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  • Rick

A Different Getaway to Pontian & Kukup

Updated: Sep 22, 2020


Pontian Kechil  Sunset

Planning a weekend staycation or day trip in Johor Bahru? Instead of spending a day in shopping centres and cinema, followed by a night stay in a concrete forest, try something different — a more laid-back getaway in a peaceful town in Pontian.

Both Pontian Kechil and Kukup are in Pontian District (笨珍) of Johor, to the southern tip of West Malaysia. Geographically, Kukup (龟咯) is nearer to Singapore than Pontian Kechil but when travelling on the road, one will have to pass by or through Pontian Kechil before reaching Kukup. This is due to the presence of Pulai River and large areas of mangrove swamp that makes direct road link between Kukup and Singapore difficult.

Pontian Kechil is not a tourist destination and that makes it great for travellers who want to experience local lifestyle and culture away from all the touristy activities and crowds. On the other hand, Kukup Village is a rather well-known destination for 2-day trippers from Singapore and Malaysian locals from other states. Kukup usually sees more crowds on weekends.

For the above reasons, it is much more convenient to use Pontian Kechil as a base for exploring the southwestern corner of Johor. A short 2 to 3 days itinerary can be worked out easily for a short stay in Pontian Kechil, as the town itself is not very big. This arrangement is suitable for those who wants a slow-pace, easy get-out-of-the-city trip and prefer activities that are not beach-related (too much hypes about expensive beach resorts as the "best" getaway destinations — I never buy that!).

Now, let's see what are some of the things to do in Pontian Kechil. I have 7 of them. You can check the locations of mentioned places using the map provided at the end of this post.

1. Hunt for Local Food

Eating local food is a must when travelling overseas and when visiting local towns (not tourist towns). That applies to Pontian Kechil too. Most of the eating places here are cheaper than in Johor Bahru and still very traditional — they are prepared for locals, not tourists. There are quite a number of eating places around the small town centre if you do not want to venture too far. Just go on a food hunt!