Driving holiday to East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia


asterixsg

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May 22, 2006
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#1
Hello all,

I must say I haven't explored much of Penisular Malaysia other than the usual - Melaka, KL, Genting, Penang and Desaru closer home.

Was thinking of going on a driving holiday along the East Coast. The farthest I have been to has been Mersing a few times for stargazing.

If anyone has been to places further up all the way to the Thailand border - something rustic, something that's not been corrupted by rampant commercialization, something thats pristine, something that's simple. I am not so much of a beach person, but if there are quiet places to chill and go for long walks on a clean beach, I am all up for it. I don't quite fancy expensive resorts - so ClubMed kinda thing is ruled out. Basic, clean accomodation works perfectly for me.

Recommendations of places to visit, things to do and accomodation will be most appreciated.

Looking at a 5D4N or 4D3N option.

As an aside, has anyone been to Taman Negara ? Is it worth spending 5 days there ?

Thanks so much, in advance. :thumbsup:
 

AbsolutKev

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Dec 8, 2009
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#2
hit mersing then head north towards kuantan. there u can stay in a decent hotel for a good price. mayb bout rm120 to get a decent 2 to a room 3 star hotel with bfast. drive from jb bout 5 hrs. the eastern coastal roads are scenic. pass tru lotsa kampungs and u can stop to try their local food. since its by the sea, u can get a variety of seafood like large prawns, fresh fish and its cheap.

mersing is mostly chinese food, but along the coastal way its mostly malay food that i prefer to stop by for meals. jus random stalls or shops.

jus bcareful as the coastal way does not have a divider. be vigilant when u attempt to overtake n dont overtake when there s double lines.

@ kuantan u can go the the teluk champedak beach, bout 15 mins from town. go for the sunrise n bring a tripod. to die for!

i still havent been to taman negara.... yet. will plan to go once i have kakis n once i get my tele-zoom lens.

all the best n good luck.
 

asterixsg

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May 22, 2006
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#3
Thanks for your inputs, AbsolutKev. Any recommendations on where to stay in Kuantan ? Some place quiet, away from the city centre would be nice.

I have been scouring forums and blogs whenever I find time, with the hope that someone would've documented their road trips in Malaysia. Yet to find any or maybe I am not looking at the right places.

I would like to drive from Singapore to Kota Bharu and back OR cut across from Kuantan to KL and back on the NS highway.

If I get around to doing this road trip, I will come back and document it here, so it can be of some use to others.

Cheers
 

poolgirl

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Oct 26, 2007
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#4
i went to the east coast of peninsular m'sia when i was a kid. we used the old trunk roads (don't recommend, one lane both ways and lots of huge trucks overtaking all the way). better to take the NS highway and cross over in the north. the really interesting bits are in kelantan and trengganu anyway. it was so long ago, all i can really remember are the huge turtles on the rantau abang beach. have a feeling there are great photo opps there though...

as for taman negara, 3d 2n is more than enough unless you're thinking of doing g. tahan.
 

Guni_hoon

New Member
Dec 6, 2004
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#5
my suggestion to visit sg lembing near kuantan. u can go to see the sunset and sunrise at bt panorama (abt 500m high, half to an hour staircase climb one way). other places nearby i like are pandan falls, rainbow falls, and panching caves. all can be visited easily except for rainbow falls. arrangement of 4WD can be made with the locals at the only coffeshop in sg lembing town.

u can stay in the town itself, or at kuantan town.

http://waterfallsofmalaysia.com/18rainbow.php
 

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Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
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#6
Thanks for your inputs, AbsolutKev. Any recommendations on where to stay in Kuantan ? Some place quiet, away from the city centre would be nice.

I have been scouring forums and blogs whenever I find time, with the hope that someone would've documented their road trips in Malaysia. Yet to find any or maybe I am not looking at the right places.

I would like to drive from Singapore to Kota Bharu and back OR cut across from Kuantan to KL and back on the NS highway.

Cheers
you may Google, a few blogs about M'sia East cosat trip can be easily found online.

my suggestion to visit sg lembing near kuantan. u can go to see the sunset and sunrise at bt panorama (abt 500m high, half to an hour staircase climb one way).

u can stay in the town itself, or at kuantan town.
Yes I was just going to suggest Sg Lembing :)


To TS,
for Tmn Negara, 4D3N will enough for you. Since usually, the 1st day when you reach the place inside the park is almost 11.30 am or noon. and usually, the last day you will leave after breakfast (say 10 am)

As for driving up, you may go from the Kota Tinggi up to Coast line, all the way to Kuantan. Overnight there, go Sg Lembing, and if you want, Tasik Chini. But depends the time when the lotus blossom.

Then you may proceed to Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu is an interesting place to stay (maybe one night), the China town in KT, a newly built mosque etc. You may also wish to go Tasik Kenyir.

Further up you can drive to Kota Bahru, and all the way to Tumpat.
 

asterixsg

Senior Member
May 22, 2006
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#7
Thanks a lot, Poolgirl, Guni_Hoon and Shen Siung for your replies. This is a great help.

Looks like I need a lot more time if I want to go all the way to Kota Bharu.

I will probably go to Sg Lembing and spend couple of days exploring the place, then head over to KL and back home by the NS highway.

Thanks, once again.
 

ppaz56

New Member
Nov 25, 2008
15
0
0
#8
Hello all,

I must say I haven't explored much of Penisular Malaysia other than the usual - Melaka, KL, Genting, Penang and Desaru closer home.

Was thinking of going on a driving holiday along the East Coast. The farthest I have been to has been Mersing a few times for stargazing.

If anyone has been to places further up all the way to the Thailand border - something rustic, something that's not been corrupted by rampant commercialization, something thats pristine, something that's simple. I am not so much of a beach person, but if there are quiet places to chill and go for long walks on a clean beach, I am all up for it. I don't quite fancy expensive resorts - so ClubMed kinda thing is ruled out. Basic, clean accomodation works perfectly for me.

Recommendations of places to visit, things to do and accomodation will be most appreciated.

Looking at a 5D4N or 4D3N option.

As an aside, has anyone been to Taman Negara ? Is it worth spending 5 days there ?

Thanks so much, in advance. :thumbsup:
hi asterixsg

i joined one of those co that organised driving trips
to malaysia, kuantan during the school holidays.
the drive was along the coastal roads of east msia
my adv is to drive get another freinds and drive
in a convoy at least 2 cars
certain stretch of the coastal roads are deserted
safety in numbers

cheers
paul
of cars or houses.
 

asterixsg

Senior Member
May 22, 2006
2,060
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#9
hi asterixsg

i joined one of those co that organised driving trips
to malaysia, kuantan during the school holidays.
the drive was along the coastal roads of east msia
my adv is to drive get another freinds and drive
in a convoy at least 2 cars
certain stretch of the coastal roads are deserted
safety in numbers

cheers
paul
of cars or houses.
Thanks Paul, for the advice.

In fact, I was planning to drive alone, leave alone a convoy of cars. I prefer to have the freedom to be myself. Is it that unsafe to drive alone ?
 

Guni_hoon

New Member
Dec 6, 2004
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#10
Thanks Paul, for the advice.

In fact, I was planning to drive alone, leave alone a convoy of cars. I prefer to have the freedom to be myself. Is it that unsafe to drive alone ?
i feel driving alone is fine. suggest u plan where u intend to stay o/n, to avoid night driving as this is the first time u are taking the coastal route.
 

Nikkornos

Senior Member
Oct 31, 2008
3,428
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#11
Hi

Not trying to pour cold water, but there are many safety issues and legal aspects you have to understand before leaving for Malaysia. I used to travel frequently up and down the east coast, and have encountered enough stories and experiences. Also, I have close friends who are from the insurance line.

Here are the risks if you drive alone:

1. Make sure you have comprehensive insurance coverage of your car and yourself in Malaysia. You must check your contract and understand the small prints. The coverage is mandatory. However, none of the insurance company will provide towing services in Malaysia. Towing will cost at least thousands if any tow truck comes get your car.

2. Make sure you know someone in Malaysia, relatives or friends who can help tow your car when something happens. No apologies to any Malaysians here, but if the Malaysian police is involved, it might be the last time you see you car.

3. Night driving is very dangerous because of motorcyclist aka Mat Rampit. I have helped a friend who had a motorcyclist crashed into his Honda MPV just after Kuantan. The car was written off, and the subseqent legal claims lasted 3 years.

4. Sad to say, if anything happens, don't stop. Just step on full throttle and run. If you stop, you may risk being beaten up if the victim is of a certain race. Or simply, was a robbery setup for you.

I have heard enough people said its ok to drive alone. But those were the ones who have yet met anything. My worse experience was being stopped by a fake police post which turned out to be day light robbery. remember, your car is Singapore plate. My friends in KL would not even want to drive down to Johor.


It is best to travel in at least two cars or in a group. Enjoy your trip.

Also, if you drive any of these car models, avoid driving into Malaysia. Some thieves are so fast, the car can be gone within 5 minutes.

All Lexus models
Toyota Rush, Camry, Wish
Honda MPV
BMW, BM newer models
 

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toejam

New Member
Mar 20, 2008
35
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Singapore
#12
no cold water, just nice hot onsen waters...

been up there twice as far as rantau beach. no more huge turtles (may be at night), really beautiful, clear waters. head inlands for some beautiful waterfalls, some are difficult to get to.

plan ahead, use your brains, be prepared, get a gps, leave early, and you'll be fine. i usually take it slow, about 5 days.
 

ppaz56

New Member
Nov 25, 2008
15
0
0
#13
Thanks Paul, for the advice.
In fact, I was planning alone, leave alone a convoy of cars. I prefer to have the freedom to be myself. Is it that unsafe to drive alone ?

There are pros and cons.
Like what others mentioned safety in numbers
Spoil your driving holiday if something goes wrong

ANyway dont take safety for granted and use commonsense.
Yeah I missed those drive along the coastal roads of Msia.

Pls post your driving adventure & pics after your trip
Have a fun & safe trip

Cheers
Paul
 

asterixsg

Senior Member
May 22, 2006
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#14
Thanks a lot everyone, for your constructive replies.

I don't drive a Merc or a BMW or an Audi or a Lexus.

And no, I don't plan to drive at night. I will have a fair idea of where I will be staying each night. Will pre-book my accomodation and phone ahead that I am on my way. Will definitely take due precautions and keep my Malaysian friends informed of my whereabouts. Will be driving up in the coming months and will post photographs and share my experiences.

Thanks, once again. You've been a great help.
 

alreadym3

New Member
May 4, 2009
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#15
Hi, just back for a 02 weeks trips from P.Redang, all over Kedah, Penang and Langkawi. It be good if you have local friend to move around with you. Local car plates definitely is good to move around with and local there do have local price too. Importantly just be street smart. Thou safer then in JB but you won't want any unforseen circumstances to spoil your trips.
 

TsQ

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Jan 27, 2002
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#16
M'sia hv as many luxury cars and many are still driving happily there. It's true that it's not as safe as Spore (Also, stealing car in spore also hard to get it out)... but there are many things u can do to keep urself protected.

Driving up to Msia is a lot safer then in many countries.. this is speaking from experience. If you think Msia is so unsafe, you are pretty much constrained to drive in a lot of countries esp those they many ppl think its safe like Aust, part of east Europe etc.

I drove to Thailand and I will be doing such trip quite frequent... the things u may want to prepare to avoid issues are as such:

- Join AAS ... they are member if the FIA which Msia's AAA is also a member so u get help from them. Look at AAS website for details
- Most of the Singapore insurance is covered in Malaysia... even up to 80km from the border into Thailand is covered.
- Prepare all the tel numbers handy... Msian Police are currupted but not to the extend that your car can go missing upon rendering their help. If u are in PLUS highway, call the PLUS helpline, they are private company that gives assistance to all motorist using their tolled roads.l
- Hv break down equipment all chked. Spared tire pumped up. 1st aid kit ready.
- If your car is regularly serviced, then shld be OK but if u want, a quick chk for $60 will do. My mechanic even do it for me free.

Also, have some confident in your car, Japanese car goes on and on and on... and if u r driving a Toyota/Honda.. or even a Korean car, you get support and parts easily.

Many Singaporean are worried driving up to places like Kuantan or KL... I have done 30 over trips to Msia in the last 8 yrs.. and even up to Phuket. In terms of safety, u just need to be aware that u r not in Singapore and just practice some basic precautions steps. As i said, I seen worst in Europe and even Australia... comparatively... Malaysia is a lot safer. In case u wonder, Thailand also safe.. no matter what, Thai/Msian (incl Indos) are just a bunch of friendly ppl when u need help...
 

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asterixsg

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May 22, 2006
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#17
Thanks TsQ, for the detailed info. Will keep all these pointers in mind.

Unfortunately, due to work and other commitments and other travel plans, the road trip that I had planning all along hasn't taken off yet. Let's see how it goes. Keep you all posted if I get around to it this year.

Thanks, once again.
 

TsQ

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Jan 27, 2002
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#18
Thanks TsQ, for the detailed info. Will keep all these pointers in mind.

Unfortunately, due to work and other commitments and other travel plans, the road trip that I had planning all along hasn't taken off yet. Let's see how it goes. Keep you all posted if I get around to it this year.

Thanks, once again.
no probl. Let me know if u need help... i been doing lots of plan and preparation all these yrs. One of my more prepared trip was the phuket one.. as i went without any convoy so it was more important that i hv backup plan if situation arises..

u can see some of the photos of my last trip here http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v208/viwen/sin-phuket/
 

Jun 24, 2003
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#19
i feel driving alone is fine. suggest u plan where u intend to stay o/n, to avoid night driving as this is the first time u are taking the coastal route.
Whether you are driving alone or with others (first time best with others actually) the smaller roads in Malaysia are "best" driven during daytime. They can get pretty dark with very little road markers, and a bit uncomfortable (that includes Mersing -> JB which we had to do at night because our boat from Tioman run out of petrol!!!).

Also, when deciding to pass another vehicle, make sure you can see well ahead of you for any incoming traffic ("be brave only if you are an idiot!" (sorry to be so bland), especially in these roads where you get plenty of lorries fully loaded with rubber tree produce). Be patient, and be defensive in your driving, we went as high as Terengganu on one side and Penang on the other.

But its a great place to drive and explore. Enjoy!

-- marios
 

behyx

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Jun 15, 2002
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#20
I personally think it's better to rent a malaysian plate car..

Few months ago we did a KL - Colmar Tropicale - Cameron Highlands - KL... SIN-KL-SIN by air..

Searched a lot of car rental companies and found that hertz offers the cheapest rate, moreover it's an international company which is more trustworthy, and their pick-up locations are so much better than those local car rental companies.

http://www.simedarbycarrental.com/

Recently they have a special deal - RM88 nett for a hyundai matrix.. Not bad :thumbsup:
 

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