Go Road Trippin’ At These 10 Malaysia Destinations From Singapore

featured malaysia road trip from singapore

Looking to visit neighbouring Malaysia for a short getaway? Apart from hitting up the shopping malls at Johor Bahru, 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. Wondering where are the best places to visit in Malaysia from Singapore? Read on for our favourite places to visit in Malaysia!

Overview of Best Road Trip Destinations in Malaysia from Singapore

Duration of drive Destination Estimated Time Highlights
Within 5 hours drive Muar 2 hours
  • Foodie paradise e.g. local favourites like Otak-Otak and laksa
Desaru 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Relaxing beach destination
  • Water sports
  • Waterpark
Gombak 3 hours 58 minutes
  • Batu Caves
  • Hindu shrine
  • Sunway Lagoon Amusement Park
Malacca 2 hours 41 minutes
  • Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum 
  • Jonker Walk Night Market
Kuala Selangor 4 hours 4 minutes
  • Taman Alam Nature Reserve
  • Sky Mirror
  • Fort Altingburg
More than 5 hours drive Ipoh 6 hours
  • Foodie paradise e.g. Ipoh white coffee and limestone cave temples
Cameron Highlands 7 hours 34 minutes
  • Tea terraces
  • Mossy Forest
  • Orang Asli village
  • Cameron Flora Park
Penang 8 hours 15 minutes
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Street art
  • Beaches
  • Night markets
Kuantan 5 hours
  • Rainbow Waterfall
  • Bukit Panorama for hiking
Kuala Terengganu 7 hours 10 minutes
  • State Museum
  • Perhentian Turtle Sanctuary Beach
  • Pulau Duyong

Malaysia road trip from Singapore: Within 5 hours drive

1. Muar

malaysia road trip from singapore muar
(Credit: CHOO MARGARET / Flickr)

Wondering where are the fun places to visit in Malaysia? 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 creamy laksa.

muar mosque malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Sham Hardy / Flickr)

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!

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 2 hours

2. Desaru

malaysia road trip from singapore desaru
(Credit: Denys Gromov / Pexels)

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. So if you’re unsure of what are the things to do in Malaysia, this is the place for you!

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 1 hour 30 minutes

3. Gombak

malaysia road trip from singapore gombak
(Credit: Jason Khoo / Flickr)

When you’re planning your Malaysia road trip from Singapore, be sure not to miss out on this exciting destination – Gombak. It’s home to the iconic Batu Caves, one of the world’s most popular Hindu shrines and also one of the popular places to visit in Malaysia. Every year, thousands of tourists pay a visit to get a glimpse of the towering gold statue at its entrance, as well as to snap some Insta-worthy pics while braving its 272-step rainbow stairs. 

malaysia road trip from singapore sunway lagoon
(Credit: chitgoks / Flickr)

That’s not all – Gombak is also a mere half-hour’s drive away from Sunway Lagoon, one of Malaysia’s biggest amusement parks, with over 80 attractions that’re split into 6 different theme parks. From dry and wet parks, to more thrilling activities like bungee jumping, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Overall, Gombak is definitely one of the best places to visit in Malaysia, and also a place worth including in your road trip itinerary from Singapore.

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 3 hours 58 minutes

4. Malacca

The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum
(Credit: The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum / Facebook)

If you’re a fan of Little Nyonya, we understand why you’re thinking about taking a drive from Singapore to Malaysia. Malacca’s Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum is one of the many Peranakan houses that line the streets here. Home to four generations of a local family, this house has now become a museum that honours the Peranakan culture. There’s no better place to immerse yourself in this ethnic culture when you can get up close with the classic Peranakan artefacts!

Jonker Walk Night Market
(Credit: Ente75 / Wikimedia Commons)

Fuel up at the Jonker Walk Night Market after your visit to the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum! From Nyonya popiah and fried ice cream at the street stalls, to restaurants and cafes, no wonder it is one of the popular things to do in Malaysia! Don’t forget to pick up some quirky souvenirs along this bustling street.

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 2 hours 41 minutes

Malaysia road trip from Singapore: Beyond 5 hours drive

5. Kuala Selangor

Kuala Selangor malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Leonard Reback / Wikimedia Commons)

Prefer quieter locations for your Malaysia road trip from Singapore? Here’s a place you should check out on your next visit to Malaysia. Located within a stone’s throw away from the nation’s capital, Kuala Selangor is one of our favourite destinations on road trips to 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.

Don’t forget to add Melawati Hill to your travel itinerary when researching things to do in Malaysia! The Altingburg Lighthouse set on this hill is a popular destination as it offers a beautiful view of the sea. You may even be able to catch the lighthouse in action as it’s still being used to guide vessels navigating the Straits of Malacca! Do also visit Fort Altingburg before leaving Kuala Selangor, Malaysia. You’ll be able to see the fort’s ruins, its cannons, an observatory tower built for sighting the new moon, and more!

sasaran sky mirror malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Eileen See)

Fascinated by mesmerising photos of Bolivia’s world famous Uyuni Salt Flats? Take a Malaysia road trip from Singapore and visit Kuala Selangor’s Sky Mirror where 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.

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 4 hours 4 minutes

Pro tip: You’ll pass Gombak, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur as you drive towards Kuala Selangor. If you don’t want to make too many pit stops, we’d suggest taking a break halfway through your journey, which will be in Malacca. You can visit Malaysia’s famous Jonker Street for some food and souvenirs!

6. Ipoh

ipoh food malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: chee.hong / Flickr, mmmsedap / Flickr)

You can’t leave out Ipoh on a list of best places to visit in Malaysia. Known for its mouth-watering array of local cuisine, you can get ready for quality options such as their flavourful Hor Fun (noodle strips in chicken broth) and Ipoh white coffee! Self-professed foodies will also adore creating their own food trail and will be spoilt for choice with options like Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant and Sin Yoon Loong.

Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple & Zen Gardens
(Credit: Travelog.com / Facebook)

Your Malaysia road trip from Singapore isn’t complete without visiting Ipoh’s limestone cave temples. These Ipoh temples are built into the side of limestone hills, so you’ll realise that temperatures are cooler the moment you step in. The Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple & Zen Gardens is one of such temples that are popular places to visit in Malaysia. As you walk to the end of the cave temple, the other end will open out to a beautiful lake and a garden. This is where you can rent paddle boats and bicycles to tour the grounds with your companions! 

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 6 hours

Pro tip: Take a break in Kuala Lumpur as you make your way towards Ipoh. This is a midway point as you drive from Singapore. You can visit Berjaya Times Square where there are over 1,000 retail shops and 60 food outlets. Not only can you fill up on food and stock up on snacks to tide you over the remaining journey to Ipoh, you can get a massage too! 

7. Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Andy Enero / Flickr)

Don’t make Ipoh your final destination on your Malaysia road trip from Singapore! Continue driving and you’ll reach Cameron Highlands in about two hours! 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.

Cameron Flora Park
(Credit: ASEAN Skyline / Facebook)

Driving the entire road trip from Singapore to Malaysia can be exhausting, so it’s time to reward yourself with a picnic at the Cameron Flora Park. This is one of the prettiest places to visit in Malaysia for an Insta-worthy experience as you dig into your picnic with a sea of pink flowers at the back. If you can’t get enough of flowers, head on over to the Cameron Lavender Garden. Immerse yourself in a garden of lavender flowers, hydrangeas, and more while enjoying a nice lavender ice cream!

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 7 hours 34 minutes

Pro tip: Go for some Puchong Yong Tau Fu before continuing your journey towards the Cameron Highlands. The food here will be more than enough to fill you up and there’s also AEON BiG Puchong Utama nearby where you can stock up on snacks for the rest of your road trip.

8. Penang

malaysia road trip from singapore penang georgetown
(Credit: Florian Christian / Flickr)

Looking to escape the frenzy of life in the big city? As one of the furthest road trip destinations in Malaysia, Penang Island or Pulau Pinang 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!

malaysia road trip from singapore batu ferringhi
(Credit: 小凡烦 kelseyz / Flickr)

Of course, after the hawker delights and cultural immersion within the city, you’ll naturally want to find a place to wind down and relax. What better way to do it than on one of Penang’s beaches? They’re must-visit spots when going on a Malaysia road trip from Singapore, especially the ones that line the coastal area, Batu Ferringhi. Simply park your cars near one of the beaches or beach resorts, and make your way to the sandy shores on foot – then take a seat on the warm sand and enjoy one of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever set your eyes on. After sundown, you can frequent the night markets likened to our local pasar malams.

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 8 hours 15 minutes

Pro tip: For foodies who travelled all the way down to Penang for the famous Siam Road Char Kuey Teow, he’s open from 3pm till he sells out, and is closed on Mondays – try queuing off peak hours!

9. Kuantan

air terjun plangi malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: qaustic / Flickr)

Ever spotted a double rainbow? As one of the most popular things to do in Malaysia, you have to 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 premises 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!

bukit panorama malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Yeoh Thean Kheng / Flickr)

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!

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 5 hours

Pro tip: Take a quick stop at Kota Tinggi where you can have some McDonald’s and visit the nearby supermarket to stock up on more road trip snacks. You can also refuel your vehicle at the nearby petrol station and buy more titbits at the convenience store.

10. Kuala Terengganu

terengganu state museum malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Mindy McAdams / Flickr)

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.

Kuala Terengganu
(Credit: Nfika98 / Wikimedia Commons)

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! Soaking in the wonders of nature doesn’t end there. Stroll down the boardwalk along the harbour at Pulau Duyong and enjoy the starry night sky while watching the subtle lights from passing yachts. It’s truly a sight to behold.

Estimated road trip time from Singapore: 7 hours 10 minutes

Pro tip: Stop at Chaah where you can visit Village Noodle & Cafe for a quick meal. You can also head to the nearby convenience store at the Shell petrol station to refuel your vehicle and get more snacks!

Road trip essentials to pack for your drive from Singapore to Malaysia

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 travel essentials to pack for those long and drawn out rides.

1. Portable speakers

wireless speaker malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Anker Official Store Singapore)

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

travel pillow malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: oto_sg)

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

power bank malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Aukey Official Store)

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.

4. Snacks

irvins malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: IRVINS Salted Egg (Official))

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

tablet use malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Carissa Rogers / Flickr)

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 the best Chinese dramas and Korean dramas or check out our list of best Nintendo Switch games.

6. Cameras

polaroid instant camera malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: OSTSOME Official Store)

Don’t forget to bring along your camera so you can document memorable moments from your road trip! There are also instant portable cameras and film cameras that have filters that give a retro feel to your pictures. These film cameras are perfect for giving your shots of rural Malaysia a subtle vintage vibe. When you’re done with your Malaysia road trip from Singapore, go and develop your film so you can collate all these pictures into a photo album and memorialise your trip! 

7. Backpacks and travel document holders

travel backpack malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Bostanten Official Store)

You’ll need to get a proper backpack to fit all your travel essentials for your Malaysia road trip from Singapore. Not only does it need to be large enough for all your important travel items, you should also get one that is fitted with RFID. The RFID blocking layer will protect your bank cards and passports from skimmers who can easily steal information with a wireless scanner. This means that you should also get a travel document holder with RFID. Moreover, having a travel document holder means you won’t have to go digging in your backpack for your passport!

8. Swimwear

(Credit: rijia.sg)

The best way to end off your Malaysia road trip from Singapore is by taking a dip in a pool or going for a swim at a beach. Stretch out your limbs and get swimming in your favourite swimwear and bikini! Don’t forget to pack more than one bikini so you don’t have to wait for the other to dry before going for another swim. Need help picking the perfect swimwear? Check out the best bikini types for each body shape!

9. Medical supplies

medical supplies first aid kit malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Adventure World Official Store)

Another essential you need to prepare for your Malaysia road trip from Singapore is a first aid kit. It’s important to have medical supplies on hand in case you get minor injuries as you explore the rural outdoors of Malaysia. 

Is it possible to drive from Singapore to Malaysia?

Kuala Lumpur malaysia road trip from singapore
(Credit: Kah Hay Chee / Unsplash)

The answer is yes, of course! From August 2022, you are able to travel between Singapore and Malaysia’s land borders regardless of your vaccination status, and without testing or quarantine.

Without a daily limit on travellers, you can expect there to be crowds and traffic jams at certain places. You can help make the immigration process faster and smoother by making sure you keep these in mind:

  • For those using passports

Taking a road trip to Malaysia in a Singapore-registered vehicle means that you’ll need a VEP. You can apply for a VEP through the VEP-JPJ portal and upon successful registration, you’ll get a VEP RFID tag. You may use the confirmation slip of your VEP application if you’re travelling to Malaysia before the RFID tag is ready. You’ll also have to check whether your passport has expired. Make sure that you still have six months left on your passport before it’s due for renewal. 

Also, after passing through a manned immigration booth, check that your passports are stamped before leaving the immigration booth.

  • For those using the MACS System

If you’re using the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS 2.0), you’re probably someone who frequently travels to and from Malaysia. With the MACS pass, travellers can expedite their customs screening, as there’s no need for immigration stamps when entering and exiting the country. A great way to make up for the long jams you might encounter!

  • Insurances

Vehicle insurance for your car or motorcycle is compulsory if you’re entering Malaysia. Make sure that your insurance policy is still valid while you’re on your road trip to Malaysia.

While travel insurance isn’t compulsory, it’s always best to be prepared when going on a Malaysia road trip from Singapore. As foreign visitors are charged for all medical treatments, it’s advisable to get travel insurance to help cover any potential accidents or injuries that might crop up on your visit to Malaysia.

  • Touch ‘n Go card

Just like how we have a NETS cashcard to pay for parking fees and ERP charges, the Touch N’ Go card is needed to pay for highway and checkpoint tolls when you’re taking a road trip to Malaysia. You can download the Touch N’ Go app before applying for the VEP. The e-wallet can be linked to your VEP-RFID tag for payments on the road. How convenient is that!

Start organising a Malaysia road trip from Singapore this June holidays (2024)

After going through our list of where to go in Malaysia from Singapore, we hope you’re all set to have a fantastic Malaysia road trip! If you need a breather from all the driving, we recommend making a pit stop at a hotel along the way. Interested in a short getaway to paradise? Book a stay at one of the best Batam resorts or best Bintan resorts for an Insta-worthy vacation! Need help organising those travel essentials you’re bringing abroad? Read up on our guide to choosing a luggage and check out our recommendations on the best luggage options in Singapore!

This article was updated on 30 May 2024. Additional research done by Liew Shu Wen.