Kukup Fishing Village, or Kukup Laut, is a fishing community in the Pontian district of Johor. This quaint village is built on stilts above the muddy mangrove shoreline and has been in existence for more than a 100 years.
Together with the neighbouring area called Air Masin, the settlement is home to a population of 1400 people, nearly all Chinese and mostly engaged in fishing and catering to the tourist trade.
During weekends and holidays, hordes of tourists from other parts of Malaysia and from nearby Singapore come to savour the fresh seafood, stay in the holiday chalets and soak up the relaxed seaside atmosphere.
If you have visited Pulau Ketam near Klang and enjoyed it then you will probably like Kukup too. You can walk around the village on the wooden and concrete boardwalks built on stilts above the mud and sea. The villagers are self-sufficient with their own schools, temples, shops and restaurants.
The restaurants near the international ferry terminal are the biggest and busiest, serving a full variety of seafood dishes at reasonable prices. There are also shops selling dried fish products like keropok and belacan.
There are scores of floating fish farms in the channel between Kukup Laut and Pulau Kukup. Visitors can take a boat tour to visit these fish farms, or kelongs as they are locally known and take a closer look at the various species of sea creatures being cultivated here. The kelong boat tour costs RM5 per person
Pulau Kukup is a protected uninhabited nature reserve covered in dense mangrove forest. It is possible to visit and there is a boardwalk with viewing towers. Unlike Pulau Ketam, you do not need to take a ferry to get to Kukup fishing village as it is located on the mainland of Peninsular Malaysia.
No parking is allowed in the heart of the village but as you approach its outskirts you will see a few large secured car parks where you can leave your vehicle for a few Ringgit per day. Some of these car parks run a free shuttle service to take you from the car park to the town centre in front of the ferry terminal.
The ferry terminal links Kukup to Tanjung Balai in the Riau province of Indonesia and runs hourly taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Tickets cost IDR130,000 one way plus a Terminal fee of IDR30,000.
Kukup Fishing Village
Majlis Daerah Pontian
Tel: 07-687 1442
This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com