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Feedback from an actual Nora's Chalet guest

Nora's Chalet consists of 10 pretty basic wooden cabins at the southern section of Salang, in the north of Tioman Island. Apart from the simple nature of the lodgings and the welcome low room rates, we were smitten by the magnificent jungle-covered mountain backdrop just adjacent to Nora's Chalet.

What's really amazing is that the picturesque mountain side just "greens out" as far as the eye can see, and it's such an awesome sight that you really need gaze at it for some time in order to fully be able to take in. I guess city life has more or less reprogrammed our vision from distant mountain vistas and untouched jungle to city skylines and concrete jungle. Being able to set your sight at far-away panoramas is one of the reasons that drew us to Tioman.

So yes, if it's nature you want to see and experience, even though it's only for a few days, then Nora's Chalet is the place to be. In fact, so ensconced into Salang is Nora's Chalet that it's actually not directly visible from the Salang's main track. So just so you don't miss it, Nora's Chalet is right behind another budget Salang accommodation called Salang Pusaka Resort.

Ok, Nora's Chalet may not be beach front property, but what Nora's Chalet offers instead, a lush well-manicured garden environment, blissful tranquillity and glorious remoteness, more than makes up any lacking beach. Besides, Salang's beach is still barely a stone's throw away for those keen to go for a stroll, a swim or a snorkel.

As for Nora's Chalet rooms, they come in two varieties. The really cheap ones, at 40-50 RM offer a fan and a separate bathroom with cold-water shower. The slightly more upper range rooms provide aircon, as opposed to fan.

Nevertheless, even these sightly more costly rooms, at 70-80 RM per night, do not have hot water. Separate bathroom: yes. Hot-water shower: no. Forewarned is forearmed.

By the way, please note that room rates are subject to change, depending on season and on whether it's a weekday or weekend. Rates also tend to be higher during public holidays and school holidays. We were lucky, because it was considered low season.

Realizing that we won't be going to Tioman for a while, we decided to really check out the island. We went on quite an informative jungle trek with a local guide. And it's a good thing we did, because I doubt that we would have made it on our own.

Tioman's jungle really is quite raw and untouched. In fact, our guide told us that tourists get lost each year, exploring the jungle. Luckily, to date, all have been found, just a little shaken. But these anecdotes are testament to the ruggedness of Tioman's terrain.

Naturally, we also went on a snorkeling tour. In fact, we island-hopped to Coral Island and Renggis. Both were spectacular. As was the Marine Park in Tekek. All in all, we absolutely loved Tioman.

Tip: As I stated above, Nora's Chalet has just 10 units, so if you wish to stay there, then booking in advance is recommendable. Have a look on Agoda, as they may be there. If not, then try calling +60 9 419 50 03. Agoda is preferable, however, as there's an actual transaction to back up your booking, whereas by phone, your booking is just an informal agreement. Lastly, if you're thinking of staying in a fan-only room, think again. There really is very little relief from the heat and, particularly, the humidity in Tioman, especially at night. Our room with aircon was a great way to recharge for an hour or so each time we'd been out and about in Tioman's sun. We tried a room with fan once and we noticed that it kept us clammy, rather than cool, and as a result we didn't sleep as well as we wanted. Last-minutes available. No booking fee.

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