On June 10, 2011 the Senai-Desaru Expressway in the south of Malaysia was finally opened. The new expressway promises to save us half the time required to travel the 77 km from Senai in the west of Johor Bahru to Desaru. The road through the palm plantations and its magnificent bridge over the Johor River lead us quickly into a lush countryside setting to the beach resorts.
The rate of toll is calculated based on the distance. So you pay the $ 2.49 USD or 7.60 MYR.
Here the theory see, then what we experience on our last trip from Singapore to Desaru.
We took the road at 11:00 am from Woodlands Singapore near the Malaysian border. The traffic was slow. The Customs officer informed us that the Malaysian authorities have implemented a system of fingerprinting for all foreigners. Surprisingly she said it was not working very well …
Once out of Singapore Customs , we crossed a bridge that led us quickly to the other side of the Malaysian border. This time, endless line up of car after car, buses and trucks were not moving for half hour. For the first time we witnessed many people crossing the bridge on foot- a faster way to enter because nothing moves.
Once we got to the Malaysian checkpoint, the authorities passed us a small electronic box to scan our fingerprints in the car.
It is always good to have a smart card Touch’N’Go to pay the tolls.
Once in Johor we were searching for directions to take the new highway. We saw signs, but they were not very explicit and the streets were still under construction.
Finally we got to the entrance on Highway 3. At the first toll booth, there was a slight confusion as it was not indicated clear enough which booth was for cash payment and which was for payment via smart card.
The new highway has its foundations laid but it was still a little bit bumpy. The landscape of the countryside is enjoyable. The new bridge across the Johor River is impressive. It must have cost a lot of dollars. The budget has probably been cut for the rest, because the road structure is not consistent. Sometimes it’s a two way road and sometimes it’s one way. Some motorists went on the opposite lanes to save time. Not surprising that on our return we saw the wreckage of three cars in a heap on the edge of the highway.
In terms of speed, the old road is almost as effective, free, and perhaps even safer.
The place is decent despite its exterior look which reminds me of an Islamic Disneyland castle. Many families come to enjoy the school holidays.
– The semi-luxurious modern suite are built on two floors, but the TV set is sadly on the first floor.
– There is a little Water-park for kids and many activities available. I find the place a bit noisy. The buffet was not bad, but crowded…
– The hotel is huge and is frequented mostly by Malaysian families to enjoy family vacation.