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The Mystery of Pulau Besar

By Latitude34 @Lat34Travel
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The Mystery of Pulau Besar

Pulau Besar, a tiny ghost island, situated in Southern Malaysia, not far from Melaka, is one of the most mystical places we’ve ever been to. It is also one of the most unique and abandoned destinations in the world, which makes it a highlight to add to any bucket list.

What’s so particular about it?

Pulau Besar used to be a luxury resort for the lovers of tennis and horse riding. However, it didn’t last long: just three years after the opening of a five star hotel by the Italian investors, the Europeans had to leave this fabulous island.

They were forced to do so by the Malaysian government, which found it necessary to satisfy the request of the Hindu and Muslim communities considering Pulau Besar to be a holy land. In fact the island is in the truest sense of the word covered with the remains of Muslim and Hindu prophets.  Gods used to walk under the shade of its palm trees, and all wells hide unbelievable treasures.

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Of course, we rushed to check these legends. At first, we were deeply disappointed: the whole island is covered with trash left by pilgrims, here and there one can see the ruins of the abandoned hotel, and, to crown it all, the burial site of the prophets are marked by unattractive bushes instead of majestic temples.

However, the deeper we went into the jungle, the fewer and fewer people there were, and the more we were fascinated by tropical landscapes. Deserted beaches, ghost streets of hotel town, abandoned houses and overgrown golf course created a thriller mystical atmosphere.

Later we learned that our walks had a chance of being very similar to the movie with a tragic end. It is forbidden to walk in a fenced area of the island (which we did), and the guard has the right to shoot without warning. By the way, the guard didn’t say anything, just was very surprised to see us.

How to get there?

In order to get to Pulau Besar you have to take any bus from Malacca bus terminal which goes to Merlimau / Muar. Just ask the driver to stop at Anjung Batu. The bus costs RM10.00 ($3). Then walk for five minutes along the road, which starts just behind the bus stop (on your right). It will lead you to the jetty point. Ferries leave the jetty every 45 minutes. The journey to and fro costs RM14.00 ($4.27) for adults and RM7.00 ($2.13) for children below 12 years old.

IMG 0249 The Mystery of Pulau Besar

Where to stay?

You can stay either in Malacca in any hotel (highly recommended) or in the guesthouse on the island (dirty and expensive, bad option). There is also a possibility to sleep on the floor of the museum for the ridiculous price of RM100 ($30). Take into consideration, that despite the fact that there is a camping on the island, you are not allowed to stay there, unless you are a pilgrim.

What to eat?

There is a food court with the only food stall on the island. Even though it looks very dirty and is a little bit expansive, the food is OK, at least we were completely satisfied. We highly recommend taking a snack and a bottle of water with you, since your walk around the island might take a while.

Have you ever been to abandoned island? What other abandoned places do you know? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

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Illia and Nastia are passionate about each other, traveling around the world and sharing their experiences at, a blog where you can find plenty of budget travel tips as well as practical information about numerous destinations. They have already been to 33 countries on 4 continents and ain’t no stopping. Visit their website to learn more about traveling around the world or check their latest story about how to travel around Asia for just 2 Euro a day.

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