Sunday, Jun 27

7 Things You Shouldn’t Miss When Taking Road Trips In Malaysia

By Joel Teh

We know how hard you want to spread your wings and fly further, but hang in there, people are gradually taking vaccinations against Covid-19. We believe it should be soon enough that our life will go back to normal.

Once that happens, the first thing we all would think of after staying grounded at home for too long is definitely a road trip. Travelling has always been a getaway for us to release our tension and enjoy life. There are certain things that you can’t afford to lose regardless of the state you are visiting.

Like an energy booster for fatigue, these are the action plans in different states that you should put into your bucket list when taking a road trip within Malaysia.

1. Drive along the paddy field in Kedah

(Photo by Muhaimin Mohd on Unsplash)

The most interesting part of visiting the countryside in Malaysia is to pamper your eyes with the scenic vast expanse view of paddy fields while driving. And you can get it in Kedah.

Kedah is known for its endless rice fields landscape that makes it the Rice Bowl of Malaysia. Stretched with lush green forests and mountains, Kedah is famous for producing rubbers, palm oils, and fruit plantations. Thus, drinking while driving on the road along the paddy field would be a brilliant experience to unwind your thoughts.

Fields such as Alor Setar Paddy Field, Othman Loripadi, and Sawah Padi Villa are some of the recommended places if the idea interests you. Of course, don’t forget to savour some tropical fruits along the way if you happen to pass by any stalls at the roadside.

2. Devour the ultimate Char Koay Teow in Penang

Ah~ here comes the King of foods in Penang. Many locals cross states and drive far to Penang for a plate of Char Koay Teow (flat rice noodles). So no one should ever leave this beautiful place without devouring Char Koay Teow at least for once.

Different places in Penang might have different ways of cooking it. Some stove it with charcoal, some with gas, and some even fried with runny sensations. Typically, it’s served with sausages, blood cockles, bean sprouts, eggs, and chives. With the ingredients, it’s no surprise that Penang Char Koay Teow always has a place in people’s hearts, regardless of the ways it turns out.

Some of the recommendations in Penang consist of Ah Leng Char Koay Teow, Siam Road Char Koay Teow, 328 Char Koay Teow, Penny Char Koay Teow, Tiger Char Koay Teow, Duck Egg Char Koay Teow Bukit Mertajam, Sister’s Char Koay Teow, and more.

3. Stroll along the Concubine Lane in Ipoh, Perak

(Photo by Timothy Tan on Unsplash)

Have you read or watched Harry Potter before? If so, you may be familiar with the Diagon Alley that serves a variety of goods to fellow wizards and witches. A similar concept (but for non-magical community) in Chinese street style can be seen at Concubine Lane, Ipoh, Perak.

Not only can tourists find many fascinating goods in this place, but the history has also added significant value to itself. After a fire during the British colony, the mining tycoon, Yao Tet Shin, rebuilt three lanes for his three wives, and Concubine Lane was one of them. It became a hub for rich people to keep their mistresses and gambling as a result of that. As time goes by, it turns into a tourist attraction and was featured in Lonely Planet as one of the best Asian destinations in 2016.

It’s always an enjoyable practice for tourists to stroll along the street for social media pictures, but there are indeed other things to explore. For instance, a tour at Yasmin At Kong Heng Newseum, cafe hopping at Pâtisserie BoutiQue, and buying souvenirs at Ipoh Craftnerds are some of the things we can do in Concubine Lane.

4. A random visit to Genting Highlands, Pahang

(Photo by Bhavya Savani on Unsplash)

Who says that one must stay overnight in Genting Highlands when you can drive up for fun before going somewhere else (unless you live beyond Kuala Lumpur and Pahang)? This iconic holiday destination is smooth with its road uphill to the highlands, so a day trip is possible.

With many years of history, the Genting Integrated Tourism Plan (GITP) in 2013 has expanded the township of this hill station city- from newly-built rooms to the First World Hotel, to 10,000 seat arena, and the refurbishment of the outdoor theme park into Genting Skyworlds. That said, it deserves your support after lockdown and you’re definitely going to enjoy your time there even if it’s short.

A day trip in Genting Highlands allows you to do window shopping at SkyAvenue Complex, experience your luck in Casinos, attend shows and events, and visit Chin Swee Caves Temple for prayers.

5. Feature Maritime Museum, Malacca into your photo journal

(Photo by bari abikar on Unsplash)

Being known as Muzuim Samudera in Malay and Flor de la Mar in Portuguese, Maritime Museum in Malacca stands out as a unique museum with the ship’s outlook and the exhibitions within.

This replica of Flor do Mar, a Lisbon ship that used to sail to Malacca Straits for her trades and ended up in a salvage shipwreck, is 8-meter wide, 36-meter long, and 34-meter high in size. Not only can visitors snap pictures of the ship, but they can also enter the museum for the interior exhibitions with various artifacts, documents, and trading history of Malacca, all from the colonial era up to independence.

If the historical and educational outing interests you, you should definitely check out the Maritime Museum.

6. Gollop down the Otak-Otak in Muar, Johor

(Photo by Esperanza Doronila on Unsplash)

It’s not unfamiliar to Malaysians that otak-otak serves as another famous food in this country, and the best options are all centralized in Muar, Johor.

Significantly, the name was derived from the word otak in Malay which means brain to portray its grilled soft fish cake. There are a few factors that made the otak-otak in Muar more famous than the others. Not only that it tastes different with the aroma that you can’t find anywhere else, but it also comes with different mixtures- some cook it with char koay teow, and some even mixed with coconut milk which aroused the curiosity of tourists to give this food a bite.

While many places in Muar provide irresistible Otak-otak, some of them include Otak-otak Cheng Boi, Otak-otak Fang Xiang, Otak-otak Char Koay Teow in Jalan Ali, K&Y Otak-otak, and more.

7. Enjoy breathtaking views in Kundasang, Sabah

(Photo by Ryan ‘O’ Niel on Unsplash)

Last but not least, if you rent a car in East Malaysia and want to drive up Sabah for fun, or if you’re someone who recites in Sabah and Sarawak and fond of exploring the other side of this country, you shouldn’t be unfamiliar with Kundasang.

Located 6km away from the Kinabalu National Park and labelled as mini New Zealand, this town offers a stunning view of the mountains and lush green grass that are so beautiful and different from other tropical forests that you could find in Southeast Asia.

This relaxing plan will refresh your busy mind with peaceful zen energy. If you’re looking for places to visit that would allow you to enjoy the scenic views, you may consider Desa Dairy Farm, Sabah Tea Garden, and Poring Hot Springs.

Ultimately, your goal of having a road trip is to discover more beautiful sides of Malaysia and preserve your mental health at a time. Thus, there’s no excuse to prevent you from including them in your plan book now. Be sure to explore them once the travel restrictions are lifted. You will find your journey throughout the road trip eventful.


(Featured Image Credit: Photo by Wan San Yip on Unsplash)


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