How to Get to Mersing / Air Papan


Life has been very hectic for us, my wife and I, the last few months. So hectic was it that we just had to get away. But where to and when, we had exactly no idea.

Til one fine day, taking advantage of the public holiday that was the Yang Di Pertuan Agong’s Official Birthday (aka The King’s Birthday), we (my wife and I and two of our sons) just packed a few pieces of clothing, chucked them in the car and just drove off to Mersing.

Destination? To this place a friend of ours recommended, called Teluk Biru (or something like that, as our friend said), a place somewhere near Air Papan in Mersing, on the northeastern tip of Johor state. Funnily enough, this friend of ours is Singaporean. Doesn’t sound right, does it?

As per usual for unplanned trips like this, we took what we called a relaxing drive ie nice and steady, no rush. Easier said than done as apparently, many others (including Singaporeans) took the opportunity to go for ‘a relaxing drive – nice and steady, no rush’ as well. And no wonder. Such as it was, what with the elections over and done with, the mood to unwind and relax was thick and heavy in the air.


Mersing Town (@all rights reserved)


Even the weather conspired to get us all in the mood for a much needed break. The skies were clear and the weather was fine. Until that is when we got to Jemaluang when the skies just turned dark and before you could say ‘abacadabra’, it just poured and quite heavily too. The weather remained so until we reached Mersing when it again just turned for the better.

We got to Mersing in pretty good time (I was driving but of course! no rush remember!), and most importantly, in time for early lunch. Now, as everyone can tell you, the best part of an early lunch is that you get the best of all the dishes served for the day. And the best part of having early lunch in Mersing is that you get the best and freshest of the catch of the day from the open seas facing the town. Fresh prawns, fresh squids and what else have you. All fresh and all so inviting.


Air Papan / Tg Resang Signboard
Signboards for the first timers and the not-so-regulars (@ all rights reserved)


After having tucked in what was a simple but satisfying meal, we continued with our journey and made our way to Teluk Biru. From the basic of directions as given by our friend, we headed for Air Papan with an eye out for the next little, if not scant, piece of direction ie a little signboard that indicates the presence of a fishing resort.

We got sight of the signboard soon enough, Thank God, traffic was light. Otherwise, we’ll most likely get honked for driving that slow. And lo and behold, the place where we were headed for was not called Teluk Biru but rather, Teluk Buih instead.

(For those interested in linguistics, ‘biru’ means blue, ‘buih’ means bubbles and ‘teluk’ means ‘gulf’ or ‘cove’, depending on the size of the ‘teluk’.)


Teluk Buih
Enjoying a dip at Teluk Buih (@ all rights reserved)


Getting to the end of the narrow road leading to the resort and the beach itself didn’t take us long. Upon arriving at the location, we noticed that there were already a few cars parked by the small makeshift parking lot itself, which was located just beside the resort. At the resort itself, there was a group from a farmer’s association from Kahang, Johor, having their annual family day affair there during the weekend, whilst a couple of families had already made camp at one end of the beach the day before.

The beach itself is not that long, about 400 meters or so, not taking into account the row of rocks surrounding the cove. The water was blue (or is it blueish green), with gentle waves rolling in from the sea and it wasn’t long before my wife and our two sons took a dip in the inviting waters, as it were.


Rocks of Teluk Buih
Left hand side of the cove that is Teluk Buih (@ all rights reserved)


As for moi, I had always thought it impossible to be able to nap by the beach, what with the heat and all. But maybe it was because of the weariness or whatever excuse I can think off, but with the cool breeze and the lazy chair placed strategically under the shades, what I thought impossible for silly ole me became a new and welcomed experience.

Refreshed from the welcomed nap, we took a walk along the beach, from one end to the other. A sandy beach, it is and like I mentioned earlier, it is not that big a beach.

When the tide is low, you can even do a bit of trekking along one side of the beach. But if you do, you ought to watch out for the tides as you might get stuck there amongst the rocks for a few hours or so. Unless you fancy a swim back to the beach. No problem that, I should think.

Whilst on the right hand side of the beach, you can take your chances and cast a line into the waters and wait for a bite from a snapper or a garouper. High tide or low tide, night or day, these fishes will bite. So it has been told, and when they bite, the fishes here do really pull your line. I just hope they are not pulling your leg, or else they will be some mightily dissapointed people.


A Scene at Teluk Buih
View from the left hand side of the cove that is Teluk Buih (@ all rights reserved)


(Apparently, Teluk Buih is also sometimes referred to as Teluk Penggail or the Anglers’ Cove. Fancy that!)

We stayed for a few hours more at this little secluded cove called Teluk Buih. Being off the beaten track does have its advantages, as you can still enjoy the beautiful beach and its clear inviting waters, as what it is now. The resort itself is not that big, more like a camp rather anything else and its of the right size, considering the location. Good for a weekend getaway.


Teluk Buih - View of the Right Hand Side
View of the right hand side of Teluk Buih, with Mersing in the background. Some try their luck and fish at the rocks. (@all rights reserved)


But you can’t help wondering as to how long it will stay that way before big time commercialization comes knocking at its door. If it comes a knocking, lets hope the attraction of a clean, small, clear-water cove is retained for all to enjoy. After all, without the fine sandy beach and its clear blue waters, what is there for an attraction? Nicht wahr?

From here, we continued with our little adventure off the beaten track and made our way to Tanjung Resang. Tanjung Resang? Where and what is there, you might ask? More beaches, and fishing of a different style. So as they say, stay tuned.


Date : 24 June 2013