9 Reasons Why Desaru, Johor Is The Best Place For Your Weekend Getaway


Muhammad Hafiz •  Jun 21, 2017

Located along the east coast of Johor, and a mere hour’s drive from the city of Johor Bahru, lies Desaru – a laid-back beach and resort area boasting pristine beaches, fishing villages and plenty of nature-based activities. It’s the perfect venue to wind down and escape from the hustle of the city.

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With that, here are 10 reasons why you have to visit Desaru at least once!

1. The white sandy beaches

The key attraction of Desaru lies within its 6 kilometres stretch of white sandy beaches overlooking the South China Sea. Lounge away by the beach to work on your tan, with the sea breeze blowing gently against you, immersing you in a cool and relaxing atmosphere?

For those seeking out to enjoy a good swim in the warm waters, the sea here is relatively calm and its shallow depth extends well out from the beach, providing the best setting for kids (and adults alike!) to take a casual dip.

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But if you seek more thrilling activities, thrill-seekers can strap up and enjoy a round of parasailing or other water-based activities!

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2. Affordable and fresh seafood!

There are numerous seafood restaurants around Sungai Rengit and Teluk Sengat as it is the key area to enjoy the fresh seafood? Do note, however, that most are said to be halal by the owners and do not have proper halal certification nor are they Muslim-owned. Do dine at your own discretion!

Sengat Seafood Restaurant

With seafood sourced directly from the nearby sea at most a day before, you can be assured that you'll be served the freshest and most delicious seafood. The chilli crab at this restaurant is a must try!

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Pair your seafood with other amazing dishes available at the restaurant. This will guarantee you a hearty meal without burning a hole in your wallet?

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Address: 58, Jalan Belanak, Johor, 31350 Kota Tinggi, Malaysia

Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm daily

Telephone:+60 7-895 5116

3. Floating seafood restaurant… and fireflies!

If the idea of a seafood restaurant is not enough to pique your interest, you might be in awe after visiting this floating seafood restaurant! While you enjoy your seafood at Bujang Seafood Restaurant, admire the beautiful nature enveloping you. It really is the most peaceful surrounding to dine in☺️

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The restaurant doubles up as both a dinner venue and the dock for the boat to start of the cruise down the river. You can drop by the restaurant just to have dinner or only for the cruise. But like most visitors, why not make the most of the opportunity and have a good dinner before starting your cruise!

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Hop on the firefly cruise where you'll spot many fireflies putting on an amazing natural lightshow; bringing the glow to the trees at Sungai Lebam. If you’re lucky enough, there could be a few joining in your cruise and even land inside your hands!

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Note: Bujang Seafood Restaurant is Muslim owned

Address: Jalan Johor Silica, Sg. Lebam, Bandar Penawar, 82200 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia

Operating hours: Opens daily; 12PM – 12AM

Price: River Cruise (1 hour) - RM 20 (adult), RM15 (children); Fireflies River Cruise (30mins), from 8pm-12am - RM20 (adult), RM15 (children)

Telephone: +60 12-759 3468

4. Largest ostrich farm in Malaysia

The Desaru Ostrich Farm is one of the largest in Malaysia, hosting about 100 ostriches within its compound? Here, you can get up close and personal with ostriches!

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A visit to the farm is often accompanied with a caretaker. Apart from bringing you around, they will also provide a handful of educational and interesting facts on ostriches so you can learn while exploring?

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Drop by the souvenir stall once you’re done to bring back some ostrich goodies!

Address: Jalan Telok Ramunia, Kampung Changi, 81600 Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia

Operating hours: Open daily; 10AM-6PM

Price: Adult RM15, Child RM10

Telephone: +60 7-826 5846

5. Home to a 100-years old crocodile

Visiting a crocodile in the zoo is vastly different from visiting crocodiles here. For one, you'll get to see it up close - and we mean up close enough to take the picture below! The farm here houses around 1000 crocodiles in all shapes and sizes, ranging from newborn crocodile babies to a 100-year-old crocodile?

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If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, visitors can even opt to feed the crocodile with fresh chicken (at an additional charge), or hold a baby crocodile!

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During your visit, you might even be guided by the farm owners themselves! Otherwise, there are caretakers around to take good care of the crocodiles and you?

Address: Teluk Sengat, Kota Tinggi, Johor, 81920, Ayer Tawar 2, Johor, Teluk Sengat, 81900 Ayer Tawar, Johor, Malaysia

Operating hours: Opens daily; 9AM – 6PM

Price: Adult RM8, Child RM4

Contact: +60 7-895 5220

6. Experience the fishing villages along the coast

The coast along Desaru with its shallow waters and natural bays make it the perfect geological spot to setup a fishing village for the fishermen to dock their boats. Tanjung Balau is one of the many such villages located close to Desaru. These villages are perfect to have an impromptu adventure; and enjoy a different side of Desaru.

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The beach around Tanjung Balau is mainly covered in rocks, but makes a perfect scenery to grab some photos - especially during the low-tide! While you're there, take a picture with mermaids! It might just be your once in a lifetime chance to meet one?

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If you prefer a more secluded area, about an hour’s drive north of Desaru lies the fishing village of Sedili. With the village being further out, it attracts less tourists, giving off a more “kampung” (village) feel to it.

 7. Golfing against a spectacular backdrop

Take a shot at one of the many golf courses that is available along the Desaru coast. With the South China Sea and the lush rainforest providing the backdrop while you set up a tee, the golf courses here provide an exhilarating panorama for both professionals and amateur alike.

Credit: The Els Club Desaru Coast on Facebook

Even if you've never liked golfing, it would still be fun to give it a try! Take a day course to master the skill (well, partially master it). There's no reason not to join in the fun and feel like a pro, even if it's only for a day!

Credit: The Els Club Desaru Coast on Facebook

8. Juicy fruits

Feast on the juiciest fruits at Desaru! There's nothing like having fun on a holiday while keeping healthy and staying fit? The fruits are planted in the Desaru Fruit Farm itself. Take your pick from the wide range of fruits available, from jackfruits to guavas and to the king of fruits - the durian?

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The farm boasts around 100 varieties of fruits and herbs; both seasonal and non-seasonal. You can also embark on different activities such as learning to select the best fruits and visiting the mini zoo within the farm compound.

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P.S. Don't forget to bring some fruits home!

Address: 92, 82200 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia

Operating hours: Open daily; 8:30AM – 6:30PM

Telephone: +60 7-822 3886

9. An awesome getaway for the whole family

But if all these activities don't appeal to you (why not?!), head over to the Lotus Desaru Beach Resort and Spa - your accommodation and all the activities you need to keep yourself occupied at an affordable cost - in one place!

Credit: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa on Facebook

This resort is perfect for families as you can choose to book the 1, 2 or 3-bedroom apartments. Now you can bring your extended family over too?

Credit: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa on Facebook

Head out to the sea just in front of you and partake in a series of water activities! For starters, try banana boating☺️

Credit: Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa on Facebook

Address: Lot 1854, Jalan Desaru Bandar Penawar, 81930 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia

Telephone: +6 07 8842800


There you go! There will always be a time when we just feel like escaping from the rush of the city, and there's no place better for a quick getaway than in Desaru?