Wildlife meets skyline
You are looking for some outdoor fun while exploring Asian cities? Welcome to a nice travel route through Malaysia that ends in Singapore. Great hikes through the Taman Negara jungle, lush green tea plantations and bustling cities are waiting for you.
Malaysia and Singapore in 17 days!
Aug. 2019: Hello, Bonjour and Selamat siang from an exciting traveling route through Malaysia. This route could give you an idea what to visit and how to get around in Malaysia for about 2 weeks with a nice ending in the „fine“ city, Singapore. You can explore the wildlife in the jungle of Taman Negara, relax at the beach on Tioman island or indulge in the fascinating city of Kuala Lumpur.
- Length – 17 days / 16 nights
- Total km – ca. 1.180km
- Vehicle – no need to rent a car you can take either bus, minibus, taxi or ferry
- Road conditions – generally well tared but can be quite winding
- Accommodation – Airbnb, Hotel / Guesthouse, Chalets
- Highlights – jungle tour, Petronas Twin Towers, Tioman island
Kuala Lumpur International Airport – Kuala Lumpur drive about 60km; 1hr
Day 1 – 3: You will arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport where you can buy a local SIM card for 36 RM which will provide you with 10GB for 2 weeks. You can then download the grab app and order a grab car to your accommodation. This is the easiest and cheapest way to get around KL.
In KL it’s not very easy to walk around, you really need to make an effort to find some opportunities to walk. However, as the city is very crowded and there seems to be a traffic jam very often it’s definitely worth trying to walk around. In the middle of KL‘s heart you will find the Petronas Twin Towers that are at their best during night when all lights are shining.
Next to them you will find the KLCC Park with a fountain, which has a great light and music show every evening between 6 and 10 pm. Close by you can find the Heli Bar where you can enjoy a nice view of the city and it’s skyline, if you are lucky there will even be a spontaneous firework.
Kuala Lumpur – Ringlet drive about 200km; 4hr
Day 4 – 6: After the hustling and bustling city, you can take a bus from KL Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) to the Cameron Highlands (~ 35 RM), which takes about 4 hours. Ask the bus driver to drop you off at Ringlet, here the owner of the Rainforest Inn will come and pick you up from the petrol station to drive you another 20 minutes into the rainforest. It’s a very lovely place to spend some nights and experience a traditional old Asian village. You can try some blow pipes, traditional games that are quite complicated and you will see different traps to catch some animals such as monkeys, chicken, wild pigs, etc. However, don’t forget your earplugs as the nearby waterfall is very loud and close to the bamboo huts.
From this place you can book a full or half day hiking tour to explore the Highlands, find the biggest flower in the world, walk through Mossy forest or just enjoy a cup of tea at the famous Boh Sungai Palas in Tanah Rata. If you want to join a tour to learn how tea is processed, make sure you arrive at the plantation before 3 pm as all the tea might already be processed for the day and the factory therefore closed.
If you are more up to drive through the area by yourself you can also rent a scooter at the Inn for a very reasonable price. The old Boh Tea Plantation in Ringlet is a gorgeous place to visit and about 45 minutes from the Rainforest Inn by scooter.
Ringlet- Taman Negara drive about 230km;
Day 7 – 10: The owner is very helpful and will assist you in planning your further trip to Taman Negara by minibus and boat (~ 75 RM). The minibus will take about 3 hours to Jerantut where you will have to buy for you and your camera the permits to enter the Taman Negara jungle. No need to buy any tours here, there are plenty offers directly in Kuala Tahan village and your guesthouse. Another minibus will drive you for about 30 minutes to the jetty, where you will receive your final permits and step into the little boat that brings you within 3 hours to Kuala Tahan. Watch out for some water buffaloes that are enjoying the cooling water of the Tembeling river. It’s a really enjoyable boat ride.
After you arrive at the jetty of Kuala Tahan you can walk to the Tebing Guesthouse, which is very welcoming and helpful to plan your activities around the jungle. The 2 days 1 night jungle hike (~ 200 RM) is quite nice but definitely touristique. A boat will bring you in 1,5 hours to Kuala Keniam from where your hike will lead you for about 4,5 hours through the jungle until you reach the cave Gua Kepayang that will be your accommodation for 1 night. On your hike you will cross and walk through little rivers, depending on how much rain there was the days and nights before; the same rain that will bring your little friends called leeches, prepare yourself with the right socks and outfit. Nevertheless, you might get some leeches anyways as they can bite through thick socks or crawl up to your neck.
The second day you hike about 3,5 hours, visit a smaller cave and meet lots of bats and snakes before heading back to the pick up point. You can most likely decide in your small hiking group if you want to visit the traditional Asian village, Orang Asli or take the boat directly back to Kuala Tahan for 30 minutes. You will float through some rapids and the boat driver will be happy to make sure every one in the boat gets soaked. Quite enjoyable after some humid and hot days in the jungle.
If you like you can also do a half day trip to Lata Berkoh, which is a small waterfall on the Tahan river. Just go down to the jetty in the morning and ask other people if they want to share a boat with you, this will be cheaper than booking your trip at the guesthouse as a boat coasts 200 RM no matter if there are 2 or 4 persons in a boat. On this trip you will also visit the biggest tree in this jungle and the sanctuary for Mahseer fishes. Or you can also easily hike through the jungle on your own, starting from the Mutiara Resort following the paths you want to explore. A nice route leads you to Bukit Teresek, where you have a fantastic view into the jungle. Afterwards you can relax at the Lubuk Simpon beach or wait for some wildlife to come out of the forest in the Tahan hide.
Taman Negara – Cherating drive about 240km; 5hr
Day 11: From the Tebing Guesthouse you can book a minibus directly to Kuantan (~ 105 RM) that takes about 4 hours to Kuantan Sentral. Here, you can change into a bus (~ 13 RM) or grab a car (~ 50 RM) to head further North towards Cherating. Tanjung Inn in Cherating is a unique spot where you can spend a relaxing day at the ocean, enjoy a smoothie at the beach bar and sleep in lovely tents with a view on the lake and the sea at the same time. But watch out for the red centipede that might cross your way or walk around in your tent, when touching it it really hurts and can cause some severe allergic reactions.
Cherating – Tioman Island drive about 250km; 5hr 30min
Day 12 – 15: The Manager of Tanjung Inn will surely be happy to assist you with your further travel and even organize a Taxi for you if you want to go to Tanjung Gemok jetty (~ 300 RM for the whole taxi) to take the ferry towards Tioman island. By Taxi the ride takes about 3 hours from Tanjung Inn. You could also take a Taxi back to Kuantan and from there on take a bus to the jetty, but you should consider that the first bus in the morning leaves at 9 am at Kuantan Sentral station, which could be very tight to be on time for the ferry that leaves at 12 pm at the jetty. Furthermore, some busses will just be canceled if the seats are not all fully booked at their departure time, leading to the fact that you will definitely miss the ferry and have to stay one night more on the mainland waiting for the ferry to leave next morning to Tioman. The journey by ferry takes approximately 2 hours to Tekek (~ 65 RM), which is the biggest town on the island and from where you can easily get to other places around the island. You can choose to stay here one night in the lovely Cheers chalet (~ 150 RM), enjoy a night in the Tioman Cabana bar with a gorgeous view on the ocean and eat some tasty, Malayan roti canai.
Close by the Abect Aqua Dive Center you can find plenty of flying foxes hanging in the trees as this is a protected area for them to survive.
If you want to cross the island and stay at the magnificent Juara beach, Bushman Chalets (~ 120 RM) is a fabulous place right at the ocean front where you have a beautiful beach view from your wooden chalet. The owner will also come and pick you up from your last accommodation and drive you to your chalet (~ 25 RM). Just enjoy the quiet beach, listen to the birds, book a cruising trip to Coral island for some snorkeling, hike in the rainforest to the nearby waterfall or visit the turtle hatching project.
Your last night on the island should be back in a village with a jetty, Tekek for example, where you can take the ferry at 7 am the next morning to Mersing jetty.
Tioman Island – Singapore drive about 200km; 7hr
Day 16 – 17: After leaving the island and arriving in Mersing the bus from Causeway Link will take you to Singapore boarder where you have to do all immigration obligations. From here on it will be a bit of a challenge to find your way with public transportation, if you keep in mind to stay with Causeway (CW) as long as possible (Newton circus station, Singapore) you will manage though. At Newton circus you change into the blue line of the MRT to get to downtown before you can explore the city and check in 30 Bencoolen hotel. Most of the flights to Europe, Africa and Northern America leave very late around midnight, which gives you the possibility to enjoy a full day in the city before flying back home. Bybe bye, salut and selamat tinggal ∞
If you have any questions, contact me or read my advices about Malaysia and Singapore on Instagram.