As soon as the MCO was lifted in June last year, we jumped online to see what was available beach wise. I heard about Little Planet Summer Camp in Tioman and thought their programme looked amazing. Activities on the menu are kayaking, navigating, waterfall hikes and a shadow puppet show.
Alas, they had quite some bookings already. However, we managed to book one and a half days with them, whereas the full camp usually runs for five days. It sounded like heaven though, so off we went.
How to get there
What a journey! After a five hours drive from KL to Mersing with lots of pee breaks, we then booked into a lovely little place called MG Hotel at Jalan Jemaluang. The place has got very thin walls though, so not good for light sleepers. We had a great dinner at the nearby History 1948 Cafe and Bistro.
The hotel had a transport service to the jetty early the next morning. A brilliant offer, as we could safely keep our car at their car park. I recommend booking ferry tickets before you arrive to avoid disappointment. We used agent David, who you can reach on this number: 019-784 2977. We left by ferry at 7am to Tekek, where we arrived two hours later. It was a 20 minute car ride (RM25 per person) to the other side of the island. I recommend sitting in the back of the pickup truck for added excitement!
Once we reached Juara Beach, we discovered The Little Planet base was a 15 minute walk down the beach, so I would recommend staying at Little Planet itself. Our Bushman chalets were good on the wallet but quite basic. Warning: the place does not have hot water or aircon. You could also stay at Coconut Grove Chalet or for those who prefer fancier lodgings, try the Barat Tioman.
It was especially nice to learn they were right next to the Juara Turtle Project and were involved in the recycling around the island. We did run into sand flies, so please bring some coconut oil and mosquito spray and wear long tights and rash guards. Though it could be seasonal.
Activities at Little Planet Summer Camp
As we were drop-in guests we had to just fit in – we found the place and handed over the girls for a day of activities like kayaking and hiking. They split them into age appropriate groups. Later that day they organised a shadow puppetry show, which the parents could attend as well.
My husband and I had a chance for a little one-on-one time, so we did the 1-hour hike to the Juara waterfall, which was excellent. There is a hard track and an easier track, for those physically challenged.
There are lots of little cafes and beach restaurants to eat in. Our favourite however, was the Beach Shack which has a cute décor and a cool vibe, but you need to have a little patience. We also liked Juara Mutiara Café, which has western style breakfast. We heard about an amazing café on Tekek side at Swiss Cottage Tioman. We may try to stay there next time.
To sum it up:
We love being outdoors, so this camp fit perfectly. I would only say it seemed a little more catered for smaller kids. My 11 year old loved it, but my 13 year old found it a little tame as she’s more into things like flying foxes.
For such a short trip, with only 1.5 days (the next morning they picked up Chloe for pier diving) at Little Planet we would still recommend them. Their crew were professional and good with kids, taking safety into account for all activities.
Want to have more info? Have a look at they FB page here. Please do check about the availability of the camps and about new SOPs.
We caught the 3pm ferry back to Mersing. For those who want to prolong the beach experience, an alternative route back to KL could be via Kuantan. You could spend a few days in Cherating before heading home.