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Malaysia Road Trip Guide: Kota Tinggi, Johor Bahru

Singapore Johor Causeway

Malaysia ringgit

With recent news of a more favourable exchange rate, Malaysia has become a much more affordable destination for Singaporeans. If you are planning a road trip to Malaysia anytime soon, DirectAsia has you covered. We guide you on the best destinations in Peninsular Malaysia that has all the makings of a truly unforgettable road trip. In this Road Trip series, we will feature six popular destinations in Peninsular Malaysia and provide you with a general itinerary. For the first part of our series, we decided to focus on the closest one from the Singapore-Malaysia border, Johor.


Johor is the go to choice for a lot of Singaporeans looking for a quick and easy getaway out of the city. While most Singaporeans head to Johor Bahru for some shopping, a 20 minute drive from Causeway to JB is hardly considered a scenic road trip. There are several destinations in the State of Johor that would make for a wonderful scenic drive. In this article, we focus on one of the best destinations in Johor – Kota Tinggi – perfect for a quick road trip away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.


Getting There

Kota Tinggi, Malaysia is just about an hour away from the Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore. With several interesting places to see in Kota Tinggi, you actually opt for different routes depending on your destination. For those going to Desaru Beach, the best way to get there is from the Senai-Desaru Expressway. This route cuts through the Johor River which would save you a lot of time on the road. If you are headed to Kota Tinggi Town, take the AH2 and AH18 to the Johor Bahru-Kota Tinggi Highway. These destinations are pretty popular so you won’t have trouble finding your way around.


Kota Tinggi Waterfalls

Although not as modern as JB, the charming district of Kota Tinggi has a lot of attractions to offer to keep the whole family entertained. A popular attraction in town is the Kota Tinggi Waterfall Resort located in Jalan Lombong. Kids and adults alike can go swimming and hiking in the resort grounds. The famous Kota Tinggi Waterfalls can also be found here. Operating hours are from 8am to 7pm and admission prices range from RM10 (Child) to RM15 (Adult).

Desaru Beach

Another notable destination is Desaru Beach. It is one of the best beaches in Johor. Its quiet pristine beauty is a must-see if you are ever in Kota Tinggi. Although Desaru Beach is not as developed as Langkawi or Penang, there are several beachfront resorts in the area where you can stay for the weekend.

Other great destinations in Kota Tinggi are:

Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm (Lot 1289 Jalan Sembilan, 81940 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia)


If you have a penchant for crocodiles, the Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is a must-visit destination. It’s just 20 minutes from Kota Tinggi Town and it’s an affordable detour where you can find over a 1,000 crocodiles. Its open daily from 9am to 6pm and admission fees range from RM4 (Child) to RM8 (Adult).

Desaru Fruit Farm (No. 1, Sungai Cemaran Desaru, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia)

Fruit Farm

The Desaru Fruit Farm offers tourists day and overnight tours where they can pick fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm grounds. It is located near Desaru Beach so it’s really convenient for those in the area. Do check out their website to learn more about their various tour packages. Operation hours are 8:30am to 6:00pm and are open all year round.

Firefly Valley Leisure Park (Jalan Jemaluang, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia)


The Firefly Valley Leisure Park is another great destination for the whole family. It’s a wonderful experience in Kota Tinggi as you can see fireflies light up the park during night time. Boat tours to catch the fireflies cost RM12 (Child) to RM18 (Adult), while walking tours cost RM7 (Child) to RM10 (Adult).


If you decide to extend your stay, there are quite a few decent accommodations available in Kota Tinggi. Highly rated hotels in the area are:

  • Sedili Inn Resort (Lot 73 Kampong Sedili Kechil, 81910 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia) The Sedili Inn Resort is perfect for families with kids. It’s a beachfront resort with a swimming pool and a children’s playground.
  • Rest Inn Hotel (No. 1 Jalan Abdullah, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia) Conveniently located in Kota Tinggi Town, the Rest Inn Hotel is a budget hotel perfect for those who want affordable and clean accommodations in the area.
  • Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort (Bandar Penawar, 81930 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia) The Desaru Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort is situated in the famed Desaru Beach. Its comprehensive facilities make it the ideal hotel for those looking for a family-friendly option in Desaru Beach. It is also noted for being a good location for corporate events.
  • Lotus Desaru Beach Resort& Spa (Lot 1854, Jalan Desaru, Bandar Penawar, 81930 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia) Also located in Desaru, the Lotus Desaru Beach Resort & Spa is another great option for those who want family friendly accommodations in Kota Tinggi. Large rooms and excellent facilities make for a very comfortable stay.
  • Kota Heritage Hotel (No. 11-A Jalan Seri Warisan 1, Kota Heritage Commercial Center, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia) The Kota Heritage Hotel is centrally located in Kota Tinggi Town. From here, you can easily get to most of the attractions in Kota Tinggi such as the Kota Tinggi Firefly Park and the Kota Tinggi Waterfalls.

Dining Options

Kota Tinggi Seafood

The best thing about dining in Kota Tinggi is the fresh and affordable seafood. Highly recommended restaurants you should check out are: Jade Garden, Sengat Seafood Restaurant, Restoran HAJU DAUD 6, Restoran Johan Selatan, Tandoori House, and Kiang Kee Bak Kut Teh.

Before any trip, make sure that you are protected should anything go wrong. Check if your car insurance covers you from any accidents or theft. Travel insurance will also come in handy in case anything happens to you or your family during the trip. Find out more handy Malaysia road trip tips on our previous blog post here.

Whether it is for a day trip or a weekend holiday, Kota Tinggi is definitely an excellent destination worth exploring with your family and friends. If you have already been to Kota Tinggi, a great alternative road trip destination is the Taman Negeri Endau-Rompin. It is one of the oldest rainforests in the world and it is definitely worth the 3-hour drive.