Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

Read about The Plan So Far.


Palau Tioman, Malaysia

Melaka to Tioman Island by bus and ferry

Written by Joshua Fuglsang on .


The jetty on Tioman Island
The jetty on Tioman Island - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang


In the pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cle I vis­it­ed the his­toric town of Mela­ka, which you can read about here. From Mela­ka my next des­ti­na­tion was to be the East Coast Is­land: Palau Tioman. To get to Tioman I need­ed to cut across the penin­su­lar, and the best way to do that was to catch a bus to the coastal town of Mers­ing, and then to catch a fer­ry from Mers­ing to Tioman it­self. This ar­ti­cle de­scribes that jour­ney.

The Journey

Walking through Melaka towards to bus stop
Walk­ing through Mela­ka to­wards to bus stop - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

I spent my fi­nal af­ter­noon in the pro­vin­cial city of Mela­ka, en­joy­ing an ice-cold juice to take away some of the heat of the day. Some fel­low trav­ellers and I would be mak­ing the jour­ney to Tioman to­geth­er. We checked out of our hos­tel, and made our way through the his­toric town to­wards a small bus sta­tion called Jalan Kubu. This bus stop was sug­gest­ed to us by a lo­cal as all bus­es bound for the Mela­ka Sen­tral must pass here, there­fore you don’t need to wait too long for a bus. Al­most ex­act­ly twen­ty min­utes af­ter we ar­rived, a bus rolled up. We paid the fair price of RM1.50 for a tick­et, and climbed on­board.

Soon enough we are pulling in to Mela­ka Sen­tral, the ma­jor sta­tion in the town which hosts busses from all the cor­ners of the coun­try. We won­dered through the large sta­tion, look­ing for the S&S booth, for they had the next bus bound for Mers­ing, our des­ti­na­tion for the day. We bought a tick­et for RM25 and made our way to the plat­form. The bus was al­ready there, so we climbed on­board and sat in our des­ig­nat­ed seats.

The bus took five hours to cut from the west coast of the penin­su­lar to the east. We trav­elled through the af­ter­noon, evening, and well in to the night. The bus made pret­ty good time, on­ly stop­ping twice for cig­a­rette breaks. The driv­er, a young man of twen­ty years, spent most of his time on the bus talk­ing away in to his mo­bile phone, a com­mon oc­cur­rence when trav­el­ling on bus­es in Asia.

The Bus from Melaka to Tioman
The Bus from Mela­ka to Tioman - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

Be­fore long the bus ar­rived at Mers­ing’s main sta­tion. Mers­ing is a a small city known for be­ing the gate­way to Tioman is­land. We ar­rived at 11pm and the first or­der of our ar­rival was a meal so we found a lo­cal restau­rant where we both had “Lo­cal Fried Noo­dles” with a side of chick­en skew­ers. Af­ter our meal we won­dered the streets un­til we found a ho­tel that was still open, where we checked in to a room with two beds for 55 ring­git.

The fol­low­ing morn­ing we woke up bright and ear­ly, to catch the first fer­ry of the day at 10am. Af­ter check­ing out we walked through the town to buy our fer­ry tick­ets, stop­ping once to buy some pas­tries on the way. The tick­et vender was easy enough to find, but on the way out a man stopped us and says we need a per­mit to vis­it the is­land. The sit­u­a­tion seemed sketchy be­cause of the way the man was lurk­ing at the front of the build­ing, wait­ing for us to come out. Yet, we paid the bill any­way. Lat­er we learned that it is com­plete­ly un­nec­es­sary, which would have saved us RM30. The tick­et for the fer­ry it­self was RM35. From the tick­et vender we con­tin­ued on our way to the fer­ry, just a short five minute walk away. Here we were greet­ed with a long line of at least one hun­dred peo­ple. Stand­ing in the queue we hear a guide tell his group that they need to con­vert their tick­et in to a board­ing pass at yet an­oth­er booth. Con­fused, we do same, pay­ing yet an­oth­er RM21.20, bring­ing our to­tal bill al­most up to RM90. This is very ex­pen­sive, at al­most AU­D30 for the trip out to the is­land. Again, lat­er we learned that nei­ther this fee nor the na­tion­al park en­trance fee was nec­es­sary. It’s a shame that these peo­ple are here rip­ping off both for­eign­ers and their own coun­try­men.

Boarding the ferry to Tioman
Board­ing the fer­ry to Tioman - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

The fer­ry was close to an hour late once, so we ea­ger­ly board once it ar­rived. We moved in to our al­lo­cat­ed seats and set­tled down for the ride. The boat took about two and a half hours to reach our des­ti­na­tion, Air Batang, or more com­mon­ly known as ABC. It was a love­ly trip out two the is­land, rid­ing on the per­fect blue South Chi­na Sea, cut­ting through clus­ters of is­lands. It was a bright and sun­ny trip, yet pleas­ant, spend­ing some time out on the deck, and some time in­side read­ing a book.

We ar­rived at ABC at around 2pm. It had grown to be­come an ab­so­lute­ly spec­tac­u­lar day with crys­tal clear and mir­ror like wa­ter we could see the coral on the bot­tom of the ocean with amaz­ing clar­i­ty. We al­so had clear blue skies, lined with long, whispy clouds and of course the is­land it­self was a beau­ti­ful thing to be­hold, for it is amaz­ing­ly pris­tine and un­de­vel­oped. A thought passed through my mind that I could spend quite a lot of time here.


Thanks for read­ing! As al­ways, please fol­low me on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram us­ing the links in my nav­i­ga­tion bar. And if you have any com­ments then feel free to make them be­low. Al­so, if you wish to fol­low my jour­ney then feel free to sub­scribe to my site as well.

Walking to Monkey Bay

Flowers at the start of the Monkey Bay Hike
Flow­ers at the start of the Mon­key Bay Hike - Copy­right © Joshua Fuglsang

In the next ar­ti­cle I hike the jun­gle be­tween a se­ries of four bays on the spec­tac­u­lar Tioman Is­land. Read about it here.




Here you will find articles on an ambitious plan to travel from Singapore to Morocco overland, i.e. without flying.

I will use buses and trains to travel through South East Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Europe.

Read about The Plan So Far.