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Sri Sentosa Chalet
Welcome to Sri Sentosa Chalet
Feedback from an actual Sri Sentosa Chalet guestWe'd actually stumbled upon Sri Sentosa Chalet whilst on a round-Tioman boat excursion that had started in Tekek, where we were staying on one of our earlier trips to Tioman. Our boatman mentioned that the sea opposite Sri Sentosa Chalet was excellent for snorkeling, because that section of Tioman is quite remote and still relatively unknown.
Our boatman was right about the snorkeling being great there. But we also found out that this little slice of Tioman, remote as it is, actually offers a cluster of bungalows for holiday accommodation. These bungalows are part of a simple but charming hostel called Sri Sentosa Chalet is. And, as we discovered after our snorkeling outing that day, Sri Sentosa Chalet is absolutely lovely.
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That afternoon, we made a mental note of Sri Sentosa Chalet and, upon our return to the Malaysia mainland, unanimously decided that our next Tioman trip would simply have be to Sri Sentosa Chalet. Well, that next trip was so magical, we'll unlikely to ever forget.
Sri Sentosa Chalet is located in the tiny fishing village of Mukut. Mukut is unlike its six big brother villages in that it isn't on travelers' radar as much. In practice, this means that the vast majority of Tioman visitors simply pass by Mukut, in favor of its more conspicuous older siblings: Genting, Paya, Tekek, ABC, Salang. Even Juara draws more tourists than Mukut and Sri Sentosa Chalet.
I think this is why Mukut, in general, and Sri Sentosa Chalet, in particular, is so awesome. It's like Tioman was 20 years ago, a place where the true kampong spirit still reigns supreme, where the people are genuinely hospitable and naturally friendly. The service we received from Sri Sentosa Chalet was phenomenal. It was a delight to be a part of this little gem, if only for a few days.
As for our room, it was air-conditioned, but also had a fan for when things get too cold, which it did at night, when nature's air-con, the jungle dew, dialled down the temperature. We also had a separate bathroom, albeit attached, with a cold-water shower.
Activities-wise, apart from our snorkeling outings at Sri Sentosa Chalet, we also went on a jungle hike, which was quite an eye-opener and a fantastic experience for wildlife enthusiasts like us. Suffice to say that the flora and fauna in this neck of the woods is ever so abundant.
Without a doubt, Sri Sentosa Chalet is Tioman's best kept secret. I hope that it stays this way, my glowing review notwithstanding. With a bit of luck, the current absence of an adequate ferry jetty is enough of a snag for the masses from Mersing to opt against staying at Sri Sentosa Chalet. Which, if I picked up the vibes correctly, would suit Sri Sentosa Chalet and the rest of the Mukut villagers just fine. They seem to prefer a trickle, rather than a torrent of tourists. Hurray to forward thinking.
Tip: Sri Sentosa Chalet has just 12 little bungalows, so booking in advance is pretty much expected. Last thing you want, is to make it all the way there, only to find out that it's fully booked. Try Agoda first. If that doesn't work, call 07 7992672. There's an eatery and a souvenir shop nearby, as well as a 6-room bungalow in long-house style that can be had for a somewhat lower room rate. Ask to have the sea food BBQ. It's fresh fish, squid and crab. It's heavenly. FYI, there's no alcohol or cigarettes available at Sri Sentosa Chalet, so BYO. (But please enjoy discretely).