Road trip adventures in Malaysia

A leisure trip abroad is something wanderlusters in Malaysia have likely yearned for while being stuck at home during the pandemic. But let’s be honest – not all of us are ready to deal with the cost of PCR tests, and the fuss of travel requirements and restrictions.

Thankfully, there’re plenty of places worth exploring closer to home that’ll lift our spirits all the same.

We mapped out 11 road trip-worthy spots – including hidden gems in Kuala Kubu Bharu and Bentong – within an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur.

1. Yue Shan Gu Miao – Chinese temple with rainbow steps

Road trips in Malaysia - Yue Shan Gu Miao

It’s not difficult to find Chinese temples in any town in Malaysia, but not many are as vibrant and eye-catching as Yue Shan Gu Miao in Kuala Kubu Bharu – abbreviated as KKB by locals. A hidden gem in the town, this temple has rainbow stairs that will add a burst of colour to any Instagram grid.

Road trips in Malaysia - colourful temple stairs

Not much is known about the temple, but it’s believed to be one of the oldest Chinese temples in the area – clocking in at over 100 years old, according to locals. 

Road trips in Malaysia - temple

The outer temple’s main steps were given a cheery makeover in recent years, with swings and archways added to attract curious passers-by looking for fun photo ops.

Address: Jalan Kubu, Kampung Sungai Damar, 44000 Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily

2. Sungai Pertak Recreational Forest – easy-to-access cascade waterfall

Road trips in Malaysia - cascade

KKB is well-known for its scenic waterfalls including Sungai Chiling and Lata Medang. If you’re not keen on working up a sweat, there’s a cascade – or low waterfall – inside Sungai Pertak Recreational Forest that does not require an arduous hike to reach.

Road trips in Malaysia - cascade

Located right next to its designated parking lot, the cascade offers cool waters where you can dip your feet and relax before continuing on your road trip.  

Road trips in Malaysia - lookout

To enjoy more views around this location, you can venture to the top of the cascade, reachable via a 10-minute walk or 3-minute drive from the base. There are plenty more rocks to sit on and soak in the sun and scenery here. 

We strongly recommend going to the top on foot as there are limited parking spots. Packing sunblock is also crucial since the rays can get pretty strong around noon. 

Address: Tapak Berkelah Sungai Pertak, 44000, Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily
Entrance fee: RM1/pax

3. Sungai Selangor Dam – nature-viewing spot in KKB

Road trips in Malaysia - Sungai Selangor Dam

A fun aspect of road trips are undoubtedly the stopovers. Sungai Selangor Dam happens to be a place worth stopping by for scenic nature views, especially if you’re heading to KKB or Fraser’s Hill in Pahang from KL.

Road trips in Malaysia - dam

Thanks to impressive views of green mountains that separate blue waters from skies that surround the dam, it is now a popular spot with several lookout points.

A perfect locale to bask in scenic nature views, the dam – a.k.a. Empangan Sungai Selangor – helps capture rainfall and provides water to Greater Kuala Lumpur.

Road trips in Malaysia - road trip

Adventurous road trippers should explore the area, and make their way over to the Bridge Lookout Point. Here, you’ll find vehicles parked along the road, and passengers enjoying unobstructed views of the dam and its surroundings.

Address: Bridge Lookout Point, 44000 Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily

4. Teng Wun Bakery & Confectionery – 40-year-old bakery selling kaya puffs

Road trips in Malaysia - kaya puff
Teng Wun Bakery’s flaky and crumbly kaya puffs

Most locals in KKB are familiar with Teng Wun Bakery & Confectionery. This humble establishment has been churning out baked goods since 1979 – for over 40 years. They sell around 200 pastries each day, all baked from scratch by its owner Mr Wun and his family. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Mr Wun
Mr Wun manning his 40-year-old bakery

Loyal patrons are typically drawn in by the bakery’s iconic Kaya Puff (RM9/box), arguably their most popular item. These flaky puffs with crumbly fillings are sold in boxes of five pastries, a product that lures curious visitors from far and wide.

Apart from this customer favourite, there are other baked goods such as Pandan Layer Cake (RM8) and Wedding Biscuits (from RM7).

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Teng Wun Bakery

A stone’s throw from the bakery is a colourful back alley attraction called Street Art Kota Bharu, which features painted mural walls depicting town scenes and local attractions. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - street art murals

Address: 15, Jalan Dato Muda Jaafar, Pekan Kuala Kubu Bharu, 44000 Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
Opening hours: Wed – Mon 9AM-5PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Telephone: 03-6064 1586

5. Taman Tasik Milenium – scenic strolls around a lake

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Taman Tasik Milenium

If your idea of a great road trip involves spending time in nature, don’t miss out on Taman Tasik Milenium. This tranquil park in KKB has picnic benches scattered along the waterfront, where you can enjoy your meals against the backdrop of a scenic lake and surrounding mountains.

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - dinosaur slide

For those with little ones, there is a uniquely themed playground called Dino World where your kids can stretch their legs after a long car ride.

The highlight here is a massive steel play structure in the shape of a T-Rex – kids ages 5-12 can climb all the way up the prehistoric creature’s neck and slide down its ‘tail’.

The park is a popular landing spot for paragliding as well. Those interested in this thrilling activity can check out Cloud Bass & Kelab Luncur Udara Kuala Kubu Bharu for more information. Each flight costs RM300/pax, and includes insurance and a GoPro camera. 

Address: Taman Milenium, 44000 Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
Opening hours: 6AM-7PM, Daily 

6. Alor Lempah Old Dam – recreational park with man-made waterfalls

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - old dam

Another spot to dip your feet in cool waters is Alor Lempah Old Dam, also known as Ampang Pecah. This area features manmade cascades and sandy banks that replicate the feeling of being at the beach in the middle of a surrounding hilly landscape. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - dam

It’s also a popular area for picnics by the water, and swimming where the currents are calmer. 

This location is easily accessible by car, and has plenty of parking areas close to the cascades. Do note, however, there are no public toilets in the area, so a stopover at a nearby petrol station may be necessary on your way here.

Address: Alor Lempah, Taman Ampang Pecah, 44000 Kuala Kubu Bharu
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily

7. World of Phalaenopsis – orchid farm with a cafe

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - World of Phalaenopsis

Hiding out in a quiet neighbourhood in Batang Kali, Ulu Yam, is the World of Phalaenopsis. It is hailed as one of the largest phalaenopsis orchid farms in Malaysia, and where you can find plenty of vibrant orchids of varying species and colours to purchase from RM15/pot

These blooms make for pretty photo backdrops due to their abundance across various areas around the farm.

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - food

If you feel hungry during your visit, drop by The Florescence Cafe inside the orchid farm for coffee, cakes, and local dishes. Some ‘Ulu Yam Favourites’ listed on their menu include Mee Hoon Siam with Rendang Ayam (RM15) with generous portions of noodles and chicken, and Asam Laksa (RM15) which is mildly spicy. 

Finish your meal with your choice of coffeefrom Long Black (RM9) to Caramel Latte (RM12) or tea (from RM9), with options such as chamomile, sencha, and lavender.

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - orchids
The cafe overlooks a scenic pond home to geese and water lilies

Address: 1017, Jalan Batang Kali, Ulu Yam Bharu, Kampung Sungai Kamin, 44300 Batang Kali, Selangor
Opening hours: 9AM-5PM, Daily
World of Phalaenopsis Facebook 

8. Thong Kee Restaurant – OG kopitiam in Bentong

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - kopitiam

Those who frequent kopitiams in KL might be familiar with Thong Kee Restaurant. They have several branches in the Klang Valley, including in Cheras and Sri Petaling. A fact not known to many is that the original Thong Kee is located in Bentong where it has been operating since 1988. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Thong Kee

They are known for their classic kopitiam fare, which includes Kopi Cham (RM1.80/small) and Roti Bakar (RM1.60) with margarine and kaya, both popular and affordable orders here. An interesting light bite to grab for breakfast or yum cha is the Croissants (from RM4.30), which comes with fillings such as kaya and butter (RM5) and ham, cheese and egg (RM7.50).

Patrons of Thong Kee are likely to also recommend the Char Kuey Teow (RM6), which cuts back on the regular oiliness typically associated with the dish. 

Address: No. 4, Jalan Chui Yin, 28700 Bentong, Pahang
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 7AM-4.30PM (Closed on Mondays)

9. Lemang To’ki – freshly prepared lemang with a variety of sides

Food is undeniably one of the highlights of road trips. Besides fuelling us up before our next destination, it’s also a chance for us to try out local delicacies in different towns. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - lemang
Lemang with Rendang Ayam

A famous food destination in Bentong is Lemang To’ki, a restaurant known for serving glutinous lemang and fragrant rendang all year round. They have a branch in KL, but their original restaurant in Bentong is where you can see rows of batang lemang cooking over charcoal. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Lemang To'ki

There are different serving portions of lemang to feed small to large groups. These include Lemang Kecil (RM13/small) to Lemang Extra Besar (RM16/XL), which can be ordered alongside their plates of rendang – Rendang Ayam (RM6) or Daging (RM8). 

Address: Batu 2, Jalan Tras, 28700 Bentong, Pahang
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 8AM-8PM (Closed on Mondays)
Lemang To’ki Facebook

10. Colmar Tropicale – French-inspired town with a Japanese garden

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Colmar Tropicale

Most of us have heard of Colmar Tropicale in Bentong. This location is popular among locals looking to experience strolling through a French village without having to leave our country.

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - French town

This French village is modelled after Colmar in France, a city known for its quaint medieval village architecture. Similarly, Colmar Tropicale boasts cottage-style buildings and cobbled roads that look straight out of a fairytale – think Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Besides renting a room at one of the many hotels located here, visitors can also dine at French restaurants or go for lighter cafe fare at Starbucks or Krispy Kreme.

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Krispy Kreme & Starbucks

About 3km away on the same hilltop as Colmar Tropicale is a Japanese Village another themed attraction. A visit to the garden is included in your entrance fee, so we recommend dropping by to walk around the water garden and snap more ‘overseas’ pictures. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Japanese house

You can rent kimonos (RM20/pax), or feed koi with fish pellets (RM1/pack), both available at a traditional Japanese house in the garden. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Japanese village

Address: KM 48 Persimpangan Bertingkat, Lebuhraya Karak, Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily
Entrance fee: RM14/pax

11. Pineyard – rustic cafe with lakeside views

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Pineyard

Around a 45-minute drive from KL is Pineyard, an open-concept cafe housed inside a rustic cabin-like building. This aesthetically pleasing cafe has become popular for its waterfront dining area, and its location en route to Colmar Tropicale.

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Pineyard

There are different seating options, ranging from bar seats overlooking the pond to communal tables that seat up to six.

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - Pineyard

Menu offerings include fusion dishes, such as the Curry Pasta (RM26) – a unique dish that pairs rich curry, pasta noodles, and sliced chicken breast. We tried the Big Breakfast (RM33), a large plate of chicken sausage, turkey ham, sourdough bread, scrambled eggs and roasted sweet potatoes with portions that feed up to two.

Address: C1, Jalan Tanarimba Pine, Kampung Janda Baik, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
Opening hours: Wed – Mon 9AM-6PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Telephone: 03-6064 1586
Pineyard Facebook

Hit the road with TREVO to lift your spirits 

A comfortable car is essential for a smooth and fun-filled road trip with your friends. So if you want to go on a journey to lift your spirits post-MCO but find yourself without a trusty ride, look no further than TREVO, the largest online car-rental marketplace in Malaysia. 

Browse through their vast catalogue of available cars – from light and compact Perodua Myvis and steady Honda sedans, to sporty Mercedes-Benzs and luxurious Toyota MPVs – to find the perfect ride that accommodates your journey length and group size. 

They have more than 4,000 cars and over 150 models to select from in the Klang Valley, Penang, JB, Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - stopover

Booking a car with TREVO takes just under five minutes. Simply download the app to your smartphone, sign up for an account, and verify your identity to begin your car hunt. 

Vehicles are available for rent, both short- and long-term. To ease your decision-making process, listings even come with:

  • User ratings
  • GPS 
  • Pet-friendliness status
  • Touch ‘n Go and SmartTag availability
  • Bluetooth/AUX compatibility

Once you’ve decided on a car, opt to meet your car host or have your car delivered to you before embarking on your road trip.

If you’re a car owner, TREVO even lets you rent out your car on their platform to earn extra cash. They also offer a ‘Buddy Driver’ service to make trips easier for busy bees – simply hire a personal driver to drive your car by the hour for up to 12 hours. 

Road trips in Malaysia near KL - car

Renting a comfortable ride ensures you’ll have just as much fun in between destinations as when you’re checking off locations on your bucket list. After all, meaningful moments spent in conversation and laughter with good company created along the way are worth treasuring as much as the anticipation of getting to our next stop. 

We’ve planned out the itinerary for you with these 11 places in KKB and Bentong, so all that’s left is securing a car suited to your needs. Here’s wishing you safe travels ahead.

Book a TREVO ride for your road trip in under 5 minutes here.

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This post was brought to you by TREVO. 

Photography by Danny Ko. 

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