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Feedback from an actual Pak Long Chalet guestA bunch of my scuba diving friends and I regularly visit Tioman for the great diving here. Over the years, we've stayed at quite a lot of different Tioman hostels, from all the way down south, in Genting, to all the way up north, in Salang. We just need a basic place to crash after returning from our dives, so we're not really after anything too flash.
This time around we'd decided to stay at Pak Long Chalet, in Salang. Actually, we were quite surprised by a couple of things at Pak Long Chalet. Firstly, it's a pretty decent place to stay at a pretty decent price. I mean, the price/value ratio is great. But also, we loved the different approach of Pak Long Chalet, as compared to virtually all other hostels in Tioman.
You see, unlike most other Tioman lodgings, Pak Long Chalet is not a beach front accommodation. Instead, Pak Long Chalet's shacks are located in more of a traditional Malay village environment, ensconced by rustic countryside that, in turn, is fringed by tropical rainforest.
In fact, the actual beach is a bit of a distance away from Pak Long Chalet, perhaps a few minutes' stroll. But it so happened that for us, Pak Long Chalet turned out to be the perfect choice, because after a whole day of getting clobbered by the sun while out at sea, it's nice to be in more of a cooler shaded part of Tioman.
The accommodation at Pak Long Chalet is provided in 2 varieties: 1) oldschool-type budget chalets and 2) newer air-conditioned villas. We were in one of the newer villas, a quad, i.e. 4 beds. Our villa was spacious and comfortable enough. It included a fan, as well as an airconditioning system, which was just as well, because our bodies cop quite a lot of sun every day and the cool room was like our little oasis of bliss.
There was also an attached bathroom in the chalet, which offered a shower, though no water heater. But we made do with cold water, which, by the way, isn't exactly frigid; just slightly colder than tepid. No scream fests in the morning :)
Incidentally, we also had a mini-fridge and a tea-kettle in our room. And there's a restaurant that served tasty local meals from a central eating area. Apart from this, there aren't a lot of amenities here.
That said, Pak Long Chalet provides an altogether charming experience of life in an authentic Malay village, where it's Pak Long's various family members, all of whom friendly and helpful, that do the running of the resort. In fact, you could say that Pak Long Chalet is almost a rural homestead-type of accommodation.
The Pak Long Chalet compound is tranquil with pleasant pastoral views all around and abundant wildlife. We spotted giant monitor lizards languishing near a little stream nearby, as well as inquisitive monkeys that seemed to be scheming of ways to get to the goodies in the kitchen area.
So yeah, it's no stretch to say that we'll be back at Pak Long Chalet.
Tip: Please note that Pak Long Chalet's room rates may go up during peak season (public and school holidays and the month of August). Pak Long Chalet only has 12 rooms, so if this is the place you want to stay, then it's advisable to book your room ahead, for instance on Agoda. Alternatively, if you know a few words of Bahasa, you could try calling 09 419 50 00. I spotted that Lonely Planet has Pak Long Chalet down as one of Tioman's "recommended accommodations". I'm sure Lonely Planet didn't become the largest travel guide book publisher in the world by not knowing their stuff. So yay to Pak Long Chalet.
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