For 7 years, Pulau Tioman ("Pulau" means island in Malay) was the setting for an insanely popular European reality TV show called "Expedition Robinson". Expedition Robinson was the seminal Dutch/Swedish castaway show that became a perennial TV-ratings hit and ultimately went on to inspire its American cousin "Survivor", which is still running today.
The gorgeous tropical vistas you saw on TV while watching the various castaway scenes unfold? The stunning blue-green seas and lush emerald jungle the cameras panned across in all their natural multicolor glory over and over? It was all right here in Pulau Tioman.
In fact, the Expedition Robinson legacy lives on, because Tioman is now affectionately known as "Robinson Island" in Sweden.
And speaking of legacy, if you know where to look
, you can still find a few Expedition Robinson relics stashed away here and there, left behind on Tioman by the film and production crew and the ever-starving contestants.
Tioman, the ideal castaway island
So while you're enjoying a hearty fruit-de-mer platter with all the finger-licking trimmings, or sipping your cold brewski by the beach, spare a thought for the hapless souls who, in the company of conniving friends and foes, just for our entertainment, endured their ever-present hunger pangs and relentless thirst.
Here's to all Expedition Robinson contestants, past, present and future. And here's to Robinson Island!