Most people choose to stay in Desaru as it has more to offer with its beach and resorts.
However we chose to stay in Kota Tinggi town as we had planned to go on the fire fly tour at night, which boarding point was only a 10mins walk away from the hotel we stayed at.
The town of Kota Tinggi is a small quiet town which hasn’t seen much development since the last time I was there close to a decade ago apart from a handful of new buildings. The hotel we stayed at Mayres Hotel is conveniently located at the corner of the major junction of Kota Tinggi town and has to be one of the tallest building in the town, making it impossible to miss when you drive through town.
The rooms are clean and simple. Nothing much to rave about but decent enough for a night’s sleep without much complains.
If you do have plans to stay at this hotel, I would suggest that you visit their website and make your bookings from there as Beebops made his booking through hotel booking sites and it was almost double the prices of the hotel’s website. Moreover if you would want to take the firefly tour, you can get a room and tour package.
We rested a bit before walking out to make bookings for the firefly tour and grab some lunch-cum-dinner at a nostalgic looking food centre. It reminded me of the old Maxwell market. There are a couple of seafood restaurants in the town which are usually packed with the day tour folks. I ate at one of those seafood restaurants before and the food isnt too expensive, but the both of us didn’t felt like having such a heavy dinner.
Our dinner was really inexpensive! Total of less than RM20.
It would have been even lower if we hadn’t ordered the sting ray, which was RM12.
After dinner we strolled around the mini night bazaar at the river front while waiting for our firefly boat tour.
The firefly boat tour takes about an hour and there are two timings according to the staff at the counter, 7.30pm and 8.30pm. We chose the latter timing in case the skies were still not dark enough for the fireflies to appear.
The boat we took looks like the one below except that the seats were all facing the front unlike the one below which faces inwards. If you are given a choice, I would suggest that you do not take the one with seating arrangements like the ones below as throughout the boat ride, you would have to turn 45degrees to 90degrees to see the fireflies.
All passengers of the boat are given life vests to put on, albeit a little damp. ;p
The boatman gave us a quick briefing of the ground rules in the boat and a reminder that flash photography is not allowed during the boat ride. I did not take any pictures in the entire boat ride. It would have been impossible for me to capture any pictures of the fireflies as it was pitch dark in the river and taking a picture with flash would definitely not capture the glow of the fireflies and startle the little fireflies.
Sad to say, there were still these “ugly” people triggering their flash units, either they are lacking in basic comprehension skills or have never been introduced the function of flash suppression on their cameras. Mind you some were DSLR owners. *shrug*
Other than the blinding flashes of lights, it was really beautiful to see the faint and flickering glows on the trees in theriver. At the first sight, it looked like your eyes are playing some tricks on you as it looked a little blurry and fuzzy. But when the boat moves closer to the trees, you can see these tiny lights on the branches and if you are lucky enough, you can see a couple flying really really close to you.
The light from the fireflies are emitted from the organs located at the lower abdomen and the production of light is due to a chemical reaction in the firefly. The fireflies communicate through the different signals of light, from steady glow to flashing lights. There has been occurence of synchronised flashing lights amongst groups of fireflies.
It’s amazing what Mother Nature brings. 🙂