After another short two-night stay at the Amari Hotel in Johor Bahru, I would catch a cab to make my way up to the Senai Airport where later in the day I would catch a flight North to Kuala Lumpur. Now seeing as how my flight wouldn’t be until just after nine that evening, it might seem odd to be going to the airport around 7:30 in the morning. But this was so that I could take advantage of a bus from Causeway Link from the airport direct to Desaru Coast Resort. The airport had luggage storage as well, so it just made sense to go ahead and take advantage of this and the bus ride for this water park since I had not rented a car here.
While the bus itself was fairly comfortable, what was quite strange was that I was the only passenger that day. I was happy that they would still run even with only one on board, but it was still an odd feeling being the only passenger for the ride over to the park.
None the less, after just a bit more than an hour, we arrived to the Desaru Coast resort. This place has a few hotels, including a Hard Rock Hotel, as well as a boardwalk area with multiple shops and a couple restaurants. There is also a small amphitheater that is part of the Hard Rock Hotel for live performances.
What brought me out this way though was the Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark. The park itself is pretty new as it had just opened about a year and a half ago before this visit, and if I thought the bus ride was empty, this waterpark would never get very busy during my time here. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw less than 100 guests in the park that day. And even though it was a fairly slow day, all of the slides and attractions were open.
There were a few things that stood out to me about this park. One, I was kind of surprised by how small it was. While I didn’t expect it to be the size of a Wet ‘n Wild or something similar, this was certainly smaller than I would have thought. To their credit though, the park is really nice. There are two main slide towers, one which is with either single or double tubes, and the other for small group, such as a Pro Slide Tornado. The bummer of coming on such a slow day solo was that I wouldn’t be able to try the two larger group slides since you couldn’t go on your own. But I did get to try out the other slide tower that offered either the toilet-bowl style slide, or one that was like a miniature version of the tornado slide for individuals or pairs, and they were fun.
There was also quite a bit for the kids to enjoy as they offered a few slides specifically for them and a water play structure as found at a large number of water parks.
The majority of the day though was spent with three attractions. One of which was their MASSIVE wave pool. While the waves were a bit inconsistent as there would be long periods of time in some cases making it seem more like a large swimming pool, when the waves did come they were at pretty big. It was the variety where it was one large wave at a time, unlike some wave pools where multiple waves are sent between cycles.
With having a bit of sore feet yesterday, it was nice to enjoy something where I could be off of them and relax, and that was exactly what the lazy river provided! Nice, relaxed ride around part of the park. There were even moments when you would come alongside figures of the parks characters, and experience a few water sprays along the way.
The main reason for coming to this park though was their Mack water coaster, Kraken’s Revenge. There are multiple coasters of this model that have the same layout, but this is the first time I have seen one built inside of a water park. Since it was such a slow day, I was able to ride this around six times without ever waiting as in many cases the car was waiting in the station for passengers. These can be a fun alternative to a normal flume style ride as they add a little extra thrill with the coaster portion of the ride.
As I thought about it, I wondered why you don’t see more water rides like this inside of water parks. It certainly adds another thrill to the selection, and it fits right in since you get wet from it. They even have a deck where you can watch and get splashed as well.
Since it was so slow, and the park was a bit on the smaller side, I decided to take advantage of the extra time I had before the bus would head back to Senai Airport to explore around the resort. I went to the coaster and stepped into the waters of the South China Sea. The water was really warm, which surprised my as I had not anticipated that, although being as close to the Equator as it is here, I would imagine that has something to do with it. If I were staying at one of the hotels here, this would be a great spot to come and relax for a while.
Because the restaurants outside the water park seemed to be closed today, while waiting for the bus I stopped in a shop that was open for a few snacks. The store’s manager was really friendly and we had a conversation where I told him about being from the US, and he made suggestions about snacks to try that were from Malaysia. He even gave me a free container of Salty Egg flavored potato sticks. I was expecting that these would have a bit of a different flavor to them, but in reality, they tasted more or less like regular potato chips in stick form.
After catching the bus back to the airport, and getting an actual meal, I was ready for the next flight of the trip, which would be the first of a few with the low-cost carrier, AirAsia. The flights I took with them would be rather cheap, even when paying extra to be able to choose a seat or for bags as would be needed for this flight and the one to Hong Kong later in the trip. For this particular flight, the base price was only around $6 US! But when everything was said and done, I ended up paying around $30, which still isn’t bad for a one-way flight.
I will say though, I’m really glad this was only about an hour-long flight as it was really tight with only about 28 inches of pitch if I remember correctly. I’m only about 5’ 10”, and my knees were up against the next seat, so I can only imagine what it would be like for those who are taller.
But the flight did what it was supposed to, and that was to get us to Kuala Lumpur. Because many of the rental car companies were not open late at night, I booked a hotel nearby for that night so that in the morning I could head right to the rental car agency to pick up my ride for the next few days in the KL area. I had originally book at the Tune Aeropolis hotel, which was located on the far side of the KLIA airport, but had a shuttle from their sister location near Terminal 2 where I arrived. So I went to the desk to ask about the shuttle as I had a reservation, which they said that the hotel I had booked was already full.
I had a brief moment of panic as I had made a reservation, and thought that I was going to be hosed having to pay big bucks for a last minute hotel, but as it turned out, they provided me a room at that location instead, which was nice because for one, it was more expensive to stay at this one since it was right next to the airport, but I was getting to stay for the same rate, and two, since it was right there at Terminal 2, all I had to do in the morning was to catch the shuttle the next morning to get to Terminal 1 where I could find my rental car.
And with that, it was off to bed as the next day would involve a decent amount of driving as there would be a quest to seek a coaster that had a lot of mystery around, and then to one of the most popular resorts outside of Kuala Lumpur.
See More of the 2019 Southeast Asia Trip:
1: Going East by West / 2: Exploring Singapore / 3: Universal Studios Singapore / 4: Legoland Malaysia & Danga Bay / 5: Desaru Coast / 6: Bukit Gambang & Genting Highlands / 7: Theme Parks of Ipoh / 8: Batu Caves & Sunway Lagoon /
9: Exploring Kuala Lumpur / 10: A Day in Brunei