BATU BATU, meaning "rocks" in the local malay language, is a rustic private island resort set amongst coconut groves, rocky outcrops and fine sand beaches on the tropical, uninhabited island of Pulau Tengah, Malaysia in the South China Sea. This simple resort is built from a variety of hard woods in the style of a Malay “kampung” or village. The resort’s buildings were constructed by local carpenters using traditional techniques in the Malay vernacular style. BATU BATU consists of 20 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom villas set into the island’s wild and natural environment.
BATU BATU welcomes families with children. Whilst on Pulau Tengah, adults and children alike can enjoy the island’s eight white sandy beaches, snorkel or dive amongst its colourful coral reefs and kayak or walk around its 3km perimeter. The open-sided pavilion restaurant and bar has 270-degree views across the sea and serves delicious European and Asian dishes. Guests can choose to relax with a cold drink at the Beach Bar, soak in the sea, play on the large white sand beaches or embark on an adventure through the island’s dense forest.
BATU BATU is committed to the preservation, proliferation and protection of the flora and fauna in and around Tengah Island. We aim to tread lightly, source sustainably, behave responsibly and support local business wherever possible. To this end Batu Batu has set-up and run several conservation initiatives including our island-based Turtle Watch Camp.
Pulau Tengah or Tengah Island lies nine nautical miles or 15 kilometres off the east coast of peninsula Malaysia in the South China Sea. The island is accessible by Batu Batu’s private speedboat from the coastal town of Mersing, approximately 130km by road from Singapore.
The journey time from Mersing to Pulau Tengah by speedboat is 20-30 minutes in good weather. We have one or two scheduled return speed boat journeys each day (dependent on occupancy and tides). Additional chartered boat transfers can be scheduled at an additional cost. Please see BOOK for information on scheduled and chartered boat transfer prices.
We can provide contacts for several taxi companies that run private taxi transfer services between Singapore / Kuala Lumpur and Mersing. From drop-off at the jetty in Mersing, you can then catch Batu Batu’s private speed boat to the island.
If you prefer to self-drive, there are several secure car parks in Mersing close to the boat jetty. Please view our FAQs for more information on getting to us. If you need further information or have any specific questions not covered, please contact us directly.
Pulau Tengah, meaning “middle island” in the local Malay language, is set in the protected Johor Marine Park off the east coast of Mersing, Johor, Malaysia— approximately 130km north of Singapore.
The uninhabited island boasts eight pristine powder white sand beaches, translucent waters and coral reefs just off shore as well as coconut groves and tropical forest at its interior.
Pulau Tengah has a rich and varied history. From 1975 to 1981, the island was home to over 100,000 Vietnamese “Boat People” when it was a United Nation’s Refugee Counsel Transit Camp for refuguees waiting to start their new lives in Europe, Australia and North America.
From 1998 to 2010, Pulau Tengah was used to film Expedition Robinson, a highly popular Swedish reality TV show which was the predecessor to the island castaway series Survivor. In 2012, Pulau Tengah and a handful of other islands in the Seribuat archipelago were used to film the French Survivor Series “Koh Lanta” and the Dutch, Belgian and Finnish Survivor series “Expedition Robinson”.
Batu Batu & The Environment
As the only development on Pulau Tengah, Batu Batu is responsible for and committed to preserving and enhancing the island’s natural habitat and its surroundings.
Pulau Tengah’s natural environment is extremely rich and we have recorded sightings of over 100 species of bird, 312 species of flora, Pacific Bottle-Nose Dolphins, Black-Tipped Reef Sharks, Green and Hawksbill Turtles, otters and Dugongs or sea cows. Green and Hawksbill turtles land on our beaches to lay their eggs.
The resort privately funds conservation projects to learn more about and then protect and enhance our island’s amazing natural environment. In late 2013, a visiting tropical botanist from Belgium conducted a six-week long botanical study of the island’s flora in conjunction with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) and has provided us with a comprehensive database of all the island’s flora and a comprehensive herbarium. Dr. Bruno Senterre’s consultancy report identified endangered or rare species on the island and it is now Batu Batu’s responsibility to monitor and maintain these going forward.
In 2014, our two dive instructors Adam and Carmen set-up Turtle Watch Camp at Batu Batu (TWC) run by marine biologists and staffed by paying volunteers to study, monitor and protect the critically endangered and endangered Hawksbill and Green Turtles found in our waters. This project has gone from strength to strength with over 6,000 hatchilngs successfully released from our TWC hatchery since inception. The project enjoys the support of Johor Marine Parks and Malaysia’s Department of Fisheries. Our team at TWC have also initiated a coral regeneration project using recycled glass bottles from the resort’s operation and are looking to focus research and monitoring effots on the health and variety of our surrounding coral reefs and marine life.
Whilst sustainable practices are not always easy to adopt as a new resort on a tiny, uninhabited island, within a culture where sustainability is often viewed as foreign and inefficient, Batu Batu is taking little steps towards being increasingly responsible in order to protect our amazing natural environment. As each day passes, we look to add more and more to this list.
These little steps include:
- Treating and recycling waste water – a specially designed and built sewage system where all sewage and grey water are treated and recycled for use as water for irrigation.
- Use of LED lighting throughout the majority of the resort to reduce energy use.
- Solar water heaters on all of our villas.
- Extensive use of FSC-certified recycled teak furniture throughout the resort.
- Salt water chlorination system in our (fresh water) swimming pool.
- Malin + Goetz toiletries provided in-room – paraben-free with a focus on using natural products and re-using and re-filling larger bottles to reduce plastic waste.
- Use of re-fillable glass bottles in villas for guests’ drinking water to reduce plastic waste.
- Initiation of a recycling programme for waste which is work-in-progress and consistently proves to be a challenge.
Sourcing from the local town of Mersing where possible and supporting this small but growing local economy.
Funding of research and studies of the island such as Dr. Bruno Senterre’s flora stucy in collaboration with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia and ornithological studies conducted during our opening years.
Funding and set-up of conservation project Turtle Watch Camp at Batu Batu.