Tanjung Piai, a cape tucked away in a corner of Pontian, Johor is known as Peninsular Malaysia’s southern-most point. However, it is also actually the southern-most point of mainland Eurasia (Europe and Asia combined). Singapore can be seen just across the water and your phone line might suddenly switch to an Indonesian network; it’s that close!
The beauty of Tanjung Piai is its mangrove forests. While heavy container ship traffic in the Melaka Straits has had an impact, this is merely an illustration of how important it is that we preserve our coastal mangroves to protect our shores. Without the mangroves of Tanjung Piai, the adjacent beaches could have completely eroded into the sea.
Tanjung Piai National Park is a gazetted Ramsar site, meaning that it is an internationally recognised wetlands area of great importance. An impressive network of boardwalks allows you to wander right up to the water’s edge to watch the ships pass by. There is also a bird-watching tower that provides a glimpse into life in the canopy – and a chance to spot the odd heron or stork, and perhaps a monkey or two. Tanjung Piai is an important stopover for migratory birds and is known to host the Lesser Adjutant Stork, a vulnerable species that is hard to find elsewhere.
The National Park has an information centre and trained guides who can answer your questions on the mangrove habitats; a great place for a school trip or a family weekend outing.