Ask an expert: Islands of Malaysia

Relax on the beach in Malaysia.
Relax on the beach in Malaysia.

I'm travelling to Tioman Island off the east coast of Malaysia and am not sure which area to stay in. Do you have any advice, and also any ideas for things to do while I'm there? - Sharon Dell

Trish Little from Flight Centre Downtown Auckland has recently returned from exploring Malaysia's Eastern Islands, including Tioman Island. She shares her top tips of what to do.

Lucky you - Tioman Island is a great destination, and the fact that it's only an hour's flight from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur makes it even better. When I travelled there I found luggage allowances can be very restricted, so make sure you talk to a consultant about this.

I recommend staying at the Berjaya Tioman Resort, in one of their beautiful deluxe chalets. If you're looking to splash out and really treat yourself, you could stay in one of the suites frequented by the state royal family.

With a beneficial exchange rate between Malaysia and New Zealand, it's a great chance to treat yourself to a little luxury.

The resort's sprawling grounds offer something for everyone, and there is an array of activities to choose from - relax by one of the pools and enjoy a drink in the sunken pool bar, indulge in a spa treatment or play a round of golf. There are also tennis and volleyball courts and a watersports centre, so you won't run out of things to do.

If you're looking for more adventure, I recommend a two-hour trek into the jungle and cooling off in the waterfall at the top. The local guides are full of knowledge about the flora and fauna and if you're lucky, you might even see a few cheeky Macau monkeys on the journey.

I would also suggest taking a full-day, round-island boat trip on your holiday so you can check out all of the sights, including the beautiful Twin Peaks Island Resort, and the opportunity to have lunch in a local village.

Tioman Island is also a great destination for snorkelling with plenty of colourful reef fish, coral and marine life including clown fish and bright parrot fish.

Before your holiday comes to an end, make sure you take a trip to the Marine Park. If you take a banana, you can even feed it to the fish and they will nibble the fruit right out of your hands.

We're a couple in our mid-50s who have seen plenty of the classic Pacific Island resorts and beach breaks with our kids. Now we can holiday on our own, we'd like to do something more adventurous - but with a couple of days of pampered luxury at the end of it. What would you recommend? - H Jean

Stephanie Flitton from Flight Centre Parliament on Lambton Quay loves travelling to Indonesia for its variety and culture. She shares her tips.

Great idea to try something new - that's what travel is all about. I highly recommend, Indonesia because it's one of those fantastic holiday destinations that suits all ages and caters for a variety of tastes.

Bali is a great destination with a warm, tropical climate, natural beauty and adventure, and it's easily accessible now with direct flights from Auckland flying Air New Zealand.

It also has a vibe like no other - whether you want to try your hand at bartering with the locals, whitewater rafting through unspoilt scenery, or even taking off to another Indonesian island close by and coming face to face with the fearless Komodo dragon.

I recommend heading north to Ubud - it's a beautiful spot that truly allows you to leave everything behind and immerse yourself in natural wonders. It's known as the cool and cultured part of the island and has a really charismatic village. I took part in a fantastic Indonesian cooking class in Bali - they're affordable and a great way to keep enjoying your holiday after you've returned home.

To see a true marvel of nature, make the journey to Lake Batur and trek over black sand and lava from volcanic activity. From here you can enjoy the cool waters of the Gitgit Waterfall or ease any aches in Banjar Hot Springs.

To add a bit of adventure you could try your hand at surfing. There are plenty of schools at different beaches and you can treat yourself to a massage at the end of your lesson. Another great option is an Eco Tour - they're great value and there is a huge range of options, from an island tour to a volcano trek. Talk to your travel consultant for a full range of activities.

To finish your holiday in style, stay at one of Seminyak's private beachside villas where you can relax with a cocktail in hand and admire the sunset over the Indian Ocean.


Email your questions to for answers from Flight Centre's experts. Include your full name and phone number in the email. Not all questions will be answered.

Flight Centre has Bali holidays including return airfares from Auckland, five nights' accommodation in Ubud, two nights' accommodation in Jimbaran Bay and return transfers from $1859* a person, twin share. For sales until August 13. Travel October 11 to November 28.

Packages for Tioman Island, in Malaysia, include five nights' accommodation from $459* a person, twin share. Return airfares from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur are from $1759* a person. Travel to Tioman Island from September 1 to November 30. Flights to Kuala Lumpur are valid for sale until August 7, for travel from September 1 to November 24. Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Tioman Island are not included.

* Price subject to availability.

- NZ Herald

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