Alritey folks! As promised, here’s sharing details on our awesome 4 day trip to Pulau Rawa! Well 5 days actually, if you count our travel day to Johor but will explain that further below.
Just a quick introduction, Pulau Rawa is a small coral island in Johor situated within the archipelago of the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park. To get there, you would need to take a 20-minute boat ride from Mersing. There are only 2 resorts on the island, Alang’s Rawa and Rawa Island Resort. We stayed at Rawa Island Resort.
Travelling to Mersing, Johor
As we had arranged with the resort for the 9am boat to Pulau Rawa, we didn’t feel like waking up in the wee hours of the morning to drive down to Mersing so we decided to put aside an entire day for Mersing. We stayed for a night at this place called the Hard Rock VIP Guest House. Extremely clean, big and spacious, which was more than enough space for the eight of us. They also have units that can fit up to 10 adults. Location was great as grocery stores, eateries and even a laundrette is merely a walk away. The jetty is barely a 5 minute drive from the guest house. Plenty of parking around here too.
Boat ride to Rawa Island Resort
The boat ride to the resort takes about 20 minutes. When you have completed your accommodation booking, the resort’s reservation personnel will email you the boat schedule and all you have to do is let them know your preferred time and number of people to book your boat ride.
You can park your car at the Rawa Island Resort reception area at jetty. It costs RM15 per day.
The boat your will be taking is a speedboat that fits about 15 pax or so (if I remember correctly).
Rawa Island Resort
And here, is where all your life’s troubles disappear. A paradise of powdery white sandy beach, crystal clear sea water, fish and live corals just five to 10 steps from shore and last but not least, the legendary spiral slide that just swooshes you into the sea! I’ll let my shared visuals do the talking on how breath-taking this island is.
Meanwhile, here are some important details that you might appreciate while planning your trip.
Rawa Island Resort offers full board package for their rooms. That means breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the room rates. Just go with this one. You’re on a tiny island. There’s no other venue to eat apart from their coffee house .
There are four types of rooms available. The most appealing one would be the Beachfront Chalets. These are facing the gorgeous view of the sea and your door opens right down to the fluffy sands of the island. They were fully booked when we did our bookings so we went with the Hillside Deluxe. Group travellers would be happy to know that the hillside deluxe has 2 bedrooms so you can fit up to 4 adults ie. 1 queen bed + 2 single beds.
The hillside deluxe isn’t far from the beachfront either. In fact, they’re pretty much located right behind the beach front chalets so it really is not that much further from the beach.
You can check out further details on their room rates here.
Their rooms are rather basic. There is no fridge nor kettle. So if you are a parent with a small child, and need hot water to make milk, I highly suggest you bring your own portable kettle. Alternatively, you can ask for a thermos from the bar and fill it up with hot water from the coffee house. The coffee house provides free flow of coffee and tea from morning to night. Two bottles of drinking water is provided daily. Oh, also no hairdryer in the bathroom.
Bring mosquito patches or roll on repellents. Hillside deluxe rooms are surrounded by lush greenery, so expect a few mosquitoes, not many, but those who are sensitive to mozzies would appreciate having a repellent handy.
All meals are at the coffee house, buffet style. If you want to order food by the beach, you can only do so after 5.30pm.
As my kids are constantly hungry, I packed along a bunch of our own snacks. I brought those little cereal boxes, biscuits, Maggi cups, chocolates, crisps and also 3in1 Milo sachets. So whenever they need a hot drink after a dip in the sea, I get some mugs and a thermos of hot water from the coffee house, bring it over to where we’re seated by the beach and mix them up some nice mugs of hot Milo. Bliss I tell ya!
Due to the fact that the island is part of a protected marine park, there’s no motorised sea sports such as jet skis or banana boat rides. But honestly you really don’t need that. Just bring along your snorkels, a bucket and a shovel for the kids to play sand and you’re all set. You can rent snorkels, life jackets and flippers from the resort. Kayaking is also available.
I’m not even kidding when I say that you don’t have to swim far in to have a variety of fish swimming around you. Just five steps from the shore and you can already see schools of fish happily minding their own business, swimming around like you’re part of their daily fishy lives. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the baby black tipped reef sharks and sting rays too! We were beyond thrilled to see them every day we were out there. And yes, even the sharks and sting rays were just there by the shore, just underneath the jetty. It was such an amazing experience, masya Allah.
The ultimate treat on the island has got to be the slides that goes into the sea. They have two! One is a smaller, tame looking but still a thrill. The other is super high up, spirals down and sends you torpedo-ing into the sea, haha!
Adults and kids alike love the slides, I swear you won’t get enough of it. Throughout our stay, I’ve lost track of how many times Chemps and Pomelo went down the slide. I tried it too!! Kiwi reserved his chances. He was too happy snorkelling and swimming along fish and baby sharks.
There is no swimming pool at the resort, but honestly you won’t even miss it. You can even spend all day doing jumps and flips from the the jetty.
Needless to say, we spent our entire days there at the beach, only going back to our rooms when it was absolutely necessary. We’d be in our swim clothes from the time we head out the door in the morning, bring along our towels and swimming stuff, put them on the beach chairs then head to the coffee house for breakfast. After that we’d slather on the sunscreen and off to the beach we go. We’d be there till 5.30pm then only head back to the room to get ready for a late afternoon stroll, followed by dinner. Snacks, naps and chill out sessions are all at the beach.
Apart from water activities, they also have a trampoline, a court where you can play volleyball and badminton, ping pong tables, foosball tables and pool tables.
Oh and if you miss watching TV or need to catch a football match or something (because there’s no TV in the rooms), there’s a big one next to the reception area.
Note: Don’t forget to bring minyak gamat or any other ointment you use in case kids accidentally get cuts or bruises. With kids, it happens.
If you want to max out your days at the island, I highly suggest you take the earliest boat ride. Trust me, you will not regret it.
You need to register at the jetty office an hour before your boat ride. Leave with them the bags that you want to check in. After you register, you can go to one of the eateries near the jetty while waiting for your boat ride.
Kids can already be in their swimwear, or just pack your swim gear and accessories in a separate bag from your other luggages. Keep this bag with you, don’t check it in at the jetty office along with your other luggages.
At the resort, room check in is at 3pm and if you’re lucky, your room might be ready. If not then just register at the reception, they will bring your bags to your room once it is ready.
Since you have all your swim stuff with you, just head on to the beach and enjoy!!
I hope the little details I shared above is helpful. More videos can be viewed on my IG highlights. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any other questions. Have a great holiday!