The island hosts a popular Swedish survival television series every March - May and the island is pretty much hands-off during filming.
The monsoon season shuts down all the resorts and bouldering from December - February.
June - November is the best time to come to Pulau Besar.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
NOTE: The bouldering here is new and needs developement. If anyone has additional information please feel free to add to what I've put down.
Divided in to two halves, Pulau Besar is a small, sleepy island with no roads in the South China Sea and is in the same chain as the more popular Pulau Tioman (Tioman Island). The history of climbing here seems to have started with my arrival but there is a good amount of limestone and granite boulders scattered through the jungle and sprinkled on the various beaches. Most of the boulders in the jungle need to be cleaned and there is a constant threat of mosquitoes, termites and ants so I usually stuck to the beaches. The climbing here is not popular or developed but worth mentioning if you are planning to come to the island for volunteering or working.
The island is host to a few small resorts and only has about 50 year round residents. There's only one small shop that sells snacks, sun screen and cigarettes so you'll have to go to one of the resorts to get your Tigers. There are plenty of shops on the mainland in Mersing. If you're planning on camping then I suggest stocking up before catching the boat to the island.
There are three resorts running on the West side of the island at the moment and a couple of home-stay options as well. The East coast has no buildings at all and camping is free. I haven't seen any fresh water sources over there so be sure to stock up on water and food if you make an attempt at camping on the East side.
One of the resorts has an organic garden that accepts volunteers to turn compost, tend sprouts and pick weeds as needed. In exchange you can get FREE food and housing. From time to time the same resort will need a bartender or front-desk clerk so this could also be a way to make a buck and live for free.
Beaches, snorkeling, island hopping, jungle trundling, and an all-island soccer match held on week nights at around 6:30 pm.
Pulau Besar can be reached from Mersing Jetty with speed boats running from the few resort offices daily for about Rm50 with the return trip included. Slow boats are also available for a little cheaper.
The Eastern boulders can be reached through a jungle path to the East side of the island which takes about 30 min. Once you arrive on the Eastern side, head South along the rocky coast and sandy beaches to find the boulders. There are a few very nice deserted beaches over there so take your time and find the beach that's best for you. The beach climbing is better during low-tide so check the tide times before heading out.
Make sure to come back the way you came and to bring plenty of food, water, sun screen etc. The jungle here is thick with sharp plants and there seems to be only one foot-path through. The other option is to walk along the coast during low-tide which takes a couple of hours.
The Western boulders can be reached by walking along the beach or on a sidewalk and are fairly close to the resorts.
I don't have any complaints about monkeys and you shouldn't have any about this problem. Start sitting with good hands and feet and swing through the bottom part. Stick to the face and mantle your way to fun. A great problem for the area....[more]Browse More Classics in International