Understand [ edit ]
Desaru was much hyped in the 80s with quite a few mega projects aimed at attracting foreign investment and visitors, which have since been abandoned. Today, it's strictly a local affair with the occasional Singaporeans thrown in: there are no chic boutiques, fancy restaurants or hip nightlife spots, just 22 kilometers of beach and a few aging resorts.
After a period of neglect, recently Desaru has become popular with tourists wishing to see a true Malay resort without for-tourists frills, and pundits have been predicting a renaissance since the much-delayed expressway from Johor Bahru opened in 2011.
Climate [ edit ]
Like all of Malaysia's east coast, Desaru is highly seasonal, with monsoon winds and rains lashing the coast between November and February. There is still plenty of sunshine even during the rainy season, but waves are high and it rains more. The "good" season is thus April to October, with June to August being the busiest months, when the waters are inviting and the sand fine.
Get in [ edit ]
By bus [ edit ]
Bus schedules are in flux and are likely to increase after the opening of the bridge.
There are direct Mara Liner  coach services four times a day from Johor Bahru 's Larkin Bus Terminal to Bandar Penawar via Kota Tinggi at 10:30am, 1pm, 5pm and 8pm. The one-way fare is RM8.20. Alternatively, you can take a non-express bus from Larkin Bus Terminal (Maju 227 or Causeway
Link 66) or from downtown Johor Bahru's Jalan Wong Ah Fook (Transit Link 41, Maju 227, Causeway Link 6B; the bus stop is opposite City Square) to Kota Tinggi 's bus terminal (duration about 1h; Maju 227 one-way fare from City Square RM4.80; average frequency of Maju 227 is 15 min), and then take another bus from Kota Tinggi to Bandar Penawar (duration max. 1h, one-way fare RM4.50, frequency every 90 min).
From Bandar Penawar, you can either take a cab (teksi ) for about RM10, or wait the minibus that will take you directly to Desaru Resort (the minibus is RM1, comes every 30 min). You can also take a cab from Kota Tinggi directly to Desaru Resort, this will cost you approximately RM35.
By car [ edit ]
The long-awaited opening of the Senai-Desaru Expressway and its bridge across the Johor River has shaved an hour off travel time to Desaru, which is now just 60 minutes away from Johor Bahru. There are toll for cars and the distance from JB's tebrau highway is about 90km. Only 1 R&R from tebrau to Desaru and expect 1 shop that closes at night. From the toll at Desaru to the public beach, there are 3-4 resorts seen along the way while clear signage ensures that a first time visit to be of no hassle.
By motorbike [ edit ]
On a 200cc phantom bike, cruising at 80km, it will take about 1hour 20min from Aeon Tebrau to Desaru public beach.