There is nothing better than good music, company and chill rides for a weekend escape, out of the bustling city of Singapore. However, most of our travel plans have been stalled as the coronavirus threat evolves. Nonetheless, planning ahead gives us something to look forward to right now! Here are 5 weekend destinations in Malaysia for you and your loved ones to explore and have a good time.
1. Cameron Highlands
Known for its strawberry farms, Cameron Highlands is named after William Cameron, a British government surveyor in 1885 who chanced upon the area while on a mapping expedition. Located 1,500 metres above sea level, its cool climate of a temperature of 22° and 25° Celsius in the day and 15° and 22° Celsius at night, allows fellow Singaporeans to experience a “different” season.
While you are there, you must not miss out the famed strawberry farms where you can hand-pick the fresh produce, honey bee and butterfly farms, tea plantation, gardens and the unique Orang Asli Village, who keep true to their traditional hunting techniques. Organised tours to the village are available.
After a day of being up close and personal with nature, why not take a step further and go for a hike at Mount Binchang and the Mossy Forest, home to exotic plants like the pitcher plants. For those who enjoy visiting museums, you can make a trip to the Time Tunnel Museum, showcasing significant milestones of the history of the Highlands, which is the first memorabilia museum in Malaysia.
Apart from the fresh fruits and vegetables available, you can also bring home a miniature cactus as a memorial token – Good news is that you need not have green fingers to groom it.
Immerse yourself in the natural attractions, culture and cuisine that Ipoh offers. A trip down to the Mural Art’s Lane definitely calls for many selfies and wefies as colourful street art, depicting Malaysians from various walks of life, decorate the walls. Another photogenic spot would be the Concubine Lane which is a long and uneven stretch built in 1908. As the name goes, this area was where the Chinese magnates and British officers kept their mistresses.
Visiting the Perak Cave Temple allows you to engage in a worship or admire the limestone caves and murals. While you are there, take up the challenge of climbing the 400 step to the 360-degree viewing platform which leaves you in awe as you overlook the city. Get fascinated by Malaysia’s largest collection of cave paintings at Gua Tambun, consisting at least 600 images of humans, animals and shapes, which are believed to be a substantial collection of Neolithic art.
To conclude your getaway, do not miss out on the famous Ipoh white coffee which originated from Nam Heong, a small coffee shop serving coffee in old-school cups.
3. Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is a modern city lined with skyscrapers and its iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Other than the myriad of shopping malls available for you to shop till you drop at Bintang Walk, if you are looking for a thrilling, splashing good time, head over to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park.
Satisfy your seafood cravings as you feast your way at Jalan Alor, hailed as the cultural heart of the city’s local cuisine. Lined with restaurants after restaurants and competitively priced, you will definitely be spoilt for choice!
Just a four-hour drive away from Singapore, Malacca makes a great destination for a first road-time family road trip, and was named a UNESCO site in 2008. The distinctive European buildings are common scenes as the coastal town was previously occupied by the Dutch. Fill your bellies by visiting Jonker Street, lined with restaurants, cafes and shops selling everything and anything. Try out their version of the Hainanese chicken rice – chicken rice balls.
For those who prefer having a friendly artsy competition after a day of eating, you can visit Mamee Jonker House and have your cup noodles customised and the cup designed! Road-tripping to Malacca on a weekend is timely as there is a night market from Friday to Sunday evenings. The best way to appreciate the town’s heritage buildings would be on foot so be prepared to come in your most comfortable pair of shoes!
A fellow recognised UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, Penang, an island and a province, was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia. Wander down the narrow lanes of George Town, the attractive colonial-era capital, to appreciate the street art and quaint shops. To best explore the town, you can follow the mural trail around the old British fort.
Hike up or take an interesting funicular train ride up to Penang Hill, and be surrounded by lush greenery and fresh cool air. Hustle your way through Little Penang Street Market. That opens from 9am to 5pm, to taste the local flavours, enjoy the lively street performances and bring home beautiful hand-crafted souvenirs. Visit the numerous culture-rich temples, museums as well as parks for an appreciation of what Penang offers.
Penang is never short of impressing you with its cultural sites, natural scenery and most importantly, food.
Weekend road trips are perfect to take your mind off your busy schedule so be sure to take your time while you are at it. Immerse yourself and make the most out of the quality time spent doing what you enjoy. Needless to say, Malaysia’s food paradise and laid back vibes will leave you coming back for more!