Tioman, the information sheets tell me, is the third-largest island in Malaysia, after Penang and Langkawi. Yup, when you order Penang Curry in the Thai restaurants in New York and San Francaisco, you’re odering something named after an island in Malaysia. Go figure.

It’s roughly half the size of Singapore – which basically means Singapore is bigger than I realized, though part of what makes Tioman seem big is that there’s only about 5km of road on the island: from a bit north of the aiport (you can see the runway in the foreground on one of these shots), to the Berjaya Resort south of Tekek Village. One of these shots shows you both the main pier for Tekek Village, and the control tower for the airport, which gets 4 to 6 flights a day.


They’re building a big new airport on the southern end of the island, for Boeing 737s. I think this is sad: there are plenty of islands you can fly to on big planes and stay in big resorts. There don’t seem to be quite so many where all the bridges are still made of wood, and where there are more motorbikes and walkers than cars, by far.

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