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  PULAU KUKUP ISLAND
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JOHOR - SOUTHERN REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA

PLACES OF INTEREST : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS

Pulau Kukup Island - General Info

 
 

PULAU KUKUP ISLAND

RAMSAR SITE

JOHOR NATIONAL PARK

 

Pulau Kukup is one of the largest uninhabited mangrove islands in the world and the only one in Johor waters. Ever wondered why?

 

In olden time. Pulau kukup used to be a beacon for the many traders and seafarers who made their way through the Malacca Strait - and a notorious hideout for the vicious prates who plagued them. Now, centuries lates this Mangrove island is enjoying a renewed status - as an ecological treasure trove. An old Malay legend has it that island was once the abode of five celestial princesses.  Their peaceful existence was shattered one day when one of them fell in love with a sailor, and against all advice, eloped. A dreadful curse befell the place, and the island was engulfed by the sea. It later re-emerged. However, unlike every other island around Johor, this one was totally covered in mangroves. From time to time, people have tried to settle on the island, but without success. Some say it is because the island is the gateway to the spirit world.  Whatever the case may be, the island remains uninhabited to this day.

 

Pulau Kukup measures approximately 647ha, and is surrounded by some 800ha of mudflats. It lies a stone?s throw away from the 150 year-old fishing village of Kukup in Pontian, in an area steeped in history. An important regional trading post at the turn of the century, Kukup is synonymous with tales of vanquished pirates, enterprising early pioneers, an abrupt decline in fortunes that very nearly reduced the place to a ghost town, and its subsequent revival as a modern-day tourist-hub. The island shelters an extraordinary array of wetland-associated plant and animal life. And this is where the patient eye and a quiet mind are key. Concealed by the dense foliage, the residential birds would rather be heard than seen, their timeless call echoing through the woods. The abundant vegetation is a magnet for many kinds of creatures, from the playful mudskipper and the industrious crab, to the wild boar and her litter. If you are icky enough to be at the right place at the right time, you never know what miraculous encounter may unfold. The scenery can be quiet lovely too. The six-storey airy offers visitors a bird?s eye view of the island, and from the park?s popular suspension bridge, one can appreciate the rustic beauty of Kukup on the mainland.

 

Pulau Kukup?s status as a remote hinterland changed in the 1990?s, when scientists began focusing on the island?s rich biodiversity and unique ecological characteristics. In the interest of preserving this unique habitat Pulau Kukup was gazetted a national park in March 1997. In January 2003, this special island was granted the status of a ?Wetland Of International Importance? or RAMSAR Site, by the Geneva-based Ramsar Convention Bureau. The Johor National Parks Corporation is the proud guardian of this extraordinary legacy.

 

It a world of contrasts.  It's a different thing altogether.

 
 

OUTSIDE THE PARK

Kukup encompasses three villages - Kukup Laut, Air Masin and Kampung Melayu.

 

Kukup is essentially a fishing community that is famous for its seafood restaurants and cage cultured fish farms.  There is also a ferry terminal and immigration checkpoint, where one can book a passage to Batam Island and Tanjung Balai (Karimun Island), both in Indonesia. The people of Kukup are renowned for their enterprise and cohesiveness.  The village used to be made up of wooden houses built on bakau stilts, but with prosperity and modernization, these have since given way to brick-and mortar dwellings. Some claim that this transition has caused Kukup to lose some of its rustic quality. Nonetheless, a walk through the village is an eye-opening experience and offers a unique glimpse into life in a traditional fishing community - a way of life that is fast fading into memory. Ask around if you wish to stay the night at a chalet-on-the-sea. Kukup is also the ideal place to buy all manner of dried fish and squid, ?keropok? (crackers) and other marine-based food products and condiments such as ?belacan?, ?cencaluk? and ?agar-agar?.

 
 
TRAVEL TIPS
  • Dress in light comfortable clothing and walking shoes or non-stop footwear. Be prepared to climb into and alight from a boat.

  • Bring along binoculars, camera, drinking water, insect repellent (optional), notebook and pen (to record your observations).

  • Please do not litter. Kindly take your rubbish back with you.

  • Remindful of you belongings

 

 

A visit to Pulau Kukup begins at the Visitor Information Centre, located opposite the bus station in Pekan Kukup.  The centre provides information about Pulau Kukup and nearby Tanjung Piai Johor National Park, and displays artifacts and photographs depicting Kukup?s rich social history. The staging point to the island is at Kukup Jetty, or the jetty at the nearby High King Restaurant.  This is a five-minute walk from the Visitor Information centre. From here, a short boat ride fee is between RM3 to RM5 for a two-way ride.

 
 
GETTING THERE
 

 

Pulau Kukup National Park is about 90km from Johor Bahru city centre. To get there, travel along the Johor Bahru- Pontian trunk road and The jetty to the Park is located at Kukup Laut fishing town, which is 24km from Pontian Kechil township.

 
 
From Kuala Lumpur / North
 

Take the North-South Highway and exit at the Simpang Renggam toll (after Machap)Then take the left turn and head for Pontian / Benut.  Thereafter, follow the signboards to Kukup.

 
 
 
From Johor Bahru
 

Take the Jalan Skudai Highway and head for Pontian / Pontian Kechil.  Thereafter follow the signage for Kukup.

 
 
 
Public Transport
 

A regular taxi service is available between Pontian bus station in the town centre, to Kukup.  The fare is generally RM5 per person one way for a shared cab.

 
 
 
USEFUL CONTACT
 

PULAU KUKUP JOHOR NATIONAL PARK

Lot 1319, Mukim Air Masin,
82300 Kukup, Pontian, Johor, Malaysia.

Tel 607-696 9355
Fax 607-96 9366

 
 
 
 

PLACES OF INTEREST : NATURE & NATIONAL PARKS

Pulau Kukup Island - General Info

JOHOR - SOUTHERN REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA