At 7.30AM no one was at the pool, so I had a peaceful swim.
We had managed to book the last available room at the Equatorial, it being a holiday weekend, so unsurprisingly the breakfast buffet was very busy, but the food was OK.
The WiFi at the hotel was very slow. Possibly because of the high occupancy. So I used my own WiFi router I had brought with me for just this case.
We started off late, about 11.30AM, after a relaxing morning, as today’s drive should be reasonably easy and not so long.
Driving out of Malacca took a long time – about 30 minutes – as the motorway is a long distance from Malacca, and there are more than 10 red traffic lights on the way – yes, we had to stop at every one . At the E2 motorway we turned south towards Johor and once on the motorway traffic was light.
Ugh – a spot of rain. But the weather held with only some slight sprinkling occasionally so we made rapid progress. It was 116KM to Junction 244, where we turned off onto Route 50. We stopped off at an organic farm we spotted on the left side of the road, and had a coffee. There are tours, and being a weekend there were quite a few people, without being crowded. We skipped the tour as we were keen to get to the east coast, and from now we hadn’t booked any accommodation for reasons of flexibility, so we want to be looking for hotels mid-afternoon.
From the E2 Motorway it is a little over 100KM to the Route 3 junction near the east coast, along a road that continues through low hills and winds a little. The towns along the way had all red traffic lights as well, but as we got further east there were fewer towns. So at first it was slow going, but once there were fewer towns it was faster.
Waiting at yet another red light.
It was mostly fairly easy driving with light traffic once through the towns. Mostly we were passing through palm oil plantations.
There are many nice animal signs, but we didn’t see any animals.
Once we reached Route 3 we turned north, and it was about 20KM to Mersing.
We reached Mersing about 3.20PM, having left the hotel in the centre of Malacca around 11.30AM. That was a relaxed drive with a stop for coffee, so a little over three hours actual driving.
Mersing is a jump off point for some islands, but we didn’t have time to visit them. We wanted to stay at a beach, so we headed north just a little.
Around 10 minutes slow driving north of Mersing we found plenty of basic accommodation on Papum Beach. Basic, but not particularly cheap. RM165 for one night.
We didn’t feel like searching much, and it was a nice beach, so we settled on this accommodation. The people were very friendly.
They had free WiFi – but to get it you needed to sit outside the office at a table – which was just fine. I could then get quite a good speed. My Yes WiFi router picked up no signal, so the hotel WiFi was useful.
Nearby there was basic Malay food, but we headed back to Mersing to find a bigger choice for dinner. We found a Chinese restaurant, and we could park in front. There were numbered, marked parking places, so we were now wary, but the parking restriction hours were over by this time according to the restaurant.
Dinner was very good.
Then it was a short drive back to the hotel for an early night.
IF WE HAD MORE TIME
Obviously it would be nice to go out to the islands. It would also be nice to explore the coast south to Singapore from Mersing. There are also some waterfalls inland to swim at, some zoos and agricultural parks to visit. See the aforementioned Virtual Tourist.