If it’s your own slice of paradise with powder-sugar sand and strikingly turquoise waters that you’re after then Pulau Rawa might just be the place for you. Offering far more than just your stereotypical tropical island paradise, Rawa also brings along with it the unparalleled welcome of the local island staff and an atmosphere of fun and family that is hard to rival on other Malaysian islands.
Located just off the East coast of Johor, Pulau Rawa is one of the smaller islands in the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park archipelago and can be easily reached from Mersing pier. It couldn’t be easier. The staff at each of the two hotels – Alang’s Rawa & Rawa Island Resort – on the island (yes, only two, it’s that small!) will pick you up from the jetty in resort speedboats, ready to whisk you off to uninterrupted relaxation. The boat can be a little choppy at certain times of the year, leading to a good head-to-toe soaking and a bouncing ride across the waves. This, however, only adds to the fun and sense of adventure. For all those non-seafaring types, fear not, they also have enclosed speed boats that will transport you to the island in blissful, bone-dry tranquility.
Before docking at the pier, you’re greeted with the view of the dazzling Rawa beach and inviting cool blue of the crystal clear waters. Rawa truly is a little gem and you can appreciate this as you approach. Being more quality than quantity, the island spans less than 1km across at its widest point. With no roads, no beach sellers, no nightclubs you’re left to enjoy the nature of the island as it was intended. Pristine sandy beach borders the west side of the island while rough jungle vegetation, clinging tightly to the steep hillsides, protrudes from the serene sands, covers the hilltops and eventually drops into the ocean on the eastern shore.
Stepping onto the jetty, you’ll be welcomed by the hotel team and your holiday begins immediately. Amble on to the beach, feel your toes melt into the sun-baked sand and watch as the stress of the city melts away. Rawa is an ideal place to lounge on the beach, catch up on that reading and slumber through the midday heat, but should there be any active types amongst you there are also activities on offer to keep you entertained. Snorkelling, kayaking and beach volleyball are all on the cards and there’s always the short hike to the top of the island offering spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding islands.
At night Rawa throws up yet another pleasant surprise. Tranquil by day, at night Alang’s Rawa can turn into a sociable and lively spot. As the resort is modest in size, there often develops a sense of companionship amongst its guest that can carry on to the wee hours. Always in great spirits, and with a collection of like-minded people, you can while away the hours with a ‘Rawa Special’ cocktail whilst meeting people from all over the world.
It’s no secret that Malaysia has an abundance of beautiful islands, all of which offer their own unique twist on the island paradise. But when it comes to raw, natural beauty Pulau Rawa is hard to beat. Still blissfully unspoilt & sensitively developed, the owners have ensured that nothing is taken away from the island’s natural offerings and, in doing so, have provided a small opening through which you and I are able to enjoy our own taste of paradise and discover some of the more hidden corners of this beautiful country.