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14 December 2011

Discover the Hidden Gem of Johor – Part 2

AirAsia Social Media team

By AirAsia Social Media team

It’s too early to end our journey in Johor. After exploring west of Johor, we are going to explore the east side of Johor. More hidden gems in Johor to be discovered by us!

After we left Muar, we headed to the largest herbs and spices plantation in Asia – Nasuha Herbs and Spices Paradise, which is located in Pagoh. Nasuha Herbs and Spices Paradise plantation land covers over 3,200 acres and is planted with more than 130 types of herbs which collected from all over the world!

We were greeted by Manager of Nasuha Herbs and Spices Paradise, Puan Rohaya. She brought us around the plantation to see all kind of herbs and spices that were planted in Nasuha. To my surprise, the plant looks normal but it is actually a herb and can be processed into several herbal products, including herbal tea, oil, soap and many more. You even can eat some of the herb raw! There is even a showroom and herbal restaurant in Nasuha to let people to stop by for a rest. You can find variety of herbal product made by the herbs and spices that Nasuha plants. Also, don’t forget to visit their herbal restaurant to try the dishes prepared by herbs and spices, it tastes really good. If you are tired, do try their traditional massage in Herbal Spa!

Nasuha Herbs and Spices Plantation: (a) Exploring the plantation land (b) Gora – good for vitality and to overcome fatigue and physical exertion (c) Herbal products made by Gora (d) Nasuha Herbal Spa (e) Herbal soup from Nasuha Herbal Restaurant

Pulau Rawa! When people talk about islands in the east coast of Malaysia, they will think of Pulau Tioman, Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian, etc. Little is known about the amazing getaway in Johor – Pulau Rawa.

No other words can describe Pulau Rawa except… Paradise! The moment I stepped down from the boat, I felt free and all my stress is gone! It’s a truly relaxing place for a retreat. We were greeted by crystal clear waters, breath-taking view, soothing sea breeze and friendly staffs from Rawa Island Resort. Rawa Island Resort is the only resort available on the island. In order to let the guests have the best time in Pulau Rawa, the resort management limits the number of guests in the island. There are only 75 units of chalets and villas available, which can accommodate up to 200 persons only.

Pulau Rawa: (a) Seaview villa (b) Beach side (c) Crystal clear waters (d) Sea sports centre

What makes island lovers love the island even more is that Pulau Rawa is the first, or rather the only environmental friendly island that adheres to recycle, reuse and reduce. No fishing is allowed to take care of the marine life. To reduce the use of electricity, the resort management will shut down the power supply in the morning. They also collect rain water to water the plant and landscape. Some of the buildings on the island are made by the recycled woods from the old jetty- you can still even see some oyster shells on it.

*Tip: If you are flying to Johor Bahru, it only takes 2 hour from Senai Airport to Mersing to catch your boat to Pulau Rawa!

Pulau Rawa: (a) Kids loved the pedal boat (b) Infamous water slide at Pulau Rawa jetty (c) Chalet (d) The marvellous Seaview

After a night stay in Pulau Rawa, we moved to south part of Johor – Desaru. Desaru is also known as Johor’s Gold Coast. There are few resorts standing by the beach. They are definitely your one stop resorts as they have almost everything in the resort. You can just spend the whole day in resort! Sun tanning by the beach, doing spa, high tea at the café or sweat all out in the fitness centre- some of the resort (like Lotus Desaru Resort) even have a water park in the resort! If you have not had enough of water fun in Pulau Rawa, you can enjoy it all in Desaru!

Lotus Desaru Resort: (a) Water park (b) Recreation Centre (c) Sea sports Centre (d) View of the resort

Another place of interest in Desaru is the Ostrich Farm. The farm showcases the full spectrum of the Ostrich Industry, ranging from ostrich eggs being hatched into young chicks using state-of-the-art incubators. Tourists get to watch ostriches lay eggs, dance and mate, and also get to feel and feed ostriches. If you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of baby ostrich being hatched. From there, you also learn about how Ostriches live and grow, and are exposed to a range of Ostrich-made products, such as lamps made by ostrich’s egg, dried ostrich meat and many more.

Desaru Ostrich Farm: (a) Ostriches (b) A European visitor playing with ostrich (c) Lamps made from ostrich’s egg (d) An Ostrich’s egg is really hard, even an adult can stand on it (e) Ostrich’s egg is as big as an adult’s face

There’s a fishing village nearby Desaru called Sungai Rengit – the best place to have seafood in Johor. Many Singaporeans drive all the way from Singapore to have seafood lunch or dinner in Sungai Rengit. The seafood – fish, lobster, crab, prawn, etc are caught fresh from the sea each day. You will never get seafood as fresh as the one in Sungai Rengit elsewhere in Johor. The seafood is best to steam it, you can taste the freshness and sweetness of the seafood without any preservatives. Most importantly, the seafood here is very cheap.

Seafood lunch at Sungai Rengit: (a) Steamed lobster- yummy! (d) Oyster omelette (c) Spicy crab (d) Seafood lunch

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Johor discovery as much as I did, because when they say there is no place like home, it’s true when I discovered the incredible Hidden Gem of Johor in my home country Malaysia itself! I’m currently planning for my next Johor trip with AirAsia, and this time, I’ll bring an even bigger appetite (and better camera!).