Tioman Island, Malaysia- Why You Should Always Double Check Where The Closest ATM Is Located...

Tioman Island: Why You Should Always Double Check Where The Closest ATM Is Located…

One of the obstacles of visiting a tropical (semi-remote) island is that when you start to run low on funds it can be a challenge to re-up. There is only one ATM on the entire island of Tioman, Malaysia and it was three villages north of where we were staying in Genting on the eastern side of the island. After consulting the map, TJ and his pal Andreas determined that it was probably only about a 6 mile round trip journey to Tekek and that they would wake up early and run there to pull money out (and get some exercise) before the ATM machine was emptied of currency by the rush of weekenders who start to pour onto the island every Friday. So, at about 9AM they set off.
We didn’t see them again until nearly five hours later…
I will let TJ tell the story from here…

What we originally thought would be a leisurely morning jog to the ATM turned into a strenuous trek through the jungle and over two mountainsides. We had a firecracker thrown from a house at us (not malicious, just a childhood prank that is pretty common around here), encountered five giant monitor lizards (these guys can grow to be over 6 feet long), and I convinced Andreas that he should take his advanced diving course when we got back to the village. In truth, the journey would have only taken us four hours, but we made a few stops to eat a roadside burger and to search for WIFI (pretty much non-existent on much of this island). We saw some incredible views and had an absolute blast running up the mountainsides and through the jungle path to Tekek Village. And, as if it was meant to be, we arrived back to our village just in the nick of time because the dive master at Bayu Dive Center was leaving to start a two-day advanced certification course with another couple in 45 minutes, so Andreas signed up and raced back to find his girlfriend Whitney to see if she would like to join him, which of course she did. Pretty hard to turn down 5 dives in two days to shipwrecks and underwater caves while earning your certification for only $215.

Bayu Dive Center Tioman, Malaysia
Best Dive Shop On The Island
All and all, even though our trip to the ATM turned out to be much more difficult than expected it led to quite an awesome adventure, and as we soon would discover, meeting an awesome group of new friends… But that’s another story. Check it out and find out what we learned from making friends with a group of dive masters.
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Life Is Meant For Exploring

At Life Is Meant For Exploring we help promote and inspire a life of exploration with a focus on travel, outdoor adventure, experiencing local culture, and breaking away from the pack to forge a path of your very own. Our promise is to share crazy and honest stories, epic photography, thoughtful reflections & culturally respectful realities. Whether you’re traveling the world, sitting in your backyard, or looking for a fresh start, our goal is to show you how to enjoy life one adventure at a time.

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