When to go
April-october brings the best conditions. Don’t go during monsoon (NovemberFebruary) when the sea crossing is rough enough to see the ferries sometimes cancelled, the diving limited and jungle trails wet and impassable.
How to get there
Catch a 1.5-hour ferry ride to Tioman from Mersing (Pahang province) which you can reach by efficient bus connections from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Get off the ferry at the first stop, the village of Genting, where you switch to private transport to Mukut village (by small boat) or a selected resort.
What to take
To hike only you‘ll need lightweight trekking shoes or simply solid runners, mosquito repellant, lots of electrolyte drinks and mineral supplements (you will sweat ever ything out) and trekking poles. Climbers should add a light rain jacket with hood (to avoid hypothermia in case of a tropical shower which can feel surprisingly cold when high on the wall), comfy climbing shoes, helmet, double rope (two x 60 metres), up to 16 quickdraws, cams.
Where to stay
Simukut Place resort, www.facebook.com/ Simukutplace/ in Mukut is the start point of the trail to the col between the Dragon’s Horns. You can hire a guide here. There are also trails in progress up Mumbar cliff close to Tunamaya Beach and Spa Resort, http://careluxuryhotels.com/tunamaya-tioman/ There are other resorts in Mukut, along with a small grocery shop and a restaurant. For more shopping, or the closest ATM, arrange a boat to the island’s capital Tekek.
The author wishes to thank all those who participated in the explorations covered here, including important contributions from: Stephanie Bodet, Eliza Kubarska, Arnaud Petit, Da Liu, Jonas Wallin, Tam Khairudin Haja and Sam Sudin Hashim.
THE CALL OF THE BLUE From this lofty perch on a route called Damai Sentosa, the author is 700 metres above, and half-a-day’s abseil and hike away from, the coast.