Travel from Singapore to Cameron Highlands

Every now and then I receive question about how to travel from Singapore to Cameron Highlands by car. At which point of the intersection should they turn and so on and so forth. May as well do a write up and explain how to go about driving from Singapore to Cameron Highlands.

Basically West Malaysia is not that big and it would be quite an adventure drive around everywhere for your cuti-cuti Malaysia travel holidays! I did a mini drive from Kuala Lumpur to the east coast, to Kuantan, then head north to Kuala Terengganu, then to Kota Bahru, and swing west via the East-West Highway, through Kulim to Penang, then south to Ipoh and back to good old Kuala Lumpur. It was fun and that was some 15 years ago! How time flies! Could have been more ambitious and gone down south as well. Oh, well perhaps when I retire and got more free time to do an adventure drive all around Malaysia.

Now back to the topic of driving from Singapore to Cameron Highlands and also for those staying in the southern states like Johor, Melaka, Seremban, etc.

You could take the route that goes through Kuala Lumpur, although it doesn't really enter the city centre, the Sungai Besi road that joins to the Duta road before rejoining back with NKVE is actually complicated and prone to traffic congestion during rush hour. Best is to bypass the city altogether unless you plan to make a stop in KL for a look-see, look-see before continuing your journey to Cameron Highlands. No? I thought so! Just gimme Cameron Highlands! Right!

With the modern highways, it is now very easy to drive. No need to watch out for cows here as this is not kampong road (you have to watch out about this if you are going to the east coast!)

Map of interchange to KLIA near Nilai town

Just follow the PLUS North-South highway and head north as though you are going to Kuala Lumpur. Doesn't matter whether you take the first causeway or the second causeway (to escape the congestion of the first causeway but you do pay more for tolls) from Singapore, just follow the signage. No problem here.

Pay attention when reached the vicinity of Nilai. You should be passing by the Nilai toll and watch out for the intersection to the left some distance later. Look for the sign that points you to KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) or North / Ipoh / Penang. For those who want the Highway Code it is the E6 route. I usually don't bother about such codes, but some of you asked for it. You have just entered the Elite Highway.

Follow along this route and don't enter KLIA airport! You can't fly to Cameron Highlands! There is no airport there and no helipad either!

Map of interchange around Shah Alam connecting to NKVE highway

Once you reached the end of this Elite Highway, there will be an intersection that joins to PLUS NKVE (Lebuhraya Baru Lembah Klang) Expressway. Keep right and take the flyover which joins to the Expressway code E1. You can reconfirm this is correct route if it is heading North towards Ipoh, Penang or Alor Setar. Just follow this route till you reach either Tapah exit or Simpang Pulai exit for your onward journey to Cameron Highlands.

- Estimated duration if you are keeping to the speed limit.
To exit Singapore Island takes about 1 hour (well that's how long it took me!) which include immigration time etc. Time taken may be shorter if you are staying near the causeway.
- From Johor NKVE about 4 hours
- From NKVE to Tapah about 1 and 1/2 hours
- If Simpang Puali exit an additional 20 minutes
- From either route to Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, about 1 and 1/2 hours

In total, about 8 hours non-stop driving from Singapore to Cameron Highlands keeping within speed limit. (Speed at your own peril! Speedtraps tend to occur on slower stretches like from 110kph to 90kph.) Of course if you take breaks along the way it will take longer, and especially when you reached Cameron Highlands very likely you will take many breaks along the way to enjoy the view and other tourist attractions!

Cheers!
Jan.


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