Things to do in Pengerang, Johor
You know some places in the world are just made for the ‘Gram when even a novice equipped with just a smartphone camera can take photos that look like a pro. Well, there’s a lesser-known coastal town in Malaysia where you can get all the pretty photos you want for your IG feed without worrying about any photobombers. We’re talking about Pengerang in Johor.
Picture a seaside cafe with sunset views, a luscious green bamboo forest, an abandoned jetty, and a colourful Chinese temple village. Plus, there are a number of kid-friendly activities too, so the whole fam can make a trip down.
Table of Contents
- Things to do in Pengerang, Johor
- 1. Feed baby goats & pet alpacas at Desaru Mini Zoo
- 2. Dine by the sea at the super chio cafe, Yard & Co
- 3. Take a stroll in “Japan” at Bamboo Walk
- 4. Try a giant ostrich egg omelette at Desaru Ostrich Farm
- 5. Indulge in affordable fresh seafood at Super Lobster Village
- 6. Take IG-worthy snaps at the old jetty in Sungei Rengit
- 7. Visit 8 Chinese temples with different deities at the Temple Village
- 8. Enjoy California vibes at Pantai Tanjung Sepang
1. Feed baby goats & pet alpacas at Desaru Mini Zoo
Everyone knows that if you feature a cute animal, you’re going to get tons of likes on IG. But that isn’t the only reason you should make a visit to Desaru Mini Zoo. Not only can you see the animals here up close, but the kids will also have a field day because you get to pet and feed them.
Apart from alpacas and goats, there are camels, rabbits, sugar gliders, baby chicks, donkeys, and koi fish. You’ll need about an hour to 90 minutes if you’re going to make the full round, introducing your little one to each and every furry creature.
Pro tip: The best way to get the animals to interact with you is to attract them with a treat, so it’s worth getting the basket of animal feed for an additional RM20 (~S$5.83).
There’s also a rainbow canopy made from umbrellas as well as other photo ops such as bench swings and animal-shaped cutout standees to get your family pics taken.
2. Dine by the sea at the super chio cafe, Yard & Co
Both indoor and outdoor seating is offered.
Aesthetic cafe with an all-day brunch menu and affordable coffee? We’re there. The best part about Yard & Co is that it’s on the waterfront, so you can dine while enjoying views of the sea.
If the temperature is too warm, grab a seat indoors and then head out to admire the scenery with an iced drink in hand while waiting for your food to be served. In the evenings, when it gets cooler, consider dining outdoors to delight in the ocean breeze.
Brunch items include Chicken Meatball Shashuka (RM21.90, ~S$6.29), Lobster & Chips (RM138, ~S$39.64), and PBJ Bacon Bagel (RM24.90, ~S$7.15).
Also on the menu are rice bowls (from RM 23.90, ~S$6.87) and pasta dishes (from RM23.90, ~S$6.87). One of the most popular desserts is the Milk Mochi (RM16.90, ~S$4.85) featuring peanuts and black sesame powder, served with brown syrup.
When it comes to drinks, coffees start at just RM10 (~S$2.87) and they’ve got flavoured teas (RM15.50, ~S$4.45) like Lychee Oolong and Passion Peach.
If you’re heading there for tea time or dinner, it’s worth timing your visit to witness the gorgeous sunset by the sea.
Address: Lot 4785, Jalan Siakap, Kampung Sungai Rengit, Pengerang 81600, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-10pm | Sat-Sun 11am-10pm
Contact: Yard & Co Instagram
3. Take a stroll in “Japan” at Bamboo Walk
The most photographed bamboo forest in the world is always swarming with tourists but you won’t have that problem at Pengerang’s Bamboo Walk. While the bamboo stalks may not be as tall as the ones in Kyoto, the ones here create a natural archway, offering a picturesque backdrop as you stroll under.
When we went to the garden on a Friday afternoon, there wasn’t a soul around so we had the place all to ourselves to take as many photos as we wanted. Besides snapping away, one can also have a picnic in the surrounding gardens but choose a shaded spot near a huge tree as it can get really sunny in the afternoons.
Fair warning: pesky mosquitoes are prevalent in this area, so definitely spray on some insect repellant before heading over.
4. Try a giant ostrich egg omelette at Desaru Ostrich Farm
Standing next to the world’s largest bird can be quite humbling and Desaru Ostrich Farm has about a hundred such ostriches originating from South Africa. The moment you step in, there’s a trainer that will furnish you with trivia about the animal like how to differentiate between a male and a female. Hint: look at the beaks – males have red beaks while females have grey ones.
From the entrance, you can purchase grass or corn to feed the birds for an extra RM3 (~S$0.86). All you have to do is stand about 0.5m away from the fence and their long necks will stretch over to take the food. Apart from feeding the birds, kids can also ride an ostrich for RM30/child (~S$8.60).
The contents of 1 ostrich egg is equivalent to 30 chicken eggs.
Fun fact: the world’s largest egg can withstand weights of up to 100kg without breaking. And there’s one kept in the middle of the farm for anyone to test that theory out. Yup, you can stand on it with your shoes on as long as you’re below 100kg to marvel at the strength of the eggshell.
If you’re lucky enough and there is an egg that is ready to be cracked open, there will also be a public demonstration of the opening by an experienced staff member.
The restaurant also serves ostrich meat (RM36, ~S$10.34) as satay, rendang chunks, or teppanyaki.
Once you’ve explored the grounds, make your way to the restaurant near the exit where you can try an Ostrich Egg Omelette (RM18, ~S$5.18). FYI, 1 ostrich egg can make 6 plates of omelettes, each the size of a giant roti prata. In terms of flavour, the ostrich egg tastes more buttery than a chicken egg.
5. Indulge in affordable fresh seafood at Super Lobster Village
Being a coastal town, Pengerang is known for its many seafood restaurants with fresh lobsters being the main highlight. One of the most popular eateries here is Super Lobster Village, rated highly by diners for their flavourful dishes and reasonable prices.
Image credit: @superlobstervillage via Instagram
A small lobster of less than 200g would cost you RM17/100g (~S$4.88); a large lobster weighing between 200g and 600g is priced at RM21/100g (~S$6.03); and anything larger than that is considered a super large lobster which is going for RM23/100g (~S$6.61).
There are also 9 styles in which these lobsters can be cooked including with gravy, salted egg, black pepper, or steamed with garlic.
Cereal Prawns (from RM40, ~S$11.49).
While the lobsters are the stars of the show, there are other seafood options too. In fact, the menu is quite extensive – you’ve got crabs, fish, prawns, squid, scallops, and lalang – all cooked in various styles. The portions are good for sharing and you can choose between different sizes.
Address: PTD 789, Jalan Perindu 15, Kampung Bukit Buloh, Pengerang 81600, Johor, Malaysia
Opening hours: 11am-10pm, Daily
Contact: +60 17-680 6556 | Super Lobster Village Facebook
6. Take IG-worthy snaps at the old jetty in Sungei Rengit
The old abandoned jetty at Sungai Rengit deserves a spot on your itinerary purely for taking envy-inducing holiday snaps. The site looks like ancient ruins you might find in Greece or Rome, except these structures are just across the border.
Also known as “Jomis Old Jetty” on Google Maps, this place is fast becoming a known photo spot but it hasn’t caught on to the point of being overcrowded with photographers … yet. Perhaps, an idea for an overseas pre-wedding photoshoot location without breaking the bank?
Address: 90, 81600 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
7. Visit 8 Chinese temples with different deities at the Temple Village
If you’re one of those travellers who can’t leave a town without experiencing some of the heritage and culture, then a visit to the Temple Village Taman Bayu Damai is a must. It’s called a village because the space contains a collection of 8 temples dedicated to different deities.
The Eight Immortals from Chinese mythology.
Pay your respects to the God of Fortune and Goddess of Mercy; and invite prosperity in your lives by visiting the Chinese Money Tree and Giant Ancient Chinese Coin.
The details that have gone into building this village of temples and statues within them are truly admirable. Splashed in bright red, the structures and decorations are beautiful.
There’s also a sheltered pavilion for you to sit and admire the architecture or for elderly folks to rest.
You can’t miss the fortune fountain since it’s in a striking gold colour. Apparently, it’s part of the temple to create good feng shui while the golden roosters are also a symbol of good luck and protection.
8. Enjoy California vibes at Pantai Tanjung Sepang
Image credit: Dinesh V Aravindhakshan via Google Maps
Post an IG story at Pantai Tanjung Sepang and we guarantee you’ll be getting asked if you’re holidaying in California. Only those with a keen eye will notice that the trees featured are not palm trees. Instead, this secluded beach in Pengerang is lined with hundreds of coconut trees.
Because it lies in the far east of Johor, it’s also the perfect spot to catch a sunrise, so the best time to go is early in the morning. It’s not one of those happening beaches bustling with water activities, but it’s a great place to relax and avoid any crowds. Go for a walk, take a dip in the sea, or have a picnic in the sand.
Address: Johor 81900, Malaysia
Make a weekend trip to Pengerang in Johor
Going to JB is a weekend activity for most Singaporeans anyway, so the next time you cross over, consider venturing out a little further and exploring this side of Johor. Pengerang has plenty to offer in terms of fun activities, IG-worthy spots, and yummy eateries.
Where is Pengerang?
Pengerang lies in the Kota Tinggi District, in the state of Johor. This industrial town is basically next to Tekong Island in terms of location, but of course, you’ll have to cross borders into Malaysia to get here.
How to get to Pengerang from Singapore?
You can either make a 1.5-hour drive from JB or take a boat from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
The latter option has 2 routes too. Either take the 45-minute ferry directly to Pengerang and then arrange for private transport to go around the town; or the 90-minute ferry to Desaru and then take Grab to the attractions in Pengerang.
More places to explore in Malaysia:
Photography by Doreen Fan.
Originally published on 21st October 2023.
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