Went to Desaru for a 2 days 1 night trip with my family (6 of us) on Saturday. It is S$178 per pax. It is organized by the Ngan/Gan Clan Association (my mom’s surname is Ngan). We gathered at the association at 7am early in the morning. There are 27 people in the tour group including the 6 of us, majority are aunties and uncles. Surprising with them around, the bus left at about 7.12am which is pretty punctual. I would think that if the group contains mostly teenagers, it would probably left at 7.30am instead.

There is not much jam on the causeway this time round. This is also the first time I used the new checkpoint in Johor Bahru since it opens its door on 16th December 2008.

Day 1
Breakfast was a Tim Sum breakfast at Restoran Chaw Yuan. Food was not bad especially the Chee Cheong Fun and the chicken congee.

Next we are brought to Yong Sheng Food Gift Shop. Some of the food gifts has pretty interesting and nice packaging especially for wedding or baby first year birthday.

After the food gift shop, we are brought to a temple and there are lots of dogs there!

Lunch was at Restoran Sungai Emas where they are famous for their baby lobster, I find it just average. There was a nearby shop called Se Yuan Bakery where they sell pineapple pastries freshly bake from the oven. Taste pretty good as they are fresh and piping hot, but once it is cooled, I wonder will it taste as nice.

We make a brief stop at some Herbal Garden mini plantation where Li Xiang took plenty of pictures as it was pretty relevant to her Final Year Project (FYP).

The next stop was Desaru Fruit Farm. It was pretty interesting to see the trees of the fruits and how they are grow as you can’t find it in anywhere in Singapore besides the Zoo where is nothing compared to there. There is even a mini zoo inside the farm. After about 30 minutes around the fruit farm, we are brought to a “lecture room” where they wanted to sell Honey to us, similar to what they did in Taiwan. This honey comes from the bees which are used to pollinate the fruits, these bees are reared by the farm. After the boring lecture, we have our fruits buffet. Very disappointing, they taste plain and even the durians are disappointing. I am guessing those good fruits are being exported and what is left behind are those “normal” ones.

Finally after the fruit farm, we can finally checked into the Hotel, our hotel is called, The Pulai Desaru Beach. Upon arriving at the hotel, the first impression it gives me was it looks pretty ok. After walking around the hotel, some parts of it looks pretty run down. Even for my room, I have to use keys! Apparently they did not finished installing the card reader for all their rooms yet or they don’t intend to do it.

After we checked in to our hotel, we got 30 minutes to put our stuff and gather with the rest of the group to see Fireflies! The Fireflies Trip was the most interesting part of the tour and I like it the most, a boat will take us into the swap and move around it for 45 minutes! Saw lots and lots of Fireflies, it was my first time seeing Fireflies! I heard from Li Xiang say Fireflies have very short lifespan.

Dinner was at Restoran New Mui Tou, food was average. We also give Humin a birthday cake surprise as that day was her actual birthday!

We reached the hotel about 11pm as the Firefly location is quite far away from the hotel.

Day 2
Woke up at about 6.30am and we took a stroll around the hotel. The beach is very disappointing, it was dirty that I would not even want to take out my slippers and step on the sand. Met up with my parents, my brother and Huimin for breakfast at the Hotel. Food was also average, the nasi lemak was slightly better.

Checked out of the hotel at 10.15am and we went to the Ostrich Farm at Telok Ramunia. The tour guide was telling us that it is owned by a retired Singaporean pilot. I think the Ostrich Farm visit was pretty interesting, I have not seen so many Ostriches before. Ostriches are so cute and look so innocent. Ostrich’s egg are so hard that mother Ostriches need to break the shell for them, if not they will die inside the shell. After the tour around the farm, there was Ostrich meat prepared for us but Li Xiang and I refuse to eat it.

Lunch was at Restoran Makanan Laut and after lunch we are brought to a shop which sells salted fish!

Next stop was a durian fest at one of the durians wholesale center, durains there are much better than the Desaru Fruit Farm, but still, I think the better ones are exported out of Malaysia.

Finally some civilization! We are brought to Jusco at Tebrau City. We are only given 95 minutes there. We did a quick window shopping around the mall before settling for an early but light dinner at Old Town. The Old Town there taste better than Singapore’s one and of course it cost only half the price. We did not really shop within Jusco as I think it should look pretty much the same as any hypermarket in Singapore. We left there about 6pm.

Dinner was at Senibong Seafood Village, food was also average but the view is fantastic, overlooking Singapore.

Traffic at the causeway is pretty smooth as well, we got back to Singapore at about 8.30pm.

My Thoughts
I think Desaru is over-hyped, our Sentosa is way better and have much more things to do than Desaru. The only thing I like about this 2 days 1 night trip was the Fireflies Trip and the Ostrich Farm. I also think that the Desaru Fruit Farm is over-hyped as well. If you ask me, save the cash up and go to Redang instead.

Li Xiang has uploaded the pictures to Facebook, check it out: Desaru Trip – Part 1 and Desaru Trip – Part 2.