Where to stay and what to do

Maybe you’re thinking of visiting Malaysia now that the borders are open, but if you’re not really keen on spending your weekend in the cafes of Johor Bahru, then maybe the Desaru coast should be on your maps.

If you’re not already familiar with the location, the area was recently recognized as World’s Greatest Places 2021 by TIME Magazine, the only destination in Malaysia to make the list last year. Plus, the drive is only an hour and a half to two hours if you’re coming from Singapore, so you have no excuse not to take a trip up north.

Now, you came here to relax and get away from it all, but if you’re the type who needs to pack your itinerary in full to feel like you’ve had a ‘fulfilling’ trip abroad, then the area from the Desaru coast has activities and attractions for everyone.

The Desaru Coast Adventure Water Park, for example, has five different areas for the whole family to enjoy. It is also home to wet and dry rides, which include the largest wave pool in Southeast Asia. Those who want to revel in Mother Nature’s offerings can head to Desaru Fruit Farm, home to over 120 species of tropical fruits. The award-winning location spans over 100 acres and guests can do everything from touring a fruit farm to riding an ATV in the area.

Desaru Coast Els Club
The Els Club Desaru coast (Image credit: JAMESLOVETT)

Do you have a golfer among you? The two world-class golf courses at Els Club Desaru Coast are designed by Ernie Els and four-time major champion Vijay Singh with a combined 45-hole play. Of course, no trip to the Desaru Coast will be complete without a visit to Desaru Beach. The white sand shore stretches for 25 kilometers, lined with palm trees and casuarinas.

If it seems like there’s too much to cover for a day trip, you’re right. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of listing some of our favorite hotels and resorts in the area for your next long weekend.

Where to stay on the Desaru Coast:

(Hero and featured image credit: One&Only Desaru Coast)