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.

more on pulau tioman, pulau rawa, pulau aur, pulau pemanggil...

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.