Malaysia has many tropical islands with white sandy beaches and clear blue waters. Offshore, 67km east of Mersing, Pulau Aur, is such a tropical paradise.
The tropical waters of Malaysia offer some of the world's best scuba diving. This is a place endowed with some of the sport's best possibilities: you can dive with whale sharks, hover around immense coral gardens and walls, or dive on ominous and hulking shipwrecks.
The population is spread along the coastline in small kampongs of four to six buildings. There are no roads or vehicles. The main industries of the island are fishing and supporting the few dive resorts on the island. The island is surrounded by warm crystal clear seas teaming with life.
Together with Pulau Dayang, Pulau Lang, Pulau Pinang en Rayners Rock and Pulau Pemanggil which is 15km northwest of Pulau Aur, it belongs to the Johor Marine Park. Most of the rocky islands are well forested and have isolated coconut plantations. With deep, clear water, healthy corals and regular encounters with large pelagic species, these islands have the potential to become international diving locations
The main kampung on Aur is Kampung Teluk Berhala. Everyone seems to be related to each other.
There's a school, a police station, a small surau, a balai raya and a jetty there.
There's also the friendly Makcik Fatimah who owns the only grocery store in the village. It may be small but it is well-stocked. There's also the only public telephone on the island, solar powered and accepts only telephone cards. According to the locals the telephone is unreliable.
Further south is another cove called Teluk Sebukang. It's quite hard to reach by foot so a boat ride is advisable. Just go to the jetty and ask any available boatman his schedule. For a price, you can take a boat ride to the nearby island of Dayang or other villages on Pulau Aur.
Pulau Aur has always been a