Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Planning Kota Tinggi + Pengerang Town Trip

With the success (???) of our crazy Pulau Ubin trip from Hell, the dudes wanted to extend the craziness to our neighbouring shores, this time Pengerang (Southeast side of Western Malaysia... in case you want to know, because I have been asked this five times today already). I saw the sign to Pengerang when we were waiting for our boat to Pulau Ubin at the Changi jetty that day. Pointed it out to the five guys but it seemed they were stone deaf and all ignored me. Until today, probably after they recovered their enthusiasm and also from the aches and pains from the trip, that they realised "hey, we can go there!!!"

I have been researching on what to do there. It turns out that Pengerang is a fantastic place to visit, with its indigenous creatures, ostrich farm, and affordable seafood. If accompanied with a side trip to Sungei Rengit (for seafood lunch) then to Desaru (beautiful beach) or Kota Tinggi (beautiful waterfall), it will be a completely exciting ride.

I have some doubts over cycling on roads, especially in Singapore where the drivers drive like they are wasted (and probably are. I have redoubtable faith on the power of Audi engines). But rural Malaysia? Hmm.

A few tips (from the websites I visited):

What you should bring
SGD and RM
Lots of drinking water if you are pedaling
Bikes (optional, bike surcharge on bumboat is S$2 one way)
Medical kit (if you are unlucky enough to fall down)
Bike repair kit (optional. Some sites recommend renting a van to follow you to your destination)

Getting there
Bumboats shuttle from Singapore's Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Tg Pengelih from 7 AM in the morning to 7 PM in the evening, operating on a first-come-first-served basis: once 12 people show up, the boat leaves. The journey takes about an hour and costs S$8 or RM 15 per person, plus S$2 for a bike (some sites say it is S$10, others say S$9). There are semi-scheduled departures in both directions at 7 AM and 1 PM, and the last boats back leave by 4 PM.

Coming back
1. if you are doing a day trip, remember to arrange with the bumboat uncle to meet you guys back at the jetty. If not, the jetty closes at 4, and there is no guarantee you can get the boat even if you reach there earlier.

2. To go back to SingapoUpdated!!!re, submit your passport at the first counter. The boat man will keep the passport for a while and when they collected enough passport, they will call you to collect your passport and every passenger will ask to queue up to pass through the immigration together.

The bumboat leaves when there are 12 passengers, sometimes they ask you to top up the fare so that the boat can leave earlier. Eg. The current boat fee is RM 15 per person if there are 12 passengers. If they are only 10 passengers, the boat man will ask everyone whether they are willing to pay RM 3 in extra, which is RM 18 per person, so that the boat can leave without waiting for another 2 more passengers.

3. There are at least one boat leaving from Singapore/Tanjung Pengelih to Tanjung Pengelih/Singapore at 7am and 1pm. The boat fee from Singapore is SGD 8 per person (some sites say it is S$10, others say S$9) and from Tanjung Pengelih is RM 15. But the fees from Tanjung Pengelih will become SGD 8 after 1pm. It means, the boat man will ask for Singapore dollars after 1pm.

4. The taxi fees from Sungai Rengit to Tanjung Pengelih is RM 20 per taxi or RM 5 per person. The taxi will move only when there are 4 passengers, or else you have to 'top up' the fare (包车).

If you missed the bumboat
1. Take the Merjdjan Ferry Services (tel. +60-7-8253333) speedboat service from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, which runs seven times a day every day except Tue and Wed departing from 7:50 AM to 3:50 PM, with the last return from Tg Pengelih at 7 PM. Taking only 20 minutes, this is much faster but also more expensive at S$28/38 one way/return.

2. Take the Sebana Cove ferry back to Singapore (4/5 services daily, last departure at 9 PM), but this is much more expensive (S$38 one-way) and you'll need to arrange a taxi to take you to Sebana Cove first.

So far, I have found some interesting reads, that I will share here:

Tristangroup (for booking dirt bikes, pit bikes, mountain bikes at Pengerang.

Sungei Renjit map (could be seriously outdated)

Pengerang blog (written by one of the locals) Talks about the wildlife, and how to access the village.

Rainforest Resort
(according to VirtualTourist, RM20 for fireflies cruise, RM30 for buffet)

Pixel's blog entry

I also managed to find a map of interesting locations nearby.

The Sungei Renjit map is not outdated. Good Luck Restaurant serves Lobster that sticks to the shell. Jade Garden not that much better. They serve expensive seafood and their other dishes are edible not excellent.

Book the boat before you go, especially on a holiday. Make sure you reach the Pengerang jetty before 2pm if you are coming back by boat.

Tristan Group service was good. They returned my careless colleague's watch, after he left it strapped to the bike, driving it back to the jetty for us. Their bikes are usable but have unfriendly seats.

Do not cycle unless you have racing bikes, or are too energetic. Rent a motorbike. 50.3 km to Desaru is no joke. No street lights. Nothing. Read post on Pengerang to Desaru.

I printed this map from Bikely.com. Route 90 has few trees. Bring lots of sun block. Book the Fireflies cruise before you go.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails