When talking about islands in Malaysia, most of us can easily name a few islands in Terrengganu or Sabah.
Do you know there are a few little known islands in Johor too? And they are just as pretty as our famous island such as Redang Island!
Today we are going to discover each of them.
1. Pulau Aur
Pulau Aur, known locally as Aur Island, lies about 65 km east of Mersing, Johor, Malaysia. It is part of the Johor Marine Park.
Its corals, lagoons and offshore pools make it a tourist attraction. It has for many years also always been a frequent stopover point for fishermen.
Due to its overwhelming distance from the mainland of Peninsula Malaysia, Aur Island offers the clearest of waters and the most exciting dive sites in this part of the country. Marine life commonly seen by divers include Manta-Ray, Barracudas, Whitetip Sharks, Rays, Napoleon Wrasse, Jacks, Trevally, Yellowback Fusiliers, Turtle, Angelfish, Titan Trigger Fish and Bumphead Parrotfish..
2. Pulau Dayang
Pulau Dayang is located next to Pulau Aur. Similar to its neighbor, Pulau Dayang also features clear water and marine biodiversity. Travel from Mersing Jetty Pulau Dayang takes 4 to 5 hours.
3. Pulau Besar (Johor)
Besar Island (formerly known as Pulau Babi Besar) is an island off the east coast of Johor, Malaysia. It is accessible by boat from Mersing town (approximately 30 minutes). The island’s highest point rises some 845 feet (258 m) above the sea level.
The island is characterized by quiet, clean beaches of powdery white sand and crystal-clear azure waters. To preserve the unspoiled marine life, the Government has gazetted it as a marine park to protect around 60 species of marine life from any activities that can harm their natural habitats within 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) around the island.
Rich hues of wild vegetations are dappled throughout with the lush greens of the coconut palms and tropical jungles. There are about 7 – 8 small villages that are still populated by around 100 friendly dwellers who are mostly fishermen.
4. Pulau Rawa
Rawa Island is a coral island off the east coast of Johor, Malaysia, 16 km by boat from Mersing town. It is popular with tourists from Malaysia and Singapore, who come to enjoy its relatively unspoiled white sand beaches, snorkelling and scuba diving. There is a daily ferry service from Mersing.
Rawa is a relatively small island. There are no proper roads, only a few walkways. One side of the island is a beach covered with white sand, while the other side has a rocky vertical cliff. The water is clear. There are many sea and land creatures such as fishes, squids, jellyfish, octopuses, Malayan sea eagles, and reptiles. Also sharks Blacktip reef sharks can be found feeding in the sea off rawa. Rawa’s waters are home to an abundance of corals. there are 2 resorts on the island (Rawa Safaris and Alang’s Rawa)
Pulau Rawa is approximately 30 minutes boat ride from Mersing, a small port within Johor.
5. Pulau Tengah
Tengah Island is a privately owned island. It lies nine nautical miles off the coast of Mersing on the South China Sea off the east coast of Johor, Malaysia. It is 30 minutes away by boat from Mersing.
Near Besar Island, Tengah Island is 16 km off the coast and is an easy 45-minute boat ride. During the 70’s, the island became famous as a Vietnamese refugee transit camp which was subsequently closed in the early 80’s.
The island was the first location for the making of the TV-show Expedition Robinson in 1997.
In 1985, Tengah Island was one of the few islands gazetted by the Malaysian government as a Marine Park due to its abundant marine life and rare specials of fish and coral.
Besides that, Tengah Island is also a great place to watch the giant leatherback turtles come ashore to lay eggs yearly especially during the month of July
6. Pulau Pemanggil
Pemanggil Island sits 45 km east of Mersing, the take-off point to most islands off the Southern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is situated next to Tioman, requires a 4- to 5-hour ride by boat from Mersing. To get to Mersing itself takes 4½ hours by car or roughly 6 hours by coach from Kuala Lumpur.
As with most inhabited islands in Malaysian waters, Pemanggil has its fair share of history, mystery and spooky tales. The island is fishermen’s best-kept secret. It is known for deep-sea fishing and good hunting grounds for marlins and mackerels.
This remote island is also famed for the beauty and abundance of marine life within its clear emerald waters. Its other magnetic charms include endless stretches of white sandy beaches and awesome snorkeling spots. Fishing and diving is excellent here.
For the adventurous, the hill outcrop of the island makes for a challenging climb and the summit holds an inherent scenic beauty of the far reaching ocean.
On the north-eastern coast of Pemanggil Island is Teluk Lancang, an isolated bay where coconut trees grow in abundance amidst the tropical vegetation. At the heart of the island, there is a huge boulder known locally as Batu Buau which locals regard as sacred. It would definitely not go unnoticed and is clearly visible as far as 50 km from the south of Tioman Island.
7. Pulau Sibu
Pulau Sibu, also known as Sibu Island, is a small island off Malaysia’s eastern coast, facing the South China Sea. It is actually made up of several islands namely Sibu Besar Island, Sibu Tengah Island, Sibu Kukus Island and Sibu Hujung Island.
Sibu Besar, the main island, is approximately 6 km long and 1 km wide, and for the most part covered by tropical vegetation. On the southern end there is a small fishing village called Kampong Duku with a population of fewer than a hundred people (about 40 families).
There are a number of small resorts on the island, typically used as a weekend or short vacation destination from Singapore, since the closest mainland jetty Tanjong Leman is only a roughly 3 hour drive from Singapore via Johor Bahru. The main leisure activities on the island are watersports such as snorkeling and diving – not surprising since the area was designated a Marine Park in 1993 and numerous coral reefs are close to hand.
There are four main beaches on the eastern side of Sibu, where most of the beach resorts are located. Sea Gypsy Village Resort and Dive Base and Sibu Island Cabanas are situated on a beach facing Tinggi Island. Other resorts, such as Rimba Resort, are on the opposite side. Resorts facing the mainland are Coconut Village Resort, Junansa Villa and Twin Beach Resort. Most of the resorts are closed during the annual 3-month monsoon period, save for those facing the mainland.
8. Pulau Tinggi
Pulau Tinggi, otherwise known as Tinggi Island is a large sparsely inhabited island, which rises 2000 ft (600 m) above sea level off the east coast of Johor, Malaysia. It was nicknamed the “General’s Hat Island” by Chinese seamen hundreds of years ago. It is located about 20 nautical miles (37 km) southeast of Mersing, on the east coast of Johor.
The journey by boat to Tinggi Island takes approximately 45 minutes. The interior of the island is mostly covered with secondary lowland Dipterocarp rainforest. It has fresh waters, fruits, rattan, timber and a sheltered harbour and coral reefs which abound with prolific marine life. It has a long coastline and white sandy beaches dotted with caves. The seas around it contain coral, fish and reef.
This island has the highest residential population among the east coast Johor islands, with the latest tally estimated at 448 people, from three village settlements: Kampung Tanjung Balang, Kampung Pasir Panjang and Kampung Sebirah Besar.
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