Mention the words ‘road trips’ and images of Route 66 and the Pacific Coast Highway come to mind. But what if we tell you that the definitive road trip is but only one causeway bridge away?
Malaysia has always been a hotspot for car enthusiasts looking to leave the 90kph speed limit behind to put their babies through their paces. But our neighbouring country has plenty more to offer than the Sepang International Circuit, a motorsport race track in Selangor. She’s also home to dozens of roads worth hitting the wheel for, all of which offer a glimpse of her extraordinarily diverse culture and nature.
The next time you and your supercar are in the mood for exploration, use this as a guide to the most scenic road trips in Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands
If you’re looking to escape Kuala Lumpur’s frenetic life, Cameron Highlands is just the respite you need. The three- to four-hour road trip culminates with tea plantations on hills, quaint villages and honey farms scattered throughout the landscape, which can be particularly fascinating for city dwellers.
Changlun to Kuala Perlis
They say the best things happen at the most unexpected of places, and that holds true for the trip between these two lesser-known towns. Known as one of the most popular driving routes in the country, the 38km journey — which starts from the cowboy town of Changlun to the seafood haven that is Kuala Perlis — promises endless rows of paddy hills with the occasional majestic limestone hill. You won’t miss this road, it’s the only freeway option there. Start just before dusk if you’re looking to fill your Instagram feed with sunset shots amidst the breathtaking scenery.
Kuala Kangsar to Betong, Thailand
If you’re not ready to end your adventure in Malaysia, this driving route will lead you to neighbouring Thailand with as much pizzazz as possible. The journey starts at the royal town of Perak, where you’ll find attractions such as the Ubudiah Mosque (one of the most beautiful mosques in Malaysia), alongside plenty of other imperial monuments.
From there, hop onto the new freeway, which will take you through expansive green fields, blue skies, and a majestic mountain range, before you take a left at the town of Gerik.
Singapore to Malacca
Located only three to four hours away by car, Malacca is a popular destination for drivers seeking out a particularly scenic drive and stellar food. The journey is relatively fuss-free, and it’s one where you’ll experience open fields and neatly-rowed fruit and palm tree plantations along the AH2 highway. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed city is rife with colonial charm, ancient landmarks, and a wealth of heritage buildings, so your little adventure is far from over even when you reach.
Kota Tinggi to Penang
Besides being home to one of the most spectacular waterfalls the region has to offer, Kota Tinggi also makes for the perfect starting point if you’re seeking a nature-filled road trip to Penang, a UNESCO-approved island city which prides itself on its rich Malaysia’s hawker culture.
If you have a little time to spare on the way, be sure to squeeze in a trip to Taiping, a sleepy town that’s well-known for the Taiping Lake Gardens. Built atop an abandoned tin mine, the public garden spreads across 64 hectares with ten scenic lakes and ponds, charming old-world bridges, and an abundance of fauna. In Penang, a drive down its streets will reveal plenty of street art and multicultural heritage, with exceptional food options at every turn.