Tips For Your Next Road Trip to Malaysia (PLUS: Things To Do In JB & Beyond!)
Are you constantly running out of things to do during the weekends? Or having difficulties to plan a short vacation that has specific requirements such as limited budget, somewhere nearby, filled with fun and new places, affordable good food? The nearest country that is just separated by a causeway from Singapore would be none other than, Malaysia.
If you own a car or have the luxury to borrow your family’s car, that will be great! Grab a couple of friends, pack something light for a couple of days and you are all set to go!
However, here are some invaluable tips that you should take note of before making your way down to the woodlands checkpoint!
ROAD TRIP CHECKLIST
- Always ensure that your passports are up to date
- Make sure that everyone has their passports with them
- Ensure that the car has a valid insurance certificate
- Pack adequate clothing for the number of days spent
- DO NOT drive in with less than three quarters of petrol
- Prepare or chip in some $$ to pay the respective tolls:
- 25RM for (Vehicle Entry Permit) VEP system(5yrs)
- 20RM road charge
- Stock up generously on drinks and snacks
- Select the right time to drive in to maximize your weekend
- Make use of sites like sg to check on the traffic
- If possible, download an offline GPS app beforehand
- Ensure that at least 1 person has data roaming enabled
Every once in a while, there would be pieces of news going viral on social media, videos and pictures of coming from victims. Learning from these mistakes and lessons, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
INVALUABLE TIPS TO TAKE NOTE
A general rule of thumb while driving to Malaysia
- Never leave your valuables and passports in your car
- Do not leave $$ lying around on the car’s dashboard
- Do not wear flashy accessories or jewelleries;
- Expensive watches
- Branded Handbags
- Eye catching diamond rings
- Do not create a commotion or draw any attention
- Drivers take note:
- Park head in first, if possible beside a pillar
- Wheels fully locked to your Left or Right
- Give way to cars that are speeding
- Beware of your surroundings before parking
- Do not your car running while unattended
- Last but not least, stay humble & avoid picking fights
If possible, go around asking friends and relatives who are seasoned drivers or those whom have been driving in and out of Malaysia would know what to do.
Stopovers You Shouldn’t Miss
Malaysia is a large country with lots of fun and exciting areas to explore, depending on the number of days that are allocated for this road trip, plan your journey and align them with everyone that is going together. It is also strongly recommended to factor in adequate waiting times in case of unexpected jams. Meanwhile, here are a couple of stopovers which you shouldn’t miss during your drive to Malaysia. Stop by these recommended places to recharge yourself!
Retail Shopping Centre
Besides the usual KSL and City Square where everyone would have been to in (Johor Bahru) JB, Paradigm Mall is the next go-to mall that is still within JB. Newly launched in November 2017, it is the biggest shopping mall ever built in the states of Johor. With a colossal indoor ice skating rink that is 20,000 sq ft and a whooping 65,000 sq ft cinema which is the biggest in Johor and many more at their biggest mall ever. Be sure to drop by and check the mall out!
Home Decor & Furnishing
With ample space and land, it is no surprise that Ikea has their eyes on Malaysia. With a sweeping 502, 815 sq ft worth of home decor, furnishings to peruse from. Ikea Tebrau is by far, the largest Ikea in South East Asia. There are also certain items which are cheaper as compared to the local Ikea stores in Singapore.
Do also take into consideration that Ikea Tebrau does not include delivery to Singapore, hence transportation should be arranged personally for those who wishes to procure larger items that can no longer fit into the conventional cars. It is also good to know that if anyone travels out of Singapore below 48 hours, they are exempted and need not pay GST for items that are priced for up to $150.
Second Hand Shopping
Stroll down Pasar Karat if you are around the vicinity of City Square in JB, with a wide range of booths selling all sorts of second-hand items, you’ll never know what you’ll find there! Do not buy items which are illegal or even live animals as Singapore has tight regulations and offenders will be punished if caught in possession.
Desaru – Ostrich Wonderland
Place of Attraction (Nature)
Located at the east of JB, Desaru used to be a popular place for short family getaways. Hopefully there will not be a crowd if this were to be in your itinerary. Ostrich Wonderland is a must to stop by if Desaru is your end location. Accommodating as many as 100 Ostriches, one will be able to see live Ostriches, what are their diet like, how would their habitat be like in the wild. There is also an Ostrich ride that can be taken in this place as well.
Malacca – Jonker Street
Shopping & Food District
A mandatory prime location to stop by if you are heading to Malacca. Besides a wide variety of delicious and affordable street food available, there are many cafes that are suited for cafe hoppers and handicraft stores for those who are into arts and craft. At night, this place would be converted into a night market with many street stalls and booths set up. This is a go-to place for tourists and many would include this in their Malacca road trip.
Nature & Seafood Kelong
For those who wishes to stay away from the crowd and be one with the nature, Kukup is the place for you! It is a Kelong haven with most structures erected from wooden stilts above water. Here, you are able to indulge yourself with fresh seafood and sit back and relax while watching a beautiful sunset. Fishing enthusiasts are able to bring their own fishing gear to fish leisurely at certain spots.
Tanjong Jara Resort
Beach & Resort
Look forward to nothing but stunning beaches for beach-goers who are into sun tanning or hanging out by the sea. Tanjong Jara resort is an award winning resort located at a very intimate location by the beach. For those who are adventurous and loves snorkelling or diving, you are able to do so in the nearby Tenggol Island.
Melaka – Klebang Beach
In case you didn’t know, there are sand dunes in Malaysia! If you are up for long walks, this is the place for you. The rewarding part here would be the many instagram-worthy pictures and that sunset where you will always get to see only in the movies!
Perak – Gua Tempurung
Place of Attraction (Cave Expedition)
Adventurous friends will have to stop by Gua Tempurung for a cave expedition. This is as close as you can get to venturing a cave in Malaysia instead of travelling to other countries. Gua Tempurung offers various routes for cave explorers. There are many picturesques spots for those who want more eyeballs to their instagram profile!
Place of Attraction (Scenic)
If time is not on your side, you may wish to consider travelling to a nearer place instead. Berjaya hills, situated in Kuala Lumpur consists of their very own, Botanic Garden & Japanese Garden. Hydrate yourself as and when because the route through these two gardens is quite a long one.
Colmar Tropicale, an almost identical representation of the town of Colmar in Alsace, France. This small french-themed town would make each and everyone of you whip out your cameras and phones and start snapping away. Foodies can look forward to the restaurant; La Blason which offers french food to fill their stomachs and there is also a La Boulangerie, which is a french bakery to grab a quick bite along the way.
Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park
Water & Adventure Theme Park
An all-inclusive water and adventure park for those theme park enthusiasts. Located in JB, this theme park has almost every activity that theme park goers crave for! A large water park filled with many rides, a wide trampoline park to bounce away, an ice-skating rink, a go-kart track to race your friends, and an adventure park that includes most outdoor activities. A weekend will come and go in the blink of an eye! \
These are just a couple of places in Malaysia that has been picked at random. Do plan your road trip in advance and take the necessary precautions as the unexpected will hit you when you least expect it to. Prepare a checklist and take note of the tips provided, last but not least, enjoy your road trips to Malaysia!