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Things to do around Desaru – Bujang Firefly River Cruise

By on March 10, 2013 in Malaysia

If you are from Europe or US, you are used to seeing “tourist attractions” around almost every corner. Malaysia is not really like that and deliberately set up tourist attractions are generally few and far between.

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However, in Desaru I saw two things advertised, the Bujang Firefly River Cruise and the Desaru fruit farm tour. So I decided to check them out.

The Bujang Firefly River Cruise was surprisingly difficult to find, and it took nearly an hour to locate it (My new best friend? A GPS unit was no help to me). I knew where it was on the map but just couldn’t find the road to it. It turns out that the secret to finding the firefly cruise, and the fruit farm, is to drive back from Desaru to almost the toll booths on E22 as if you were heading back to Johor, and instead of heading down E22 to the booths carry straight on. Within a few hundred metres the road to the firefly cruise should be on your left and the fruit farm is just a little way down the road, again on the left.

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Once you have found the small and windy track (that goes under E22) keep going until you reach the Bujang floating seafood restaurant (in fact you can’t go any further).

Desaru Bujang Firefly River Cruise

Bujang floating seafood restaurant

Desaru Bujang Firefly River Cruise

The Restaurant at the Firefly Cruise

I ate at the restaurant, and the food was pretty good.

One slightly odd thing at the restaurant is they burn egg box cartons as mosquito deterrents. I have no idea if this works…

Desaru Bujang Firefly River Cruise

The burning of egg box cartons to deter biting insects

The boat leaves directly from the restaurant, and I mistook the boat for part of the restaurant when I arrived.

The boat on the Desaru Bujang Firefly River Cruise

The boat…

The cruise takes around 40 min to go up and down the river. The boat moves very slowly in the pitch black (the guy driving it must have phenomenal eyesight) along the banks of the river. A lot of the bushes we passed had fireflies blinking in them, but this was enhanced by a crew member splashing the bushes with water.

Nothing to see here - Desaru Bujang Firefly River Cruise

There really is no point in attempting to photograph the fireflies because the above is all you get!

The crew member was also able to catch some of the fireflies that came close to the boat and hand them to people. I found it slightly odd handling the insects as they reminded me of burning embers and therefore I expect them to be hot – they are not.

Bujang Firefly River Cruise Restaurant after the cruise

Bujang Firefly River Cruise Restaurant after the cruise

Worth doing? Yes, particularly if you have kids with you who will enjoy the experience because there are – as the crew member said – “Christmas tree lights” in the bushes.

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
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  1. Anonymous says:


    Me and friends go there last week . I eat my first HorseCrab in the Restaurant.
    The cruise is just so marvelous and romantic.
    It like being is some magical forest with twinkling firefly, full moon , moon light on the water, soft blowing breeze…i probably will remember that nite for the rest of my life..