The word for island in Malay is Pulau and big is besar so in actual fact Pulau Sibu Besar means Big Sibu Island. Pulau Sibu forms part of the Seribuat chain of islands and lies 12 kilometres off the east coast of the West Peninsular of Malaysia. Tanjong Leman is the boat pick up point for Pulau Sibu and is approximately 2 hours north of Johor Bahru on the Mersing road. The island is shaped like a triangular hour glass, about 6 kilometres long and never more than one kilometre wide it's whole length.
Most of the island's resorts are situated on the north eastern section of Pulau Sibu, where the golden brown beaches slope away gradually offering ideal bathing conditions. The views from these beaches are of Pulau Tinggi and a string of smaller islets to the south. On a clear day Tioman Island can be seen to the north. The "moonrise" at full moon is so spectacular it is a sight not to be missed.
Prior to the area being designated a Marine Park in 1993 the line of kelongs which can be seen off the south western coast provided the resorts with a wonderful supply of succulent seafood. However the new regulations now mean they may only be used as platforms for rod and line fishing, popular with many tourists. This section of the coast is sheltered from almost all winds and the sea here is frequently so calm it resembles a lake, allowing mangrove trees to become established along the shore. There is along narrow spit to the south of the village, mostly planted with coconuts, a quiet, breezy place.
The south east coast of Sibu rears up as a series of steep, abrupt cliffs with a rocky shoreline at their base and provides shelter to the village behind. The rocks here, and where exposed at other points on the island, are colourful and contorted. This is due to their composition of layers of volcanic ash run through with later lavas which have combined to produce lacework patterns and reliefs. Low down on headlands near the sea rock pools are frequent and contain miniature worlds populated by colourful fish, crabs and corals. By Tg Keramat the cliffs contain caves and arches.
There is a large village, Kg Duku, towards the southern tip of Sibu which has a police post, mosque, school, clinic and drinks stall. The entire village is solar powered. The young people of the village now have the opportunity to find employment in the resorts on the island instead of having to find work on the mainland. The older folk continue to earn a living by fishing and follow a more traditional lifestyle.
There is good snorkeling to be found offshore Sibu, notably the north east corner of the island, Tg Semanggar, where there is a good variety of coral and fish. The scuba diving in this area is generally shallow, between 30 feet and 40 feet, allowing longer 'bottom time'. There are many scuba diving sites within a 30 minute boat journey from Sibu offering a variety of both soft and hard corals. The sea life is prolific and varied, from Nurse Sharks to Moray Eels, Bat Fish to Blue Spotted Sting Rays, Box Fish to Nudibranches and much, much more. Less usual sights such as Sea Horses, Leopard Sharks, Schooling Baracuda and Black Tip Reef Sharks can also be seen. With a fast dive boat Pulau Aur and Pulau Permangil are also accessible from Sibu, within 1 hour, where Manta Rays and Whale Sharks can be found!
The season traditionally starts at Chinese New Year which falls between mid January and mid February. We stay open through to the end of November, which is our favourite month as the colours are superb when the wind is starting to change. The resort is closed for December and January (so all the staff can have a nice holiday!) but opens for a jolly good New Year's bash on the 31st December, usually for 5 or 6 days. The weather remains fairly constant throughout the year, with an average temperature around 29 degrees centigrade. The air gets cooler in the evenings and the nights are pleasant, you many need your jammies! (That's pyjamas to grown ups :)