Malacca, Cameron Highlands, Batu Caves

Intended For: One 3yo, one 6yo, Mum and Dad.

Overview: Hire a car at Johor Bahru and drive up to the Cameron Highlights. See farms. Experience coolish weather. Drink tea and coffee. Road trip, baby!

Strengths: Road trip, baby! Cameron Highlands are reportedly a good getaway for the city kid. Budget-friendly, flexible, no-fly holiday. Hire car will also help cushion any culture shock. Side trips to Malacca, Legoland and Batu Caves to smooth the road trip. And let’s not forget the biggest strength – it’s a road trip! (And to a place where they grow tea.)

Forseeable difficulties and mitigating strategies: When I first asked Dad what he thought of doing a Malaysian road trip, he said, “That’s a great idea! Kids in the back seat, suitcase in the boot… I could even meet up with you at the end!” So… I guess one foreseeable difficulty might be convincing Dad to come along on the road trip.

Mum will have to drive on Malaysian roads, unless she can somehow convince Grandad to get involved. Having seen what it’s like on Malaysian roads, I’m just about ready to suck it up and I’m sure I’ll get used to it, more or less.

Driving escalates towards end of holiday. In the past what has worked has been front-loading the driving, and tapering off towards the end as the kids lose patience with it. The hope is that the kids will stick with us for the big Legoland finish (and that they won’t lose patience with the driving so much if we don’t front-load it as heavily).

Estimated Price Bracket: Low. Car hire does bump up the cost a bit.


Day One

  • Taxi/private hire vehicle to Johor Bahru
  • Pick up hire car
  • Drive to Cameron Highlands – 430km – expect to average 50km/hr with kids under five, and allowing for the windy mountain roads at the end = 8.6 (say 9) hours of driving. This means we should split the driving over two days, possibly with a two-night (one day) stop in Malacca, which doesn’t take us too far off track.
  • Overnight Malacca

Day Two

  • At leisure in Malacca
  • Overnight in Malacca

Day Three

  • Drive to Cameron Highlands
  • Overnight Cameron Highlands

Days Four, Five

  • At leisure in Cameron Highlands
  • Tea plantation, strawberry farm, mountain scenery, casual hiking
  • Overnight in Cameron Highlands (3 nights total)

Day Six

  • Drive south
  • Stop at Batu Caves (just north of KL)
  • Get a few more miles south, stop at random location overnight

Day Seven

  • South again to JB
  • Overnight in JB

Day Eight

  • Legoland
  • Return car in JB
  • Home to Singapore (taxi/private hire vehicle)

Day Nine

  • Spare day for contingencies like breaking down, getting lost, or deciding not to follow the above plan. After all, it is a road trip.
But seriously, who doesn't like a road trip?

But seriously, who doesn’t like a road trip?

Update: I’ve been following the adventures of Madeline, David, Lillian, and Edward through Malaysia via their blog. They’re also going from Singapore through Malacca (Malaka) and KL, although not so much as a road trip.