Xia's Journey

a RATty good time at Pengerang

on October 25, 2012

Travel Dates : 20 – 21 Oct 2012 (Sat & Sun)

Cost : S$140 Includes 1 night accomodation + 1 BBQ Dinner.

(Excludes all other meals and expenses.)

Having subscribed to numerous meet-up groups, I came across a posting to visit Pengerang to shoot the Milky Way.

I visited Pengerang two years ago, and had a terrible fall back then. I was a little hesitant to sign up but did so eventually on the account of shooting the Milky Way. I did not manage to shoot the Milky Way in my recent Mt. Bromo trip, and I was hoping to do so during this trip.

Pengerang is a small custom cum immigration post in southeast Johor, Malaysia. It has a few houses and a road leading to Sungai Rengit – the larger town where food and lodging can be found. However, the name Pengerang is often used to cover the dock and immigration post at Tanjung Pengelih, the village of Kampong Pengelih and the nearby town of Sungai Rengit.

HSH_5272Seafood is usually the main reason why visitors flock to Pengerang; with treats like lobster and crab much cheaper than Singapore or even JB. The main restaurants for delicious and affordable seafood are ;-

– Crystal Jade Seafood
– Jade Garden Seafood – Near the Shell gas station where most dishes are around MYR 18
– Si Wan Dao Seafood (四弯岛幸运海鲜楼) >> Where I ate at two years ago.

This sleepy little town was awaken by the recent strike over an oil and gas hub to be developed in Pengerang.

HSH_5290The group met up at Kranji MRT at 7.30am and proceeded to get into Pengerang via the Woodlands customs.

HSH_5266As we arrived in Pengerang, many of us were famished and decided to settle for some Roti Chanai (more commonly known as Roti Prata in Singapore) for breakfast.

The Roti Chanai stall was a few blocks away from where I used to stay in my previous trip to Pengerang.

HSH_5283I took some time off from the group and went to re-visit the hotel that I stayed previously.

Memories of that trip came flooding back to me, as I recalled how the three of us cycled around the town, how I fell, how my two very gracious and kind friends helped me to the clinic, had me stitched up, had my room changed from 4th level to 1st and went out to buy dinner back for me.

IMG_0768Though it was a painful and frightening experience, it was one of my most unforgettable trips.

This adversity brought us much closer as friends as we braved the ‘unimaginables’ together.

HSH_5407After a hearty breakfast, we set off for some shooting in and around the coastal area. We came across a few freshly-born kittens. I was never a feline-lover but this little one got me smitten. It has such beautiful and innocent eyes that I doubt anyone could resist.

HSH_5449We saw this elderly fisherman mending his net and he was very kind to even pose for us.

2012-10-20 13.41.51By then, it was past noon and it was time to feed 12 starving stomachs. FOOD….!! Since we were at Pengerang and it was a seafood paradise, we settled for Restoran Makanan Laut Sin Kong.

Anthony mentioned that this seafood restaurant serves better seafood than the others. Dishes after dishes came and we ate our fill. It was such a sumptuous, satisfying lunch.

We wondered around the town; bought their well-known pastries, had ice-kacang from the old traditional ice-kacang machine, got some shots before we headed to our resort for the night. Enroute, we stopped at the beach and had a whale of time cam-whoring. It was such a splendid day to be soaking in the sun !

HSH_5625 HSH_5643

We finally arrived at our resort after a bumpy ride through a vast palm oil plantation. But when we arrived and went around the resort, we realized it was well worth the bumpy ride.

HSH_5804Tanjung Sutera, the resort that we stayed at, was located on the eastern coast of Johor, Malaysia, Lot 901 Kuala Sedili Besar, Kota Tinggi.

The resort lies about 40 meters above sea level and offers a spectacular, gorgeous panaromic ocean view of the South China Sea.

To top it up, the swimming pool and al fresco dining oversees the ocean.

HSH_5840There is a lily pond amongst the cottages and it was just right in front of the cottage that I was staying in.

The cottages around the lily pond were lighted up at night, bringing much serenity and peace to the resort.

2012-10-21 10.59.22The cottages are very clean with attached bathroom, bed, table, bamboo sofa and cabinet. Best of all, our cottage has an outdoor shower area! It was such a thrilling experience having this ‘outdoor’ shower!

There was no TV or internet access as my room mate, Iris, and I basked in each other’s companionship.

It was like a modern kampong – very idyllic and rustic. Perhaps that was why it had such excellent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Night fell and we had a sumptuous BBQ dinner under the stars, as we sat at the alfresco dining and immersed ourselves in the soothing sounds and cool breeze of the ocean.

We called it a night by 10pm and headed to bed as we needed to be up at 12 midnight for the shooting of the Milky Way. Before I could knock out, I was up again.

HSH_5717We assembled at the dining area and headed to a dark spot to try shooting the Milky Way.

We waited in the dark, cold night and took shots after shots. But alas, it was too cloudy and the Milky Way was nowhere in sight. We ended the session at 3pm.

As I caught glimpses of lightning across the horizon, I headed off to the parapet by the ocean in an attempt to catch some lightning shots. As I waited, droplets of rain started giving my head a good massage and off I dash back to my little cottage.

After two hours on napping, I was up again trying to get the sunrise over the horizon.


It was a cold and misty morning after the downpour two hours back.

There was a couple out waiting for the sunrise as well.

The lovey, dovey couple were enjoying each other’s companionship despite that there wasn’t any beautiful sunrise to wow over.

I guess when you are in love, every minute spent was sweet, with or without any additional sweeteners. Haha  : )

HSH_5911Ended the shoot and off we went to a well-known Bak Kut Teh place to make up for the disappointing sunrise.

We arrived at the eatery. It was a stand-alone restaurant in the middle of nowhere, filled with throngs of hungry, waiting customers.


We went round and round in search of a table for the 7 of us. We finally got one, right at the back of the eatery.

HSH_5906The Bak Kut Teh were simmered over a low fire using charcoal, and that was the unique selling point of this eatery and that was also the main reason for our 1 hour wait for our order.

2012-10-20 Bak Kut Teh - Before and AfterWe were famished by the time we were being served our breakfast.

Anthony knew of this place 5 years back, but never got to come by for the breakfast.

With this visit, he finally did – he’s finally a happy and contented soul !

HSH_5968 We got back to our resort and I met up with my room mate, Iris.


As we got into the room, I started to pack my stuffs, getting ready for check out.

HSH_5975I got to the table and saw that my pastries were ripped apart.

I had a shock of my life ! Were there monkeys in our room ? I yelled out to my roomie and her jaws dropped as well. We speculated that the culprits were more likely to be rats rather than monkeys.

I have stayed in tons of budget hotels, motels, resorts etc, but had never once come across my food being ripped apart by rats. This was the first! I took this pic and threw out the pastries. It was an exasperating yet hilarious experience.

We checked out HSH_6102and proceeded to head back to Singapore. On our way, we stopped at a Hindu Glass temple near Johor as well as had dinner before we got back SG.

Though I did not get my Milky Way shot this time round, I made new friends, had lots of fun and had a great time walking down memory lane.


2 responses to “a RATty good time at Pengerang

  1. nelsonchw says:

    Nice blog

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