I was searching for a getaway during the Good Friday weekend and Rawa island came to my mind, but both resorts on the Rawa island are fully booked. I decided to search for alternatives and came to knew that there are quite a number of islands off the coast of Mersing: Pulau Sibu, Pulau Tinggi, Pulau Besar, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Tengah, Tioman, Pulau Aur, Pulau Pemanggil, Pulau Dayang
After doing some research, I decided on Pulau Besar which is 30 min boat ride from Mersing jetty and is suitable for 3D2N getaway.
There are currently 4 resorts on the island, namely Aseania Resort Pulau Besar, D'Coconut Resort, Mirage Island Resort and Bayu Lestari Island Resort. Aseania Resort has the best review among the 4 resorts and their 3D2N RM595 Fullboard package per pax includes:
Map of Pulau Besar (Source: http://www.myoutdoor.com/besar)
- 2 Nights stay at Country Chalet
- 2 Buffet Breakfast
- 2 Buffet Lunch
- 2 Buffet Dinner
- 2 Ways boat transfer (Mersing Jetty - Resort - Mersing Jetty)
The package does not include Taman Laut Sultan Iskandar Fee (Jetty Fee) of RM51 per adult and tourism fee of RM10 per room per night for foreigners. Activities such as snorkelling, jungle trekking, kayak, bicycle rental, pool table are chargeable. Upon confirmation of booking, 30% downpayment of the package is required and the mode accepted is either credit card or bank transfer. The remaining 70% has to be pay 21 days before check in which the resort will email to remind the guest.
There is only 1 boat schedule a day: 12.30pm from Mersing Jetty to Resort and 10.30am from Resort to Mersing Jetty. However the boat time may be re-schedule depending on the sea tide and the resort can only inform 2 - 3 days before check in. I received email from the resort at the beginning of April regarding the re-schedule of the ferry ride for the month of April and our ferry rides are not affected.
Next, I have sourced for transport to Mersing jetty. Bus companies KKKL, Transnasional and Starmart departs from Singapore various location to Mersing jetty. Bus companies S&S International, Causeway Link, Maraliner, Plusliner and Transnasional depart from Johor Larkin terminal to Mersing jetty or Mersing bus terminal which is 15min walk to the jetty. Initially, I planned to take Starmart bus which depart from Boon Lay shopping centre to Mersing but after reading reviews about their seats infested with bed bugs, I do not want to jeopardise the trip. I decided to book 5am KKKL bus which departs from Bugis via redbus as there is 20% cashback. For the return leg, I decided to take bus to Johor Larkin terminal and then take train back to SG as I do not want to stuck in the jam. I assigned this task to WB as I was not in SG to book the train ticket and he didnt managed to book it. I still decide to take bus back to Larkin as there's more bus timing to choose from and I booked the 12.30pm Transnasional bus back to Larkin.
Budget for this trip S$400:
- S$200 for accommodation
- S$70 for transport
- S$20 for marine fees and room tax
- S$50 for activities
- S$60 for miscellaneous