Malaysia has finally opened up to domestic travel and we are beside ourselves excited! There’s no better way to experience the beauty and culture of Malaysia than driving through the kampungs, jungles, and cities that it contains. We have found 5 amazing road trips, leaving from KL, all unique in their journey and destination. So hop in the car, get ready to explore, bond with your loved ones, and create life long memories!
If you're looking to escape the big city and spend some relaxing time in a quaint little town, breathing in fresh, cool air, this is a road trip for you. The drive up the mountain is slow and winding but there's much to see along the way and the destination is well worth it. Halfway up the mountain, you'll run into Lata Iskandar Waterfall which is the perfect pitstop to stretch your legs, get some fried bananas, and enjoy the scenery.
As you move up the mountain, close to the little town of Tanah Rata, you'll come across Cameron Valley Tea House which is a must stop. Here you can enjoy a cup of tea and a scone while looking out over tea plantations that are so green and beautiful it's hard to believe they're real. Once you reach Tanah Rata you have made it. This adorable European inspired town has much to offer, from strawberry farms and tea plantations to golfing and forest tours, all while basking in the cool and refreshing climate.
Rule number one for a good road trip: don't be in a hurry. The trip from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru is no different as it can be a quick 3.5-hour drive, but if you didn't stop along the way you would miss so much good food, rich culture, and Malaysian beauty. The first along the way is Seremban, about 1 hour south of KL, where you can fill your bellies with the famous Seremban beef noodles or Chinese pork bun (Siew Pow Master is the best). From there you can stay on the Expressway or make your way over to Port Dickson and jump on the coastal road for the scenic route. Either way, you'll run into the city of Melaka where there's no shortage of things to do, see, and eat.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site and Jonker street are must-sees and a trip to Melaka wouldn't be complete without a coconut milkshake and some Nonya cuisine. Continuing on southward, as you get close to Johor, you will come across Johor Premium Outlets which is a shoppers paradise to do some bargain hunting. And now, you've finally reached Johor! From Legoland Malaysia (you can read more about it HERE) and Angry Birds Activity Park, to tropical islands and shopping galore, there is much fun to be had.
Malaysia has some seriously incredible beaches and islands, many of which are near the cute little beach town of Kuala Terengganu. The drive without stopping would take about 4.5 hours, but there are plenty of things to see and do along the way that will be well worth the pit stop. About an hour and a half down the road you will come across the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre. This a free center that is dedicated to protecting this beautiful species where you will be able to encounter and feed elephants. As you continue to head east, you will run into Kuantan where you can stop for a frolic in the sand at Teluk Cempedak Beach and grab some seafood or curry puffs for lunch.
From Kuantan to Terengganu, you can stay on the interstate the whole way and get there in 2.5 hours, or you could opt for the coastal road and tack on an extra hour of driving but get to experience the coastal countryside of Malaysia. Once you reach Kuala Terengganu, you can stay there and check out the floating mosque, beautiful beaches, and try the famous nasi dagang, or you can continue your journey by hopping on a boat to one of the nearby islands. Or better yet, do both!
This is the perfect trip for those that want to get out of the city but don't want to be in the car for hours on end, as it's only an hour down the road from KL. If you want to make a stop along the way, Janda Baik is a great option. It's located in the Lentang Forest Reserve so you know the scenery is breathtaking. There are plenty of accommodation options if you want to spend the night or you can just stop in for a riverside picnic, a locally grown and roasted cup of coffee, or to pick some fruit at one of the many orchards. Continue on up the hill and you'll reach Bukit Tinggi in no time.
While you're there make sure to spend some time in the Japanese Village, complete with a Japanese Tea House, spa, and kimonos for rent. Also check out the French-inspired Colmar Tropicale, an adorable little village that will make you feel like you've been teleported to smack dab in the middle of France. For those adventure seekers, Colmar Adventure Park will be right up your alley.
No Malaysian travel list would complete without a trip to Penang, the food paradise of Malaysia. The drive with no stops can be completed in under 4 hours, but what fun would that be? After traveling north for 1 and a half hours, you'll reach the little town of Sungkai which is home to Felda Residence Hot Spring, You could opt to rest for the night in one of their villas or just pop in for a quick dip in the hot spring pool. also near Sungkai is The Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan, an old World War 2 watchtower turned tourist attraction. Following that, the highway will lead you to the popular tourist destination, Ipoh, which gives the Penang food scene a run for its money. While Ipoh chicken rice and kway teow are must-tries, the real treasure is the white coffee for which Ipoh is quite famous. In between meals, you can walk the Ipoh Heritage Trail which contains buildings dating back to World War 2, check out the street art in oldtown Ipoh, or have some family fun at Lost World of Tambun Amusement Park. There's so much to do in Ipoh that you could easily spend a night or two here before continuing on toward Penang.
As you near the state of Penang, you'll reach the town of Taiping where you can stretch your legs at the Lake Gardens, indulge in Taiping's famous treat, cendol, or marvel at the animals at the zoo and night safari. Once you reach Penang, get ready for some feasting and family fun. Head to one of the many food stalls for some nasi kandar, char kuey teow or curry mee, just to name a few. When you're not gorging yourself on this world-famous food, entertain the family at 3D Trick Art Museum, Escape Theme Park, or The Habitat Penang Hill with its adventure course and zip lines. For other ideas of what to do and where to stay in Penang, take a peek HERE.