Travel Destinations:
From Cameron Highlands
to Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu.

Recently, I receive a mail from Quek, one of my readers who wanted to drive from Cameron Highlands to Tasik Kenyir lake. Since I have not tried making this kind of travel destination arrangement, I contacted Idil who has done the honours of driving the torturous route from Tasik Kenyir to Cameron Highlands. Why torturous? It isn't an easy drive from the way he described the directions. But never the less it will definitely be quite an outdoor adventure!

Let's see how on earth (or is it Google Earth? Yes, he passed me a map from Google Earth!) did he do itÂ…

Map of Cameron Highlands to Kenyir Lake, Terengganu

From Cameron Highlands, head towards the t-junction that branch to Simpang Pulai town and Blue Valley. You will pass by the villages of Kampung Raja and Kampung Terla. Once you reached the t-junction, the left turn will take you down the breathtaking scenic route down to Simpang Pulai. Take the right turn instead that heads towards Blue Valley. The travel destination place you are headed for is Gua Musang, Kelantan.

Upon reaching Gua Musang, head north towards Machang using Federal Route 8. From Machang, head south-east towards Jertih, from there take the Federal Route 3 to Kuala Terengganu.

According to Idil, once you reach Kuala Terengganu you will be very tired and would be well advised to look for accommodation and stay overnight for a well needed sleep. There are plenty of hotels and resort to suit your taste and budget and you should have no problem selecting one appropriate to your needs. The journey from Cameron Highlands to Kuala Terengganu takes approximately 8 hours of solid driving! Mind you, it is not going to be an easy one as you will not be traveling on straight highway roads. But the picturesque scenery should be compensation enough for all your troubles.

Once you have taken a well earned rest, the trip from Kuala Terengganu to Tasik Kenyir lake will take about 2 hours. From Kuala Terengganu, head towards Kuala Behrang and look out for the Tasik Kenyir signboards or the lack of it. Hopefully signage direction has improved over the years especially if you are headed towards popular tourist spot.

In addition, Idil warns about "minefields" along the road. Not the kinds that blows up armoured cars and stop you dead in the tracks, but another equally dangerous, looking rather innocuous on the road but better to avoid than to drive through it.

Yep, cow dungs! You only find this kind of things driving around the "kampong" area because cows roam freely not only in the village pastures, but along the main road too! It seems the cow dung can ruin your brakes if you drive through it. Not to mention stepping on one if you happen to make a pit stop and not looking where you place that feet of yours. It can really give you a wonderful aroma till you find some way of cleaning up. Apart from the cow dung, the cows themselves pose to be a road hazard too. Do watch out for them especially when turning a blind corner and don't ram into one while driving along the route. It will be quite a messy affair apart from dead cow and damaged car, the owner or villagers may come after you for compensation!

Another point to note, don't do this during the November - January monsoon season as the rain is quite incessant all day long in the east coast and there is some tendency for flooding. Best time to go east coast is somewhere in the middle of the year when the sun is shining strong and bright and the winds are cool and breezy.

And there you have it! A great outdoor travel destinaton driving adventure, up and down through the Malaysian mountain range from the highlands to a breezy sea side resort then to the man made lake for some peace and quiet and perhaps some fishing too at the lake.

Care to give it a go?


Hi Jan & Idil,

Just came back from Tasik Kenyir so I thought I will update you guys.

I went there through the uncompleted Gua Musang- Kuala Berang Highway. Gua Musang is about 90+ km from the Kg Raja junction. Smooth and mostly downhill but unlike Simpang Pulai-CH Highway, this stretch is very isolated.

Before Gua Musang town, turn right and head towards Kota Baru (Gua Musang-Kota Baru highway). Go straight into the town if you want to stop at Gua Musang. After about 42 km from the junction, you will come across Felda Aring (look for entrance to the Kuala Koh National Park, a right turn). From here, it is straight all the way, but because of a landslide, we made a detour. Best is to look for directions towards Kuala Koh. The entrance to Kuala Koh will be on the right, go straight and you will magically enter the new highway! Can only turn right towards Kenyir as construction is still going on the left. From here, Pengkalan Gawi is still quite some distance away (an hour or so). Highway is newly minted but we encountered a 'road-slide' where part of one lane gave way. On another stretch, we have manourver a 'buckled strectch'. Kind of scary but got to Tasik Kenyir in one piece. Not recommended for the faint hearted as this stretch is very very remote.

Came back through a short-cut that the locals told me. Kuala Berang- Ajil - Sg Besi and from there straight into the East Coast Highway (Malay acronym LPT). It was raining intermittently but thank goodness did not encounter any flooding. Well, hope you guys will find this useful.

Season's Greetings!


Hi Quek,

I did met the construction workers for that short cut from K Behrang to Gua Musang a year ago but the road was not ready then, (They were half way through cutting the trees then). That route is deserted as it cuts through virgin jungles and thus very isolated. I am glad you made it as even the route that I took to Gua Musang was recently destroyed due to the recent flood and the LPT was also effected near Lanchang.

My last trip was in Aug to CH and most recent in Oct to Negri Sembilan...I did not make any road trip to M'sia after that as the weather forecast indicated horrendous rain till mid Jan...

However, due to the "open skies" in Feb 08, I might just FLY by budget air to M'sia! But then nothing beats the self-drive adventure though....


Posted on 15-Nov-2006

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