The Entrance to the Park.
Last December 2009, a group of us visited Tanjung Piai, Pontian in south Johore, one of the Malaysia's wetlands which was gazetted as Ramsar Site. Tanjung Piai is located at the southern most tip of Asian continent. If you look further, perhaps with the aid of powerful binocular, you can see Pulau Karimun, Indonesia. Ramsar Site is concerned about the wetland that need or worth preserving. Ramsar Convention is the one who decide whether a wetland can be gazetted as Ramsar Site or otherwise.
The footpath leading to the office.
The journey to this site by bus from Johor Bahru (Malaysia) took one hour. We started our journey at 12.00 noon and had our lunch at Golf Resort near Pontian. Before we started our journey, we already made an arrangement with the Johore Park Authority and they are willing to brief us and show us around.
Once on the site, I found the area is quite large and bordered by the Straits of Malacca on the southern part. This area has large collection of mangrove trees.
Our group was listening to the briefing.
On arrival, we were greeted by the park manager. Sharped at 3.00pm, we were briefed by the officer of the Park on the management of the park, the role and function of this wetland, the issues and the hope. Some mangrove trees suffered due to coastal erosion. The park manager told us a lot of effort were being made to clean the park from litters, empty bottles or woods that came with the tide, but the next day these litters come again. So, more cost are needed to tackle this aspect.
The mangrove during the low tide.
Walking along the path, looking how the authority conserve and preserve the mangroves.It is rich in biodiversity.It has wildlife among others are lizards, snakes, various species of birds and monkeys. The manager asked us to be careful of monkeys and snakes.
The briefing ended at 4.00pm after a question and answer session. We gave a token of appreciation the park manager, a lady from Sabah (Borneo). We were later taken for a short tour of the area, walking along wooden footpath on stilts.
The path has directional signs well placed.
This picture was taken from the south (the sea) looking at the mangrove.
Group picture at the platform. This platform is erected in the sea and connected by a short bridge to the mangrove area. I found, the power of the wave here was strong. Even the platform pillars beneath were slowly eroded. I wonder, how long this platform can sustain.
This picture shows how devastating the wave can be.
This is not a submarine. It is a long tube "sand bag" that acts to slow down the waves from attacking the shore.
The direction signs of world cities. We were 1617 km from Bangkok. You can see the ship sails at one of the busiest straits in the world (Straits of Malacca).
I felt very sorry to learn the impacts of wave erosion to this Tanjung Piai Ramsar Site. I hope, some day, this can be reduced through various means and effort and of course more money has to be spent. Perhaps the world body on Ramsar Site can address this problem.
We left this place at 6.00pm. I had achieved my intention to set my feet at the southern most tip of Asian continent as I made a similar attempt to be at John O'Groats the northern tip of Scotland in 1979 (30 years ago).
For those of you, who are interested to visit this place, it is better to go in a group or perhaps engage a travel agent to bring you here.There is no public transport connecting this place to major cities. However, you can take a charter taxi from Johor Bahru. The park has overnight facilities.