Mersing is the capital of the Mersing District in Johor. While it is one of the only two major towns in the eastern-half of Johor, it is also extremely small and there is barely much to do here. Most of the people just pass by Mersing while traveling to several islands on the South China Sea like Tioman Island and Rawa Island. Although Johor Bahru has been rapidly developing over the time, Mersing still remains as a fishing village. However, like any other place in the world, Mersing has its own charisma to offer.
Mersing is situated in the southeast region of Malaysia on the eastern coast of the State of Johor, approximately 136 kilometers from the Johor Bahru City Center.
Best time to visit:
Since Mersing is mostly visited because of water activities like diving, the summer season would be the most preferable one mainly around May to July.
How to reach:
The best way to reach Mersing is via bus from Kuala Lumpur. Another way is to hire a cab or taxi, which takes around 4 to 5 hours to reach. One can also fly to Senai Airport in Johor Bahru and then travel to Mersing via road either by car, taxi or bus.
Places to explore:
Mersing might appear to be a sleepy town at first but once you get to know it, it just gets better. Visit the Mersing Marine Park Centre and get to know the area and its islands better. The town boasts of its large wildlife and underwater life. Grab a few essentials before going to any other island at the local shops in Mersing at relatively cheaper prices and enjoy beautiful sunsets at Mersing Jetty while grabbing special seafood.
One can also visit the famous Air Papan Beach and if lucky enough with the timing, even participate in the Pesta Air Papan Festival held every May 1ST.
Diving in Mersing:
Mersing provides a huge opportunity for divers. With its beautiful and colorful waterbody surrounding the town area, it is the go-to sport for the divers. If you’re a trained diver, you can go diving on your own. You can also hire a local area diving instructor out of many available and make the most out of your diving experience with the right equipment and diving area. The narrow channel in the city is the ideal diving spot. On Saturdays, the locals host a barbeque ranging from lambs to crabs.
The diving package ranges from RM 100 to 500 per person, each offering different facilities. There are several other diving spots in the Mersing District.
The town is mainly visited while passing by or a basic day trip itself. If you still plan to stay here, here are a few options for decent accommodation facilities:
- Sea Gypsy Village Resort
- Hotel Timotel
- Hotel Havanita
- Riverside Hotel
- Hotel Seri Malaysia
There are several other decent options you can search for, online too.One can also stay at the homestays or chalets at the Air Papan Beach for budget services.
Where and what to eat:
Mersing comes with limited but decent options for dining and fun. Here are a few noteworthy ones:
- Loke Tien Yuen Restaurant
- Port Café & Bistro
- Restoran Al-Arif
- Xiang Guo Bakery & Cake House
Other options might also include the Mersing Harbor Centre and Seafood Stalls consisting of Hawkers and Street Foods respectively.
Things to keep in mind:
- There are several ATMs available in town and you can withdraw money from here before leaving for the islands too.
- The local Malaysian SIM is used in Mersing for communication purposes.