Mersing - Johor Malaysia
Mersing has expanded in recent years into a busy coastal town, gaining reputation as gateway to some of the most beautiful islands in Peninsular Malaysia. Droplets of islands dimple the waters just off Johore&;s coastline. Ranging from mere rocky outcrops - home to hundreds of nesting sea birds to legend steeped islands - now home to basking tourists and eager divers.
Many travellers head straight off to the islands but those who stopover may encounter some pleasant surprises. Mersing is still a fishing village at heart. Sungai Mersing(Mersing River) and a few other tributaries flow gently into the estuary, just a stone&;s throw away from the main roundabout in town. From the bridge over Sungai Mersing, one can see rows of brightly painted blue/green fishing boats parked neatly along the banks. The local fishermen and families live in villages here where mangrove trees once thrived. In their spare time, a few families make do with growing crops to sustain their living. The slow pace of village life is very much intact, fusing well into the recent economic developments, and yet retaining a few quiet, tranquil places to stay.
This shophouse was built by Poh Keh, an immigrant from China who was awarded the contract to build the first road connecting Mersing with Johor Bahru. Poh Keh, took his money back to China but lost it all when the communist took over the country. He returned to Mersing and started over again. Poh Keh moved his sundry shop to the ground floor of this beautiful shophouse on the 2nd roundabout in Mersing.
PLEASE BE WARNED!
Please check the tidal charts or weather forecast before leaving or planning your trip at www.kjc.gov. Island to check for is Tioman in the dropbox for all islands off Mersing ie pulau rawa, pulau besar, pulau sibu, pulau tioman, pulau pemanggil, pulau aur, pulau dayang... If you're planning to go to the islands during the Full Moon or when there is no moon, then be warned that there will be very extreme tidal conditions ie very high hightides and very low lowtides so boats may have difficulty leaving or entering the Mersing jetty. You may have to wait quite a while for the tidal change. Check the tidal charts.
food in the city
For pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, pretty good coffee brews and light refreshments this is the place to hang out especially if you're in between times, waiting for buses to other places or boats to the islands
Location:At the Mersing jetty area; open mornings till late evenings
Loke Tien Yuen restaurant
For good Chinese seafood and reasonable prices. They make good steamed fish dishes here but please ask for prices if ordering seafood like fish, crabs and prawns..charged by weight. The restaurant is commendably clean.
Location: At same row as east coast guesthouse; 55 Jalan Abu Bakar, Mersing. Open for lunch from 12.00pm - 2.30pm. Call 07 - 799 1639 for enquiries.
Restoran Ee Lo
Whips up a reasonable dish of roast chicken and rice and can fry a quick meal of noodles and other dishes but prices have inflated quite a bit since we last dined here in 2002 .The chilli prawns are good and so is the sizzling tow-foo (beancurd).
Location: At the 2nd roundabout. It is open throughout the day.
Restoran Lan Ji
This Chinese restaurant is popular with the locals. Price is based on small, medium and large servings and food here is reasonable! House speciality, claypot fish head curry is nice and spicy and seafood is reasonably priced - all cooked Chinese style.
Location: On the ground floor of Hotel Embassy on Jalan Ismail
best time to go
If you’re looking to visit the islands as well then the best time to go would be from late February to End September. But try not to travel during public and school holidays with the crowd.
On the ground floor of Comfort Guesthouse. The clinic is opened everyday except Wednesdays from 8.30am - 11.00pm and closed for lunch from 1.00pm-2.00pm. 56, Jalan Abu Bakar, Mersing
Just down a little way from Cyberworld! Internet café on the main street. It holds a limited range of supplies. It is best to stock up on specific items such as prescribed medication, travel sickness tablets and even tampons in the larger towns and cities.
Tops supermarket and Parksons shopping centre
Situated at the end of the town, down the road from Embassy Hotel. Selling fresh groceries, household goods and general electrical items. It opens its doors at 10.30am and closes at 9.30pm everyday.
PLEASE BE WARNED!
Please check the tidal charts or weather forecast before leaving or planning your trip at http://www.met.gov.my. Island to check for is Tioman in the dropbox for all islands off Mersing ie pulau rawa, pulau besar, pulau sibu, pulau tioman, pulau pemanggil, pulau aur, pulau dayang... If you're planning to go to the islands during the Full Moon or when there is no moon, then be warned that there will be very extreme tidal conditions ie very high hightides and very low lowtides so boats may have difficulty leaving or entering the Mersing jetty. You may have to wait quite a while for the tidal change. Check the tidal charts.
Nearest airport is at Senai, in Johor Baru.
-From Kuala Lumpur
Take North-South Highway, head south towards Johor (from KL or North) . Exit at Ayer Hitam (exit 244) After toll gate , take a right turn at the traffic junction and head towards Kluang. Before entering Kluang town, there’s a roundabout, take 3 O’clock. Continue straight for several kilometres until the next roundabout where you take the 12 o' clock exit. Follow road signs to Mersing or Route 3.
Approximate travelling time : 5 hrs from KL
-From JB and Singapore
Via Woodlands causeway: After crossing over to Malaysia take the first U turn heading back towards the causeway. Take Jalan Wong Ah Fook and this will lead you through Johor Bahru City passing City Square shopping mall on your right. Look out for the overhead Bridge with the sign 'Kota Tinggi - Desaru'. Follow this sign leading you to route 3 . Route 3 will take you towards Kota Tinggi and Mersing. Just follow the signs.
Approximate travelling time : 2 1/2hrs from JB
- From Terengganu/Kuantan
Take Route 3(coastal road), heading south towards JB. For roadmap, please go to: www.jputra.com
Approximate travelling time from Kuantan, 3+hours
A relatively small town with several streets and roundabouts linking the roads, one can just about walk around Mersing town in 1hour. On arriving at Mersing and if you wish to go straight to the jetty, either walk from Restoran Malaysia, which is one of the drop-off points closer to the guesthouses and motels in town or wait till you get to the final destination at Plaza R&R at the Mersing jetty if you do not intend to stay on in Mersing. This is your gateway to the islands and ferry tickets plus accommodation can be arranged with the various resort and transport offices. Be careful of touts!
If you're planning to visit the islands off the Mersing coast like Tioman, Besar, Rawa, Pemanggil & Aur, the usual boat service is Bluewater Ferry Services .
The Johor government levies a RM25 fee per overseas traveler and a RM10 fee applies per Malaysian traveler .
Bluewater Ferry Services
The Bluewater Ferry Services (+60 7799 8518 or 07-799 4811) has been around for the longest time and they also have monopoly over the boat transfers to the Tioman Island.
Take note that after the ticket collection you will also need to pay a Marinepark fee directly to the Marinepark authorities at the jetty in Mersing in cash (currently MYR 10.00 for locals or MYR 25.00 for foreigners).https://www.facebook.com/BLUEWATER-EXPRESS-BISTARI...
Once you have the tickets you will need to wait for the boarding pass counter to open and get your boarding pass. They will call the colour of your pass once the ferry is ready for boarding.
Just a word of caution for those who would like to endure the hardship of travelling in Malaysia during Public Holidays and more so during major National Festivals : the ferries can suffer long delays & missed schedules - all that makes going on holiday a stressful and unpleasant experience.
The best advice is to stay clear away from the favourite holiday destination spots especially when it involves crossing seas.
Ferry From Tioman to Singapore
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FERRY SERVICE FROM SINGAPORE TO TIOMAN HAS BEEN TERMINATED .