nudibranchs, sweetlips, giant moray eels, bumphead parrotfish, huge map puffers, napoleon wrasse and lionfish can be seen here
Depth: 5 – 15m
How To Go: Boat ride of 20 minutes from Tekek Village Jetty
Read also: 15 Fun Things To Do In Rawa Island
When it comes to where to stay on Tioman Island, you have an agreeable selection of resorts to consider.
Especially if you want to snorkel at the beach in front of the resort!
The water in front of the Barat Tioman Beach Resort is very clear and no coral there that makes it a safe place for swimming!
If you are looking for the snorkeling spot, is actually at the right of the resort, towards the end of the beach!
As for the rooms, they are simple and basic! Expect to have a very peaceful rest here as the resort is in isolated Kampung Juara.
Salang Sayang Resort has one of the prettiest beaches in Tioman Island with brilliantly clear turquoise water!
While the right side of the beach is rocky, the left side strongly beckons you to go swimming and snorkeling!
The resort is located on the hillside – which most of the rooms face! There is also a lot of food in the village so don’t worry if you get hungry!
This family-favorite resort boasts a delightful location, you can snorkel directly in front of the beach and enjoy yourself in the crystal clear water!
For even easier access to the ocean, choose their beach chalets! Berjaya Tioman Resort has a swimming pool too that kids will adore!
As an additional convenience to their guests, there is a free shuttle service to and from the Tekek Jetty!
As far as Tioman resorts go, Paya Beach Resort is pretty average but it does has an exceptional restaurant, a swimming pool and a dive shop!
Get the newer Superior chalets if you can! The resort has acceptable rental rates for snorkel gear so you can enjoy the most of their beachfront location!
If you can afford to, stay at this rustic retreat in a gorgeous setting located on the calmer side of the island!
They will personally pick you up from Genting Jetty!
They have lovely Malaysian-style chalets or treehouses that are comfortable and clean!
The staff are very welcoming and the locally produced food is delicious!
You will get complimentary snorkeling gear here so you can see all the fish living at the coral reef close to the jetty!
Don’t forget to check out the evening shark feeding!
Want to stay at the edge of the jungle in a cozy wooden chalet? Then JapaMala Resort is a suitable option for you!
You can snorkel from the resort but in case you want to do more snorkeling, Renggis island is a short boat ride away!
As a bonus – they offer a complimentary cocktail hour and the menu here changes daily so you will not get bored!
Even though this is not a luxury resort, Melina Beach Resort has some luxurious views as it is between the sea and the jungle!
The beachfront bungalows are clean and you will feel very welcome here because the staff are so friendly!
A stone’s throw from the resort is a colorful coral reef that hosts a diverse multitude of marine life.
What else? The resort arranges daily snorkel trips around Tioman Island too!
If you would like to get the best bang for your buck, it’s worth considering the resorts below for their exceptional snorkeling tours!
Or maybe you just want to thoroughly explore the waters around Tioman Island!
Snorkeling at their house reef is amazing, Berjaya Tioman Resort also offers snorkeling trips!
Their fairly-priced snorkeling trips will usually feature the stunning Renggis Island!
This is a good opportunity to let your kids have their first experience snorkeling! Gear is free for kids to use if they are under a certain age!
A relatively new resort, Aman Tioman Beach Resort has snorkeling trips that bring guests to 2 nearby islands (typically Renggis Island and Tulai Island/Coral Island).
The tour is of course, subject to weather and tidal conditions!
And you can opt to include jungle trekking in addition to your snorkeling trip!
Choose from dozens of options for their snorkeling package whether it is the room type or group size.
The more people you have in your group, the cheaper it is!
Rates are also cheaper during low season (January to February and October) versus high season (March to September).
Snorkeling locations include Batu Mumbang, T. Dungun & Rengkin, Teluk Nayak, Penut & Lighthouse.
Paya Beach Resort snorkeling tour packages start with a practice session in the resort’s pool before a presentation and a guided trail tour to some rock falls.
With their snorkeling tours, you will get to go to Tomok Island, Benut beach, Marine Park or Renggis island. They have private charter speed boats available for hire too!
If you are going in peak season, you are encourage to book these snorkeling packages beforehand!
Looking for a suitable snorkeling package that includes accommodation, food, snorkeling gear and transport to/from Tioman Island?
Here are some multi-day packages you might be interested in:
These 2D1N Tioman packages are perfect for a short snorkeling weekend getaway!
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM300-500
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 1 snorkeling trip (plus gear), yoga session, mangrove walk and a 2-way ferry transfer from Mersing or Tanjung Gemok to Tioman Island
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM300-400
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 1 snorkeling trip (and gear), 2-way ferry transfer (Mersing or Tg. Gemok Jetty and Tioman Island)
If you can spare an extra day on Tioman Island, these 3D2N Tioman packages will ensure that you have a great snorkeling experience and stay on the island!
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM600+
- What Is Included: Meals, accommodation, 2 snorkeling trips (with gear), 2-way ferry transfer (Mersing or Tg. Gemok Jetty and Tioman)
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM540 to RM720
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 1 snorkeling trip (& gear) or kayaking (2 hours), 2-way land transfer between Tekek Jetty and Resort, 2-way ferry transfer (Mersing or Tg. Gemok Jetty and Tioman Island)
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM400-1000
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 1 snorkeling trip (with gear), seaside yoga session, mangrove walk and 2-way ferry transfer (to and from Tioman Island).
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM375 to RM1,500+
- What Is Included: Besides accommodation, you get meals, 1 snorkeling trip, and 2-way boat transfer (Tg. Gemok Jetty and Tioman Island)
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM540 – RM2,000
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 2 snorkeling trips (gear is included), 2-way Tekek Jetty and resort transfer and 2-way ferry transfer (Tioman Island)
Read also: Tioman Island Package Review & Comparison (How To Choose Tioman Island Package – The Complete Guide For The First-Timer)
4 days on Tioman Island? Lucky you!
If you love snorkeling, these 4D3N all-inclusive snorkeling packages will do you justice!
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM700-1000
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 3 snorkeling trips (with gear), 2-way ferry transfer (Mersing or Tg. Gemok Jetty and Tioman Island)
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM750-1000
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 1 snorkeling trip (gear included) or kayaking (2 hours), 2-way land transfer between Tekek Jetty and the resort, 2-way ferry transfer between Mersing or Tg. Gemok Jetty and Tioman Island
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM470-RM1,400
- What Is Included: Meals, accommodation, a snorkeling trip (gear is included), yoga session, mangrove walk and 2-way ferry transfer to and from Tioman Island
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM440 to RM 1,300
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, a snorkeling trip, 2-way boat transfer to and from Tg. Gemok Jetty and Tioman Island
- Tioman Snorkeling Price Range: RM700 to RM1,300
- What Is Included: Accommodation, meals, 2 snorkeling trips (Plus gear), 2-way Tekek Jetty and resort transfer and 2-way ferry transfer (Tioman Island)
You definitely need to take a ferry from the mainland in order to get to Tioman Island!
The two popular jetties in Mersing, Johor are:
- Tanjung Gemok Jetty
- Mersing Jetty
And here are 4 ways you can get to these two jetties from Singapore:
For the ultimate convenience, choose a private car company that includes the crossover service from Singapore to Mersing Jetty or Tanjung Gemok.
Advantage Of Using A Private Car Service:
- Direct transfer – No stops in between!
- Comfortable – more leg room for you as they use MPV cars!
- Toyota Innova (7-seater MPV)
- Toyota Alphard (8-seater MPV)
- Hyundai Starex (10-seater MPV)
- No need to disembark from vehicle twice to get the passport stamp in both the Johor Custom and Singapore Checkpoint.
- Customize pick-up date, time and location!
- Easy to book online!
- You don’t have to share the ride with strangers.
- Safe (drivers know the route well and cars are well-maintained)
- Reliable (unlike with public transport, you will have less chances of missing your ferry if you take a private car service!)
Disadvantage Of Using A Private Car Service:
- Costly if your group size is less than 3 people.
Private Car Recommended For:
- Groups of more than 4 people
- Especially if you have younger children or elderly members in your group!
1. WTS Travel Coach
Singapore to Tanjung Gemok Jetty: SGD$30 – SGD$35/person
Tanjung Gemok Jetty to Singapore: SGD$20 – SGD$25/person
Singapore Flyer at 6:30am
Tanjung Gemok Jetty at 5:00pm
2. Discovery Tours & Travel
Singapore to Tanjung Gemok Jetty: SGD$36.50/person
Tanjung Gemok Jetty to Singapore: SGD$36.50/person
Golden Mile Complex at 6:15am
Boon Lay at 6:45am
Tanjung Gemok Jetty at 4:00pm
The coach journey take 4 hours from Singapore (roughly the same as driving up by yourself but still depending on the custom traffic)
Be at the coach departure point at least 30 minutes before the departure time and likewise, for the return trip!
Take the new ferry operator, Cataferry at Tanjung Gemok Jetty!
The journey from Tanjung Gemok Jetty to Tioman Island is around 1.5 hours.
Book in advance online for a discount or pay for a ticket at the counter.
One way (counter price): MYR 35 (adult) / MYR30 (child)
Taking the bus is another mode of affordable public transport from Singapore to Mersing.
With a bus, you can select a departure time at night so you can sleep on the bus and catch a morning ferry.
You will probably want to continue your sleep at a Mersing hotel though!
These are 2 bus operators you can take that from Singapore to Mersing Jetty or Mersing Bus Terminal:
Singapore to Mersing Bus Terminal: SGD$33.90/person
Mersing Bus Terminal to Singapore: SGD$16.00/person
The Plaza (Beach Road) at 9:00am, 7:00pm or 10:00pm
Mersing Bus Terminal at 12:00pm or 1:30pm
2. Starmart Express
Singapore to Mersing Jetty: SGD$38.58/person
Golden Mile Tower at 6:31am
Boon Lay at 7:31am
Book Bluewater Express ferry online or at the counter. Booking online is the way to go if you’re going in peak season!
The ferry ride to Tioman will take 1.5 to 2 hours.
One way: MYR 35 (adult) / MYR30 (child) 2-11 years old
If you want the flexibility of choosing your own departure times but still want to save some money, then you can drive to Mersing Jetty/Tanjung Gemok Jetty yourself!
It takes an average of 3.5 to 4 hours from Singapore to Mersing Jetty and additional 30 minutes to Tanjung Gemok Jetty but the duration is susceptible to traffic conditions (especially at customs).
Prepare for long hours on the road and to pay for parking fees (around RM15/day), petrol and tolls.
Route: Singapore → Woodlands Causeway → Johor Bahru → Kota Tinggi → Mersing → Tanjung Gemok
At Mersing, you can board a ferry to Tioman Island or continue your journey north to Tanjung Gemok Jetty and take a ferry from there.
Knowing what to expect before you arrive in Tioman Island for your much anticipated snorkelling trip can make a difference!
You may want to ask:
Question 1: Is snorkeling safe for non-swimmers?
Yes, if you use a flotation device like a life jacket or pool noodle.
Kick your feet lightly to move around once you are in the water.
Practice first at a pool or shallow water before going into the sea!
Make sure you have a buddy with you that knows how to swim, just in case!
Question 2: If there’s just 2 people in my group, can I still join other snorkeling groups in Tioman Island?
Answer 2: Yes, and it is advisable that you book a snorkelling package together with your resort.
Question 3: What should I prepare to go snorkeling?
A mask, snorkel, fins (or snorkeling shoes), a wet suit (in jellyfish season), waterproof sunscreen and a lifejacket!
Don’t worry though, your snorkeling tour group or resort should have most of these available!
Unless you want to bring your own snorkel gear, you don’t need much else! Just pack your usual swimwear and a towel!
Question 4: Can I join a snorkeling trip but choose not to snorkel?
Yes. But you will likely still have to pay the full fee. And while the others snorkel, you can island hop.
This is common with most snorkeling operators. Ask first before booking.
Question 5: Is there any age requirement to go snorkeling?
Answer 5: Above 6 years old.
Question 6: Should I bring along my own snorkeling equipment?
Answer 6: No, unless you do not want to use rental gear due to hygiene concerns.
Question 7: Can I go barefoot to enter the water?
Answer 7: No. You need to protect your feet with water shoes or flippers as some places have dead coral that are very sharp!
Question 8: Is it safe to go snorkeling alone?
Answer 8: As a golden rule, never go out to sea alone. Having a snorkel buddy and even a safety buoyancy device is a good idea!
Question 9: How do I know if I’m ready to snorkel?
Answer 9: Your snorkel mask and flippers should fit well in order to avoid unnecessary readjustments later when you are already in the water!
Test these out in shallow water without any coral first!
Question 10: Is coral dangerous to touch?
Answer 10: Do not touch coral! Many coral have a thin layer of toxic mucous that may irritate bare skin!
Question 11: What if I get tired/uncomfortable while snorkeling?
Do not stand on the coral even if you have flippers or shoes on as this will damage them!
Instead, turn your body so you face the sky and float at the surface of the water.
Use your arms to balance. You can remove your snorkel tube from your mouth but keep your mask on!
A life jacket will also help you to keep afloat without much effort!
Question 12: Can I snorkel during low tide?
Answer 12: For safety reasons, it is a good to have at least 2 meters of water between the surface of the water and the highest point of a coral reef.