After six hours of traveling (by MRT, bus, bumboat, then taxi), we finally made it to the Lotus Desaru Resort in southern Johor, Malaysia. The reason the region is fairly inaccessible is because it has not yet become popular with outside tourists yet. Most of the visitors were from nearby Malaysian cities and Singapore.
The resort was located right on the beautiful beach.
During the afternoon we got acquainted with our suite and the resort, relaxed on the beach, and played in the waves.
We had dinner at a nice Chinese seafood place. One of the complaints about the resort that I read online was that though it does not allow outside food, it also does not provide a great variety of restaurants. The selection was further compromised because on that night, the resort was hosting some conference and the attendees had a whole section of the restaurant reserved. We were still able to enjoy steamboat, which essentially is hot pot.
We decided to wake up the next morning to view the sunrise on the beach. The hotel concierge said that sunrise was around 6:30AM, so we set our alarm for 6:00AM to be on the safe side. Sure, vacation is supposed to be for sleeping in, but we figured that the sunrise would be too beautiful to miss, and we could always nap on the beach later.
Upon arrival, the sky was very dark. Only the faintest glimmers of light were in the distance. But daybreak came quickly! Each of the following photos was taken within a few minutes of each other.
I decided to do a few yoga moves on the beach, taking advantage of the unique photo opportunity...
At 8AM we were distracted by the wonderful aromas floating from the resort breakfast buffet near the beach. It was one of the best complimentary breakfasts I've had, with long tables laden with various western and Malay dishes.
The bread shown in the photo below the yogurt and the buns is called roti. It is similar to Indian naan but it is thinner and flaky. It was so good! I had it dipped with curry on the side. Following breakfast was more suntanning, beaching, and napping. Check-out occurred at noon, and then we began the long trip to the capital city of the area, Johor Bahru (JB).
At JB, we basically just tried some more Malay food, before boarding a bus at the Larkin Terminal for Singapore. 30 minutes and 70 cents later, we entered Singapore. This is probably the cheapest transnational crossing ever!