Exploring the Underwater world the easy way : Snorkeling Tioman Island
Out of the things to do on Tioman, Snorkeling ranks as one of the best. It even has its advantages over scuba diving in that its cheap, you are not obstructed by heavy equipment and you can usually stay out there for as long as you want. You can do it with friends or you can do it alone, you dont even need to be a strong swimmer, but you do have to feel comfortable in the water. This article aims to give you some more information about the best snorkeling sites in Tioman and also some tips for new snorkelers and free divers.
Check out this collection of underwater photos by Stella and I, that we have taken while snorkeling at two of our favourite sights on Tioman Island.
Tekek House reef is right outside Swiss Cottage Tioman. It runs parallel to the beach and extends from the Marina all the way down to the rocks at the end of the beach. You could spend ours snorkeling around here and you can see a lot of different marine species including turtles, blacktip reef sharks, blue spotted ribbon tale rays, morays, cuttlefish and of course loads of colourful fish and coral.
Renggis Island is a short boat ride away from Swiss Cottage Tioman. You can either do a boat trip in the afternoon to this site specifically or you can see it as part of a full day or half day snorkel trip. The island has some of the best coral in the area and is ideal for snorkelers as a lot of the good stuff to be seen here is in the shallow waters. There is also a float on the east of the island where you can take a break and warm up in the sun. If the current is not strong you can easily swim around the whole island. Some of the marine life you can see here are turtles, blacktip reef sharks, cuttlefish, crocodile needle fish, huge schools of chromis, fusiliers and barracuda. One of the highlights in my opinion are the black tip reef sharks, which circle the island preying on small fish. Dont worry they are not interested in humans and are not known to be aggressive.
Pantai Bunut is about an hour walk from Swiss Cottage through the Berjaya Resort. It is a beautiful untouched beach with some excellent snorkeling. You can also get here by taking a boat. This snorkel site has everything that you can see at the House reef and Renggis island but it also has the added bonus of not being frequented by to many tourists. We have also seen the very rare and endangered Napoleon Wrasse here on a couple of occasions
Coral Island and Malang Rocks are done as part of the half day/full day snorkel trips and are two of the highlights of these trips. Coral Island has one of the most beautiful beaches in the area and because of this, it is frequented by a lot of tour groups so the coral is unfortunately badly damaged. However the beach is still very beautiful. Malang rocks is where all the good snorkeling is and it has some impressive coral formations.
If you are interested in doing a snorkeling trip out to the islands and would like some more information come and chat to us at the Swiss Cottage reception and we will tell you all about it. We can also arrange custom trips or boat charters to the Mukut waterfall, Nipah, monkey bay and Soyak Island. Here is a list of prices for the snorkeling trips
- Half Day Snorkel Trip. Stops at the Marine Park, Coral Island, Malang Rocks and Renggis Island. The trip starts at around 9:30am and finishes around 1:30pm RM75 per person, min 4 people.*
- Full Day Snorkel trip. Stops at the Marine Park, Coral Island, Malang Rocks and Renggis Island, Monkey bay and Salang beach (lunch). The trip starts at around 9:30am and finishes around 4:00pm RM100 per person, min 4 people.**
- The around island trip. Stops at the Renggis Island, Mukut waterfall, Juara (lunch) and Soyak. The trip starts at around 9:30am and finishes around 1:30pm RM120 per person, min 4 people.**
* price includes Mask, Snorkel, life jacket
** excludes lunch bring some money along for this.
New to snorkeling and need some tips ?
Snorkeling is easy but here are some tips to help you get the most out of it.
- Make sure your mask fits before you go into the water. Everybody’s face is different, so finding a mask that fits you well is advisable. The mask should suction onto your face when you breath in gently. And feel comfortable when you wear it. Try not to over tighten your mask because a.) its uncomfortable and b.) it may not help to improve the seal and c.) you will end up with red lines in the outline of a mask on your face. Make sure that your hair is not trapped in the mask as this will surely make it leak.
- When you are in the water try to remain horizontal with your head face down. This will make you float easier and of course in this position you be able to see all the amazing stuff below you. If you are in a vertical position with your head up out of the water, your body will start to sink and you will automatically start to kick and after a while you will begin to tire.
- Listen for boats! Sound travels faster in the water so you can hear the boats underwater from a mile away. When you hear a boat coming look up and if they are coming towards you try to get of the way.
- Always breath slow and deeply
- If you get water in your snorkel, exhale sharply and this should push the water out of the snorkel.
- If you get water in your mask, try holding the top of your mask and blowing out your nose. This will create a pressure change in your mask and the air will push the water out the bottom of the mask.
- Some people like to use the breaststroke or frog kick when they snorkel because you can use your arms this way and you dont need fins. But if you want to use fins you will have to use the freestyle kick.
- If you want to use the freestyle kick with fins, swim slowly and when you kick try not to make a big splash otherwise you will scare the animals away that you are trying to see. Keep your legs straight and kick from your hip. Click here to see a video of how its done
- If you are snorkeling for the first time and are a bit nervous, stay in the sandy areas where you can stand. Dont stand on your fins so that they bend because this could break them.
- If you have never snorkeled before you will probably be quite nervous, but try to relax and most importantly dont push yourself too much. Enjoy it!
- Always remember to look out for boats! you can usually hear them underwater from a mile away. This is because sound travels faster underwater. So when you hear the noise look-out to see where they are.
- Never touch or stand on coral underwater!
Freediving or Apnea is when you dive underwater holding your breath