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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Around The World in 18 Days - Desaru, Malaysia

Back in 2010 during the June school holidays, we scheduled an impromptu trip to Desaru with a close friend and his family for a one night stay.  It was our first drive up to Desaru as we usually end up in Malacca for short getaways! 

We booked rooms at the available resort (I was quite sure I can remember the resort name but that's not the case). Anyway, the place we stayed was nothing much to rave about. It was quite a worn out place. We envied those families that came prepared with their own barbeque pits and having a blast at the ground floor balcony though! (see below in photo on the top left) 

I am usually quite particular about cleanliness when it comes to hotel room. Especially when it comes to the musky smell (cough! gag!), it can almost spoil my holiday. But never mind about me if the kids aren't as affected! Look at them having fun at the hotel pool slide and trying out a game of table tennis. 

What is Desaru if it doesn't come complete with visiting the crocodile and fruit farm? You can see from the photos that the children were the most fascinated. At this trip, I also found out that Brandon has a natural love for animals in general. He wasn't the least bit afraid of holding a baby crocodile even though it tried to snap his fingers while holding it! 

One of the highlight of the trip would be the go kart as the children had first hand experience driving it. But as there were height restrictions, Megan had to "tompang" on my husband's lap throughout the laps. I think they had about 4-5 laps each and costed about RM30. Not too bad I think, for something that is not readily available in Singapore.

In the evening, all of us were looking forward to see some fireflies!  So we conveniently booked a dinner package cum firefly boat tour through the hotel's recommendation. I was really jitterish when I saw the little speedboat that came for us at the dock to send us to the kelong for our seafood dinner. (see top left photo below) You see, me and water don't get along like chalk and cheese. Anyway, prior to the dinner, we could walk around the kelong, something we never did in Singapore. There were some who did recreational fishing and the kids could feed the fishes.

I remember there were only 3 filled dinner tables at the kelong though I wasn't expecting that they were all there as part of the firefly tour. The one thing that irked us throughout the dinner were the mosquitoes that were enjoying a major buffet spread on us! So remember your repellants if you are ever there!

As night fell, we gathered along the boardwalk of the kelong to board our "boat" that will bring us deeper into the forested area where the fireflies can be seen. We thought we would be in a larger boat like the photo on the left side above, which was docked by the kelong. But lo and behold! We had to get into the same speedboat that ferried us to the kelong, and this time, squeezing at least 18 of us! *shudder*

Well I shan't talk about my fear and the wildest imagination I had in the total darkness. However, as soon as we spotted the fireflies, my fears instantly disappeared. It was a beautiful sight, almost like a fairy tale. We even managed to catch 2 fireflies and had them gently placed into a tissue paper which were lighted up like lanterns. Unfortunately we didn't capture any photos. The children were just too thrilled for words and remained excited throughout the night. So, it was a worthwhile boat trip afterall.

I won't say I will want to plan a trip back to Desaru again unless we are itching for a super quick getaway. It was nonethelss an educational trip for the children so I would encourage you to go there at least once in your lifetime for the experience, if you haven't already.  But truth be told, I would rather stick to Malacca anytime! 

So if you're up for a little adventure to catch fireflies, this is the closest bet you can get.

Till the next post, have a blessed week!

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Madeline at MadPsychMum. Continue your journey around the world through the eyes of Singapore Mom Bloggers!

Next up is Ai with her destination to Macau!

 Ai Sakura is a full-time working mother with a beautiful toddler daughter.  She hopes to inspire and show how passions like travel, food, fashion and photography can exist in a family setting. Ai Sakura shares insights and ideas about parenting and living in Singapore on her personal blog, Sakura Haruka.


  1. Wow he is such a brave boy to hold the croc!! this is a nice, relaxing family trip. glad you got to enjoy it :)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    1. ya! so when the daddy is travelling, I go to him for help if there are house lizards to rid off. :p

  2. Nice! Reminded me of my own desaru trip many years ago. :)

  3. Catching fireflies sounds like an experience of a lifetime :)

  4. I caught fireflies when I was in Bintan too. Like you I have a wild imagianation when I'm surrounded by the dark. But when I spotted the fireflies from my sampan, all my fears vanished and I quickly looked for a plastic bag and caught a few back to the hotel.

    1. wow really? Scary ya at the thought of the sampan. Think you'll go again?

  5. Wah you make it look so fun even though you say Malacca better! Haha. Wah, your son is very brave leh =)

  6. Didn't realize that there are fireflies at Desaru. Always thought the only place in Malaysia is at Kuala Selangor. Thanks for writing this up.


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