Desaru, a famous tourist destination in Kota Tinggi, has the meaning of “Village of Palms”.
Surprisingly, many unspoiled and pristine areas can still be found in this developed coastal area.
The beautiful 22km stretch of beach overlooking the South-China Sea offers unlimited fun and tranquillity.
Famous for splendid beach, exceptional coastal resort, premier golf course and other unique attractions- it fills the vacation moments with amusement and excitement.
Many tourists find Desaru a magnet that attracts deep to their heart.
In this post, you will find all the information about Desaru, Johor.
A good travel guide for you if you plan a day trip to Desaru for your next vacation.
Post content as listed below:
How To Go To Desaru From Singapore
1. Private Taxi Service From Singapore To Desaru
There are many ways to reach to Desaru from Singapore. If you’re planning to go there right as you land in Changi Airport, the best way is to rent a car or hire a taxi. Thus, the convenient and easy way to reach Desaru is by MPV taxi.
With the opening of Senai-Desaru Expressway, the travel time to Desaru has shortened to around an hour. Better than that, you need not worry about the transport when travelling around Desaru.
To convenience the travellers, SGMYTAXI is now offering direct transportation from Singapore to Desaru.
Few reasons why you should choose SGMYTAXI.
- Up until now, they have been serving a wide range of customers and often received positive feedback from their customers.
- Reservation can be made online at their website, is just a click away!
- It is convenient and a comfortable trip across the border, you just relax in the car.
- The transfer rate from Singapore to Desaru Johor is affordable.
- The drivers will arrive on-time at your selected location in Singapore and pick you up.
- They will bring you to Singapore-Malaysia border for immigration clearance and finally transfer you to Desaru, Johor.
With SGMYTAXI service, you
- No need to alight with your luggage for immigration clearance at level 2 of immigration building.
- No more bus hopping experience!
- No need to get off from the vehicle for the whole journey.
2. Ferry From Singapore To Desaru
(Changi Ferry Terminal To Tanjung Belungkor Ferry Terminal)
Another effective way to arrive at Desaru is through marine transportation-ferry. Ferries plying from Singapore to Desaru are available daily at various timings. You can get to Changi Ferry Terminal via MRT, bus or car.
Once you’ve arrived, get your tickets/ boarding pass from Limbongan Maju Ferry operator. One way ticket costs SGD25 per person.
Remember to check the ferry schedule departing from Changi Ferry Terminal so you won’t miss it!
Depart from Singapore Changi ferry terminal and the ferry will send passengers to Tanjung Belungkor (Desaru) Ferry Terminal. The services are exceptional and passengers will reach their destination on time.
Booking is simple and feasible for everyone. Check here: Ferry Service For Changi Ferry Terminal To/From Tanjung Belungkor for ferry schedule, ticket price and where to buy the tickets. Book your tickets in advance, because it tends to be full!
3. Bus From Singapore To Desaru
Take advantage of public transport – public bus to go to Desaru as it offers a cheap and safe ride!
From Singapore, board a bus to Johor Bahru’s Larkin Bus Terminal. As you travel along the immigration, you need to get down from the bus to clear the customs -twice!
There are a few bus companies that provide cross-border transfer, you have to make sure to get on the right bus. Check out the bus companies, ticket prices and schedules of the bus from Singapore to Larkin Bus Terminal. It is really easy plus it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket!
Once you have arrived at Larkin Bus Terminal, catch the Mara Liner bus services that travel directly to Bandar Penawar via Kota Tinggi. The one-way fare costs RM8.20. They only schedule 4 services per day, so make sure not to miss them!
When you arrive at Bandar Penawar, you can either take a cab or board the minibus to Desaru. The cab costs you RM10 while minibus costs RM1 that comes every 30 minutes.
There is many things to do and attractions to see nearby Desaru. Below is the list of attractions that you should visit at least once:
1. Desaru Beach
Desaru is located at the tip of the eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia. It is located about 109km from Singapore Changi Airport via Lebuhraya Senai-Desaru/E22 and 79km from Senai International Airport. It is about 1 hour and 30 minutes drive away from Singapore airport and 1-hour drive from JB Sentral.
Also read: 21 Port Dickson Attractions (Best Port Dickson Activities)
Desaru beach at Lotus Desaru Beach Resort is one of the most beautiful and clean beaches you will see in Johor. Many Singaporeans travel to that resort for relaxation, a beach getaway or just a leisure vacation. So, you can have a trip there anytime you wish to unplug from city life and dive into tranquillity.
This is a remarkable ostrich garden that doubles as an open zoo. Children love this place – and it is safe to pet these magnificent birds and even take a ride on them. For many, this would be the first time they ride an ostrich – and this is a wonderful experience, especially for children.
Desaru Ostrich Farm is a family run business which has taken pride in taking care of more than 300 ostriches. Perfect for a half day tour for families as children can get close and learn more about the ostrich, the largest bird in the world.
A friendly guide will lead you throughout the tour. Tourists get to see the hatching process of ostrich and even step on ostrich eggs to test its hardness.
After the tour, you may dine in the on-site restaurant serving ostrich food. However, some tourists find it cruel so they choose to leave right after the tour.
Desaru Fruit Farm offers more than 100 kinds of tropical fruits which are set on over 100 acres of land. It is renowned as “Tropical Fruitland” in Malaysia. Other attractions in the farm include Herbal & Vegetable Garden, fish pond and a mini zoo.
This is a huge plantation where you will find a wide variety of exotic fruits – such as durian, rambutan, passion fruit, star fruit and many more – which you can indulge all through the one-and-half day tour through the farm.
Malaysian Tourism awarded Innovative Tourism Attraction – Agro Tourism Conservation in 2010 and the “Best Agro-Tourism site” in 2006 to Desaru Fruit Farm. The farm subsequently attracts local and international tourists and later boosts the tourism industry in Malaysia.
Opened all year round, educational groups and schools can schedule a tour or trip to the farm. The guests get to savour tropical fruits, learn the ways to select different fruits and observe live working beehive. The owner of the farm is grateful for providing quality fruits and vegetables for community despite offering a fun learning experience.
Variety of packages are available and reservation in advance is recommended.
Desaru Fruit Farm Tour Package
- One Day Desaru Tour
- Fruit Farm Tour with Fruit Packet
- Fireflies Cruise
- Paintball War Game
Desaru Fruit Farm Day Trip
7.30am – Gather at a designated place.
8.00am – Proceed to Desaru by bus.
8.30am – Clear customs and have breakfast in Johor.
10.30am – Visit Desaru Fruit Farm
Visit Herbal & Vegetable Garden
Participate in Educational Bee Keeping Management talk
See how the bees work and taste raw honey
12.00pm – Enjoy buffet lunch, durian feast and Fruit Fiesta in the farm
Shop at Mini Mart on the farm for fruits and local products
3.30pm – Visit Crocodile Farm
4.15pm – Lobster seafood dinner at Sungai Rengit
6.00pm – Fireflies tour in Kota Tinggi
9.00pm – Return to Singapore
10.00pm – Arrive at Singapore
Kota Tinggi Waterfall, not far off from Desaru- has attracted many Singaporeans and local people love to come here for a relaxing nature outing during weekends or public holiday. You can cool off from the afternoon sun to swim in the pool or meditate amidst the lush greenery and waterfall.
Feast your eyes on the large aquatic reptiles lazing under the sun or snapping their jaws! There are more than 1000 crocodiles available on the farm.
Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is about 30-minutes drive from Lotus Beach resort. You can plan a half day trip to know more about crocodiles and even a chance to see the keeper feeding crocodiles during their feeding time! Besides that, you get the experience to hold a baby crocodile, all under the supervision of a caretaker.
6. Lotus Desaru Water Theme Park
The exciting and wonderful Water Theme Park is located in Lotus Desaru Resort, a resort known as “The resort for all reason” due to its year-round activities. This water theme park is the main attraction of the resort. It enhances your stay by offering fun yet exciting water activities.
Also read: Desaru Waterpark (One Of Biggest Wave Pools In The World)
Lotus Desaru Water Theme Park is a place where children will fall in love with. It features a kids water playground where children can have splash fun among one another. Enjoy a big splash from the top at their Giant Coconut fall. There are also water slides and waterfall for both children and adults to enjoy.
For a more relaxing activity, grab a tube and hop on to the Lazy River. Here you can float around and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Desaru Beach. Other features include Stone Bridge, Poolside Grotto and Relaxation Gazebos.
7. Desaru Firefly Watching (Firefly Valley Leisure Park)
Another nature wonder awaits you at Firefly Valley Leisure Park. It brings you closer to nature through firefly watching experience. Firefly is a so-called lightning bug that flickers and dazzles all the time.
The park is situated on the bank of Kota Tinggi River. You can either choose to watch Firefly on foot or by boat. For your information, it’s the only place in Kota Tinggi that provides firefly watching on foot.
For the boat, the boatman will sail down the river and you’ll be greeted and surrounded by dazzling fireflies in the dark. However, keep in mind that flash photography is prohibited.
Do not miss out this golden chance to open your eyes to a whole new world of fireflies glittering and blinking all around you. It’s truly a wonderful sight to behold.
8. Desaru Gold and Country Club (Els Club Desaru Coast)
Els Club Desaru Coast is a 27-hole golf course situated along the beautiful stretch of Desaru Coast overlooking the South China Sea. It consists of 3 distinct 9-hole golf courses named the Lake, Ridge and Ocean.
All of them are designed according to different skill levels by Ernie Els, a premier golf course designer.
Launched in 2016, it is promised to be one of the major attractions in Desaru. It features Els Residences with 10 luxury villas overlooking the wide stretch of the golf course.
Besides well-equipped with modern amenities, the residences come with a private pool for relaxation. Therefore, it cannot be denied that Els Club Desaru Coast is ideal for a perfect getaway from a busy lifestyle.
Despite well-equipped with golf facilities and equipment, golf coaching from qualified LPGA and PGA instructors are also available for lady golfers and juniors.
9. Tanjung Balau Fishermen Museum (Muzium Nelayan)
The north part of Desaru boasts a Tanjung Balau Fishermen Museum which is opened by South-East Johor Development Authority (KEJORA) in 1992.
The museum comprises 4 galleries.
- Fishermen’s Gallery – showcases lifestyles of fishermen and their fishing tools.
- Geology Gallery – showcases more than 100 stones of different sizes and shapes which are found in Tanjung Balau.
- Sea Gallery – acknowledges visitors on ancient communication systems and marine navigation.
- Desaru Shipwreck Gallery – showcases a junk carrying cargo that sank near Desaru in the 1830s.
Desaru Seafood Restaurant
1. You Kee Seafood Restaurant
Sungai Rengit boasts a famous restaurant, You Kee Seafood Restaurant serving fresh and scrumptious seafood. The chef, Mr Low, has run this restaurant over 20 years. It’s a typical restaurant with a traditional ambience located beside the street side.
Many customers come here just to savour their highlight dishes, butter lobster. The flavours of succulent and juicy lobsters have been perfectly enhanced by the sweetness of butter.
Other delicious dishes include salted egg crab, Indonesia style fried baby squid and sambal fried kang kung.
2. Jade Garden Seafood Corner
Jade Garden Seafood Corner, the largest and most famous seafood restaurant in Sungai Rengit is always fully occupied with diners.
There are ample parking spaces and hotels within close proximity. Strongly recommended by locals, the restaurant takes pride in serving fresh-caught lobster and other fishes.
Also read: Top 11 Seafood Restaurants in Johor Bahru
The environment here is excellent; it’s air-conditioned, clean and comfortable. Despite good customer services, the food served here is reasonably priced. Don’t miss out their specialty dishes:
- salted egg crab,
- curry leaf crab,
- boneless chicken salad
3. Restoran Terapung Bujang Firefly
Built on stilts, Restoran Terapung Bujang Firefly is a typical Malay seafood restaurant offering seafood cooked in unique Malay style. Western cuisines are served as well. The simple interior makes one feels like dining at home.
Order the dishes according to your number pax as the menu is offered in a package. Some of the dishes offered include Tom Yam seafood soup, Sotong goreng tepung and deep fried calamari. After getting your stomach full, go for a firefly boat tour beside the restaurant.
4. Super Lobster Restaurant
Super Lobster Restaurant is popular for establishing a reputation for their quick service, friendly staff and nice sea view.
As its name indicates, the highlight cuisine of Super Lobster Restaurant is their lobster delicacy. The lobsters are cooked in diverse ways just to deliver what their customers like.
For instance, lobster salad, grilled lobster, stewed soup lobster and butter lobster. Besides lobster, the head chef also creates simple yet appealing seafood dishes such as mussel, scallop, cuttlefish, crabs and prawns. Get your seafood cravings satisfied here!
Desaru Beach Resort
Lotus Desaru Beach Resort is well known internationally for the best resort along the east-coast of Kota Tinggi. It covers a 22km stretch of beach overlooking the South China Sea.
All of the room comes with modern facilities and amenities. Besides, they are dedicated to delivering the best customer services to ensure a memorable stay. With an abundance of activities offered, you’ll never get bored in here!
Also read: 8 Best Desaru Resort In Johor
Price Starting From:
RM305 @ SGD$102 (include hotel tax & service fee)
- Air conditioner
- Electronic lockset
- Three swimming pools
- For indoor activities; carom, table tennis, pool, board games, mug painting, sand art.
- For outdoor activities; beach volleyball, sandy beach football, tug of war, archery, jet-ski.
Good To Know:
- Get a room closer to the main building
- If you prefer a quieter place to stay, opt for a room further away from the waterpark
- Buggy service or shuttle is provided for guests
- Breakfast has a good spread of eastern to western dishes
- The beach is near to the hotel, only a short walking distance
- Block M is quite far away from the restaurant and beach
2. Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa
Aimed at providing world-class hospitality, Sand & Sandals Desaru Beach Resort & Spa (previous known as Pulai Desaru Beach Resort & Spa) offers the finest experience you can ever have in Desaru. Located right at the centre of Desaru, it is surrounded by tropical rainforest and beautiful beach.
Price Starting From:
RM 375 @ SGD$127 (include hotel tax & service fee)
- The resort features over 200 elegantly decorated guestrooms
- Spa services
- Dine in either Palm Brasserie Restaurant or Teppan Japanese Restaurant
- At Snuk Thai Street BBQ, eat thai food
- Wedding package deals
- Meetings and events packages
- Tropical pool
- Complimentary WiFi
- Shuttle services to and fro airport
- Shuttle services around hotel
Good To Know:
- Game room with kids playroom
- There’s a live band
- Poor internet coverage
- Can rent scooter
- Visit Game On counter to book activities
- Choose the deluxe sea view room with a beautiful view of the sea
- Dry leaves found in pool
- A beautiful pool bar
- Try Balinese massage which is really good for relaxation
- Get a good view by booking a room that faces the pool
3. Amansari Hotel Desaru
Amansari Hotel Desaru amazes the guests with its elegant and home-like decorations. They find here a home-away-from-home. Comfortable rooms with great amenities are available plus accessible to malls and lots of eateries with just a stone throw away! This is the place for a relaxing getaway.
Price Starting From:
RM246 @ SGD$83 (include hotel tax & service fee)
- Complimentary bottled water
- Dry cleaning or laundry services
- Coffee/ tea-making facilities
- Luggage storage
- Free parking but limited space
- 52km from Changi City Point
- 15km from Desaru Fruit Farm
- 10 mins drive to Desaru Beach
Good To Know:
- Buffet breakfast a bit plain with lack of variety
- Plenty of eatery and grocery shops nearby
- Don’t have swimming pool
- Parking spaces are limited
- Required to pay room deposit upon check-in
- Open bar on the first floor has a live band
- The playroom has a billiard table
- Great wifi connection
4. Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort
Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort blends perfectly with the pristine nature of Desaru. It is a resort where you can find comfort in nature.
The resort features 134 rooms and suites. All of these accommodations are set amidst the stunning beaches, clear blue water and decent tropical rainforests.
Price Starting From:
RM461 @ SGD$155 (include hotel tax & service fee)
- Daily newspaper
- Cost available
- Rooms with balcony
- Pool & gym access
- Kids playground
- High ropes adventure
- Water sports activities
- Aroi Thai has great local and western dishes
- Pwana Restaurant has great local and western dishes
- Enjoy a drink at Ombak bar
- You can book local tours
Good To Know:
- Room on the top floor has a great view of the beach
- Limousine and airport transfer service
- Rooms on the rainforest villa should be less noisy
- Pool float service
- Choose the top floor for less noise
- Deluxe room can access the pool and beach easily from the ground floor
- The rooms in the resort face the sea
- Breakfast had limited choice