Travelling From Singapore To Desaru: Should You Travel By Car Or By Ferry


Syahirah Mazlan •  Jul 01, 2022

Well known for its fruit farm and beach retreats, Desaru has always been a popular travel destination. ? Whether it be for a romantic getaway, family vacation or weekend retreat, there’s so many reasons why we would choose Desaru as our destination of choice amongst others! A common reason would be its proximity to Singapore which makes travelling over there a thrilling and adventurous trip. ?

With the ferry to Desaru ready to be in full operation any time soon this July, we’re discussing which mode of transportation would be more worth your trip over - by car or by ferry? And we’ve also got input from frequent Desaru travellers! 

Ps. Not sure where to start planning your Desaru trip? Check out our Desaru Guide complete with hotels, attractions and halal foods so you won’t have to worry!

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Travelling By Car

Anyone who has been to Desaru before knows that the quintessential experience has definitely got to be driving there by car (especially if you’re not the one driving). ? There’s just nothing like passing through the multiple checkpoints whilst driving upwards into Malaysia. Not to mention the very crucial must-visit snacks and rest stops in between several kilometres of roads. oi9trtTravelling by car would usually take around 2 hours depending on the traffic and weather conditions which to some may be an enjoyable ride if you like long drives! ? If you were travelling free and easy, going by car would’ve been the best choice! That being said, there’s always a flipside to the experience. Now we’ll discuss the major pros and cons of this travelling option.


  • Able to spend quality time with friends and family during the drive
  • Enjoy a private experience throughout the journey 
  • Easier to travel around Desaru and to get to places by car ?
  • No need to carry your luggages through long distances


  • Requires you to own or rent a vehicle
  • Potentially experience traffic jams along the way
  • May be tiring for the person driving unless taken turns to drive
  • Safety concerns (ie. late night driving, rainy days etc.)
  • Petrol is expensive ?

We spoke to two travellers who frequently travel to Desaru by car and this was what they had to say:

“We would definitely go by car every time! Because our children are still young, we want to encourage them to feel the family-spirit during our travels. When we drive, we get to spend time with them. They can remember this when they’re older,” says ‘Umi’, mother of 2.

“I like to drive so now that the borders are opened, my friends and I can act on our long-awaited plans to drive up to Johor. The petrol prices don’t bother us too much because we saved up for this experience,” says ‘Isaac’, a 25-year-old sports and wellness instructor.

Travelling by ferry

Before the pandemic, travelling to Desaru by ferry was also another common method of travel. Many would agree that it would be the most convenient way to get there! In fact, visiting the Tanah Merah ferry terminal itself is an experience within itself! ? Just waiting for the ferry to arrive while you look out into the marina brings back nostalgic memories for those of us who have experienced a ferry ride before.

Now that the ferry service is ready for operation, some of us might be considering this travel method. A return ticket costs SGD118, while a one-way ticket costs SGD70. Each passenger can hand-carry 10kg of luggage and check in 20kg of luggage for free. Excess baggage is charged at SGD1 per kg, and odd-sized items such as bicycles will be charged at SGD10 per item. You’ll want to make a proper decision before packing your bags! 


  • Skip the traffic jam ?
  • One time payment for transportation (in comparison to accumulation in petrol cost)
  • Faster travel time
  • Convenient way to travel with children


  • Pricey for a return ticket per person
  • Difficult to get to places in Desaru without personal transport

“Price is a little steep if you’re paying for multiple people at once. But if you’re in a rush to get there or don’t want to drive, this is an option.. A more expensive option.” says ‘Fatehah’, a mother of 4.

“Don’t mind paying as long as there’s benefits on board (the ferry). More ideal for couples or solo travellers.” says Facebook user, ‘Eddie’.

The travel time it takes by ferry is about 45 minutes. It’s fast and more convenient in many ways!

Book your ferry tickets here: easy book | BusOnlineTicket | BatamFast

That being said, you should make an informed decision before making the trip over to Desaru. Consider your budget and if you’re willing to pay for the ferry ticket! If not, there are other options you can consider like renting a car or even services that will have someone drive you there. Be sure not to make a hasty decision, always remember safety and budget considerations before your travels! ?