9 Days Driving Trip Around Peninsular Malaysia

9 DAYS, 2 GIRLS, 1 CAR – Experienced Nature, Culture and Adventure at only RM750 per person!

Not only AFFORDABLE but also STRESS-FREE. We did not sleep in the car nor starve ourselves. Instead we had proper accommodation every night, and ate well!

Our route started in Johor, and ended in Johor after 9 days.

Johor – Pahang – Terengganu – Kelantan – Thailand – Kedah – Perak – Putrajaya – Melaka – Johor

DAY 1 Johor -> Pahang

We departed from Batu Pahat, took the shortest route heading to Kuantan. Instead of Federal route 3 we chose this route, shorter and no toll as well. 4 hours+ driving.

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We had our late lunch in Kuantan at about 2:30pm, in a famous coffee shop “Kopitiam Hai Peng”. This is a HALAL kopitiam, serves malaysia local food: Nasi Lemak, laksa, curry noodle, roti bakar and etc.

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After lunch, we departed to Kampung Sungai Ular, where we saw our first east coast sea view and the coconut farm.

We were quite surprised by how beautiful the place is. There are also trees grow like there is an entrance, welcoming people to the beach.

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And something interesting, this view,

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is actually from a small tree hole, not a cave. hehe.

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What brought us here was actually the beautiful coconut farm pictures we saw on the internet. By the time we left the beach, the sunset color was dyeing the farm neatly, hence we started taking the first picture of us.

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By about 5pm, we reached at Cherating, and visited the Mangroves. Lying on the floor, talk about crocodile and enjoyed the breeze. It was one of the most enjoyable moments of the trip.

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There are tours at night to see fireflies, and the reviews are good, RM35/person. Worth to try out but we didn’t as we already booked another fireflies tour in Kelantan, anyway now I’m feeling a little bit regretted for not joining the Cherating one. If you did, pm me, message me, email me, tell me how was it! 😉

6:00pm checked in RESIDENCE INN HOTEL. We booked this room at Agoda.com, discounted price RM133 for a deluxe double room included tax. This is the best accommodation out of all, my idea was to have a nice room once in a trip, but never to think that it will be the first day. Still, loved it!

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huge room with 2 single bed, a/c, private bathroom, closet, amenities, and a pool in the hotel.

After some rest and shower, we went down Cherating street to look for food. And found very nice pizza and nasi lemak. At RM20 for 2.

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Found something cheezier than me! haha

After dinner we got back to our hotel room, and had a really great night, and ready for the east coast sunrise.

DAY 2 Pahang -> Terengganu

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the magical sunrise!

7:20 am, sunrise. On time! It was so touching to watch it rises from the horizon and reflects on the surface of waves. It was magical.

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Found the footprints from our friends 😉

After sunrise, definitely breakfast!

First Breakfast at the east coast, we had something that is common in Malaysia, to see how it differs!

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Perfect Malaysian Breakfast, any objection? 😀

Okay, Nasi Lemak Buluh is totally something new to us, and it smells extra good! Sambal is the thing that obviously different from we normally have, sweeter, less spicy, but nice! This meal only costs us RM5.50.

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Back to the hotel for a morning swim, take a nap and departed to Terengganu.

On our way to Kemasek, we found these all along the road, and people told us MUST TRY them in Terengganu. Sata, Otak-otak and Pulut Panggang with fish flakes.

My opinion, Sata and pulut panggang were delicious! Food in Terengganu seems like gonna be sweeter, but definitely not in a bad way! It is just different from what we normally have in West, more to salty and spicy. By the way, as we are from Johor, Otak-otak, I still prefer ours! haha. Our lunch + a curry noodle, costs us about RM10 for 2.

After lunch, about an hour drive, we reached at the Kemasek Beach.

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Look at the color of the sky and the sea. How lucky we are!

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After Kemasek beach, we rushed to Teluk Bidara beach as we heard that there’s a cave at the end of the beach walk, and the cave will be gone in the dusk during high tide. So we rushed as fast as possible and reached the beach by 4:30pm.

 

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do you see the cave?
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Now I am in the cave
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now I am outside the cave and jy is coming out from the cave.
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the view after the cave

And then, we moved real quick back to the beach side as we scared we will be drown. As we chilled and took some shots around the beach,

we realized that the cave is still there although it is almost 6pm!! So funny but alright, we had fun!

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We checked in hostel at 6pm, SABA LODGE – RM20/dorm bed. But lucky us gotten free upgrade to a double room with private bathroom, with a/c but without water heater because the host says that there is a system crush. booked at Booking.com

At night, we went to the Dungun Night Market to hunt for food. (Thursday night) Terengganu food surprised us! It is like showing us a whole new idea about Malaysia food. Colorful, sweet, made with fish, and so cheap!!

Because we really want to try everything, we did quite some bargain with them, for example 5 for RM2, we will say can we just get 1 and pay you RM0.50? Can we mix with others? Can we try? and etc. The dinner here costs us less than RM20. We were already full with only these snacks.

DAY 3 Terengganu

The next morning. We woke up earlier than the sunrise, to hike Bauk Hill.

Special thanks to Jun’s mum and her friend, so kind of them to bring us there! hiked in the jungle and walked down on the road. Easy route, good work out in the morning.

We had breakfast and visited Jun’s home. Hopefully we could visit again next time!

Checked out and departed at 12pm, on the way to Kuala Terengganu, we picked up a hitch-hiker couple from Germany and Mexico! They came back from Pulau Kapas, waited for 1 and a half hour of bus but seemed like that is not a correct place to wait. So they decided to hitch-hike, and there we were.

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We had lunch together in China Town Terengganu, I guess because it was still Chinese New Year (already day 8 anyways), not many shops were open, but we found a coffee shop selling char kueh teow and dimsum still opening, so we ordered them some local food and drinks, and they insisted to treat us for that meal. So nice to meet new traveling friends. 🙂

 

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chopsticks!!

And then we visited Floating Mosque and Crystal Mosque, it was Friday and people were praying inside the mosque, so I didn’t get to enter the floating mosque. Meanwhile Crytsal Mosque is under maintenance, I didn’t get to enter it neither…

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Gloomy day, we departed and arrived Pantai Penarik, Terrapuri Heritage Site at 4:30pm. Didn’t get to take any shot of Penarik Beach because once we entered Terrapuri, it started raining.

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Well, luckily we were in the 29 beautiful ancient houses, ages between 150-250 years old, they were built in different malay villages of Terengganu in the pass, and moved to this heritage site for preservation. Now the houses are transformed into hotel rooms, the interior and exterior are still well-preserved. We are allowed to stay in these beautiful houses at quite a pricey rate, but if you are really into the historical houses, maybe it is worth it! We only paid RM22 for the entrance fee, and also a set of local tea-time snacks.

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Left terrapuri at 7pm, raining and strong winds, arrived at our budget hotel FEZZA HOTEL after about 20 minutes. RM60 per room, Very small bathroom with a/c, without water heater, very weak wifi.

Should have tried the Udang Celup Tepung at Pantai Penarik as our dinner, but it was raining heavily on the way back to hotel, so we didn’t get to try it. We had simple dinner at Restoran Perahu, and went back to hotel.

DAY 4 Terengganu to Kelantan

After the heavy rain, it was flooding on the way to Lata Chakah. A nice river with clear water, where we can swim and have some splashes. Too bad the rain made the river flowing extra quick and it doesn’t look nice to play with.

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at around 10:30am, we visited Morning Market at Permaisuri (Saturday), where Terengganu gave us second WOW. More food, more colorful, flavorful, and interesting “NEW” Malaysia local food for us.

We bought so many ended up couldn’t finish them. But we are happy to try new food. So do our stomach. Costs us not more than RM20 (we bargained as mentioned above).

12:30pm checked out and departed to Kelantan. 

We went to Tok Bali beach, Irama beach, Senok beach, and Sabak beach four in a row, but found the sea looks like our “Teh Tarik” (Milk Tea), especially after Terengganu sea view, they all look nothing fascinating to us. Except Senok Beach.

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us enjoying the breeze and the sunlight

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Those Trees!!!

In my opinion, it’s better to go for food hunt in Kelantan instead of beaches. Probably Senok beach -> Kota Bahru food hunt would be a good flow.

We had a simple dinner in Kota Bahru  (the mee goreng here tastes nicer though! ) and rushed to Min House Camp. 

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Remember I said we booked another fireflies tour? Here it is! VERY SPECIAL experience. We kayaked in the DARK, on our own, in the mangroves river to see fireflies REAL CLOSE. Both of us are not pro in kayaking, but the guide told us we will be fine, and we trusted him just like that…31488419_w

It was a bit scary at first, when we have no idea how to control the directions, but at the end we did so well! The guide even complimented us as we picked up the skills very fast.

Let’s talk about the fireflies. They are magical!!! It’s like light up during Christmas, maybe not that much but they totally look like illumination. Sorry that I could only deliver the image through my words, as it is almost impossible to take picture of them like how I see them, and I don’t want to.

Watch them with the eyes, feel it with heart, and live that moment.
The tour, was just, RM10 per person.

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We also stayed at this place, dorm bed RM15 per person. But the bathroom is at the outside, open air,no water heater. But the room has a/c, we brought sleeping bags and we hid ourselves in those, in case there are any insects at night. You know, it is in the jungle.

DAY 5 Kelantan to Thailand to Kedah

Morning 8am, we checked out and departed to Kota Bahru for breakfast. Met up with travel friend Nurul, who brought us to this famous Kopitiam Kita and bought us the breakfast! So nice of her! And I love those nasi so much!

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After breakfast we departed to Pantai Sri Tujuh, where we can see the fishermen and boats, and the museum of Wau – Malaysia traditional kite.

 

After that, we visited Wat Machimmaram (biggest sitting Buddha statue in Malaysia) and Wat Phothivihan (biggest sleeping Buddha statue in Malaysia)

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I like this Wat Machimmaram temple so much, like all the detail of the temple, and the fusion of Tao and Thai Buddhism. There will never be a temple like this, beside this one, which blended these two different beliefs into one. For example, this is a Buddhist temple, but the guardian of the temple are in Taoism.

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And there are so many carved dragons in the temple.

I like it. It is like Journey to the West really happened.

Also, the 3D drawings in the temple which tell the story of Buddhism are so fine and neat. Appreciate all the details of this place!

As we have came to the North-est of east coast, we decided to just cross the border to Thailand. 

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We made it to Thailand in our car, one wearing Baju Kurung, another one wearing a Thai elephant pants. Haha!

For your information, entering Thailand with own transport, required registration with official documents of your car, pay an insurance for 1 month or more, RM30 at least. BUT, if you are entering Thailand for 1 day only, and the destination is not super far away from Malaysia, “just go lah~~no need registration.” That’s how we get to Thailand without paying anything. Spent about RM20 on the food.

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Picnic at Kolok Park. Bought all these from Thailand 7 eleven!

We get back to Malaysia and departed to Kedah at around 4pm, following was the long long drive, 4 hours+ of driving up and down the mountains. We passed by gerik mountain and stopped to enjoy the great view.

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One more interesting thing we found out on the road and became a fun game on the long drive was this

We saw all these signs and being all excited to discover the next one! Haha!

8:30pm finally arrived at Kuala Ketil, as we have no signal on our phone at all, for 4 hours, we did no research on Kedah. Staying in Kuala Ketil is a wrong move.

Advice from us: Stay in Baling for more interesting activities, mountains, lake, and nature! Or Sungai Petani for delicious food. Kuala Ketil has nothing (I have confirmed with the locals and they told me the best food here is KFC.)

Checked in Hotel. RM70/room, budget hotel with a/c, attached bathroom and water heater.

DAY 6 Kedah to Perak

Canopy walk (Tree Top Walk) Sungai Sedim RM10.

If you really take this route, you might want to try out this acivity. We were rushing to Sepetang as we expected fun things over there, so we didn’t do this walk. I included this in the itinerary anyway, as it looks really interesting, and some info below.

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Tree Top Walk Sungai Sedim is the world’s longest rainforest canopy walk with a length of 925 metres and a height of 26 metres up above the forest floor at its highest point. The walkway follows a roughly rectangular shape and crosses the river twice.

We rushed to Kuala Sepetang, took about 2 hours+ driving. Lunch in Kuala Sepetang, but bad day because all nice foods are closed on Monday.  No tour going out for eagle feeding, mangrove cruise, nor fireflies on that day, also no one wants to bring just two of us out to the sea. So we were only able to visit the Charcoal Factory. It is also the venue of a local drama “the home of charcoal (炭乡)”.

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Next we went to Teluk Intan to meet Kelvin, as he works here and I saw him having seafood feast everyday. So we came here to see what he could treat us. (evil smile)

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This is what he treated us! Super delicious! Thanks!!

After dinner we checked in LAVENDER HOTEL (booked at Agoda.com, RM67 for queen deluxe bedroom with a/c, attached bathroom and water heater) Loved this hotel, almost couldn’t wake up the next morning.

DAY 7 Perak to KL

We woke up at 7:30am and checked out to go up to Gopeng, Radak Adventure. (Not recommended to stay in Teluk Intan before Gopeng)

At 9am, we started our white water rafting adventure. This has became my favorite of the trip! SO MUCH FUN! our boat flipped twice and we dropped into the water for few times, injured a little bit but it is still so fun so worth it.

If you do have a group of friend to go together, please try out more activities there, for eg. Waterfall abseiling, cave exploration, sunset hiking and etc! Gopeng Water Rafting.
We did not have a group, but we were able to join a group of awesome people from Politeknik Pasir Gudang. Reservation before the tour is going to help you out. Don’t be hesitated to contact them in prior.

1:00pm departed to Kampar for food hunt. After that we finally has to get back to the route with toll, and came back to KL. We stayed 2 nights in my room in KL.

Came back had some rest, had some cheap sushi as dinner after 7 days of local meals, and do laundry! (first laundry after 1 week. The benefit of driving trip)

Day 8 Putrajaya

We spent a day in Putrajaya visited

  1. Pink Mosque
  2. Asta Morocco
  3. Botanic Park
  4. Wetland Park.

All of them are very near to each other. Putrajaya is pretty well developed into a beautiful town. The building and the eco-friendly environment truly worth visiting.

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DAY 9 KL to Melaka to Johor

Guess how excited we are to get back home? And so happy that we accomplish the mission of travel around Peninsular Malaysia!

We only stopped a bit in Melaka. If you have realized, we are actually skipping quite a few overwhelmed tourism locations (IN MY OPINION). But I just really wish people to know that I LOVE MALACCA a lot ❤️ wh   ich makes me want to stop even for just a short time.

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End of the day, got back to Senggarang, Pantai Sungai Lurus where I was born and raised. Even though I have watched so many beautiful sunrise and sea views in the East Coast, West Coast sunset is still the amazing one. Still my greatest affection.

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How we divide the expenses: We top up RM50 into our “bank” every time when we ran out of money, and pay everything with the bank. The end of the day the trip costs us less than RM750!

 The most expensive accommodation was the first day, RM133, the lowest goes to RM15 per person. But we did sleep well throughout the trip!

 All the local dishes in Malaysia, CAN NEVER cost you too much yet they are still delicious!

 The route until Kampar was completely TOLL-FREE until we enter KL, moved to Putrajaya, Melaka and went back home. The toll fees were about RM50 in total.

 My feeling after the trip – Malaysia is so BEAUTIFUL!
9 days around Peninsular Malaysia, is just the beginning of knowing more about Malaysia. Only when we have been to, we know that there are more! Now I have tons of places and adventures to complete in my bucket list!

No.1 is the CBL tour in Terengganu!
No.2 is the complete adventure tour in Gopeng.
What about yours???

Spread this to bring Malaysia reach out to more people! Malaysia, truly Asia 🇲🇾

Follow me on my Facebook to see daily updates about travel and tips!

https://www.facebook.com/SomewhereNotfar/


👭 If I never mention her name yet, my travel partner, one of my best bros ever.
Yes, we are more bro than sis. I wish one day we could travel again and have some videos behind the scene. See how crazy we are and behave nothing like girl together.

Her name is Junyi, amazingly made in Malaysia. Thanks for completing this trip with me! More to explore together!


👭 I have another beautiful friend who did driving trip around Peninsular Malaysia too, who inspired me to do this trip! her blog is in Chinese, if you are interested you can read here!  (CUTI-CUTI MALAYSIA|开车自驾玩马来西亚)


 

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