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Pulau Pemanggil ~ Johor


Okay, now before embarking on a trip like this for reasons only you can justify, first let's take into consideration the travelling time. Pulau Pemanggil sits 45kms east of Mersing, the take-off point to most islands off the Southern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. To get to Mersing itself takes 4½ hours by car or roughly 6hours by coach from KL (we shall use Kuala Lumpur as a point of reference) and from Mersing it takes another 4 1/2 hours (by traditional fishing boats) to paradise island . And of course, there is the waiting time to take into account - waiting for tidal changes, for boat, for coach, for tardy friends hitching a ride down with you. But then again, these are the little joys of travelling to far-off places for when you arrive, you know the tough journey has been all worth the effort - you have left the masses behind!

As with most inhabited islands in Malaysian waters, Pemanggil has its fair share of history, mystery and spookytales. Such tales intrigue me and I was determined to find out more about the island and its people, and wallow in waters of Malaysia's best maintained marine parks.

The Myth

It all starts with Batu Buau(The Buau Rock). Almost a century ago, a boat carrying an Indonesian family came by these waters. One night, the father had a dream and in this dream he heard a voice beckoning him to settle on the island. The voice as was believed, belonged to the guardian (or the 'Penunggu' in traditional Malay folklore) of the island. Taking heed of the Guardian's advice, these first inhabitants steered off in the direction of the island and landed on the beach at the foot of the rock.They named their village, kampung Buau, after this rock, Buau Rock.

As years went by, many more Indonesians were invited to stay on the island followed by a number of Malay folk arriving from P.Aur. Hence the name 'Pemanggil' or 'The Caller' was bestowed on the island. It is believed that Nenek Buau, the Guardian of the island lives on Batu Buau. Every year the penghulu(the village head) pays respect to this highly revered 'sentient being' by leaving an offering of polished rice and a payment of 1sen at the top of the rock. Failing to do so, it is believed, would bring untold hardship to the island community.

The villages and its people

In the early 60's its population swelled to a healthy number of 700, the settlement soon spread into 3 villages. The villagers made a living from the sea and to supplement their lack of fishing activity during monsoon season, they took to the hills - clearing areas for fruit and coconut plantations.

The only source of fresh, drinkable water came from a stream at the foot of Batu Buau. The porous structure of Batu Buau acts as filter in which rainwater seeps through the many layers of various densities of rock. Through this process, impurities are sieved out. The village folk collected water from this stream. In those early days, one of the women folk's daily chores was to trudge up and down slopes. They usually had their infants in tow, slung across one shoulder and balanced on the other was a makeshift water barrel made from a large 6 foot bamboo tube.

Life is much easier now for the villagers and their visitors; water is transported through a series of hoses and pumps connecting the water source to the villages. And there are other modern amenities available on the island..however, with much blessing- short of karaoke lounges, blaring sound-blasters, water scooters and banana boats. But who needs all these modern toys anyway. The sound of waves lapping the shore, flying foxes bickering above amongst the coconut fronds and appreciating that that crunching noises we hear whilst snorkelling come from parrotfish snacking on corals. This surely must be the concept of an island experience?!


More on Pemanggil's story - the villages


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

Holiday Trips & Packages in Johor

Accommodations & Hotels in Johor