Coral Reefs and Marine Reserve at Tioman Island

Coral Reefs and Marine Reserve at Tioman Island

Tioman is an island 21 kilometres long and 12 kilometres wide located off the east coast of Malaysia in the South China Sea. It is filled with nature featuring dense forests throughout and some mountains on the south side. The marine area surrounding the island is a protected reserve and hosts Tioman's Coral Reefs, which are in good and healthy conditions. Although the island has been selected as one of the world's most beautiful islands, it is still sparsely populated and not too developed touristically, making it an attractive destination for nature seekers above and below the waterline.

Destination Highlights

  • Tioman's Coral Reefs
  • Underwater boulders and swim throughs
  • Turtles, rays and reef sharks and the occasional whale shark
  • Depths up to 30m within a 10min boat ride
  • Explore the untouched rainforests on your days off diving
  • Off the beaten track destination

    How to get there

    • Air: Tioman Airport from Kuala Lumpur (expensive and infrequent)
    • Bus & Ferry: Bus to Mersing or Tanjung Gemok (3-5.5hrs depending on where you leave from KL or Singapore) and then embark on a ferry to Tioman Island (1.5-2hrs)


    Images by kind concession of Freedive Tioman.



    Freediving Centre

    • Freedive Tioman is the only freediving school on Pulau Tioman located in Tekek village, right on a white sandy beach with quick access to freediving spots and beautiful coral reefs. The school is known for it’s personal approach and small group classes, making sure each student gets the most out of their experience.
    • Owner: The school is owned and run by two experienced freediving instructors teaching AIDA and Apnea Total courses.
    • Languages: English and German.
    • Seasonality: From February to October.
    • Equipment: Included in all courses, coaching and trainings; individual rental on request.
    • Recreational activity: Coral reef diving and other beautiful spots.
    • Educational activity: AIDA 1-3* and Apnea Total Beginner - Master level.
    • Support Boat: Single engine 40cc.

    Freediving workshops

    Equalisation workshops available upon request.


        Tiger Reef (Depth: 10-22m; Duration: 2hrs): Tiger reef is accessible from the shore an underwater pinnacle starting around 10m and going down to 22m deep. There are also underwater boulders covered with hard and soft corals as well as barrel sponges. Although the current is quite strong, this is one of the best dive spots on the island as large schools of jacks, mackerels, yellow fin barracudas and rainbow can be encountered.

        Coral Island (Depth: 0m-10m; Duration: 2hrs): Pulau Tulai, or Coral Island, is a 20 minute boat ride away from Tekek village and has several shallower to deeper divespots with live coral, marine life and some swim throughs.

        Renggis Island (Depth: 0m-10m; Duration: 2hrs): A short boat ride away, Renggis is a perfect freediving spot with beautiful hard coral, blacktip reefsharks and turtles. It also has a small wreck and fun swim throughs. 

        Marine Park jetty (Depth: 0m-10m; Duration: 1hr): A cycle or short car ride from the diving centre, the marine park jetty is a fun place to take photos underneath its structure and enjoy some shallow dives with the fish around.

        Other activities: 

        • Yoga
        • Island Adventure Camp (trekking and freediving excursions)
        • Jungle walks through Tioman's rainforest and small waterfalls
        • Snorkelling trips

        Freedive Tioman is located within the Swiss Cottage Tioman resort which offers terrace rooms, bungalows and chalets right on the beach. Other nearby budget options can be found at Cheers Chalet or Tioman Cabana