The mere mention of Pulau Tenggol will most likely cast a bewildered look to most Malaysians, even for the so-called avid island goers. Truth be told, the island which is located some 40 kilometres off the coast of Kuala Dungun, is a conveniently forgotten gem as the mere mention of the islands off Terengganu often sparks the sudden imagery of Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian, or even Pulau Lang Tengah.
Indeed, Pulau Tenggol is relatively untouched, except by a few discerning travellers and scuba divers yearning for a certain type of unknown destination off the well-beaten path. It is also safe to say that the tourist facilities on the island are generally not well-developed for the mass influx of vacationers as commonly seen on the more popular islands in Terengganu.
From afar, the island features a unique shape of camel humps. A closer inspection of the island surrounding reveals deep-forested hill slopes and steep rocky cliffs. It is probably easy to guess that the underwater landscape of Pulau Tenggol should somewhat mimic the topside.
Pulau Tenggol is accessible from a dilapidated boat jetty in front of Kuala Dungun's wet market. In general, the fishing town of Kuala Dungun is located some two hours to the south of Kuala Terengganu, or an equally similar driving distance to the north of Kuantan. With the river estuary of Sungai Dungun is bound by the water level from the high and low tides, passengers may need to be transferred on a small wooden boat from the jetty to the awaiting passenger boat somewhere in the middle of the river.
Just as I thought the minor inconvenience was over, the slow movement of the passenger boat, which was converted from an old fishing trawler, can truly take on one's nerve. What seems like a breezy 45-minute journey on a speed boat would then take close to two hours. I recounted the moment as the minutes passed and yet, the island in the far horizon seemed to be not much closer than I hoped to be.
As the balmy view of my destination eventually became clearer, the island seemed to captivate the incoming guests with great anticipation. The first approach into the island boundary is marked by the sight of rainforest-clad Tanjung Gemuk to the south side of the island, which is also a prolific dive site if words of mouth could go by. The unnecessarily long journey finally ended on the beautiful shore of Teluk Air Tawar as almost everyone in the boat was busy snapping away memorable photographs of the superbly clear waters off the beach.
Here are some travel attractions of Pulau Tenggol that I managed to compile. Hopefully I can add more articles such as other fabulous dive sites surrounding the island in the near future.
- Teluk Air Tawar
- Tenggol Aqua Resort
- Tenggol Island Beach Resort
- Tenggol Resort
- Tokong Timur
- Tanjung Api