|Pulau Besar, July 2012|
|Pulau Besar near Melaka is actually quite small and I had never heard about it.|
By coincidence two of my friends mentioned it separately last week, so I got curious and we decided to visit this island and stay overnight.
An Internet search, the night before departure, gave lots of information.
It is a holy place for Muslims, especially Indian Muslims who go there for a pilgrimage. There are several tombs of Muslim holy men, the most important of which is the tomb of Sultan-al Ariffin Syeikh Syed Ismail, who came from Baghdad to Pulau Besar in 1495 and according to legend could walk over the sea to and fro Melaka.
It is also an island where many ghosts and spirits live, which could be one reason that almost all projects to develop the island have failed.
Before you travel to the island you should not eat pork!
That piece of information came too late for us, we just had finished our dinner with pork.
Maybe that was the reason that dark clouds were gathering over Pulau Besar when we embarked from the Anjung Batu jetty, 10 km south of Melaka.
It even was raining when we arrived! But after this warning it became sunny.
We found accommodation in the D'Puteri Resort, an overpriced basic chalet for RM 110. On this weekday we were about the only visitors, at the reception they told us that during weekends it is crowded. Not easy to find food, the choice was limited to nasi goreng and mee goreng.
After our lunch we started walking, first visiting the tombs near the mosque. Actually you can walk around the island in a couple of hours, using trails that belonged to a now derelict golf course. We found more tombs and other places of worship. The western side of the island is beautiful, with unspoilt beaches.
We passed the humungous Marina resort, another failed project. It is said that it is now the location of a large spirit village, so the prospects for future development are bleak..:-)
There is supposed to be a small freshwater lake near the resort, but we were unable to find it.
End of the afternoon we came back in our chalet, and after some rest we went out for dinner (same choice between mee and nasi).
Heavy rain at night and lots of mosquitoes, but no ghostly appearances.
The next morning we took an early ferry back to the mainland and, starving for real food, went to Pin Pin Hiong in Melaka for pork(!) and oyster noodles. Worth a visit!
To finish our trip in style, we next went to Kg Tg Keling where the tomb of Hang Tua is located. In nearby coffee shop Kopi Tiam Hoe we had an early lunch. After that back home.
Conclusion: Pulau Besar is a nice destination for a day trip, but don't stay overnight.
Oh, here is a link for the spiritually inclined reader.