We had an extended family trip to Pulau Besar in April 2016 before I got pregnant with the twins. All in all, there were 12 of us including 3 preschool kids and 1 toddler.
Pulau Besar is an enchanted little island off Mersing, along the east coast of Johor, West Malaysia. Mersing itself is a small fishing village. Its jetty is well used by travelers heading towards Pulau Tioman and Pulau Besar.
We arrived at Mersing after a 4-hour bus ride from Singapore. Before heading to the jetty, we took a quick tour around the Mersing town that provides a selection of restaurants, and a number of shops that sells basic necessity and beach accessories.
We were pleasantly surprised with a number of wall murals hidden in one of the backyards. The twelve of us spent at least 30 mins posing in front of the murals. I am guessing the artist is one of the locals there.
We boarded the speedboat after lunch after the high tides returned. The 30-min ride on the speedboat was rather bumpy and exciting. Our little kids were uncomfortable and apprehensive at first. It took them a while to start enjoying the ride.
We checked into the Aseania Beach Resort at about 3pm and were welcomed with fresh fruit juices and cut fruits. As I wasn’t planning on setting up a blog then, I didn’t deliberately take any Instagram-ready photos of the place.
The rooms are neat and clean, equipped with the basic necessity such as a mini fridge and bathroom. Although this is a kampong-like style resort, I don’t find any insect or lizard loitering in the room or toilet, unlike some of the other resorts I have been to in other laid-back locations. Since we were there to spend time with each other, we really didn’t mind the lack of facilities in the resort. It was accorded with right price tag anyway.
There are 2 swimming pools, one for adults and one for children. When there is no one around the pools, wild monkeys are the regular users. Not for the faint-hearted and anyone particular with pool hygiene, but this is not surprising since the resort is located in the wild and the weather is super hot. It was about 33°C when we were there.
The beach is the main attraction, soft white sand and crystal clear water. Other than beach volley, we also kayaked while the kids focused on their sand-castle building all day long. I particularly like the tree house located along the beach. It is a quiet and cooling spot where we can just sit and take an afternoon nap.
Other services provided at the beach include biking, island hopping and snorkeling.
A Short Trek
We ventured into the forest behind for a 20-min trek. It is not advisable to venture any deeper into the forest especially with kids tagging along as there are wild animals lurking and the road is not well maintained.
I must say that food was surprisingly good for a simple resort. No extra charges for our 3 meals. If we don’t eat there, there is nothing else to eat on the island unless we go the adjacent resort. There are only 2 resorts in Pulau Besar. Again, we did not take any food picture. On our second night here (Saturday), the resort arranged a BBQ feast for the hotel guests.
How to get there
We booked our accommodation and travel arrangement through a local travel agency at Chinatown. You can also book the rooms online and self-drive. Click here for guide on getting to Mersing from Singapore, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur.
The photos taken here are gathered from our family members, using our goody simple smart phones and thus varying photo qualities.