Air Papan is a seaside village in the state of Johor, just 15km north of the Mersing district. The beach is a popular weekend getaway for many families due to the proximity and accessibility from the Johor Bahru city and towns. It is a common sight to see colorful picnic mats being laid out and children frolicking around the shore in the evening.

Pantai Air Papan at Mersing, Johor

Kampung Air Papan

Located in the district of Mersing in Johor, the sleepy and quiet Air Papan village has a beach spanning across 3 kilometers. The hilly area is blessed with a diversity of trees and plants. As you exit the main road to enter the village, you can see several golden paddy fields along the way. Here, many egrets forage for food in the swamps, preying on smaller preys such as fishes and frogs.

Air Papan is still relatively undeveloped. Besides a mosque and several beachside properties, there isn't a lot to see or experience here. The village is located between Kampung Tenglu Besar and Kampung Tenglu Laut in Mukim. There is also a narrow road on the beach connecting it to Kampung Tenglu Laut.

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Pantai Air Papan at Mersing, Johor
air papan johor
You can see paddy fields on the way to Air Papan
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The journey to Pantai Air Papan at Mersing, Johor

History of Air Papan

According to the locals, the village of Air Papan received its name from the past, when the villagers obtained their daily supply of water near a sawmill on the hillside. A piece of wooden board was placed near the water source as a foundation. In the Malay language, Air Papan literally means 'water' and 'board'.

Top Attraction in Air Papan

The most popular attraction in Kampung Air Papan is the Air Papan Beach. It overlooks the South China Sea and is frequently visited by local tourists for a relaxing and fun-filled weekend. Besides that, there is also an event held annually here, known as the Pesta Air Papan or the Air Papan Festival. It is a celebration featuring traditional cultural performances, games to be played by adults and children alike, as well as delicious local street food to be enjoyed by all! The festival is organised on May 1st each year.

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Pantai Air Papan at Mersing, Johor

Pantai Air Papan Resorts, Homestays & Hotels

Those looking to spend the night can choose from several resort hotels and homestays here. Pricier options come with comfort and convenience with facilities such as swimming pools, bicycle rentals and snorkeling tours. You can also opt for air-conditioned beach chalets that gives you easy access to the beach.

Restaurants at Pantai Air Papan

You can find a few Malay stalls selling a small selection of affordable local fares at Air Papan, such as Lontong Johor and chicken rice. Fresh coconut water and fresh fruirs are also sold here!

Fresh coconut water
Lontong Johor sold at a food stall at Air Papan

Is Air Papan Worth Visiting?

Pantai Air Papan is not exactly somewhere anyone would specifically make a trip to (murky water, congested. Since it is a Muslim-populated area, lounging in your bikinis is very disrespectful and inappropriate. This destination is only worth stopping by if you happen to be traveling through Mersing. For a better holiday experience, hop onto a ferry to Pulau Tioman instead!

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Pantai Air Papan Mersing, Johor
Pantai Air Papan
Air Papan beach

How to Get to Air Papan

Express buses to Mersing are available from every state in Malaysia. Once you have arrived in Mersing, you can find buses traveling between Pasar Komuniti Mersing and Dataran Air Papan every 4 hours. The journey takes approximately 28 minutes.

If you are traveling by car from Kuala Lumpur, take the Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (E2) and head south. The 350-kilometer journey takes approximately 4 hours.

Happy exploring!
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