One of the best ways to see what a country has to offer is by going on a road trip and the same can be said of this beloved country of ours – Malaysia! It’s a great opportunity for some bonding time with your precious ones and we’re sure that the time you spend on the road is sure to create a lasting memory☺
So read on as we present a list of weekend road trips to satiate that burning wanderlust of yours without the need to travel far and away!
1. Kuala Lumpur – Bukit Tinggi (1 hour)
For a brief respite away from the hustle and bustle of city life, head to Bukit Tinggi – a picturesque hidden gem tucked away high up in the Pahang mountains.
Along the way, make a stop at the small peaceful village known as Janda Baik. It is another famous getaway from the big city, where you can indulge in a riverside picnic amidst the soothing sounds of rushing water and tranquil greenery😌
And if you’re up for it, take a dip in the cold water for a rejuvenating bath before continuing with your road trip!
Once you’ve arrived at Bukit Tinggi, we recommend visiting the Japanese Village first as it is closes in the evening. Take a stroll around the scenic garden and have a taste of Japanese culture by donning a kimono and participating in a Japanese tea ceremony!
No trip to Bukit Tinggi is complete without a visit to Colmar Tropicale – a French-themed town inspired by the real-life French village of Colmar in Alsace, France. This gorgeous town is full of Instagram-worthy shots so get that camera ready! You can also opt to spend the night at one of the many lodgings here.
If you do choose to stay the night, spend a bit of time at Fraser’s Hill the next day on your way back to KL. This quaint town retains its old-world charm from the colonial era with its English-styled bungalows and landscape akin to the English countryside. One of the must-take picture spots is the iconic clock tower!
If you have more time to spare and are feeling up for an adventure, explore one of the many nature paths at the Hill such as the Pine Tree Trail and the Bishop Trail😎
2. Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Selangor – Sekinchan (1 hour 45 minutes)
Many will head to Sekinchan directly from KL but why not take a short breather at the small historic town of Kuala Selangor first?
Take the tram or walk up Bukit Melawati, and be greeted by the lovely panoramic view of the Selangor coastline. A fort back in the late 18th and 19th century due to its high altitude, a few remnants of the past can be found around the hill such as fort walls, palace ground, a lighthouse and cannons. Visit the small yet informative (and free!) museum there to learn more about its history!
If you come in the late afternoon, you can catch the sunset with some of the famous furry residents of Melawati Hill – monkeys! You can also choose to drive for 15 minutes and go firefly-watching at Kampung Kuantan before continuing on your journey to Sekinchan, which is an hour’s drive from there.
Once you’ve arrived at Sekinchan, there are many options of attractions you can choose from! We personally enjoyed the 3D Art Gallery and Pantai Redang☺ But you can also choose to visit a Paddy Processing factory and the fishing village of Sungai Burong.
Don’t forget to dine at one of the many seafood restaurants here before heading home!
3. Kuala Lumpur – Teluk Intan – Ipoh (3 hours 45 minutes)
As you make your way to Ipoh, take the Sungkai exit for a quick pit stop at Teluk Intan – a quiet rudimentary town with a few charms of its own!
The Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan is a must visit here. With a long history dated back to the 19th century, it was once a Japanese watchtower during World War 2 which then turned into a water storage before being deemed unusable due to the slight tilting from the water pressure. Now it has been transformed into a tourist attraction!
Go for a lunch at one of the local’s favourites such as Nasi Kandar Krishnan or M. Gulam Rasul for a plate of Nasi Kandar. Once you’re done, it’s full speed ahead to the town of Ipoh!
Ipoh has been gaining in popularity, and rightly so. With its seamless blend of cultures and history, charming townscape, and laid-back vibe – it is an ideal destination for a short getaway😍
There is a little bit of everything for every type of traveller here in Ipoh. A history-buff? Then Concubine Lane, Birch Memorial Tower and Kellie’s Castle are among the places to go. For fans of art, look out for the many street arts scattered around town. If it is an adventure you seek, then head on over to Gunung Lang and Tempurung Cave for that much-needed adrenaline rush!
As for you foodies, fret not for we’ve listed out all the best and must-go eateries in Ipoh just for you right here! So eat to your heart’s (and tummy) content with all these local delights!
4. Kuala Lumpur – Seremban – Melaka (3 hours 45 minutes)
The first rule of thumb when it comes to a road trip is to ditch the highway. So take the road less travel along the Peninsular coastline for a few memorable pit stops as you journey to Melaka.
The first agenda of the trip is to have Negeri Sembilan’s delicacies of lemak cili padi and gulai tempoyak for lunch at Seremban. Most Malay eateries at Seremban will have these dishes (and other scrumptious local eats) though, if you’re looking for recommendations, try Restoran Nelayan Seafood Rahang or Restoran Selera Nogori.
From Seremban, continue towards Port Dickson instead of taking the highway. You will be pleasantly greeted by the gorgeous sea view as you wind your way down to Melaka. And if you’re in no hurry, hit the break at any part of the beach and just enjoy nature’s offerings!
Steeped in history at every corner of the town, Melaka has aplenty historical attractions – the A’Famosa Fort, the Stadhuys, St Paul’s Church, and the many, many museums across the city.
Of course, no Malaysian town is complete without its own food guide and our Melaka food guide is here to help!
There’s so much to do and eat in Melaka that we recommend spending your weekend here! And we’ve got you all covered for that adventure with this itinerary.
5. Ipoh – Taiping – Penang (3 hours 30 minutes)
If you’re headed to Penang from Ipoh, there are quite a number of scenic stops you can make. The first is Kuala Kangsar – the royal town of Perak and befitting of its title, palaces from an earlier time are their main attractions!
Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of Istana Kenangan and be in awe of the palace-turned-museum Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery.
Continuing up north, Taiping plays host to the sublime and gorgeous Lake Gardens, the first public garden in then-Malaya. Built on top of an abandoned tin mine, the lush greenery combined with the languid vibe known to Taiping is sure to soothe both body and soul😌
While you’re there, don’t miss out on Taiping’s famous treat – cendol! Some claim that Ansari Cendol is the best in town while others argue that Bismillah Cendol is better. Our solution? Try both and judge it for yourself😜
Our last pit stop before heading straight to Penang is the coastal town of Kuala Sepetang. Take a nature walk at Matang Mangrove Forest, say hello to the 131 years old Port Weld Train Station Sign, visit the Khay Hor Charcoal Factory, and most importantly, have a taste of Kuala Sepetang’s yummy offering – prawn noodles!
Now that you’ve your fill, full speed ahead to Penang!
A strong presence of cultures and traditions can be seen in every nook of this town, in particular at Georgetown Old Town. Penang also boasts a world-class street art scene and is home to many beautiful parks such as the Penang Botanic Gardens, Penang National Park and Penang Avatar Secret Garden!
No trip to Penang is complete without sampling their many scrumptious delicacies – it is, after all, Malaysia’s unofficial food capital! Curry mee, nasi kandar, mee sotong, char kuey teow, Penang assam laksa, the list goes on and on. There’s so many but we’ve rounded up the best for you right here.
6. Penang – Alor Setar – Perlis (2 hours 30 minutes)
The long drive to Perlis is definitely not a dull one, especially when you can pause for a breather or two at the state capital of Kedah, Alor Setar! Known as the Rice Bowl of Malaysia, the scenic view of golden paddy fields will frame this road trip of yours😍
Check out how rice is made and processed at the Paddy Museum, do your prayer at the wondrous Zahir Mosque, and learn about Kedah royalties at Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Gallery! For lunch, try laksa utara (the Northern version of laksa) at Laksa Ikan Sekoq. Pair it with a bowl of cooling cendol pulut, another speciality of the eatery!
Contrary to what you might expect, Perlis has lots to offer especially if you’re a nature enthusiast. Wonders of nature in the likes of caves and forest abound. Do some cave exploration at Kelam Cave or Wang Burma Cave, and bask in the glory of nature at Perlis State Park!
7. Kota Bharu – Tasik Kenyir – Kuala Terengganu (3 hours 55 minutes)
A living heritage of Malaysia, Kota Bharu (or fondly referred to as KB by the locals) is a good base for exploring Kelantan. Amongst the main reasons people flock to KB are for their rich and colourful culture, superb local cuisine, and the friendly vibe of a small yet lively town!
Here, Siti Khadijah Market is a must go. With plenty of items for sale from clothes to food to everything in between, you’ll be spoilt for choice. This is also a food haven spot if you’re searching for cheap eats such as nasi dagang, nasi kerabu, and laksa😋
Instead of using the expressway as you journey to Terengganu, use Jalan Pantai for a more scenic ride of the Peninsular coastline. If you have ample time, head to Tasik Kenyir – the largest manmade lake in Southeast Asia.
You can choose to go for a swim at the many rivers around or in the lake itself. But if you’re pressed for time, take a rest and enjoy the gorgeous panorama☺
Once you’ve arrived at Kuala Terengganu, take the chance to perform your prayer at the majestic Crystal Mosque – a floating mosque made of steel, glass and crystal!
Then you’re off to exploring all that Kuala Terengganu has to offer – the Islamic Heritage Park, Batu Buruk beach, Terengganu State Museum, Bukit Puteri and Dungun Night Market.
Don’t leave this town without having a meal of Terengganu’s famous delicacy – nasi dagang. A much-loved breakfast dish among the locals, it is sold pretty much in every eatery. We personally recommend Sudut Selera Kak Pah or Nasi Dagang Kak Jah for an authentic taste of this dish😋
8. Kuantan – Johor Bahru (5 hours 25 minutes)
For a road trip that is more family and kids-friendly, head to JB! A fun-filled and awesome adventure awaits you and your little ones at Legoland, Malaysia’s first international theme park. Go on Lego-themed rides, have fun with the many interactive games, and get wet and dirty at their water park.
Spend a night there so you can have even more awesome family time at Sanrio Hello Kitty Town! Take an enjoyable teacup ride, take pictures with Hello Kitty herself and her adorable abode, and watch an exciting performance of Hello Kitty and friends live on stage. And if that’s not enough, there’s the Angry Birds Activity Park right next door🤗
Continue the fun even after the sun sets by visiting Danga Bay! This waterfront not only boasts a lovely sea view but also features an outdoor theme park. Rides include merry-go-round, spinning teacup, and bumper cars.
Road trips may take a longer time for us to get to our destination but it’s so much for fun and eye-opening! Besides, as the saying goes, it is the journey – not the destination that matters😎