Pulau Tioman can be reached by a combination of land and sea transport from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The major gateway to the island is Mersing, a coastal town at the west of Johor state. The common route for most visitors is to drive or take a bus ride up to Mersing, then wait for the next available ferry out to sea.
Berjaya Air formerly operated flights from Subang Airport (KL) but this has been suspended indefinitely (since 2014). For those with private yachts, a new marina facility lies in Tekek, with power, water supply and easy customs clearance. The moonsoon season (Nov-Jan) suspends the frequency of ferry departures, though at least one trip is usually made daily.
From Kuala Lumpur, use North-South Highway and head south towards Johor Bahru. Turn off the Ayer Hitam exit and drive towards Kluang, which will pass through Kahang and isolated rainforests. Follow the signboards to Mersing and you should arrive in four or five hours, over a distance of 400 km. If you have a map and do your homework, trunk roads are a good alternative which will evade all tol costs.
An example is the road from Bahau (after Seremban) to Kuantan; turn off at Rompin and follow it south to Mersing. From Singapore, visitors can drive up across the Causeway to Johor Bahru and follow the coastal road towards Mersing, passing through Kota Tinggi via the Tebrau Highway over a 150km journey.
Once in Mersing, a parking lot can be secured at the jetty complex for MYR10 per night, which gets a little cheaper the longer you park (pay when you leave). Some of the hotels at Mersing town provide free parking if you stay a night in their rooms (such as Timotel), with complimentary transfer to the jetty. Buses are available are available from Puduraya Station (Kuala Lumpur), Larkin (Johor Bahru), and Queen and Lavender Street Bus Terminals (Singapore).
From the bus terminal at Mersing, it's a quick 1km walk to the jetty or a MYR10 cab ride. Alternatively, the jetty at Tanjung Gemuk (35km north of Mersing), also offers ferry rides to Pulau Tioman during non-monsoon months - with a slighty faster duration of sea travel and no tidal issues.
Bluewater Express runs the main ferry service, accompanied by smaller operations during peak months between February and December. There are generally three rides (once during monsoon season) per day, from 8.30am to 2.30pm. The trip takes about two to three hours depending on tidal conditions and wind speeds, with the ferry making a stop at every village except Mukut and Nipah.
Tickets cost MYR35 per way; pay double for a return ticket. A small MYR5 marine park conservation fee is levied on visitors at the jetty gate. Ferries also operate from Tanjung Gemok during normal season, a jetty 35km north of Mersing along the coast. A premium ferry service is offered here, from Cataferry that uses a catamaran-type ship equipped with roomy seats and plush amenities.
Finally, Berjaya Air operates a 10-passenger flight service from Subang Airport (Kuala Lumpur) or Changi Airport (Singapore) to Tioman, open to public but only on charter basis. The plane lands at the airstrip in Tekek, which is just opposite a jetty and customs complex to get your passport chopped or travel to other villages by speedboat.