Top 11 Malaysian Road Trips Every Family Should Take At Least Once


Cheng Sim •  Mar 05, 2018

[Updated 24 January 2021]

School holidays and festive weekends are the best times to enjoy a road trip adventure with your family. Filled with theme parks and kid-friendly destinations, there’s never short of exciting family-friendly attractions in Malaysia☺️ If you want to spread good vibes and laughter this holiday season, get behind the wheels and plan a road trip to these family hot spots in Malaysia. Remember to play some awesome music and pack some snacks for your long drive ahead!

1. Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya (39mins)

Credit: Khalzuri Yazid on Flickr

You’ll be surprised by the number of family activities in the vicinity of the city centre. Since Putrajaya is just a short drive from Kuala Lumpur, you don’t have to sweat the details of packing and loading your luggage at all ?

For an interesting twist to your sightseeing adventure, your family can take a cruise down the Putrajaya Lake, ride a bicycle at the Putrajaya Botanical Garden and admire the skyline on the Skyrides Balloon. You can even put together a scenic family picnic by the serene Pullman Putrajaya Lake after a fun-filled afternoon!

[P.S. Did you know that Putra Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in Kuala Lumpur?]

2. Kuala Lumpur to Pahang (2 hours 53mins)

We know it’s tempting to snuggle up in your blanket when in Pahang, especially when the weather is always nice and cold. But there are many things to do here and your family will thank you for it. First, dine away with delicious nasi lemak and Western lunch at these halal cafes in Janda Baik.

There are two amazing destinations you can go in Pahang. First, it’s the Genting Highlands. The best way to begin your journey is to park at the Skyway cable car and head up to the peak where the fun stuff is. Perfect for the kids, there’s the Skytropolis indoor theme park with a variety of carousel and indoor rides. You can also check out SkyAvenue for shopping and gastronomic choices!

On the other hand, Cameron Highlands is a relaxing and calming alternative that is widely frequented by Malaysian locals. Get your kids to pluck a few strawberries at the Strawberry Farm or capture fun snapshots at the Cameron Highlands Butterfly Farm. You can also check out the small amusement park named Holiday Park that features a 3D Art Museum, an indoor Ferris wheel and more kid-friendly rides ?

3. Putrajaya to Selangor (38mins)

Credit: KidZania Kuala Lumpur on Facebook

Whenever you’re looking for somewhere close to being considered a short getaway, Selangor is only a quick drive away. Depending on your preference for family activities, there are many awesome attractions to keep your kids excited.

Credit: Farm in the City on Facebook

Your kids can soak up the sun and play the water slides at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park; experience being a firefighter or toll booth operator at KidZania, or feed the giraffes and take pictures of the animals at Zoo Negara. There’s also a cool petting zoo called Farm in the City where you can meet the alligator snapping turtle, dusky wallaby kangaroos, and pelican birds ?

[P.S. Check out these other kid-friendly outdoor activities in KL!]

4. Selangor to Perak (2 hours 19mins)

Aside from the places we have highlighted so far, Perak is the next best thing for a road trip destination. Beaming with lip-smacking halal food and cool accommodations, follow the locals and make your way to Ipoh where the best sights and sounds are located.

Here in Ipoh, it’s all about soaking up Malaysia’s old town charm that is unlike anywhere else. Your family can even enjoy the Cliff Racer slides and Jungle Wave Pool at the Lost World of Tambun or the animation-themed attractions at MAPS (Movie Animations Park Studio). If you want to step out from Ipoh for a while, enjoy a boat ride and cycle around Gunung Lang Recreational Park or join a historical tour at Kellie’s Castle ?

[P.S. Take your holiday up a notch with this 4D3N road trip itinerary to Ipoh and Penang!]

5. Perak to Penang (2 hours)

Credit: Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm on Facebook

Where do we begin with Penang? Loved by locals and tourists near and far, Penang is the first destination that comes to mind when you think of short getaways. Everything from delicious halal food to unique hotel stays, it’s the perfect destination for the whole family!

Credit: Escape Theme Park, Penang on Facebook

For a fun-filled afternoon with the kids, take them to Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm to admire 15,000 free-flying butterflies. You can also kick back at ESCAPE Theme Park for their variety of rainforest aerial obstacles or water slides. If you prefer somewhere close to Mother Nature, you can admire the sceneries from the peak of the Penang Hill or join the kids-friendly nature walks at Tropical Spice Garden. George Town is also a great place to discover wonderful street art and visit themed museums?

6. Penang to Kedah (1 hour 30mins)

If your family suggests a trip to Kedah, you know Langkawi would be the perfect fit. The long drive to Langkawi comes with the scenery of golden paddy fields and breathtaking mountains. Before you make your way to the Langkawi Island, check out various rice cultivation processes at the Paddy Museum and the ancient artefacts at the Kedah State Museum in Alor Setar.

We love the sun, sand and sea in Langkawi. Slap on your sunscreen and explore what the island has to offer. You can take a stroll on the curved Langkawi Sky Bridge, catch the island sceneries from the Langkawi Cable Car or snap a family picture at the Eagle Square. How about wrapping up your road trip with a family picnic at Seven Wells Waterfall??

#HHWT Tip: If you’re planning to drive your own car to Langkawi, make your way to Kuala Perlis port where you can board the ferry with your vehicle.

[P.S. Turn it into a food trip with these must-try Muslim-friendly eateries in Langkawi!]

7. Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu (4 hours 40 minutes)

Make your way to the east coast with a scenic drive up to Terengganu! There’s more to this place than beautiful tropical islands ? Visit the Taman Tamadun Islam, and explore miniature monuments and mosque replicas from all over the world! From there, you can also take a boat ride along the Kuala Terengganu river. The 45-minute ride takes you through the river with views of surrounding small tropical islands, historical landmarks and unique mosques (floating mosque and crystal mosque) while enjoying a light breeze onboard.

And if the family is feeling adventurous, take a short hike up Bukit Puteri and enjoy a stunning view of the area, as well as the Terengganu palace, Istana Maziah. You can’t have a local road trip and not try the local food. Drop by roadside stalls to eat Terengganu’s iconic keropok lekor and other east coast delicacies ?.

8. Terengganu to Kelantan (2 hours 51 minutes)

Credit: Aiena Zahira Daim on Flickr

Another east coast favourite for travellers! Kelantan is a place with plenty of adventures of all kinds, family and friends alike. Feeling a little cultural? Bring the family for a wayang kulit puppet show at Pak Dain’s Wayang Kulit! Pak Dain’s Wayang kulit also showcases modern version such as Star Wars characters (bet the parents would enjoy this more than the kids ?). They even have wayang kulit workshops there too occasionally to teach you how make your own wayang kulit from scratch - definitely a great family activity ?.

Credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendi on Flickr

Enjoy a relaxing day by the beach and fly kites by Pantai Cahaya Bulan! Find plenty of kite sellers by the beach selling colourful wau (traditional Malaysian moon-kite)-inspired design kites! 

9. Selangor to Melaka (2 hours 4 mins)

Credit: Aleksandr Zykov on Flickr

Just imagine a day of exploring and introducing your kids to this historical city. You can check out the beautiful murals via the Melaka River Cruise, explore the submarines and fighter jets at the Melaka Submarine Museum or board the massive ship at the Maritime Museum of Melaka.

Credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendi on Flickr

Alternatively, hire a colourful trishaw near the Stadthuys Clock Tower and let them take you to the coolest sights that Melaka has to offer. Before the night ends, take a walk down Jonker Street for delicious snacks, take-me-home souvenirs and refreshing fruit juices ?

[P.S. For the best holiday snapshots, check out these Insta-worthy spots in Melaka (near Muslim-friendly eateries)!]

10. Melaka to Johor Bahru (2 hours 49mins)

Credit: LEGOLAND Malaysia on Facebook

JB, as we locals fondly call it, is where families go to spend their long weekends. Why? Well, they have amusement parks that are huge hits among the young ones. Your family can spend a day at Legoland for the Lego-themed ride and slides ?

The next day, visit the Angry Birds Activity Park to have fun with their Go-Kart rides, climbing tracks and themed scooter rides. If that’s not enough, drop by Southeast Asia’s largest theme park, MCM Studio!

Credit: Azmeen Afandi on Flickr

To take it outdoors, head over to Danga Bay that features a pretty waterfront complete with an outdoor theme park. You can also check out the JB Old Town to explore vintage buildings and colourful wall murals that double as an awesome background for your family snapshots. Guess what, we even compiled the only guide to JB you’ll ever need.

11. Kuala Lumpur to Negeri Sembilan (1 hour 30 mins)

Credit: Jacques Beaulieu on Flickr

A family beach getaway is only a short drive if you’re travelling from Kuala Lumpur or Selangor. Perfect for weekends and school holidays, Port Dickson is where you should be. Besides relaxing by the beach and swimming in the waters, banana boating is also a popular watersport among families with kids.

After a day on the beach, explore what Negeri Sembilan has to offer, especially in Seremban where Malay food thrives the most. We recommend Restoran Nelayan Seafood Rahang for their masak lemak chilli api and Restoran Selera Nogori for ikan bakar.

Now that you have all the inspiration you need for your road trip adventure with the family, it’s time to kick up your planning into full gear! Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway to Melaka or a fun drive up to Penang, remember that road trips are always better with the right company ?