It is a well-known fact that Singaporeans have caught the travel bug and when given the opportunity (think, extended weekends thanks to public holidays), would jump at the chance to take a short break from Singapore. But given the brief time-frame, it can be tricky to head to far-away locations and at times, the hassle and temperamental nature of flights can ruin a whole trip even before it begins. So why not do things the old school way? Here are some top Malaysia road trips recommended by Carro for your considerations. Just drive over to these cities to shop, play and feast at your own time and flexibility!
Malaysia Road Trips – Tips for driving into Malaysia:
- Ensure petrol tank is three-quarters full before leaving Singapore to avoid fines
- Heavy traffic across the Causeway is expected during the peak hours in the morning and evening
- Highway toll cards can be purchased for easier convenience at the first set of toll booths
- Speed limit on most major highways is 110km/h
- Stay hydrated and well-stocked for the road trip with water and snacks
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1. Malaysia Road Trips – Johor Bahru
Although JB is most known for day-trips, do not discount the city as a destination for a fun weekend getaway as there are a ton of activities to while your break away. JB has the uncanny ability to blend snazzy hipster cafes with traditional old-school bakeries in a seamless and inconspicuous fashion. Jump on the cafe-hopping bandwagon and visit the bustling cafe scene in JB for the latest food trends and Instagram-worthy spots. For the shopaholics, Johor Premium Outlet mall is a shopper’s paradise with massive discounts on your favourite luxury brands to spoil oneself silly. Likewise, the thriving food scene boasts night markets with authentic and delicious street food and more importantly, an abundance of seafood restaurants hawking the freshest catch at affordable prices.
Driving time: Less than an hour from Singapore* | Johor Bahru Cafes
2. Malaysia Road Trips – Malacca
For those who have yet to fall for the city’s beguiling charm, you are definitely in for a treat. The historic town bears undiscovered gems within its seemingly innocuous rows of shophouses and heritage buildings that dates back to its former years under colonial rule. Probably the most photographed place in Malacca, the Red Square is one of the most famous sights that date back to former Dutch rule in mid-1600s, making it a must to visit for tourists. The whole town is steeped in rich history, with many storefronts selling and displaying ancient antiquities which can be a meaningful keepsake for visitors. Other than its history, Malacca is probably best known as a foodie’s haven with a unique blend of traditional Nonya cuisine, delectable street food and a myriad of local delicacies for you to savour.
Driving time: 4 hours from Singapore* | Malacca Boutique Hotels
3. Malaysia Road Trips – Kuala Lumpur
This destination are for the ones who are not looking to escape the city life, but to have a refreshing change in their entertainment and shopping environment instead. For large retail chains and trendy boutique shops, KL answers with a slew of illustrious shopping malls like Pavilion, One Utama, Berjaya Times and more. Amidst the glittering skyscrapers also lie quaint streets and districts that portray the unique juxtaposition of modernity and culture. The culinary scene ranges from award-winning restaurants to authentic and affordable Malaysian street food, which means there is something for everyone. Bored of shopping? The bustling nightlife and exciting theme parks prove why KL remains the crown jewel of the nation.
Driving time: 5 hours from Singapore* | Kuala Lumpur Cafes
4. Malaysia Road Trips – Ipoh
The capital city of Perak is more than just Ipoh coffee and Ipoh hor fun – its two most notable products. The slightly understated city belies the excitement and adventure that one can experience in Ipoh. Thrill-seekers can enjoy white water rafting on the wild Kampar River in Gopeng, just a mere half hour away. Previously thought of as a has-been, the streets of Old Town are getting a fresh look and vibe and the crowds are responding to its calling. The façade of the Old Town is now awash with contemporary street art and historical buildings have been given a new lease on life as museums or up-scale restaurants. The often overlooked destination should not be missed as the laidback city is dotted with spas and wellness centres, like the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, which is well-deserved after a long drive.
Driving time: 6 hours from Singapore*
5. Malaysia Road Trips – Penang
This UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site is definitely worth a visit for travellers to experience the rich heritage and history that permeates the streets of Penang. The heart of Penang is the cosmopolitan George Town, where contemporary street art by Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic, fuses with weather-beaten walls in perfect harmony. The kaleidoscope of cultures manifests itself in the multitude of temples like Kek Lok Si Temple, Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Wat Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (that houses a 180 feet, gold-plated reclining Buddha statue) and even a Snake temple. Again, the food scene will not disappoint visitors as Penang is after all the birthplace of the famous Penang Char Kway Teow, Penang Assam Laksa, Penang Rojak and much more, so be prepared to feast!
Driving time: 8 hours from Singapore* | Penang Boutique Hotels
*Estimated time with clear traffic and actual driving times vary depending on road conditions.