We left Cameron Highlands to continue north without really knowing what our next destination would be. Our route in the rental car would be quite strange since the initial idea was to make a round to the peninsular part of the country but without stopping in some places like Penang, since from there we would take our flight to Indonesia in about three weeks.
We continue north and stop in Taiping for the night. There is really nothing in Taiping but it is a small city with a very local air and not a single tourist around. We walked around the city a bit, we enjoyed delicious food as always since we entered the country. In Taiping we found a decent little accommodation for RM 49 per night for both of us at the “Happiness Hotel”.
The next day, after walking around the city again and going out for breakfast, we took the route north again. We headed to Perlis with the initial idea of crossing to Langkawi but we only ran into bad news. To start with Perlis just seemed to be a tourist port city heading to the island so all the accommodations were through the roof and it took us over two hours to find something reasonably priced that wasn’t a hole.
Finally and away from the center (which is not a problem if you have means of transport) we found the SC Motel in Perlis where we had a room with air conditioning and shared bathroom for 65RM a night and it was there, after evaluating the pros and The cons where we decided not to go to Langkawi because it really didn’t make any sense.
How and how much does it cost to get to Langkawi
You just have to get to Perlis and from there there will be no loss since the entire town lives by and for the ferry to Langkawi.
In 2018 the prices were as follows
|Girl from 2 to 11 years old and over 60 years old||13||26|
|2 year old girls||3||6|
|Car up to 1500cc||156||302|
|Car up to 2000cc||186||352|
|Car up to 3000||226||432|
We do not look at the prices before because we are delighted but pay almost € 60 to go to and from an island where the most “striking” is a bridge, as we decided not to. In any case so that you are always up to date here you have the always updated prices of the route in case at some point we neglect ourselves. Ferries leave quite often, we leave you a photo with the schedules for the time we went.
As we had already crossed the country, we looked for something to do in the area so that it was not a total waste of time and we came up with a plan that interested us at least a little and that was also accessible. Gua kelam
The border cave of Gua Kelam
Gua Kelam is one of the most important caves in Malaysia with no more and no less than 370 meters long. It is located next to the village of Kaki Bukit a few kilometers from Perlis city and its name means Cave of darkness.
The cave is open to the public and is easily accessible as it has a metal platform fitted out for the interior path that leads to the Wan Tangga Valley, on the other side of the cave. What began as a tin dig today is one of the few tourist attractions in the area.
The truth is that it is not essential that you cross the country to go see the cave, but if it turns out that you are in the area and you have time, why not? The entrance cost us barely 2 RM per person and we had a good time, it is impressive inside because it is really long and once you pass the cave you can eat in the small hidden internal garden.
That same morning we left Perlis since we saw that there was really nothing to do there and we left in the direction of Kota Bharu hoping to cross the country from east to west on a little traveled road in the hope of seeing some less transformed landscape. Malaysia is an extremely modern country, with all the good and bad things that this entails, one of which is the fact that most areas are quite developed and the connections in the country are great. Obviously that makes it difficult to get away from the noise a bit and end up in less traveled places.
We started the road from Perlis to Kota Bharu along the Malaysian border, 411 kilometers in one of the longest journeys we made in a single day in the country. Curiously, if we had crossed into Thailand we would have saved 50 kilometers but we did not want to try our luck and see if we could cross with the rental car so we decided to simply stay in Malaysia and avoid problems.
The road that runs between Royal Belum and Gunung Strong State park is actually quite beautiful and although far away, if it is necessary to cross the country of course we are glad to have done it through that area that also gave us one of the most beautiful gifts of the whole trip.
At one point when I was driving Jesper tapped my shoulder aggressively with a finger while repeating “Elephant, Elephant!”. It took me a couple of seconds to react and to realize that there was an elephant appearing from the bushes right where we had just passed the car. I stopped the car at a safe distance, we got out and admired it as it crossed the road. There, in the middle of nowhere, we had met an elephant and we had almost started to cry with emotion. I would not have realized it and in a minute we would not have seen it. Jesper happened to see something come out of the side of the road that he thought was “too big for a cow” and it dawned on him just in time to give us time to enjoy it.
It may seem silly, but I remember that day with special emotion because it was the first day that we saw an Elephant in freedom without meeting on a “safari” or in a natural park. Thus, like a dog crossing the river.