When talking about beach vacations, most of us imagine white, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters with lavish resorts like those in Maldives, Mauritius, and Bora Bora. But we’ll let you in on a secret–you don’t have to go far away because we do have such breathtakingly beautiful islands right in Johor!
Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of natural wonders, including a total of 878 spectacular islands. Johor, alone, is home to a number of impressive islands for you to explore. Here are some of the best ones:
One of the most popular island destinations in Johor, Pulau Rawa is only a short 20-minute boat from Mersing. With its white sand beach and crystal clear waters, this island is as good as (if not better than) the Maldives.
To maintain its exclusivity, the island only has two resorts, so make sure you book your room early as it is usually packed during weekends and public holidays. Pulau Rawa’s highlight is definitely its iconic massive, orange waterslide. Nothing is better than sliding down right into the ocean and has the best time of your life!
As if one is not enough, Pulau Sibu is a cluster of 4 islands, namely Pulau Sibu Besar, Pulau Sibu Tengah, Pulau Sibu Kukus and Pulau Sibu Hujung. As most of its resorts are concentrated on the main island, Pulau Sibu Besar, you can do island-hopping and experience all the beaches there.
This island is a part of the Marine Park protected area. No wonder why it has turquoise crystal waters, and untouched corals, and marine life. Don’t miss out on the chance to go for a dive and admire this hidden gem.
Pulau Besar was previously known as Pulau Babi Besar for the wild boars that now have diminished. To reach this paradise, it takes only a 30-minute speed boat ride from Mersing Jetty, perfect for those who are not keen for a bumpy, long boat ride.
There are plenty of water activities you can enjoy here, such as snorkeling and scuba diving. You can also simply laze on a hammock and surround yourself with the natural wonders. For hiking enthusiasts, you can capture the island view at the highest peak of the island, at 258 meters high.
Pulau Aur is one of the heaven getaways that you should not miss in your lifetime. Located 76 km away from Mersing, it takes about 4 hours of boat ride to reach here. You might experience a long, challenging journey but once you arrive, the majestic view is going to be 100% worth it.
This island is tremendously picturesque as the landscape and underwater views are equally breathtaking. It features more than 20 spots of deep, crystal clear waters for diving and snorkeling. Despite its distance from the mainland, Pulau Aur is favored by fishing enthusiasts and divers.
Further away from the mainland, Pulau Dayang is located right next to Pulau Aur. It might not be as popular as its neighbor, but this island is a heaven for divers. From shallow reefs to deep rocky seabed, it is perfect for all levels of diving.
Yet there is more to Pulau Dayang than just its clear water and diving spots. Another must-do activity on this island is a hike up to Letak Semalu. It takes 40 minutes to reach the top and you can enjoy the magnificent views.
A bit laid-back and one-of-a-kind, Pulau Tinggi is not like just any island getaway. This island has the highest point among its neighbours. It is home to an extinct volcano Mount Semudu, which you can hike up with 3 hours each way up and down. This inhabited island is completely free from buzzing.
For sure, this breathtaking island is adorned with amazing clear waters and vibrant marine life. There is also a turtle hatchery and a museum for you to visit. At night, don’t miss the chance to watch fireflies in the mangrove swamp.
Close to Pulau Rawa, Pulau Harimau might not be the most popular option for tourists, but what makes it special is the fact that it was named after the island’s shape–the shape of a tiger (harimau). This island is rather rugged–the same vibe as if you are in Komodo Island.
Other than its white sandy beach and extremely stunning clear water, Pulau Harimau offers more than that. It hides a secret natural pool with emerald water, surrounded by magnificent rock formations. Don’t forget to take a dip when you visit this island.
Okay, Pulau Tioman may not exactly be a part of the state of Johor (it is part of Pahang), but technically, this island is very near Johor. It takes only a 2-hours boat ride from Mersing Jetty. You can get a ferry ticket to Pulau Tioman at a special price here.
Pulau Tioman is one of the largest islands among its bunch. There are few villages around the island with various beaches and waterfalls to explore. Renowned for its dive sites, it features splendid corals, sea sponges, and even shipwrecks. It is definitely the perfect spot for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
Which island are you going to explore next? Check out more breathtakingly beautiful island destinations on KKday now!
Words by Fatihah MSabri
Featured image by Taufik Sallehuddin on Shutterstock