Far too many times I hear people gushing about the clear waters of popular islands like Pulau Perhentian or Pulau Redang but Pulau Dayang was completely new information for me. Let’s just say it was love at first sight the minute my friends showed me pictures of this glorious hidden gem. I immediately said: “Okay let’s do this!”
The next two days we found ourselves at Mersing Jetty at 6.30am after a long drive from KL, ready to embark on a 2-hour boat ride to Pulau Dayang. My friend had pre-arranged a speed boat service for just the 4 of us on the boat so after we docked in all our bags, wore life jackets for safety, it was time to enjoy the ride.
Our journey to Pulau Dayang
Except the ride wasn’t as smooth or enjoyable due to the choppy waters of the South China Sea in the early morning. I was anxious to reach dry land! But we made the best out of our journey by soaking in the breathtaking views as we passed by other islands along the way such as Pulau Rawa and Pulau Besar.
The journey to reach this paradise takes much longer compared to islands like Pulau Rawa because it is the furthest island from the mainland. Pulau Dayang is one of the four islands under the care of Johor’s Marine Park, including Pulau Aur, Lang and Pemanggil.
P.S. Planning a trip to Pulau Tinggi instead? Check out this article by our reader!
After what felt like forever, we arrived! It felt so good to be greeted by powdery white sands and crystal-clear blue water after that rough boat ride. There are no fancy hotels on Pulau Dayang, only kampung (village) style chalets by the Dayang Blues Resort which offers basic amenities (air conditioning can only be turned on at night).
Bu all of that didn’t matter because our we wanted to explore what the island had to offer. There are multiple activities to do at Pulau Dayang like scuba-diving, if you’re into that. Pulau Dayang is famous among divers as it offers many diving spots such as the Captain's Point, Dayang Tip, Rayners Rock, Telok Jawa and The Dayang Jetty.
But if diving isn’t your thing, snorkeling is another great alternative to explore marine life! Snorkeling at Pulau Dayang was an experience of a lifetime for me as I got to discover the wonderful underwater world. Tip: be cautious of your surroundings for jellyfish whereabouts! Unfortunately, a friend was mildly stung by a jellyfish – she had to endure the stinging pain for the next two weeks.
P.S. Planning a trip to Pulau Rawa? You have to check out Rawa Island Resort!
Besides that, my friends and I chartered a small boat to Pulau Aur, which is situated just across Pulau Dayang; it's a 5-minute boat ride. During my stay at Pulau Dayang, there were no restaurants available so if we wanted to eat, we had to cook (another tip: bring enough essentials to cook!). Otherwise, we would travel to Pulau Aur for every meal as the island has a local eatery. However, don’t expect to indulge in a lavish feast! Due to the distance of Pulau Aur from the mainland, I was told it takes longer for locals to transport fresh produce.
While on Pulau Aur, we decided to take a walk and appreciate the surroundings. Along the way, we found a small clinic for the locals. Other than that, there isn’t much on this island either. The locals live an incredibly simple life there but they seem genuinely happy, and that was nice to see.
We stayed at Pulau Dayang for 3D2N. On the second day, we spent most of our day with water activities and went for an adventure up the island’s towering rocky formation called Letak Semalu. This stretches almost throughout the length of Pulau Dayang.
The trail isn’t extremely difficult but there's a steep climb at one section of the hike. Do bring along hiking shoes to keep you comfortable! I’m not kidding when I say the rock is extremely steep to climb but fret not as there's a fixed rope you can hang on to.
Breathtaking view from Letak Semalu.
A cool 40 minutes after and just in time before sunset, we stood atop the rocky formation, enjoying a stunning panoramic view of the entire island of Pulau Aur, along with the channel of ocean that separates it from Pulau Dayang. It was incredibly beautiful and worth the hike! We could not think of a better way to mark the end of our adventure on this small but beautiful island.
On our last night, my friends and I sat on the beach, enjoyed a bowl of instant noodles and watched the waves crash against the shore. Early next morning, we bid goodbye to this paradise on earth and enjoyed a less choppy ride back to Mersing Jetty. Till we meet again, Pulau Dayang!
#HHWT Tip: If you're looking to book an accommodation with snorkeling packages, check out Sebukang Bay Resort in Pulau Aur. With their packages you can visit Pulau Dayang as well. Alternatively, you can contact Rumizi at +60197300815. As for the speedboat from Mersing Jetty to Pulau Dayang, you can contact Farid from FS Marina Trading at +60137456751.
P.S. Love beach getaways? Here are 12 breathtaking islands in Malaysia that even locals might not know about!