Going back to Basics – Tioman Part 1

If you are my regular follower, you are probably seething with envious that I just came back from a glorious trip to my favourite island, Tioman. This time round instead of staying at my regular hangout on the island, I decided to go for a full zero mobile technology retreat. This meaning I have no access to Internet, mobile signal and computers. I love doing this when I was in the corporate world, unplugging myself and clearing my mind full of clutter. And I just found a gem that allows me to do this because they advocate the best they can, going back to basics.  


I have always wanted to visit Bagus Place back some 5 years ago and this time round, I finally have the chance to do so. First of all, it is the 2nd top resort on TripAdvisor. You actually can read through the positive reviews. Even as I thumbed through the negatives ones (not many), it is hardly tangible and more like from a personal perspective. Booking though their website is easy, you can either pay through credit cards or PayPal but I do wish that they would put more photos of their gorgeous rooms.

Their rooms are a tad expensive in comparison to other resorts in Tioman. This is due to their most unique selling point: they only have 10 huts (rooms) on their private part of the island. Tioman is split up between multiple ferry jetty and some of the resorts have their own space cordoned off from the rest of the island, making it exclusive and ability to crowd control. With Bagus Place’s limited 10 huts, meaning they are only able to have 30 guests at most at a time. This allows me as a guest to benefit from the peace and quiet I’m hankering from. No screaming parents, crying kids and cringe-worthy photo snapping elbowing tourists. So it’s no wonder they are pricier, you are buying the exclusivity and your peace.


Their huts are wooden and very basic, with the necessities like hot water and air con but don’t expect more. There is no wifi, no television, no radio which suits me perfectly. The linens are clean, the air is fresh and my room comes with a fantastic enchanting view. I chose the Rock House but they bumped me up to Rawa Laut, their most secluded hut usually reserved for honeymooners during the reservation confirmation. I wanted Rock House because of the sea view and Rawa Laut gives much more, offering 280 degrees of unblocking sea view and I can see the sea in between my toes!


There are several ways to reach Tioman and our drive was 4 hours from Kuala Lumpur to Mersing Jetty Terminal in Johor. One tip is to secure your ferry tickets online way advance because there are limited trips that the ferries will make everyday. Usually after mid noon, the ferry ceased to bring passengers to the island due to low tide. You can park at the Mersing Ferry Terminal but please allocated at least half an hour into finding a parking space. The overnight parking charges RM15 a day and it can be quite a hectic experience because there was little organising and almost every car was parked in any kind of way possible. We ended up paying a local to park at his house. Just like Airbnb but only for cars.

The ferry journey is about 45 minutes, one tip: bring snacks and your earplugs along. Tioman is a family holiday destination for a lot of Malaysians and Singaporeans. Stuck 45 minutes in a small enclosed space with screaming kids running around and making faces at you can unnerve you, no matter how much you adore children.


As reported in many blogs that ferry ticket collection booth are disorganised and disarray. Just grab any local (or anyone who looks like a local) and asks, chances are you’ll be directed to a booth to collect your ferry ticket with further instructions to queue for passport registration. After which, you’ll be directed to another booth to purchase a Marine Park Conservation Ticket RM20(taxes to the government).

A little introduction about Tioman:
Tioman Island is actually a very small island where it has a land area of only 136km2. Gunung Kajang is the highest peak here which sets at 1,038 meters while it has less than 500 people who are mostly from the Malay and Chinese communities. The densely forested island is still sparsely inhabited. Also, it is surrounded by numerous white coral reefs, making it a haven for scuba divers from around the region. 

I shall continue my breathtaking retreat to zero technology island in my next post. Keep a lookout for it!

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Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com


2 thoughts on “Going back to Basics – Tioman Part 1

  1. I miss you Lil’ One! Glad u back! And much glad for your fabulous vacation. Looking forward to your posts. Been much busy. New book coming: Overcoming Dysfunctional Mother In A Dysfunctional Family. I you want I can send you the first few chapters? Let me know.


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