SINGAPORE TO DESARU AND MALACCA, MALAYSIA
Located just 75km east of Johor Bahru, Desaru is a popular but no-frills beachside town that’s easy to get to. On the way, stop at the Ostrich Wonderland in Teluk Ramunia, Kota Tinggi. Here, the kids can learn about ostriches, feed them, watch their eggs hatch and even go on an ostrich ride.
Afterwards, head to Desaru Fruit Farm (www.desarufruitfarm.com), which has over 100 tropical fruit species. The guided tour teaches you how to select the best fruits before sampling your favourites. Besides fruit trees, the farm features a petting zoo, a bee farm and dirt-cart rides.
From there, drive westwards to Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm, another big attraction for road-trippers. Here, you’ll find over 1,000 saltwater crocodiles, the oldest of which is 130 years old. You can take photos with the reptiles and learn interesting facts about them.
Another must-visit is Kota Tinggi Waterfalls, also known as Lombong
Waterfalls – just north of Kota Tinggi town. The wading pools are shallow and safe for kids, but be careful around the more powerful cascades.
A visit to the Firefly Valley Leisure Park to the south of town is the perfect way to end the night – watch fireflies put on a spectacular light show as a boat takes you through the dark mangroves.
From Kota Tinggi, drive westwards to return to the highway that will take you directly to Malacca. This historic town is known for its food, but you should also check out its cultural attractions, like the Baba & Nyonya House Museum (www.babanyonyamuseum.com), which showcases rich Malaysian Peranakan culture, and Jonker Street, with its markets, street food, shophouses, and interesting architecture.