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Tioman Museum

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The Tioman Island Museum takes a closer look at Pulau Tioman's history, in particular how Tioman played a crucial role during the time of the Maritime Silk Routes, which flourished for almost 1000 years, from the 10th to the 19th century.

During this time, the waters around Tioman were ruled by the Orang Laut and Orang Lanun. The Orang Laut (Sea People) and Orang Lanun (Pirate People) lived a mostly nomadic marauding kind of existence, subjecting the merchant traders that used to ply the Tioman seas to repeated attacks.

Tioman museum
Tioman's recently opened new museum

The trading vessels that originated from the Middle East, China and as far away as Portugal, Britain and Holland, were often laden with rich cargoes and so were a frequent victim of the marauding pirates.

However, due to the highly lucrative business of the Silk Route trade, the attacks didn't discourage the intrepid merchants from sailing these seas. In fact, quite the contrary.

Tioman museum display
Ecology display in the Tioman museum

Still, Tioman Island was always a welcome sight to the sailers, for a number of reasons. First of all, Tioman's prominent twin peaks of Nenek Semukut, also known as the Devil's Horns, used to serve as an important navigational aid. After, all maps were very rudimentary in those days.

Also, since weather and see conditions here can be quite destructive during both the northeast and the southwest monsoon, Tioman's leeward side was a good place to seek shelter.

Lastly, Tioman was crucial for survival, because it was rich in fresh water, edible wildlife, bananas and coconuts.

Tioman museum
Informative displays at Tioman's museum

It's interesting to note that Tioman has at various times in its past been inhabited by people, although most populations, apart from those that settled in Tioman's coastal areas, were transient.

Still, in view of this historical presence of "orang pulau" i.e. islanders, it's no real surprise to hear, especially given the ample evidence in the form of ceramics and other relics found on the island, along with the ancient ship wrecks offshore, that Tioman itself also used to be one of the actual sites of maritime trade between the various nations involved in the Maritime Silk Route.

The Maritime Silk Route
The Maritime Silk Route

The Tioman Museum has on display a modest collection of artefacts on display that includes 11th to 19th century trade ceramics, coins, maps and sea charts. Other items displayed are samples of the natural resources that were traded in the past, as well as prints and paintings.

Together, these artefacts tell the story of the Pulau Tioman of an important era, a time when the island served a vital role on the Maritime Silk Route that laid the foundations for the economies of this part of the world today.

Ancient vase, a relic of a bygone era
Ancient vase, a relic of a bygone era

Tioman Island Museum
Sudut Muzium Pulau Tioman
Kampung Tekek
Tel: +609-419 1360

Tioman Island Museum opens daily, except for Mondays.
Admission is RM 1.00 per person. Kids 12 years old and below can enter for free.

Mersing Harbour Centre

This is where you collect the ferry tickets you booked online. The complex also has a great food and drinks section, as well as a decent number of cool shops for some last-minute retail therapy, before hopping onto your ferry. Find out more...

Tioman Spa

Pulau Tioman offers several Spa and Wellness Centres that you should give a try. You can select the type of treatment you want from this website, as it lists each of Tioman's resorts and hotels that feature Spa therapies. Find out more...

Tioman Honeymoon

Tying the knot in the not too distant future and looking for an exotic paradise to immerse in newlywed bliss? Take a look at this site. It presents each of Tioman Island's resorts that offer delectable honeymoon packages. Find out more...

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