If you’re short for time this holiday season but feel the need for a quick getaway, we have just the solution for you. Say goodbye to busy city life and hello to miles of luscious greenery and fun experiences in Desaru! To prove that two days is all you need for a fantastic drive trip holiday, the VolksLife team took the Beetle Cabriolet and Tiguan up north. To help plan your Desaru dream vacay, read on for ideas on some must-visit locations and exciting experiences that are not to be missed!
Time: 9:30 am
Soundtrack: Geronimo – Sheppard
Our two-day road trip starts today and we’re so stoked! We rendezvoused briefly at Jurong to load up our luggage and belongings into the spacious Tiguan and Beetle Cabriolet. The weather was bright and breezy so we couldn’t resist leaving the sunroof of the Tiguan wide open, and putting the roof down in the Beetle Cabriolet (for a bit!). So with wind in our hair and sun against our cheeks, we set off for a fun ride to Desaru!
Time: 10:30 am
Location: YamCha Hong Kong DimSum 饮茶港式点心, 4 Jalan Seri Orkid 31, Taman Seri Orkid, 81300 Johor Bahru
Soundtrack: Sugar – Maroon 5
We crossed the border at Second Link (Tuas) with loads of time to spare since traffic was a breeze! After taking exit 311 towards Gelang Patah, we merged onto Johor state route J4 before arriving at a quaint coffee shop barely 10 minutes after. We’d heard great reviews about this little dim sum establishment and weren’t disappointed at all! Though we sampled many delicious dishes, our favourites were the crispy fried bean curd skin (腐皮卷) and steamed soup dumplings (小笼包) which were thoughtfully served in individual foil trays to keep them warm and prevent soup spillage. Mmmm.
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Tesco Express Mutiara Rini, 81300 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
Soundtrack: We Are Young – fun.
Just made a slight detour at Tesco to pick up snacks and drinks for the journey ahead! May have gone a bit overboard with the keropok but good thing there are soooo many handy compartments in the Tiguan to store our snacks and drinks! Oops, crumbs.
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Lakeview Terrace Resort, PTD 5025 Jalan Kota Tinggi-Pengerang 81620 Pengerang Johor
Soundtrack: Fast Car – Jonas Blue
After eating to our hearts content, we headed south to the Senai-Desaru Expressway and drove about 110 km to our hotel, Lakeview Terrace Resort. All drive through, we had loads of fun singing along to our favourite tunes (thanks to the awesome Fender sound system on the Beetle Cabriolet) and enjoying acres of natural scenery on our drive.
The resort itself is an interesting mix of industrial and modern amenities, with rooms in large container blocks that are placed on a slope leading down to a lake. We also saw a fully equipped gym, in-resort restaurant and a pool (which will surely be put to good use later!) The rooms featured a rain shower which was a much welcome treat after the journey here. If you’re looking to stay somewhere close to nature, but want all the comforts and amenities of a regular hotel, we’d recommend a stay at Lakeview!
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Jade Garden Seafood Corner, Lorong Siakap 1, Sungai Rengit, 81600 Pengerang, Johor
Soundtrack: Seaside – The Kooks
No trip to Desaru is complete without a seafood dinner, so we ventured to the town of Sungai Rengit for a hearty meal. We’d heard good things about Jade Garden Seafood Corner and knew we just had to try it.
Parking was a breeze as the complex featured a private off-street parking area, so we could rest assured that our cars were parked in a secure area.
The star of the night was the black pepper crab, covered in a thick, savoury black pepper sauce that had our taste buds tingling. And because Desaru is so close to the sea, it’s freshness guaranteed with any seafood dish!
Time: 10:00 pm
Location: Bujang Firefly Cruise, Restoran Terapung, Bandar Penawar, 82200 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia
Soundtrack: Fireflies – Owl City
Just got off the Firefly Cruise and it was mind-blowingly awesome! The boarding area for the cruise is located in a quiet, floating seafood restaurant. As we boarded a large wooden boat, we were told that we’d picked a good day for the tour since the skies were overcast (moonlight makes it difficult to see the fireflies). The fireflies lit up the bushes like Christmas trees and a staff member even scooped up a few so we could hold them in our hands.
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Ostrich Farm, EMR 15, Teluk Ramunia, Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia
Soundtrack: All Time High – Sam Willows
After a restful sleep last night and an indulgent breakfast buffet spread at the hotel, we were ready to explore more! We hopped into the Tiguan and Beetle Cabriolet, and headed to an ostrich farm – a must visit when you’re in Johor.
For a small fee of about 15 ringgit per person, a guide took us around the farm and told us more about these magnificent creatures. Did you know that an ostrich’s kick is so powerful, it can kill much larger predators like lions?
We were even able to get up close with ostriches of different ages: from little baby ones to full-fledged adult ostriches.
We also had the chance to try ostrich egg omelette (slightly drier than a normal egg) and ostrich teppanyaki (much softer but more chewy than expected) as well. As they say, don’t write off anything unless you’ve tried it. So you should definitely give it a go if you’re ever in the area!
Time: 2:30 pm
Location: Desaru Fruit Farm, Sungai Cemaran, Desaru, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor Darul Takzim
Soundtrack: Feeling Good – Michael Buble
After a quick lunch, we headed to the Desaru Fruit Farm which was only a short drive away. To be honest, we weren’t expecting much – because how exciting could fruits be right? But we were pleasantly surprised by the sheer variety and detail put into the tour. Upon arrival, a truck brought us deep within the farm (much larger than it looks from the outside) and we were introduced to some familiar and rare fruits you don’t usually see in Singapore.
We got to sample some fresh fruit juice (passion fruit, roselle flower, and more!) and were even treated to a fruit platter afterwards – a nourishing treat after all that walking. On our way out, we stopped by at the main shop on the farm which sells various fresh and freeze-dried fruits (at affordable prices) that you can bring home for your loved ones too!
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: On the road home
Soundtrack: Castle On The Hill – Ed Sheeran
Before we knew it, it was time to head home after two wonderful, fun-filled days. It’s going to feel a little weird not being on the move, but we couldn’t be more grateful for the companionship and experiences shared during this short, but eventful getaway. Looking forward to the next road trip!
If you’re planning a road trip with your loved ones, don’t forget to get your Volkswagen checked and ready to go! Book a Pre-Travel Inspection slot to ensure that your headlights, washer and wiper system and other parts of your Volkswagen are in tip-top condition for the holidays! Best of all, you can enjoy it at only $125! Click here to find out more!