Tioman Island - Not a famous location for romantic getaways. Its well-known for underwater sports such as snorkeling and sea-diving. But we decided to visit Tioman for Japamala resort and we don't regret our choice at all. In fact, we are still raving about this place to our friends and family. I am well aware there are lot of places on earth that are incredibly beautiful.But this place has everything one would expect on a relaxing vacation: lovely weather, hilly regions, beach view, privacy and above all it was within our budget.
Japamala is an eco-resort built without moving a rock or cutting a tree or even a branch. This boutique resort can accomodate only 30 guests at a time and if you go on an off- season then you hardly see people and get it for half the price ;)
Reaching this island is fairly easy from Singapore or Malaysia. There is a flight run by Berjaya airways which takes approximately 40 mins to reach this island. Japamala staff will be waiting to take you to the resort-which involves an exciting ferry ride... And just 20 minutes later, you will feel like a rockstar at his/her own island retreat. A lengthy jetty, scenic beach, the view of lush jungle and chalets perched on cliffs are those first things that will catch your sight. Once you arrive, you will be welcomed with a super refreshing lemon grass drink.
There are a range of sarangs (guest houses/villas) and chalets to choose from -like tiny houses built on sea cliff, tree tops, hillside, jungle side etc. We chose to stay in a tree top chalet and a hillside sarang with a hydro-pool.
We encountered some monitor lizards and naughty monkeys.
We befriended a jungle lizard on our way to the sarang..
Decadent Italian food at Mandi-Mandi..
There are two restaurants catering to the resort guests - Tamarind for Malay & Thai style cuisine and Mandi mandi for Italian gourmet. Both the restaurants' re top notch in quality.
Tamarind's Fried Banana fritters were finger-licking good..
Mandi Mandi is built on the sea overlooking the vast expanse of the ocean on one side and the resort on the other side. With the village-style seating experience and the canopy on top it exuded the rustic charm. I totally loved Mandi-mandi ambiance especially during the night ..( was like the jetty lit with lights in the Kaaka Kaaka movie :P)
Snorkeling, trekking, boat-rides and canoeing are some of the recreational activities available in this island. The resort will provide the necessary snorkeling gear and canoes if you want to use them.
Tender coconut on a sunny day..
Fragrance Oils for aromatic turn-down..
The Samadhi spa package was gifted by the resort as part of our stay and it was excellent! The staffs were intuitive and very responsive to the guests needs.
With a heavy heart, we left this paradise after spending five glorious days.
It was indeed a rustic-luxe jungle living experience!