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Pulau Besar - Johor


There are a cluster of 3 islands just off the coast of Mersing in Johor which used to be overrun by wildboars. Nobody knows how the wildboars got across to inhabit the islands but these hardy creatures have been known to swim long distances. Perhaps, floating islands ie little clumps of land that had been torn from riverbanks during heavy monsoon rains could have carried them to these islands and thence multiplied as there were no known predators until man came along. Fisher folk named the islands , Babi Besar (Big Pig), Babi Tengah (Pig in the Middle) and Babi Hujong (Pig at the end) but 'Babi' was consequently dropped from the name and thus, today they are more popularly known as Pulau Besar, Pulau Tengah and Pulau Hujong. As with the name, the wildboars on these islands have also disappeared.



Pulau Besar is the largest of all the 3 islands and stretches about 1 - 2km wide and 5 km long. The resorts are located on the western side of the island as the eastern coast faces the open sea and tends to be rough. The fishing villages are long gone, though you can still see the quaint old police station and vacant village huts along the path that runs parallel to the western beach. Pulau Besar and Pulau Tengah were the host islands for the popular and controversial reality TV show in Europe called the 'Expedition Robinson' that ran for 9 seasons. The crew spent at least 7 months on location at this island as well as the surrounding islands for a number of years until the show ended its run in 2005.


Pulau Besar is the ideal island for a lot of sun bathing, catching up on sleep, finishing that novel that's been kept by the bedside table for months gathering dust, a bit of island exploration, and just to immerse in the tranquility of the island life. For city folks, it may be a little difficult to get used to... no traffic honks, suits and power dressing, no laptops and continuous ringing of the phone. It's tough to just let go of the everyday chores and routine but once the island breeze lulls you into that dream-like state, it's difficult to leave.

For those a little more energetic, the island hopping trips to pulau mensirip and pulau harimau for some snorkelling is definitely the icing on the cake.

One thing to note, don't forget your insect repellant for those pesky sandflies.


Pulau Harimau

Pulau Harimau has a cavern which can be easily reached if you snorkel a short distance from the drop-off point at the beach. The ceiling of the cavern has fallen through and is a nice little private pool where you can sit and enjoy the sun warming your back and the cool water lapping your heated skin.



Pulau Mensirip

mensirip island with beautiful live corals ~ still uninhabited

This is a private island not too far from Pulau Harimau. It is deserted and a sign on the beach warns would be trespassers against alighting on the island. This tiny island belongs to the Johor royal family. But the snorkelling just off the beach is wonderful!! Try it - its worth every penny! Well, actually for a day trip out - we negotiated a total of RM220 for the boat to take us to these two islands.

Suggestion: bring along some sun block, drinking water and packed lunch. These islands are not inhabited, so be prepared with some food and water.


Accommodation and Holiday Packages to Johor ~ Johor Baru, Mersing, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Besar, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Aur, Pulau Pemanggil, Pulau Sibu, Endau Rompin National Park and Surroundings

Accommodation & Holiday Packages:

Johor Baru

| 11@Century Hotel | Aman Sari City Centre | A Vista Melati | Bayu Marina Resort | Citrus Hotel | Crystal Crown Hotel | Dorsett Johor Hotel | Goodhope Hotel | Grand BlueWave Hotel | Grand Hallmark Hotel | Grand Paragon Hotel | Hallmark Regency Hotel | J A Residence Hotel | JB Central Hotel | Mutiara Hotel | New York Hotel | Okid Cottage | The Puteri Pacific | Selesa Hotel | Le Grandeur Palm Resort | M Suites Hotel | Suria City Hotel | Hotel Sentral | Hotel Seri Malaysia | The Zon Regency | The Embassy Hotel | Thistle Johor Baru | Tropical Inn |

Kota Tinggi

| Mayres Hotel | Pelangi Balau Resort |


| Pulai Desaru Beach Resort |


| Pulai Springs Resort |


| Hotel Sri Pelangi | Hotel D'99 | Riverview Hotel | Streetview Hotel | Townview Hotel |

Gunung Ledang

| Gunung Ledang Resort |

Batu Pahat

| Pelican Hotel | Pinetree Hotel | The Katerina Hotel | The Landmark Hotel | The Silver Inn |


Budget Inns | East Coast Backpacker's Hotel | Omar's Backpacker's Hostel | Embassy Hotel |

Mid-Range Inns & Hotels | Havanita Hotel | Hotel Seri Malaysia | Teluk Iskandar Inn | Timotel Hotel |

Tanjung Leman

| Felda Residence Tanjung Leman |

Pulau Aur

| Aur Resorts |

Pulau Besar

| D'Coconut Island Resort | Aseania Resort | Mirage Resort |

Pulau Rawa

| Le Club Rawa | Rawa Safaris Resort |

Pulau Pemanggil

| Lanting Beach Resort |

Pulau Sibu

| Rimba Resort | Sea Gypsies | Sibu Island Resort | Sari Pacifica Resort and Spa |

Pulau Tioman (technically this is within the State of Pahang territory) but boats leave from Mersing

Salang | Salang Hut | Ella's Place | Salang Indah | Salang Beach Resort | Salang Pusaka Resort | Salang Sayang Tioman Resort |

Panuba Beach | Panuba Inn Resort |

ABC | Bamboo Hill Chalets | ABC(Air Batang Chalet) | Nazri's Beach Cabanas | Tioman House | Johan's Resort | Mawar Beach Chalets | My Friend Place | Nazri's Place |

Tekek | Peladang Inn | Pesona Island Resort | Babura Seaview Resort | Selesa Hotel | Swiss Cottage Resort |

Genting | Japamala Resort | Minang Cove Resort | Impian Inn (BM) | Island Reef Resort | Tioman Rock Beach Resort (BM) |

Paya | Paya Beach Resort | Tioman Paya Resort |

Juara | Manana | Bushman | Juara Turtle Project |

Kampung Mukut | Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort |

Kampung Nipah | Bersatu Nipah Chalet |

Dive Packages Salang/ABC | B&J Tioman Dive Centre |


| UK Farm (Farm Resort) |

Endau Rompin National Park

Kampung Peta Entrance ~ | Endau Rompin Camping Package | Endau Rompin Chalet Package | Selai Entrance ~ | Endau Rompin Selai Trekking Package |

Tanjung Piai - Kukup Mangrove National Park

| Tanjung Piai - Kukup Mangrove National Park Homestay Experience |


Malaysia Islands

Peninsula Malaysia Islands

| Pulau Aur | Pulau Besar | Pulau Bidong | Pulau Duyung Besar | Pulau Gemia | Pulau Kapas | Pulau Langkawi | Pulau Lang Tengah | Pulau Pangkor | Pulau Payar | Pulau Perhentian | Pulau Pemanggil | Penang | Pulau Rawa | Pulau Redang | Pulau Sibu | Pulau Tenggol | Pulau Tioman |

Peninsula Malaysia Coastal Beaches

| Marang | Merang | Rantau Abang | Penarik | Port Dickson | Tanjung Jara | Cherating |

Sabah and Sarawak ~ Borneo Islands & Coastal Beaches

Sabah Islands ~ | Gaya Island | Kapalai | Pulau Mabul | Pulau Sipadan | Selingan Turtle Island | Mantanani Besar Island | Manukan Island | Mataking Island | Lankayan Island | Layang Layang Island | Pom Pom Island | Pulau Tiga Resort (Survivor Island) | Mari Mari Sepanggar - Sepanggar Island |

Sabah Coastal Beaches ~ | Kinarut, Papar | Tuaran |

Sarawak Coastal Beaches ~ | Damai Beach, Santubong | Kayakking with Dolphins |

More in Johor

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