JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Visitors to Pulau Rawa describe the tiny island as a beautiful place with clear waters.
Privately owned by members of royalty, the island has two resorts - Alang's Rawa and Rawa Safaris.
Visitors have to book their rooms in advance.
Administrative executive Stephy Tan, 26, who holidayed on Pulau Rawa in February with 12 friends, said there was not much to do except kayaking, snorkelling or lazing about on the beach.
She said they chose the island after reading online reviews that praised its clear waters. They booked a three-day, two-night stay there.
"There are fewer tourists in February," she said, adding that they chose Alang's Rawa because it was the cheaper of the two resorts.
"The waters are comparable to that of Pulau Redang but I will not go back there if I wanted entertainment," she said.
Pulau Redang is off Terengganu, further up the peninsula from Johor. Tan said Pulau Rawa was about a 30-minute boat ride from Mersing in Johor.
Another visitor to the island, who declined to be identified, said she stayed at Rawa Safaris.
"It's a very quiet and private place," she said, adding that it was a perfect destination for honeymooners and elderly travellers.
"It is a rocky island with a small stretch of beach," she said. "It is a beautiful place but it can be boring."
The island, she said, was popular among Singaporeans and other foreigners. "If you're a party-goer, you may be disappointed," she added.
Room rates at both resorts range from RM400 (S$156) to RM850 per person per night. Alang's Rawa has 14 rooms while Rawa Safaris has 67.
One other attraction on the island is the abundance of white doves that the place was named after. The local term for doves is rawa.