Mersing: A Destination, Not a Journey

 

Students at the Prophet's Birthday Celebration

Students at the Prophet’s Birthday Celebration

Mersing is looked upon by most foreigners only as the jumping off point to Tioman Island, a place to spend the night if you happen to miss the last ferry. After living here for a month, I really wanna take those Mat Salleh (Malaysia for gringos) aside and give them a talking to. Mersing is so much more than the journey, and deserves to be a destination in its own right.

Aside from beaches that rival the beauty of Tioman, Mersing affords the traveller something they can never experience in cosmopolitan, westernized KL and Tioman: a glimpse into the real Malaysia. A Malaysia where everyone goes to Friday market to see and be seen, where traditional dress is a point of pride, where religion and culture are complex and deeply intertwined. It is impossible to live in Mersing and not hear the call to prayer, not see the daily workings of Malay life.

And even better – it’s incredibly easy to be included in the experience. The small town atmosphere means complete strangers invite you to their weddings, fruit sellers and waiters tell you their complete life stories, and people make a real effort both to get to know you and for you to get to know them. This vibrant little city deserves to be a destination in it’s own right. So come to Mersing, we’d love to have you!

This Island is connected to  Mersing via a sand bridge at low tide. My Malaysian friends were disappointed I was seeing it on an "ugly" day.

This Island is connected to Mersing via a sand bridge at low tide. My Malaysian friends were disappointed I was seeing it on an “ugly” day.

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