Driving from S'pore to Kukup via the 2nd Link
If you're going to Kukup, go by the other causeway (2nd link ) instead of the one at Woodlands. Though a tad bit more expensive, it is compensated by the sanity you'll stand to gain. The checkpoints here are practically empty, even on a weekend morning!
Here's the directions to Kukup from the 2nd link:
Take the Second Link and exit at the Gelang Patah turnoff. Follow the signs towards Pontian. At Pontian town, head towards Kukup. The village is situated approximately 80 km from the Tuas checkpoint and the journey takes approximately one hour.
Other useful details
You'll need to pay 2 toll charges, one at the S'pore end (S$3.20) and the other at the M'sia end (RM$6.60) per trip
The Smart Way to Park in Kukup
Parking in Kukup sucks BIG time, the roads are narrow, clogged with tourists walking aimlessly and myriads of touristy shops. So, the smart thing thing to do really is to choose a restaurant with a drive-in parking lot. There are 2 restaurants over there with a parking lot and we chose HIGH KING since there's a money changer there, good grub ( ok so-so grub) and a tour agent. The kind folks over there allowed us to park our car there the whole time we were there.
Where it is
High King is right at the end of Kukup Luat, Very close to the water's edge.
It is better to drive than to ride to Kukup
My husband is a biker and there's nothing we love better than to zip around in M'sia in his cruiser. Well, we decided to zip to Kukup one fine day and boy did we regret leaving our car behind.
The trunk road leading to Kukup was pot-holy and it proved to be quite a test for the bike suspension. Since this was quite sometime back, I hope the road has improved since then.
The ride to Kukup, via the 2nd causeway (Singapore, Tuas) was otherwise quite nice and smooth. We also passed thru' a little village called gelang petah along the way and a pineapple plantation.
TIP Update: Since the last ride, Hubby and I wisened up. We drove there this time but found out that the roads have improved since we were last here. The trunk road has been widened and smoothened out but the secondary roads are still pitted with holes. It is still better to drive than to bike there.
From Singapore to Kukup by Bus
If you don't have your own transport, you can always take a bus to JB and a cab to Kukup. But it can be a bit of a stretch. A better alternative would be to take a bus tour with any of the local travel agencies here. A day trip to Kukup normally cost around S$60-$70 per pax and it usually includes lunch, a tour to the mangrove island, a nearby durian/pineapple plantation, etc. I'll include both sets of instructions for your information.
For the adventurous: The Ban San Bus Terminal near Bugis MRT station has buses to take you directly to Johor Bahru. Operating hours are 6.30am to 12am, the journey takes about one hour and costs S$2.10 per trip. From Johor, take a cab to Pontian Kechil and then another to Kukup for about RM10. Alternatively, you can charter a taxi all the way from Johor Bahru for RM60.
For the day-tripper: You can try http://www.starmart.com.sg or
From Singapore to Kukup by Ferry
You can also take a ferry to Kukup from Singapore, all you need to do to go to the Singapore Cruise Centre ( World Trade Centre- HabourFront MRT ) . Purchase their ferry tickets in advance from this ferry operator (Indo Falcon ) or call them @ 62706778 for more details. A return trip cost about RM50.*
*Tip Update: Indo Falcon has stopped its services to Kukup for God knows what reason. There are only ferries to the other coast of JB ( Pengarrang) right now. Better to drive up there.
Luxury Car, Luxury Pricing
I'd get shivers down my pants when I see un-metered taxis, and there were quite a few that were parked near the jetty, ready to pick up their first customers. It can be hard work just haggling to bring down the price. So try not to put yourself in the position where you need to rely on the taxi (There're no bus stops, mind you).
Anyway, old modelled taxis as they may be, the interior of the taxis looked clean enough.
By Road To Kukup
Kukup lies at the south-western tip of Johor and is the end of the road... It is about 20km south of Pontian Kechil using highway 95... Whether you come from the north or east, you must pass thru Pontian Kechil to go to Kukup...
From Johor Baru, you will take highway 5 turning off from highway 1 at the Pulai junction... This route will take you pass Pekan Nanas to Pontian Kechil... From the Tuas Second Link, you should turn off at the Gelang Patah exit and following the directional sign to Pontian Kechil... The road will then meet highway 5 where you have to turn left to Pekan Nanas...
If you come in from Kuala Lumpur from the north on the North-South Expressway, exit at the Simpang Rengam interchange... You should then use highway 96 to Benut... At the Benut junction, turn left onto highway 5 to Pontan Kechil...
If you are going by public transport, you can take a public bus from the Larkin Bus Terminal in Johor Baru heading for either Pontian Kechil or Kukup... If you ended up in Pontian Kechil, just take a shared local taxi to Kukup at RM2.00 per person...
By Sea to Kukup
Ther are many visitors to Kukup from Singapore... espically on weekends and extended public holidays... There used to be a daily ferry service from Singapore (from the World Trade Centre ferry terminal) to Kukup, but due to poor demand, the ferry service now operates only on weekends... The ferry journey will take about 45 minutes for a return fare of about RM50...
There used to be regularly scheduled ferries connecting Kukup with Tanjung Balai (Sumatra) and Batam in Indonesia... However, due to por demand, these are also now irregular...
Parking in Kukup
The main road in Kukup is a dead-end road leading to the newly constructed ferry terminal... This road is narrow with side parking on the left while on the right are shop stalls and restaurants by built into the sea... Driving on this road is a hassle as you have to bear with selfish drivers and pedestrians traffic who patronise the many restaurant and shops on both sides of the narrow road... At the end of the road, it would be difficult to turn around your car and get out of the area... I have to borrow the car park of Restoran High King to do so...
However, all is not lost if you drive... You can park further away and must be prepared to walk... If you are not, then you will have to patronise restaurants along the road with parking "facilities"... One such restaurant is Restoran High King, which provides parking in front of the restaurant... But parking in restaurants is limited and generally not available during "peak periods" ie during weekends...
You can have free parking in the rather spacious bus terminal carpark or besides the new yet-to-be-opened shophouse opposite the bus terminal... It is a short walk then to the Kukup town centre...If you don't want to walk or have to park your car for an extended period of time (or overnight), then you can park in the long term secured car park, slightly further away from the town centre... One such facility is JJ Parking... JJ vans will then take you to the town centre (and vv) free of charge...
By Road to Tanjung Piai
To go to Tanjung Piai, you will have to turn left on highway 95 about 2km before reaching Kukup from Pontian Kechil... This 8km road leads to Kampung Serkat... Just before the town's mosque, turn right into a very narrow road with many port-holes... You have to be very careful to drive along this road as it is so narrow that it would be difficult for 2 cars to pass each other...
Towards the end of the road, there is a fork road... These are the 2 entrances to the Tanjung Piai Johor National Park... By going straight, the main entrance (Masuk Utama 1) at Sungai Belukang leads to the Tanjung Piai Resort... Crossing a small stream will lead you to a small garden and the beach as well as the jetty to the Resort... The Ramsar Award Plaque is also planted on this small garden by the sea...
By turning left will be the Desa Sri Piai entrance (Laluan 2) to the Park... This road leads to the Tanjung Piai Visitors Complex which is connected to the walkway thru the mangrove swamp... It is here that you will be able to stand on the southern-most tip of mainland Asia...
You can walk or trek all the way by the sea from the Resort to the Visitors Complex... The trekking track is about 1.8km long..
Parking is free at Tanjung Piai Resort carpark and RM2 at the Tanjung Piai Visitors Complex...
Usually if you are taking the package, they will provide a speed boat to bring you for a short tour. And there are ferries that u can take from here to Batam,Indonesia. Just bring along your International passport.
Riding The Waves
When you're in Kukup, making a trip to the floating fish farm is strongly encouraged. How can you be gorging on th seafood without paying homage to the source of it? There's a separate charge from the boatride if you choose to do a stop-over at the fish farm, but I say it was all well worth it. It was a wonderful experience, especially for a city slicker like myself.
Parking Your Car
The road into Kukup is quite narrow and on a busy weekend, it would be hard to park your car. You can try your luck by parking your car further away from the seafood place. If you're there early, then you should be able to park just outside the restaurant.
But never park illegally, or you'll pay for more than your seafood meal, courtesy of their local traffic police.
Going to Kukup (1)
One way of going to Kukup is to take a coach from Singapore. It takes about 2 hours and normally goes through the 2nd causeway between Singapore and Malaysia.