Tioman to Singapore by public transport

Strictly speaking, there are 2 ways to travel between Tioman and Singapore. The direct air route operated by Berjaya Air or the ferry to Mersing and then land route to Singapore.

At this time of writing, one way trip via the air route cost around S$120. Price is reasonable, for me it is anyway. Problem is that its not always available, like fully booked or not on those days that you must travel. Its a once a day flight service from Changi and max passengers is 48 on this Dash 8 aircraft…

The one with stripes down the side is the one to Mersing

Taking the ferry and land route is the most assured way to get back, but I found that it will take 8 or more hours. Altho it cost only S$24, I think its not worth the time and hassle. Well, I had to try it to know it..

There alot of power in that body of water today

I couldnt get a flight out on the day before I have to go back to work… alright, so I try the land route. .. hoping for the best.. and it turned out to be the worst. See, the conditions were bad right from the beginning. Strong winds and heavy swells, ferries were having difficulty just coming along the pier. So, the 0930hrs ferry was late and we left at 1000hrs.

The marina is not too disturbed by the troubled waters

I was the last to board but still there were plenty of seats… but its stinky already… lots of people, kids especially were already throwing out.. well, the beginning of a roller coaster ride… and the ferry stops at several other piers on the island before heading for Mersing. There were some folks at the last pier that couldnt get on board. Ferry is full and they will have to wait 3hrs for the next one. The 1.5 hrs ride took us 2hrs today.

Here we are, at Mersing. Lots of boats are in today

Therefore, I didnt make it for the 1100hrs bus at Mersing. Had lunch and waited for the 1300hrs, which was also late. Departed Mersing 1330hrs and arrived JB Larkin 1600hrs. There were confusion among the passengers, me included, on why this bus doesnt go to Singapore, when our tickets says it does. Of course, the bus driver could not properly communicate the directions on what we should do next. Typically Malaysia, very dissappointing. Naturally, we all got it wrong and boarded the SBS 170 instead and paying more money for that crossing. Lucky me, I have the Singapore EZlink card, not so for the rest who didnt have any loose change SGD. It was all just so unnecessarily confusing, plus touts where everywhere pushing cab rides to SG.

Berthed work boats, a sign of the weather outside this protected harbour

Ok, so the idea is this, get on SBS bus 170 from Larkin and it will go direct to the Causeway immigration at JB. Get off when everybody does, follow the crowd and dont worry, there is always somebody to follow in this very busy exchange. Get to the counter, get stamped out of Malaysia. Follow the crowd again and look for escalator down to the SBS bay, its on the left. Most other buses are on the right. Jump onto bus again and enjoy the ride across the historic causeway. At Singapore immigration, get off and follow the crowd, get stamped in and clear customs. Follow the directions, get back down to the SBS bus bay and off you go.

Heading to SG, look for this bus

I made it across quite easily, having done this before about 20yrs ago… Things have definately been improved. The transfer system is so much more efficient now. A/C immigration buildings and brightly lighted paths, the environment is so much better. No more long queue in dark humid lines standing infront of the immigration officer. Thing of the past, good riddance.

Get off bus 170 at Kranji MRT station. Switch to NS line towards Bishan, switch to Circle line heading towards Serangoon. Made it home 1715hrs. Its like a day at work, from 0830 to 1715hrs, but its also like being in many strange places during that time… I hope not to do this again..


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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

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