With Tioman’s western shore now extensively developed, those eager for a budget hideaway often head for JUARA. The only east-coast settlement, it’s a quiet and peaceful kampung with two excellent beaches – Juara Beach aka Barok Beach, where you arrive from Tekek, and Mentawak Beach just south. The sand is cleaner and less crowded than on the other side of the island, and Juara is altogether more laidback even than Air Batang.

The beaches here do, however, have a reputation for harbouring sandflies, so take what precautions you can. The bay, facing out to the open sea, is also susceptible to bad weather. The constant sea breeze keeps the water choppy; it attracts surfers from November to March, with 3m-plus waves in February. The beach break is good for beginners, while more experienced surfers favour the point at the southern end of Mentawak.

A popular, clearly marked 45-minute walk leads from the south beach to a small waterfall with a big freshwater pond that’s good for swimming. Someone from the Beach Shack will take you for RM15 per person.

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