5 Epic Road Trips All Malaysians should Undertake At Least Once in their lifetime


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With the year-end school holidays coming up soon, it’s time to consider planning an epic road trip fit for the whole family! Whether you’re planning for a long weekend getaway or a more adventurous drive, these exciting road trips in Malaysia fits the bill. 


Want to see how beautiful Malaysia can be through your passenger seat? Read on to check out our picks for 5 epic road trips all Malaysians should undertake at least once in their lifetime: 



1. Immerse yourself in the Malay culture from Kota Bharu - Kuala Terengganu  


Take the chance to see two Malaysian states – Kelantan and Terengganu – and a bucketful of sea views along this road trip itinerary.


Kota Bharu: Start your journey in Kota Bharu, Kelantan at Pasar Kubang Pasu. Start your day with your fill of nasi kerabu and buy some kuih for the road! 


Kota Bharu Market


Photo by Firdaus Roslan on Unsplash 

To learn more about Malay royal culture, take some pictures at Istana Jahar aka the Kelantan Traditional Royal Ceremonies Museum

Istana Jahar

Image by  Kelab Pencinta Sejarah Kelantan 


Kuala Terengganu:  Drive 3 hours via T3 and you’ll reach Kuala Terengganu, home to two magnificent mosques - Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah (aka Masjid Terapung or Floating mosque) and Crystal Mosque. Both these places are perfect places to take pictures for Instagram! 


Terengganu Mosques

(From L to R: Masjid Tengku Tengah Zaharah by bbbsheep, Crystal Mosque by Danny See Chuan Seng from Pixabay )



2. Visit natural wonders from Kota Kinabalu - Sandakan passing through Kundasang 


Kota Kinabalu: Grab some early morning grub at Fook Yuen - a coffee shop specializing in fresh Roti Kahwin topped with kaya as well as teh-c (milk tea). You have the option of having it steamed or toasted, but both options yield ample amounts of homemade kaya and butter oozing out of the bread and into your mouth - evoking memories of the old-school kopitiams that your parents or grandparents would take you to as a child. Wash it down with a strong and creamy, yet never bitter, cup of teh-c. Just the start you need for a perfect day on the road! 


Fook Yuen



Image by  skyscanner 


Kundasang: Take in the majestic view of Mt. Kinabalu at  Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site. If you’re more inclined to adventure, you can try trekking one of the short forest trails within the vicinity of the park! Spot natural flora and fauna such as local tropical birds and pitcher plants. 


Mt Kinabalu

Image by KENNETH RODRIGUES from Pixabay 


Sandakan: To see a diverse range of flora and fauna, spend a day visiting these 3 locations: Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center. Trek through a centuries-old rainforest, watch Orang Utans at feeding time, and visit the smallest bear in the world all in 1 district. 


Orang Utan

Image by Steffen Zimmermann from Pixabay  


Sandakan is also a paradise for fresh seafood. There is no better place to grab a seafood feast than at Sim Sim Water Village. You’ll be able to find 2 equally tantalizing seafood restaurants here - Sim Sim 88 Restaurant and Sim Sim Seafood Restaurant. Prices here are always extremely reasonable so don’t worry about spending too much! 


Sim Sim 88 Restaurant


Image by Foursquare 



3. Discover ancient caves and tribal culture from Bintulu - Miri


Bintulu: The most exciting adventure starts outside of Bintulu. Stay at  Uma Belor Leo Dian Longhouse and immerse yourself in Kayan tribal culture. Part of a larger grouping of people referred collectively as the Orang Ulu, they are known for being fierce warriors, former headhunters, having extensive tattoos and stretched earlobes amongst both sexes. 


Bintulu Kayan Longhouse


Image by Sarawak Tourism Board 


Some 150 kilometres away from Bintulu is Niah National Park, the site where human remains dating back 40,000 years were discovered. Other signs of ancient life here are iron-age cave paintings, as well as Palaeolithic and Neolithic burial sites. Explore the Niah Caves Complex which comprises the Traders’ Cave, the Great Cave and the Painted Cave. 


Niah Cave


Cave Paintings at Niah Caves, Image By Annette Teng


Miri: Return your rental car at Miri and take a 30-minute Maswings plane ride to Gunung Mulu National Park, known for its karst formations. It is also home to millions of bats - witness the bats fly out at a sunset for an unforgettable experience! 


Mulu National Park


Image by Sarawak Tourism Board 



4. Eat your way through Ipoh - Penang 


Ipoh: Start your journey at Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Long with a comforting cup of warm Ipoh White Coffee. Since 1937, the coffeeshop has been around since 1937 and is said to be the inventor of Ipoh’s famous white coffee! The shop also serves simple treats like kaya toast and dan chi (half-boiled eggs on toast). 


Ipoh Coffee

Image by Tripadvisor 


Grab a plate of addictive “Nasi Ganja” at the hawker stall appropriately named Perniagaan Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah Yong Suan operating at Kedai Kopi Yong Suan for lunch! A typical Nasi Ganja dish would include rice, Ayam Merah, curry, salted egg and their signature coconut sambal. You can add on side dishes like squid and vegetables for extra oomph. 



Image by Nasi Ganja Ipoh 


Penang: Who wouldn’t want to spend an entire day eating hawker fare in Penang? Get the best Char Kway Teow at New Siam Road CKT. This particular shop had its humble beginnings as a stall located across the road from its current location. For those doubting its status as the “best” Char Kway Teow ever, it was ranked 14th in the Top 50 World Street Food Masters Awards in 2017


Char Kuey Teow

Image by Penang Foodie 


Wash down the Char Kway Teow with another all-time Penang favorite - Penang Road Teow Chew Cendol!  Having a history of over 80years, they’ve come a long way. Located by the roadside, get an authentic local cendol eating experience by slurping cendol while standing by the roadside next to the Cendol stall. The experience is bliss! 


Penang Cendol

Image by @yipingk 



5. Explore Sarawakian culture from Kuching - Sibu 


Kuching: Start your day with breakfast at Lau Ya Keng Foodcourt - where you can have local delights such as Sarawak Laksa, Kolo Mee and various types of kuih on the side! 


Kuching Laksa


Image by @Eloise_Lau 


Next, drive out to the outskirts of Kuching at Damai beach for a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village where you can learn to shoot a blowpipe, explore the typical houses of Sarawak’s ethnic minorities and watch beautifully choreographed performances of local dance and music.


Sarawak Cultural Village


Image by Sarawak Cultural Village  


Sibu: Get acquainted with the history of Sibu at the Sibu Heritage Centre, where entrance is free of charge. Displaying the rich cultural heritage of various ethnic groups around the region, the exhibits also centre around Chinese migrants from various dialect groups and their arrival upon the shores of Sarawak. 


Sibu Heritage Museum

Image by Sarawak Tourism Board 


Visit the Lau King Howe Medical Museum - Malaysia’s first and only medical museum. The museum was built in memory of Lau King Howe, a Chinese man who came to Sibu to help further develop the rubber plantation activities but ended up dedicating his life to serving the medical needs of the local Sibu community. 



Sibu Medical Museum

Image By Cerevisae 


Want to take a road trip but don’t have a car to drive with? GoCar Malaysia is an on-demand car sharing platform that allows you to book a car by the hour or day via the GoCar app. Sign up as a Mayflower member to get an exclusive partner code to enjoy 15% OFF any @gocarmalaysia booking!


ALSO stay tuned for our Mayflower 11.11 Travel Sale! From the 8th - 18th November, use our special promo code LOCAL1111 to get up to RM50 OFF on Malaysian hotel bookings! A perfect way to save on accommodation while you’re on the road! Book your flight, hotel and tour packages on Mayflower.com.my now. Register as a Mayflower member for the best travel deals and steals …. AND don’t forget to follow our Mayflower Facebook Page for more!