The lively coastal town of Mersing is a launchpad for ferries to Pulau Tioman, a postcard-perfect island famous for stunning beaches and fascinating dive sites. An excellent selection of shops, bars, restaurants and accommodation options make Mersing a great place to relax and get organised before heading to the islands.
Things to do in Mersing
Mersing caters to travellers with friendly and affordable restaurants serving delicious Malaysian cuisine. Save your appetite for local specialties such as nasi lemak topped with spicy “sambal” chili sauce, colourful curries served on banana leaves and spicy bowls of seafood laksa.
Hindu Sri Subramaniam Temple soars over the town centre and welcomes visitors with an ornate, rainbow-coloured façade. Perched on a hilltop just outside the town centre is Masjid Jamek Bandar, a beautiful blue-and-white mosque that commands sweeping views over the town and the South China Sea.
Stroll down to the Mersing River to watch local fisherman hauling in their catches from colourful wooden boats. The riverfront is dotted with street food stalls serving satay skewers, flaky “roti canai” flatbread and sticky rice flour pancakes.
To the north is Air Papan, a picturesque village fringed by a long sandy beach. The beach is peppered with laid-back resorts where you can sip coconuts in the sunshine and cool off in the South China Sea. Trails wind through Gunung Arong Recreational Forest and lead to cascading waterfalls and crystalline streams.
Most travellers use Mersing as a base for catching ferries to offshore islands such as Pulau Tioman and Pulau Rawa. Both enchant visitors with their palm-fringed beaches, turquoise bays and water so clear you’ll spot tropical fish swimming in the shallows.
Getting around Mersing
Mersing is compact and easy to get around on foot. Tuk-tuks zip around town and are a fast way to get from A to B, while scooter rentals offer the freedom to explore at your own pace. Ferries depart from the jetty.