(Using the E1 North – South Highway, 367km, Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours 38 mins)
Why Go To Penang?
Penang Island is a major attraction for both tourists and locals alike due to its legendary status as the holy ground for all things Malaysian food related. While the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ is both the final destination and attraction itself for those driving to the isle of food, there are many things to see and taste while travelling to Penang by car throughout the E1 Lebuhraya Utara – Selatan (E1 North – South Highway).
For further information on what to do in Penang, checkout:
What to See & Do along the Way
45 minutes to an hour’s drive out of Kuala Lumpur along the highway takes travellers to the outskirts of a small area of villages called Sungkai, outside the equally small town of Slim River. Sungkai is home to a local hot springs residence called the Felda Residence Hot Springs that has been created to take advantage of the wonders of nature found there. Weary travellers can opt to stay a night at the residence or to simply enjoy a couple of hours’ worth of therapeutic relaxation in the hot springs pool.
Continuing on the highway down to Penang will eventually lead travellers to the town of Ipoh, once a tin mining backbone of Malaysia. Ipoh has since transformed into a popular tourist destination thanks to its good food that rivals that of Penang, amazing architectural attractions, rich history, and cultural heritage. Whatever the reason, spending a night or even a few hours here will be a rewarding experience. Food is a must try while in Ipoh with dishes such as the its famous Ipoh Chicken Rice, Ipoh Keow Teow, the town’s well known fragrant biscuits (Heong Peang), pomelo fruits, white coffee, and curry bread, making them irresistible to passer-by’s. Those who aren’t looking for food can also checkout the eerily beautiful Kellie’s Castle that once belonged to an eccentric English planter is supposedly haunted. The less brave, however, can head down to the Lost World of Tambun amusement park for some family fun time.
Returning to the highways after a pit stop at Ipoh will bring travellers to another small town called Taiping just before they hit the state of Penang. Taiping serves as the site to house the beautiful Lake Gardens Park, Maxwell Hill, which serves as a perfect spot for nature lovers and birdwatchers, and a Zoo & Night Safari. Enticing attractions make it a viable stop for those driving down to Penang while looking for some areas of interests on the way.
Taking a trip down from KL to Penang by car does have its own rewards besides the aforementioned side attractions, so grab a car and set forth for the open highway to go on your own personal adventure to the isle of food.
View Road Trip KL-Penang in a larger map
Homepage highlight photo credit: Michael Camilleri, Flickr
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