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Rustic Luxury at Japamala Resort, Tioman Island

Set within a lush tropical wilderness and a pristine white sandy beach on the south-western tip of Tioman Island, welcome to Japamala Resort - a beautifully wild retreat.

Japamala Resort

Our Japamala experience began with a 45 minute fast boat journey from Mersing jetty to Japamala's pier on Tioman Island. At around two thirds of the way into the journey we began to catch a glimpse of Tioman, rising steeply out of the South China Sea, as we got closer and the boat slowed we started to appreciate the turquoise waters and the the stunning natural coastline, before we disembarked we knew we had arrived somewhere special!

Japamala is a wonderfully crafted rustic collection of wooden chalets, hillside sarangs and beachside villas which fit sympathetically into their spectacular surroundings. Tioman island remains the most unspoiled of the islands off of peninsular Malaysia's east coast and the stunning setting along with the rustic eco style of Japamala helps you to reconnect with nature.

Japamala features a gorgeous private beach and two outdoor pools. It is all about the beach though, we could not get enough of it during our stay, the pristine white sand and the jungle backdrop makes you feel like you are on the set of a cast-away movie! The snorkeling on the small reef which is just off of the beach is great too. Japamala have plenty of snorkeling kit (including fins) for guests to use and for more serious folk they can also arrange organised diving and snorkeling trips to the reefs surrounding Tioman Island with local guides.

The food options at Japamala are excellent as well, with two main dining options; Tamarind Restaurant serves a spread of delicious Indochinese and Thai dishes (we ate here most of the time and loved their great selection off curries and noodle dishes) while Italian and European specialties are offered at Mandi-Mandi Restaurant. A happy hour is also run daily in the late afternoon where you can sit on the veranda at Mandi-Mandi, sip a delicious cocktail and admire the view of Tioman Island, whilst the sun sets over the South China Sea.

We stayed in one of the "Treetop" chalets at Japamala which we absolutely loved, located just a short walk up along the wooden jungle walkway from the beach, these chalets offer more of a rainforest experience. All of the chalets are tastefully decorated, the elegant suites and villas come with classic wooden interiors and windows that provide natural light. All accommodation at Japamala is equipped with a seating area, outside terrace, flat-screen TV and an attached bathroom.

Whilst here at Japamala you can simply relax on the deserted private beach or explore more of what Tioman has to offer, this could include; going fishing, snorkeling, a diving trip, a trek in the jungle or visiting the Juara Turtle Porject. Indulging in a relaxing body massage at Japamala's onsite spa is another good recreation choice! 

We thoroughly enjoyed our six day stay and would love to return to Japamala one day. The staff are incredibly friendly and attentive and really go out of their way to make your stay special. Tioman Island is an unspoiled paradise you must visit and Japamala really is a premium experience at extraordinary good value.


Disclaimer: All opinions conatined in this article/review are our own. All photographic work is our own unless otherwise stated.