This story about Pulau Tenggol is written by one of our contributors, Za'im. Some parts of the article may have been edited for length and clarity.
I went to Pulau Tenggol which is located in Terengganu in August 2018. I went there alone for 4 days and 3 nights mainly for scuba diving as it is one of the best, if not the best island to dive in Semenanjung Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia).
Pulau Tenggol is a really beautiful small island located specifically in Dungun, Terengganu. I've been to few other islands before (Perhentian Island, Tioman Island, Mabul Island and Bum Bum island) and to me, it is the best island in Semenanjung if you want a really peaceful atmosphere.
P.S. Looking for more secret islands? Check out Pulau Tinggi in Mersing!
Not many people know about this island and it is less popular compared to other islands making this island a suitable place if you want to relax and stay away from the crowd. This puts the island to a different level in terms of their underwater life making it quite famous among divers.
Tenggol has one of the healthiest corals in Malaysia as compared to other more commercialized islands (ie Perhentian, Tioman) and you can see many different fishes, underwater creatures and turtles too!
Best time to visit Pulau Tenggol
Since this island is located on the east coast of Malaysia, the only time you can visit the island is between March-end of October (November-end of Feb is the monsoon season). If you're a diver, the divemaster there suggests going there around October as usually, the visibility is the best on that month.
P.S. Check out these 7 stunning islands on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia!
Getting to Pulau Tenggol
The best way to reach Aking Dungun jetty is by car which only takes around 3-4 hours. But for me, I took bus (RM45) as I was travelling alone and it took around 7 hours to reach the jetty. Another option is by taking a flight to Kerteh airport (not sure about the price. I believe only Firefly have this fly route) and you can take a taxi to the jetty (around 20 mins). From the jetty to Tenggol island, it only takes 20-30mins and I believe you can only book the boat transfer via dive centres/resort as there are not many boats as other islands.
Accommodation in Pulau Tenggol
There are only 3 resorts/chalets available on the island.
- Tenggol Coral Beach Resort
- Tenggol Island Beach Resort
- Tenggol Resort (I stayed here because it was the nearest to my dive centre and the cheapest)
I stayed in a basic single room but the room was very clean and complete with air conditioning. There are also other rooms which are beachfront but at a bit higher price. Either way, both are very clean and comfortable but if you want a better view, I'd recommend booking the beachfront room.
For meals, I had 5 meals per day and all of them are halal food as the resort was run by a Muslim family. The food was super delicious and they always provide kampung-style food (their sambal belacan was so good!). To me, it is very suitable for families if you just want a short escape from the city as I believe all the resorts only do full-board packages with different price ranges depending on the resort you want to stay at. They will arrange everything, from boat transfer from the jetty to full meals and dives or snorkelling activity. However, I do not have much info about packages from other resorts but I'm sure you can easily find them online. For my package, I paid RM1115 for a 4D3N package with 7 dives.
P.S. Here are 12 Malaysian island resorts so hidden that even locals don't know about it!
Activities on Pulau Tenggol
Activities in Tenggol island can be a bit limited as the island is really small and the only activities available there are snorkelling and scuba diving. But I highly recommend everyone to go there as you will be amazed by the healthy corals.
And you can see turtles at almost every dive. If you're super lucky, there is also a high chance of seeing whale sharks (unfortunately not for me lol).
I also saw few people jog along the beach and play beach volleyball there. If you do not have diving license, I highly suggest that you sign up for Discover Divers Tenggol (scuba diving tryouts) where you can experience diving with the guidance of a scuba instructor. The dive sites in Tenggol are really interesting with many drift diving (diving with currents).
But the best thing for me was always sunset-watching in the evening sitting by the beach with less crowd.
Useful tips for other travellers
- You can save much more if you go there with a group of friends.
Find more of Fazlin's travel adventures on his Instagram @zaimazminikon.
P.S. Have you been travelling around Malaysia? Want to share your tips and stories to help Muslims travel better? Email us at [email protected] or send us a DM on Instagram.