Bali Hai Divers - Tioman Island, Malaysia
Scuba Diving in Paradise
Introduction > About Tioman Island

About Tioman Island


Pulau Tioman (Pulau meaning island in Malay), lies about 36 nautical miles west off Malaysia's east coast and is the largest of a group of 64 volcanic islands, with a size of about 36km long and 19 km at its greatest island width.  Its coordinates are 2°5 North latt and 104°10 East long.


According to local legend, the mystical Tioman is the resting ground of a magical dragon princess who whilst flying from China to her beloved prince in Singapore, sought solace in the crystal clear water of the South China Seas.  So pleased was she with the surrounding charm, that she discontinued her journey.  In search for happiness, she turned herself into this beautiful island in order to give pleasure and comfort to weary passing seafarers, as well as providing shelter and refreshment to fisherman.


In 1958, Tioman was one of the islands chosen (the rest was in Tahiti and Hawaii) to be James Michener's ficticious 'Bali Hai' for filming of the Hollywood classic, 'South Pacific'.  A Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, the movie revolves around a forbidden love affair between a native girl and a young American sailor on a Pacific island during World War II.  Songs include 'Some Enchanted Evening', 'I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy', and 'Bali Hai'.  It received 3 Academy Award nominations and won an Academy Award for Best Sound!    Famous scenes include the approach towards the island with clouds over the mountains, to the tune of 'Bali Hai' and 'I'm gonna wash that man outta my hair!', where star Mitzi Gaynor bathes at the waterfall in Mukut.



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