Over the May day long weekend, we did a 3D2N road trip up north to various cities in Malaysia. This is our very first road trip together as a little family and it definitely took us some courage to decide going ahead as planned. We started planning for the trip two weeks prior to departure as we had many considerations with regards to safety and well-being, especially with Scarlett in tow. We had everything planned out in detail, including the routes we would take, estimated travel durations, stopover locations and parking facilities within those vicinities, meals planning, weather forecast, etc.
The day before the trip, we went for a grocery run to get all the snacks, drinks and stuff we need to last us on the road. We planned not to have any stopover on the highway pit stops because we were worried about safety.
On the day itself, we set off at 4.30am and decided to enter Malaysia from Woodlands checkpoint because it was nearer to our home. Boy, we immediately regretted when we arrived there. The queue was pretty long and slow-moving, it took us more than an hour to get through the customs.
After clearing the customs, we headed straight up to the north-south highway towards Malacca. The drive there from Johor is about 2.5 hours without any stopovers. We parked at this open space carpark near Jonker street which we would highly recommend to anyone visiting Malacca by car because it is cheap (5 Ringgit), near the main area of attractions, and more importantly there is a carpark attendant stationed there. We actually heard that even parking at carparks of certain hotels is not safe.
From the carpark, we took a 5 minutes walk to Jonker street. Our first stop was Chung Wah Chicken Riceball restaurant. Expect to queue for about 20-30 minutes under the sun during peak periods.
You can’t choose from the menu, everyone eats the same thing and they will portion the chicken according to the number of pax. Everyone will share a plate of chicken meat and gizzards and each one will get 5 rice balls.
The verdict: the food was meh. I would do any regular chicken rice in Singapore over this anytime. There are actually many shops that sell this dish in Malacca and Jonker street itself. Not sure if we picked the wrong place or what, but it seemed like the general reviews of chicken rice balls in Malacca are so so only.
Next, we went to the red Christ Church of Melaka just across the street. It was very crowded that day. There are street vendors and shophouses along the street next to the church selling souvenirs, toys, batik clothing and handmade rattan products. We got this cute mini rattan chair for Scarlett and she loves it!
We then spent another 2 hours or so shopping and eating along Jonker street. The shops here mainly sells novelty items, old school crockeries like the chicken bowl and tingkats, batik and nonya clothing, and local confectioneries.
They have quite a few cafes at the area and we visited one called The Daily Fix. It is hidden behind a souvenir shop and we love the feels of the whole place, very nostalgic and visually pleasing. The food was good too! And it is so cheap compared to the cafes in Singapore!! Would surely revisit this cafe if we go again.
We also had the famous chendol at Chendol 88. The gooey gula melaka is the bombz! We bought 2 packets of the raw sugar back.
After we combed the streets, we headed to our next destination- AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort. It took us close to 2 hours to get there from Malacca. It is actually just another beach down from Port Dickson.
So beautiful this place!!
After check in we went swimming at the infinity pool.
Tried flying the drone.
Took a buggy ride out for dinner at one of their restaurants. Food was inexpensive.
The next day, we woke up early to catch the sunrise. But boo, it was quite cloudy and the sun got hidden behind all the cloud. Then we had their buffet breakfast by the pool. The spread was impressive!
Our next destination was Kuala Lumpur followed by Genting Highlands. We decided to check out earlier because of the expected rain in the afternoon. We didn’t want to get caught on wet roads when driving up to Genting. We stopped by Kuala Lumpur City Center for a break before heading up.
Guess who we spotted in Suria KLCC Mall!
It took us about 1.5 hours drive from KLCC to Genting Highlands. There were some hiccups during check in and we were all so exhausted and hungry by the time we settled into our room. Totally chose the wrong hotel to stay up in. They gave us a smoking room because they had no other rooms left and it was not made up when we entered. Bedsheets were obviously not changed and there were toilet paper over the beds and cigarette butts on the floor. Seriously, we were super traumatised.
We headed out for dinner in a peeved mode. It totally ruined our holiday mood. To think we were previously quite excited about going to Genting because of good childhood experiences.
The new mall was still largely vacant; the restaurants are mainly the ones that started running their businesses.There was a new casino but we didn’t enter because Scarlett was not allowed. Both indoor and outdoor theme parks were shut for renovation. We wanted to have Burger & Lobster for dinner but the queue was crazy; wait time was about 2 hours. Imagine our disappointment. So in the end we just had a quick dinner somewhere else and headed back to the room to rest for the day.
The next morning, we woke up early and decided to have B&L for breakfast. I mean, we must make something worthy out of the drive up here right. We knew beforehand that they opens at 8am. Being a “kiasu” Singaporean, we went there early to queue.
First in line!
The price here is slightly more expensive than in London. As usually, we took one steamed and one grilled lobster, but this time we ordered an additional B&L burger. We initially wanted lobster roll but they said it won’t be ready so soon.
After satisfying our cravings for B&L, we went back to our hotel to check out. We visited a strawberry farm on our way down. Scarlett enjoyed plucking the strawberries.
From the Highlands, we drove back to JB. Took us exactly 4 hours. I could tell that Shawn was really tired from the drive. I wished I would be more confident when driving the next time we take a road trip, so I can take over the wheel at times. We met up with his family, who also went in to JB for shopping that day, for massage and dinner before heading back to Singapore.
Surprisingly the custom clearance was smooth and pretty fast albeit a bit crowded on labour day and we got home before expected time!
Overall, it was an awesome first road trip for us! We definitely found more courage to adventure as a young family. Hoping we will have more road trips to foreign lands in the future!