In June 2011, a couple of friends, whom I got to know out of a common love for analogue photography, and I went on a long weekend trip to Pulau Tioman.

Here's a photo of my trigger-happy friends with our gear in tow for the long weekend.  

How to go & costs: 
We booked the trip through a travel agency. The travel journey from Singapore to Tioman consisted of the coach ride from Singapore to Mersing, and a boat ride that lasted about an hour and a half, from Mersing to Pulau Tioman. 

A variety of coach companies offer the service plying between Golden Mile Complex (near Lavender MRT/Nicoll Highway MRT) to Mersing, can tickets can be purchased prior either via phone, in person or online. Cost is about S$30, departing from 5/6AM onwards for the 10AM boat from mersing to Tioman. 

At Mersing, Bluewater Express charges RM 35 (RM 45 on public holiday) for an adult ticket, RM 25 for a child ticket (babies in arm free, as of last info) to Pulau Tioman. For more options on how to get to Pulau Tioman, you can refer to a very comprehensive post here

We stayed at Paya Beach Resort, a cheap and simple chalet style resort located near Genting Village, just a short 10-15 minutes walk from the jetty. There are loads more options available in Tioman, for a quick reference you can have a look here. Some mid-range more reasonably priced but comfier options for a romantic getaway include Swiss Cottage Tioman and Melinda Beach Resort Tioman

When we arrived we were slightly disappointed that the beach that we set foot on was littered with rubbish that other tourists had left behind, and the corals that we saw while we snorkelled were mostly dead. Despite these disappointments, the trip was filled with many quiet moments and simple pleasures-

things like sunbathing on the deck while the boat travelled between snorkelling spots; sneakily taking photos of the local children; taking in the sights as sunset fell at the jetty; having a simple yet satisfying meal at the shop house nearby; playing with the stray cats that roamed the village; strolling along the beach and leaving our footprints in the sand; watching the palm trees sway quietly in the morning breeze;

Though polluted, despite it's imperfections, there was something alluring about the Tioman.
It was beautiful; it made us feel at ease.

It's a place that, many years in the future, looking back, I would still think of fondly and yearn to go again.