We had allowed ourselves plenty of time to enjoy Tioman Island and do some diving in Malaysia as we felt we hadn't really managed to sit still for the first 3 months of the trip (we don't expect sympathy but were feeling rather knackered). We got there and wondered whether we had made a mistake as it was so quiet we didn't know what to do with ourselves! There was no traffic (in fact no roads) and the pace of life was incredibly slow - a total contrast to a lot of the places we've been before.
After a couple of days we started to feel at home and couldn't believe the wildlife we were seeing. Pilch was taking a stroll one day and nearly had a heart attack when he saw what looked like three crocodiles in the river! On closer inspection he realised that they were large lizards (one of which was about 3 m long).
We went to the main village on the island to get some cash out and couldn't believe our eyes when we looked up into the trees and saw hundreds of fruit bats hanging from them. We also saw loads of monkeys and were unfortunate enough to find a snake in our bathroom one afternoon. We went to get the owner of the place we were staying and expected him to laugh at us for being concerned. To our surprise, however, he was more scared than us and proceeded to go off and get two of his friends to assist in removing it. We realised why when he proceeded to regale us with a story of a python which wrapped itself around him during the monsoon one year!
When we went for our first dive we were rather disappointed as the visibility wasn't as good as we had expected. We soon realised, however, that there was absolutely loads to see and we just needed to look a little more closely. We were lucky enough to see turtles most days as well as a whole host of other marine life including friendly bat fish, moray eels, angelfish, a marble ray, blue spotted ray and a sea snake. A photographer came down with us so we've included some underwater pics. One day a school of Dolphins even swam past our boat.
Pilch was very happy once he discovered the nightly BBQ's at a local restaurant and was able to indulge in roast chicken and seafood in the evening. We got to the end of our time on Tioman feeling very sad to leave as we had made a few friends and the place was beginning to feel like home.