Singapore to Tioman Island travel guide – How to get there by car, bus & ferry

Whether you’re a nature lover or adventurer at heart, nothing beats a vacation spent revelling in the great outdoors. Extra props if it’s located near Singapore. That’s Tioman Island for you, where you can trek your way through dense jungles and be rewarded with gloriously cool waterfalls, or plunge into the clear blue sea to explore coral reefs.

If that’s on your radar for your upcoming holiday, here’s everything you need to know about getting from Singapore to Tioman Island.

How to get to Pulau Tioman from Singapore?

Tioman Island - Kampung Tekek aerial view
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If you haven’t yet experienced a road trip, now’s the time to gear up for one. As much as we’d love for there to be direct flights to our destination, Pulau Tioman is only accessible to the public by land and sea. 

You’ll have to get yourself to either Mersing Jetty or Tanjung Gemok Jetty by car or bus. From either of these jetties, hop on a ferry over to Pulau Tioman.

Getting From Singapore To Mersing

Can you drive to Tioman Island from Singapore?

Singapore to Tioman travel guide - Welcome to Mersing road sign
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Driving to Tioman Island is probably the most convenient and straightforward way to get there, especially if you’re travelling with kids or in larger groups. The journey from Woodlands Checkpoint to Mersing Jetty is about 2 hours and 10 minutes by car. 

If you own a car, you’re pretty much set. Else, you can look into renting a car in Singapore that can be driven across the border, or renting a car in JB

You’ll likely want to make your way to Mersing Jetty which is the nearer of the 2 jetties. In case you were wondering, it is not possible to bring your car over to Tioman with you, so you’ll have to park your car at the jetty for the duration of your stay in Tioman. 

Alternatively, you can hire a private car transfer from Singapore from companies like SGMYtaxi. Their rates from Singapore to Mersing cost S$220 one-way, and S$420 for a round trip in an 8-seater MPV. 

If you want a journey that’s a little off the beaten path, you can head to Tanjung Gemok Jetty instead. It’s about 2 hours and 45 minutes from the Woodlands Checkpoint and is situated in the quiet but charming coastal town of Endau.

Can you take a bus to Tioman Island from Singapore?

Singapore to Tioman travel guide - Bus terminal at Mersing
The bus terminal at Mersing Jetty.
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For the truly adventurous – or if you’re travelling solo or on a budget – taking a bus to Mersing Jetty and Tanjung Gemok Jetty is also possible. There are bus services operated by KKKL Travel & Tours that bring you directly from Singapore to both jetties.

The bus departs from Kovan Hub at 6am, and Bugis MRT Exit D at 6.30am and costs S$39/person. If you’re taking the same bus back, the trip back costs S$35/person and departs Tanjong Gemok Jetty at 2pm, and Mersing Jetty at 4pm. 

The journey each way takes about 2.5 hours, which is about the same duration if you travel by car. 

Book a bus from Kovan Hub or Bugis to Mersing Jetty.

Can you fly to Tioman Island from Singapore? 

Air travel may be our default go-to when we think about travelling with convenience from Singapore. While Tioman Island has a local airport known as Pulau Tioman Airport, no commercial flights currently service it. 

Berjaya Air used to operate flights to Tioman Island from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur respectively, but it hasn’t been operational since 2014. Land travel it is, then. 

Getting from Mersing to Tioman Island

How long is the ferry from Singapore to Tioman Island?

Singapore to Tioman travel guide - ferry to Tioman Island
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The journey from Mersing Jetty to Tioman Island typically takes about 1.5-2 hours, depending on the ferry operator, tide, and weather conditions. If you’re departing from Tanjung Gemok Jetty, the travel time is around 1.5-2 hours as well. 

There are 2 ferry services you can choose from: Bluewater Express and Cataferry. Both ferry services have multiple drop-off points around Tioman Island, so you can choose a jetty that’s nearest to your hotel. Understandably, if you’ve booked a drop-off point that’s further, the journey will take longer.

Take note that ferry bookings are only available for the upcoming couple of months, so you may only be able to book a ferry nearer to your travel date. As of the time of writing, bookings on Bluewater Express are only available until 29th Feb 2024. Meanwhile, Cataferry bookings are currently unavailable online.

How much is the ferry to Tioman Island?

Bluewater Express: RM60/adult (S$17) and RM55/child (S$15.60) each way from both Mersing Jetty and Tanjung Gemok Jetty. 

Cataferry: Prices and bookings for Cataferry are unavailable online.

How much is the entrance fee to Tioman Island?

Coral reef in Tioman Island
Tioman is famous for its diving sites and abundance of marine life.
Image credit: @lawli _tan via Instagram

Not many people may know this, but all visitors have to pay a Marine Park Conservation Fee to enter Tioman Island. The fee is RM5 (S$1.40) for Malaysians and RM30 (S$8.50) for foreigners, and you’ll have to pay it in cash at the ferry terminal before departing to Tioman Island. 

That said, be sure to stock up on some Ringgit at a money changer in Singapore before your trip.

Is there parking at Mersing Jetty?

If you’ve been worrying about what’s going to happen with your car if you leave it at the jetty, rest easy knowing that Mersing Jetty is more than well-equipped for this. There are 2 car parks at Mersing Jetty: the public MD Car Park (RM15/day, S$4.25) that’s located right by the jetty, or the privately-owned Rawa Car Park (RM18/day, ~S$5.10).  

You can even reserve a car park lot ahead of time for RM5 (~S$1.40) to secure a space during peak travel season.

Is there Parking at Tanjung Gemok Jetty?

Tanjung Gemok Jetty also has parking facilities available for those driving over. Unsheltered parking charges start from RM10/day (S$2.85), while sheltered parking costs RM20/day (S$5.65)

Just like at Mersing Jetty, you can reserve a car park lot ahead of your trip for RM5 (~S$1.40).

What is the best time to visit Tioman Island?

Aerial view of Japamala Resort by Samadi
Image credit: @japamalaresort via Instagram

The best time to visit Tioman Island is between May and September. You can expect sunny, clear skies and calm waters that’ll paint the perfect setting for diving, snorkelling, hiking, and the like. 

According to the Malaysian Meteorological Department, monsoon season on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia begins around November and ends in March. This is when the seas will be choppy with harsh winds and rain, so some resorts may close during this time. Ferry services may also be affected.

Is Tioman Island worth visiting? 

The answer here is rather obvious with a resounding yes – especially if you’re the adventurous type. The island is known for its gorgeous dive sites which are home to thriving marine life that includes sea turtles and colourful corals – dolphins have even been spotted in the waters surrounding the island. There are also pristine beaches, jungles, and waterfalls to explore. 

You can book a PADI diving course in Tioman Island from S$204.85.

There are also plenty of budget-friendly accommodations on the island, as well as comfy 4-star resorts that are priced well below S$300/night. Check these options out below: 

Lot 438 Kampung Juara Pulau Tioman, 26800 Kuala Rompin, Pahang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Saturday Open 24 Hours  Show More Timings 

Kampung Lanting, 26800 Pulau Tioman, Pahang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Saturday Open 24 Hours  Show More Timings 

Guide to getting to Tioman Island from Singapore

Taking a trip to Tioman Island from Singapore will be nothing short of a good ol’ adventure, given the fact that you can only get there by travelling by land and sea. 

The total travel time will take you around 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4+ hours, excluding waiting time at the jetty and border clearance. 

As for the total cost, here’s a rough breakdown for the journey to Tioman Island for a 3-day trip: 

  • Self-drive: ~S$55.20
    • Cost comprises parking, conservation fee, and the return ferry ride for 1 pax.
    • Excludes petrol, toll, and car entry fees into Malaysia.
    • If you’re engaging a private driver, expect to add another S$420 for a return trip.
    • Bus: ~S$116.45
      • Cost comprises the bus ride, conservation fee, and return ferry ride for 1 pax.

    Is the cost and travel time worth it? We’d say yes if you’re itching for some sun, sea, fresh air, and gorgeous views away from the city. 

    Read more island inspo here: 

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