Seen all Johor Bahru has to offer and finding the journey across the causeway becoming increasingly mundane? Why not expand your radius by heading on a Malaysia road trip from Singapore! Blending vast, untouched forests and cities packed with classic architecture, Malaysia is an underrated treasure trove of culture and beauty that’ll definitely appeal to visitors of all ages. Here are our favourite road trip destinations in Malaysia you must drive to!
Malaysia road trips from Singapore to take
Looking for a nearby location that’s guaranteed to be a fun destination? Known as Johor’s royal city, Muar easily earns a spot on our list for road trip destinations in Malaysia because of how it offers something for everyone. For those looking to try authentic Malaysian food, Muar serves a lip-smacking variety to overwhelm your taste buds! You can’t go wrong with local favourites like aromatic Otak-Otak (grilled fish cake) and fresh seafood soups.
Fan of colonial architecture? As a must-see remnant of Malaysia’s colonial era, the Sultan Ibrahim Jamek remains one of the most beautiful sights to spot in Muar! Providing a serene view of the Muar River, the sky-blue mosque was built with Western and Eastern influences in mind and adopts a unique neoclassical aesthetic. Ultimately, it’s the intricate designs of the mosque’s columns and balconies that help it stand out from the rest in Malaysia!
Drive from Singapore → Muar: 2 hours 40 minutes
2. Kuala Selangor
Dread the crowds in Kuala Lumpur and prefer quieter locations for your Malaysia road trip from Singapore? Located within a stone’s throw away from the nation’s capital, Kuala Selangor is one of our favourite road trip destinations in Malaysia, abundant with natural attractions. If you’re a nature lover, Taman Alam nature reserve will be perfect for you! You can catch sightings of migratory birds and agile monkeys among staggering varieties of other flora and fauna. There’s even a dazzling night show where firefly colonies flood the nearby river, lighting it up so the river looks like a festive Christmas tree!
Fascinated by mesmerising photos of Bolivia’s world famous Uyuni Salt Flats? At Kuala Selangor’s Sky Mirror, you can get a similar experience at a fraction of the cost! The elusive sand bar only reveals itself during low tide, making it a secret tourist attraction that’s only accessible twice a month. Due to Sky Mirror’s endless horizon and shallow waters, the location is often visited by photography enthusiasts keen on taking the perfect Instagram-worthy shot.
Drive from Singapore → Kuala Selangor: 5 hours
If there’s one thing Ipoh is best known for, it’s the mouth-watering array of local cuisine. From flavourful Hor Fun (noodle strips in chicken broth) to Ipoh’s own white coffee, you’ll face no shortage of quality options to choose from! Self-professed foodies will adore creating their own food trail and will be spoilt for choice with options like Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant and Sin Yoon Loong.
Don’t make Ipoh your final destination on your Malaysia road trip from Singapore! Hop in and continue the drive to Cameron Highlands! Named after British explorer Sir William Cameron, the location is a haven for tea fanatics — with tea terraces stretching as far as the eye can see. Although the view of the vast greenery alone is enough to warrant a visit, there are plenty of things to do once you’re there! These range from indulging in quality tea and plucking fresh strawberries to trekking through Mossy Forest and exploring Orang Asli village.
Drive from Singapore → Ipoh: 6 hours 15 minutes
Drive from Ipoh → Cameron Highlands: 2 hours
Looking to escape the frenzy of life in the big city? As one of the furthest road trip destinations in Malaysia, Penang stands as a bastion of old-world charm that contradicts the modern-day hustle and bustle. The combination of old and new makes visiting Penang feel like you’re stepping into a time capsule. Everything from the preserved UNESCO World Heritage Sites to the striking street art further emphasises this!
Speaking of preserved architectural marvels, our favourite has to be the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. Referred to as The Blue Mansion, it was built in the late 19th century and was the merchant’s private residence. Boasting an eclectic mix of Asian and Western influences, the mansion is adorned with Gothic-style windows, stained glass and Chinese porcelain work that combine to give off an unmatched level of decadence. Functioning today as a hotel and museum, it stands as a popular icon and is one landmark you should certainly visit while in Penang.
Drive from Singapore → Penang: 8 hours 15 minutes
Sporting 6km of sandy shores and thrilling water park rides, Desaru is an underrated hotspot for the ultimate beach-themed Malaysia road trip from Singapore! Being just a two-hour drive away it’s one of the closest road trip destinations in Malaysia you can easily drive to from Singapore. Animal lovers will also feel right at home here! Desaru has several farms that house animals like ostriches and crocodiles that you can interact with to your heart’s content.
For those seeking an all-inclusive holiday experience, check out the Lotus Desaru Beach Resort And Spa! The wealth of facilities combined with the naturally beautiful surroundings here make the resort a highly sought after destination for families and those looking to recharge and relax. These include adrenaline-filled water sports, therapeutic body scrubs and relaxing fun at their mini waterpark.
Drive from Singapore → Desaru: 1 hour 30 minutes
Never had the luck of spotting a double rainbow? Why not check out the one at Sungai Lembing’s Rainbow Waterfall in Kuantan! While the journey for this road trip destination in Malaysia can seem tedious with the rough drive across rocky terrain and trekking past slippery rocks, the view is definitely worth it. Reach the premise before 10am and you’ll spot a fascinating sight of a rainbow reflecting off the base of the waterfall to create a fainter bow above!
Looking to challenge yourself physically? Avid mountain hikers will find a huge payout when they reach Bukit Panorama’s peak! Even though it stands at just 271m tall, the summit provides a stunning vista of Sungai Lembing that comes complete with picturesque sunrise and rolling hills. Beginner climbers should use the 1000 cement steps with handrails that shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to conquer!
Drive from Singapore → Kuantan: 5 hours
7. Kuala Terengganu
As one of the furthest destinations for any Malaysia road trip from Singapore, Kuala Terengganu is a location you’ll have a blast at if you’re a museum buff! Kuala Trengganu’s State Museum holds the title of largest museum in South East Asia and occupies 27 hectares of land including galleries and open air exhibitions. You’ll learn plenty, especially with their extensive collection of Keris (ancient Javanese daggers) and royal emblems.
Besides being rich in history and culture, Kuala Terengganu is also fondly referred to as the Land of Turtles! Over at sites like Perhentian Turtle Sanctuary Beach and Rantau Abang, thousands of Leatherbacks and Olive Ridleys will gather to nest. While this number has dwindled considerably over the years, it’s still worth a visit during June and July on the off-chance that you spot one of these gentle giants!
Drive from Singapore → Kuala Terengganu: 7 hours 30 minutes
Road trip essentials to pack
With some of these road trips destinations in Malaysia taking up to eight hour long drives, you’ll need to ensure you’re sufficiently equipped so you won’t be travelling in discomfort. Here are some road trip essentials to pack for those long and drawn out rides.
1. Portable speakers
Every road trip needs a fun playlist to keep the gang hyped and in good spirits for the long ride! To keep you grooving, you’ll need a powerful portable speaker to amplify your songs. From ones with outstanding sound quality to battery-powered speakers that last for more than 20 hours, here’s our in-depth guide to shopping for the best wireless speakers.
2. Travel pillow
Just like long flights, lengthy drives can be strenuous on the neck and overall posture as you’re forced to sit in an almost upright position for hours. To help remedy this, make sure to equip yourself with travel pillows. Need recommendations to meet your budget? Read our guide to the best travel pillows!
3. Portable power banks and charging cords
Instead of planning to ration out your power usage for electronic devices, why not buy a portable battery? Power banks keep your devices charged and ready for use at a moment’s notice. For a buyer’s guide, check out these best power banks you can buy today! Also, be sure to stock up on phone cables so you won’t need to worry about misplacing or accidentally damaging them.
No Malaysia road trip from Singapore can be completed on an empty stomach! If you’re looking to get to your destinations early, you’ll want to keep pit stops to a minimum. To keep those hunger pangs at bay, we recommend bringing along your favourite snacks and sweets. Not sure what to pack? Check out our must-try Korean snacks and Japanese snacks!
5. Personal entertainment devices
Nothing wiles away the hours like a good narrative! Whether you’re clearing your movie backlog on your tablet or playing the latest Nintendo Switch games, these devices will definitely keep you entertained while on your Malaysia road trip from Singapore. In need of titles to keep you busy? Read our guide to horror films and Christmas movies or check out our list of Nintendo Switch party games.
Exciting road trips and holiday activities await!
After going through our list, we hope you’re all set to have a fantastic Malaysia road trip from Singapore! Planning a short getaway in the new year? Check out our guide to maximising your 2020 long weekends! Alternatively, you can also have fun with your buddies right here at home! Simply follow with this rundown of fun things to do in Singapore with friends for a guaranteed fun time!
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