Tanjung Piai | The southernmost point of mainland Asia
From a geographical perspective, Tanjung Piai (lit. Cape of the Golden Leather Fern) occupies a very special corner of the world. At a latitude of 1°16.00’ North, the cape constitutes the southernmost point of mainland Asia, or to be more precise, continental Eurasia. It is also one of the few places where two neighbouring countries (Singapore and Indonesia) can be seen simultaneously.
Tanjung Piai (Johor) National Park was established in 1997 to protect this unique site; in particular, the intertidal mangroves and mudflats that line the cape along with the important ecosystem services that they provide. In 2003, Tanjung Piai National Park was recognised by the Ramsar Convention as a Ramsar Site, or Wetlands of International Importance.
Since the park’s inception, it has been an ongoing battle by all involved to protect its mangrove forest which has faced serious erosion issues due to strong waves generated by thousands of tankers that sail past each year, as well as the occasional pollution events from oil spills and illegal dumping of ballast water. With the installation of offshore breakwaters, coupled with intensive mangrove replanting, the tide has now turned, and many areas that were previously eroded have now been re-colonised by healthy mangroves, and the park is now in better condition that it has ever been.
Spanning 325 ha, Tanjung Piai is the smallest but most visited amongst Johor’s five national parks. It’s certainly a great place to spend a day, observe the biodiversity, take in the views and marvel at the intricate relationship between man and nature. The park has ample facilities for visitors which include a 1.2 km network of boardwalks, a visitor complex that houses an information gallery, as well as a unique elevated campsite within the mangroves.