Do you find yourself staring at travel pictures during weekends and hopelessly wishing you were there? Feeling exasperated as you try to find a parking lot in the mega malls or overcrowded cafes? The excitement for weekends have died down as soon as you finish the last drop of booze in your favourite bar on a Friday night.
Fret not, here is a list of road trips in Malaysia you might want to embark on, to once again bring back the zest for weekends!
- Kukup Laut, District of Pontian on Straits of Malacca
80 kilometres Northwest of Singapore, 40 kilometres from Johor Bahru
Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours drive
Tucked at the southwestern tip of the Peninsular of West Malaysia is a laid back century old fishing town built entirely on stilts. Kukup Laut is one of the world’s largest mangrove swamp island and is famous for its seafood, vast expanse of rubber, oil palm, and cocoa plantations. This little island is dotted with some fruit farms that boats 50 different kinds of fruits.
- Port Dickson, State of Negeri Sembilan
314 kilometres Northwest of Singapore, 90 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur
Approximately 3 to 4 hours drive
Usually a beach holiday destination for the locals but the beaches are nothing to rave about compared to the activities available inland. Port Dickson is a small port that is popular for sailing.
Though Singapore has one of the best zoos in the world, Port Dickson’s Ostrich Showfarm is still very much something fresh and an unique experience. You will be able to get up close to the farms animals and besides ostriches, visitors can get to roam freely with peacocks, jungle fowls, turkeys, and goats, just to name a few. You can even race on the ostriches!
Also known as Tanjung Tuan, this hilly cape is 18 kilometres south of Port Dickson town. Perched at the top of a gazetted forest reserve is a historical lighthouse built by the Portuguese colonial forces in 1528; after conquering Malacca. At the summit, you can gaze down at the hues of blue crashing into the rocky hills.
362 kilometres Northwest of Singapore
Approximately 3.5 to 4 hours drive
Selangor is colloquially known as the ‘Abode of Sincerity’ and is one of the 13 states of Malaysia. Being one of the most populous state in the nation, it is home to top attractions such as Sunway Lagoon, Batu Caves, and Grand Mosques. Selangor will feed the interests of all visitors with activities ranging from nature to urban to religious.
Selangor is a fruit paradise, having several fruit farms that are fun for both kids and adults alike. Visitors are welcomed to enjoy feasting on fruits and shopping for other fruits related produce. Stand in one of the fruit lanes as if you are trapped in a natural maze of mangoes, rambutan, guava, papaya, gosapine, or pineapple. It is best to visit during April to July where trees are fruiting.
Cavernous interior that are said to be around for more than 400 million years, Batu Caves is one of the top tourist attractions in Malaysia; serving as a spot for religious pilgrimage for the Hindus and adventure-seekers.
There are 3 attractions. The Temple Cave, which is also the main cave, accessed by the almost-vertical flight of 272 steps serves as a Hindu Temple devoted to Lord Muragan. Witness the world’s tallest statue standing at 141 feet tall.
The second attraction is Dark Cave, catered to the active visitors; and are only allowed to enter if you have a guide. This cave is home to one of the world’s rarest spider, Trapdoor Spider, an ancient animal that dates back to 100 million years.
The third, Cave Villa, is at the foot of the limestone hill where a courtyard overlooks a little pond and statue of a five legged bull.
- Taman Negara, Titiwangsa Mountains
600 kilometres Northeast of Singapore
Approximately 7 hours drive
No holiday in the tropics is done until you visit a tropical rainforest. Taman Negara is the largest national park in Malaysia and the oldest jungle covering 4,343 sq kilometres, spenning across Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang; with flourishing flora and fauna that evolved naturally over 130 million years.
Unwind in the nature’s setting and engage in activities such as rock climbing, fishing, camping, jungle trekking, and be rejuvenated at the end of your trip.
- Lake Kenyir, State of Terengganu
600 kilometres North of Singapore
Approximately 8 to 9 hours drive
More commonly known as Tasik Kenyir among locals, this is the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia. A showcase of 340 islands, fed by 30 rivers, home to 25 waterfalls and lush rainforest, this lake was built between 1978 and 1985 to generate electricity for Sultan Mahmud Hydroelectric Power Plant.
Here, you can find an incredible biodiversity - 8000 species of flowers, 2500 of plants and trees, 300 of fungus, 1000 of birds, and 200 of other animals. Also, be sure to visit the 5 tiered Lasir Waterfall.
- Kota Bharu, State capital of Kelantan
737 kilometres North of Singapore
Approximately 10 to 11 hours drive
Sharing border with Thailand in the west Peninsular Malaysia, Kota Bharu is home to many local traditional treasures, waiting to be unearthed. Many ways to experience its local culture is through their varieties of food.
Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah
Located in Jalan Hulu, this local wet market is a food, both raw produce and ready-to-eat, haven. Selling usual fresh produce like seafood, vegetables, and fruits, you can find Ayam Percik, Nasi Kerabu, and other noodle soups alongside. This 4 storey high market has all of the authentic taste of Kelantan. Fun fact: the name was changed as a sign of respect for the working women that reign this market.
Yet another article lake of 15,200 hectares, this large body of fresh water is the second largest lake in Malaysia and is home to many species of fishes.
What’s more interesting is Belum Eco Resort, a privately owned, which is built to preserve this island’s natural eco-system in the largest rainforest in the Malay Peninsular.
Kota Bharu’s fame extends beyond its food to the highly skilled artisans and lovely textiles. Batik is an art and craft for centuries in Malaysia, especially in Kelantan, for its distinct and unique pattern and eye-catching yet soothing colours. The Batik in Kota Bharu is hand-made from scratch.
More travel inspiration here.