Malaysia (Johor)

Posted: Dec 2022
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As we affectionately refer to Johor, it’s almost likely we are referring to Johor Bahru (one of 10 districts of the entire state!) The Johor–Singapore Causeway is one of the busiest border crossings in the world – stretched just 1km, it handles 350,000 passengers daily! We add to this number frequently as we head north for its lovely people, delicious food, awesome massages, unique activities – all of which expensed in Ringgit!


Johor is a short drive from where we stay in Singapore – in fact, it takes less time to drive into Taman Sentosa on a clear day, than it is to drive into Orchard Road! As such, we spend many weekends in here – this itinerary showcases a few of our favourite highlights! We didn’t include the usual touristy stuff like Legoland, neither did we capture our usual food haunts or massage spots… but below you can find off-the-beaten path trails, unique crocodile, Ostrich, fruit farms, and outdoorish activities like ATV and go-kart

Main Highlights

ATV Park Johor (Seelong Trail): Three hours of solid ATV adventure – the mud will wash off, but the memories will last a lifetime. We saw ourselves cruise through coconut trees and plantations, go knee deep into murky waters, get stuck in sand and mud, and occasionally get mud splashed onto our faces

Tasik Biru Kangkar Pulai (Blue Lagoon): This scenic lake is an abandoned mine filled with water that turned bright blue – supposedly from copper sulfate that used to be mined from the quarry. Proceed with caution – there have been past incidents when hikers met with tragedy because this isn’t a designated and well marked trail!

Bookxcess Big Box | X Park: Inspirational bookstore with lots of throwback classics – from Enid Blyton’s faraway tree to Roald Dahl’s BFG – it’s also a perfect spot to snap your daily IG shot! Beside Bookxcess Big Box, you can find X Park with lots of adventure activities, and our favourite is the go-kart!

Desaru Ostrich Farm: Home to 200+ ostriches of all sizes and ages, it is one of the biggest ostrich farm in the region. Some of the ostriches roam freely and we can feed them, ride (some of them), and try to stand on the eggs (and learn how strong they are!) If we are lucky, we may even spot a baby ostrich hatching out of its egg in the hatchery!

Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm: One of those farms which had been around since… forever, we remember coming here with our own parents. The farm was established in 1950s and is currently run by the granddaughter of its founder – a multi-generational business!

Desaru Fruit Farm: Awarded the “Best Agro- Tourism site” in Malaysia 2006, this farm provides a tour of many different fruits and how they are grown, before bringing us to small animal farm with goats, chickens, rabbits, fish and more. The tour ended with a platter of… delicious fruits. To top it off, they even have an ATV trail that we hopped on after the farm tour!

Kota Tinggi Firefly Park: This firefly park is a multi-generational business that offers a riverboat ride in the evenings to view thousands of luminous fireflies! The staff is really friendly even though it got busy during the peak hours, and their boat captains were really experienced – peering into the darkness and pointing out the wildlife which is invisible to the naked eye

Random stops around Desaru: One of the most beautiful things about a roadtrip is stopping along the road when we see something amazing – and Desaru/JB is full of these interesting sights!

Amigos Horse Riding: Founded in the early 2000s, the founder Mr Mousouloo wanted a humble and cosy stable to spread his love for horses. Today, there are training programs, short pony rides, and longer jungle trails – you will be able to find something for your little Bean!

Photo Reel

Kota Tinggi Firefly Park ATV Park Johor Tasik Biru Kangkar Pulai Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm Desaru Fruit Farm Random stops around Desaru Bookxcess Big Box | X Park Amigos Horse Riding Desaru Ostrich Farm
Kota Tinggi Firefly Park ATV Park Johor Tasik Biru Kangkar Pulai Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm Desaru Fruit Farm Random stops around Desaru Bookxcess Big Box | X Park Amigos Horse Riding Desaru Ostrich Farm
Ready to go:

All smiles and no mud (yet)


Momentum needed over the mud

Vast savannah:

You can even try a donut drift… if you dare!


Vroom through the muddy waters

Stuck again:

Wheels in the ditch!

Brotherly love:

Outwardly expression of love after an afternoon of mud

Airplane graveyard:

Out-of-the-world sight as we wrapped up our Seelong Trail adventure


Perfect weekend getaway with the full Magic Beans crew!


Drove across the causeway for a quick hike up the “blue lagoon”


Found a little puddle with lots of interesting creatures

Random shot:

Price hike, eat grass


We walked into a (big) family of monkeys!


Many paths to see this unique blue lagoon – it used to be a mine! 


Little unplanned surprises make for an exciting weekend

Walking back to the car:

It’s not the destination, but the journey and conversations that count

Twice her height:

Crushing weight of knowledge


…. is when we turn up at 10am and are the only ones in the pretty bookstore


Love is all around

Complete with a piano:

We visited here without our little Beans, and can’t wait to come back with them (or maybe not)


Roaming birds towering over our little Beans


They grab them off you, with the occasional peck of the finger as the little Beans’ fingers are hidden in the leaves


Did you know that the egg of the ostrich is the largest of any living bird

Ostrich rides:

The little Bean didn’t look too comfortable, neither did the ostrich


30 min ride away – the little Beans woke up just in time as we were turning in!


Little one looking at little one


Looking down into a crowded pool of crocodiles… stuff of nightmares yikes


Crocodile farm – Bean there, done that!


Finding our own family tree


Under the afternoon sun

New friend:

Hello there!

Playing catch:

… in an open field that stretches endlessly

Red hill:

I will rise like a phoenix!

Couple shot:

… while the little Beans sleep in the car

Dragon fruit:

The fruits seem to look more delicious on a platter


Bigger than our little Bean’s face!


We are quite productive too!


Walking over a bridge of hyperactive fish

Farm bus:

Taking us around the different plantations


Tiny black bunny


Bean there, done that!


Scaring the scarecrow

X Park:

Arriving at a place of adventures!

Sharing the podium:

Life isn’t always a competition

Helmets on:

Ready to go!

Test drive:

Zooming the circuit as we spot the bigger Beans hanging above us on the height obstacle

Sharing the podium again:

Showing off their names on the back

Driving all by himself:

Proud speedster


Bean there, done that!


Kota Tinggi Firefly Park – it’s best to arrive here at 7pm, as the fireflies are at its peak


… is in the air!

Boat ride:

Experienced captain pointing out the different wildlife in the darkness – monkeys, monitor lizards, and more!


Bean there, done that!

Amigos Riding:

Sharing the horses with the boy while the girl takes on her own pony

Mystical beast:

Trailing a centaur

Into the forest:

Riding into the vast greens

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