Visit the Mersing Marine Park Centre if you wish to go to the various marine parks off Mersing coastline. Since Mersing is the hoping off point to the islands in the Seribuat Archipelago, the Centre is a good place to start if you want to find out more about Johor's islands before visiting them.
Located in the middle of Mersing town, the Centre acts as the administrative, management and information center for the 13 islands off the north-east coast of the State of Johor which is situated between 8 nautical miles and 35 nautical miles from Mersing that form the Mersing Marine Park.
The Centre is equiped with an exhibition hall, an audio-visual room and a lecture room besides the usual office space. It is manned by staff who can provide information and help for all visitors concerning the Mersing Marine Park. It is open from 8a.m. to 4.30p.m. (Mondays to Fridays) and 8a.m. to 12.3p.m. on Saturdays.
Mersing usually serves as a stop before reaching some islands. You will always see people gathering in the jetty area waiting to go to Pulau Tioman or Pulau Aur. The best thing to do here is shopping as you will have higher prices in the islands. If you are also good with bargaining, you may get some nice souvenirs at very low costs. There are many shops around jetty area. You can buy shirts, souvenirs and necessary supplies for your island trip.
You can spend time wandering leisurely around the streets in Mersing town or stroll along the coastline or just idles at the ‘Taman Rekriasi’ to enjoy the nice view of the ocean and mingle with the local if you like…Maybe you can get more information about Mersing or the nearby islands this way.
One of the best places to take a snapshot of Mersing Town is from the top of the hill at Masjid Jamek. It gives a beautiful and fantastic view of Mersing Town and the nearby islands.
N.B: Proper attire is required even when you are just entering the Mosque’s compound…No shorts Please!
Malay cakes or the local kuih are abundance in Mersing…Don’t forget to try them, they are not just cheap but also delicious.
Try the 'Satar' (similar to otak-otak but not spicy) and 'Kropok Lekor' the local delicacies.
Kropok Lekor, Kropok Ghondeh or Kropok Batang are all the same except for their name…Try them with the Chilli Sauce , they are delicious when eaten hot.
Approximately 15km north of Mersing town on the way to Air Papan lies a quiet beach called Teluk Buih or Bubble Bay. Fishing Bay Resort is the sole resort in Teluk Buih. 70% of the customer for this resort are Singaporean.
Approximately 15 to 16km from Mersing town lies Air Papan beach. There are abundance of chalets around Air Papan. Guest could also choose to participate in the village's homestay programme.
A festival filled with fun, food and games called "Pesta Air Papan" celebrated every 1st May each year always draw a huge visitors to the beach.
Just look at the wave, its rapid and tidal. This beach is marine area, but when we reach to the area, there is no one around. This beach area has been look after by the marine army for any cases like, illegal immigrant make a land from the boat at the area. This area are very quite, it only surrounded by forest and palm oil plantations, this is not the area for people passing by quite often.
The journey to the beach area are very adventure, we have to been through the forest, and palm oil plantations. To get there, it takes us for about 15 mins from my aunty house to the beach area by a motorbike. The roads are unusual road, very adventure, lots of puddle and we also have to climb the hills before we can see the beach.
Once we get there, we just amaze by the beach, the beach area are very clean, no rubbish can be seen, the only thing that make mess around it, is the dry leave from the tree. Good for have jogging around the beach, to relaxing, picnic and it very peaceful. No body is around, it only you and people u know are around it.
Eventhough Mersing has changed a lot from its humble beginning as a fishermen settlement, the town is still relatively a small town.
Bulatan Abu Bakar with its decorative arc that resemble a fish welcomes visitors to the Mersing town as it is located at the town's entry point. Further down the road, rows of shophousese (mostly build in the 1970's and 1980's) forms the main part of the town. Apart from the shophouses, the town is well equipt with other public amenities such as a police station, hospital, schools and an esplanade at its water front. The town is no doubt well serviced by numerous public amenities and well linked to the other parts of the country.
You can take a leisurely walk around the town for about an hour to discover some of the town's interesting spots.
Visit the scenic Mersing harbour where the jetty is located.
The jetty will normally comes alive early in the morning and late afternoon - when travellers flock the area en route to the various islands as well as when the local fishermen were in actions, with the many fishing boats docking in to haul their catch for the day.
The rustic view on the riverbanks where most of the fishermen live amidst the thriving activities at jetty are interesting contrast to witness. The slow pace of village life is very much intact here, fusing well into the recent economic developments and yet retaining a few quiet, tranquil places to stay.
This island is closest to Mersing. I don't have any contacts for this but the tour agent at hotel embassey ( mersing) arranges for trips there and other island hopping tours.
See Bpacker's Mersing Hotel page
You can also wander around Mersing town (only a couple of streets, won't take u long and u won't get lost) before your ferry boarding time and run last minute errands before u go on your holiday... use the bank amenities (most local banks represented with international ATM facilities e.g. Maybank, BCB, AmBank etc.), buy really cheap throwaway clothes/shoes or stationery etc, batteries for your gadgets, buy local snacks like banana fritters (goreng pisang lah) from roadside stalls, go to nearby bars for a drink... or have a slap up seafood feast!!! (see restaurant tips) I highly recommend spending a couple hours on the last option... nyummy!!
Park your car if you've driven from other cities to Mersing across the jetty terminal building.. rates differ but are usually RM5 - RM10 a day. Negotiate for discount like a half day rate or something. They can be quite accomodating. Once however, all the public parking spots were full, even across the field at a school of some kind, so I just parked my car at the council parking lot a little bit further down the road... free, but seemed safe enough. Nowt happened to my car when I came back from a 3 day 2 night trip from Tioman Island... so I was quite pleased with that. You may also want to consider whether it's a public holiday weekend or a working day when you get back to avoid unnecessary parking charges.
U may also want to think of taking a (cold water only) shower (RM1.00) at the public toilets to freshen up. Especially useful if you're going to be on a liveaboard or cruise ship that u don't know the conditions about or a lil wooden hut on some island and want to feel human after a long 6 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. Also useful on the way back from said boat or island.
Wander around the jetty terminal building though there's not much but a bunch of small travel agents and ticket offices and hawker stalls selling malay food - general rice and dishes type fare or the usual noodles etc..