Driving by yourself is one of the best ways to enjoy many amazing tourist locations and cities in Malaysia. The freeway network connecting most major cities and particularly KL with Genting Highlands is world-class offering easy and enjoyable access to many amazing locations in Berjaya Hills.
In the last couple of years, I have driven around twenty times to Genting Highlands on various occasions and absolutely enjoyed the drive to the top of hill resorts climbing around 1800m.
Kuala Lumpur can get hot and steamy in summer and to find relief from the summer heat the best option is to spend a cool and enjoyable evening in the highlands. A large weekend crowd comprising motoring enthusiasts and bikers is seen speeding up to the top of the hill. With World-class casinos and resorts, Genting is a very popular destination with Singaporeans and residents from the ASEAN region.
Genting Highlands, Bukit Tinggi, and Fraser Hills are the nearest hill stations near Kuala Lumpur. Genting is around 80 km from KL City and driving time is around 1 hour.
Why is genting a great place for a family holiday?
Genting Highlands is a premier holiday destination in Malaysia developed as a tourist resort with plenty of entertainment activities for the entire family including:
- Luxury Resorts
- Indoor and Outdoor Theme Parks
- Entertainment Venus
- Shopping Outlets
- Strawberry Farms
- Cable Car
- Themed Villages & Luxury Resort (Bukit Tinggi)
- Japanese Garden
Not only that, Genting Highlands is home to plenty of outdoor activities including hiking, trekking, horse-riding, and quad-bikes. There are plenty of resorts offering outdoor activities located in Berjaya Hills.
Planning a trip with the family? Here are some useful links:
- Private Transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Genting Highlands
- Genting Highlands Day tour from Kuala Lumpur
- Airport Transfers from KLIA/KLIA2 to Genting Highlands
A day road trip from Kuala Lumpur to Genting Highlands
Stopping at Batu caves
The exit to Genting Highlands lies on the main freeway connecting Kuala Lumpur with Kuantan. Before existing Kuala Lumpur City a detour can take you to another very interesting attraction in Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves.
The exit for Genting Highlands lies near Genting Sempah and leads to the town of Gohtong Jaya. The Awana Cable Car Station and Genting Strawberry and Lavender Garden are located in Gohtong Jaya.
Make sure to check the water in the radiator and ensure that car is not heating up as the road leading from the tool booth to Genting Highlands is very steep and you will observe plenty of cars heating up along the way.
The Batu Caves is a place of worship for the Hindu Community with a couple of hundred steps leading up to the top of the mountains where you will find caves with karst formation. This is an interesting area to explore if you like visiting temples and places of worship.
A 30-minute stop at Batu caves is more than enough to explore this location. Vendors sell fresh coconut water and Indian food near the parking area.
GHATONG JAYA AWANA CABLE CAR STATION & GENTING STRAWBERRY FARMS
This little town is at the best of the hills and offers plenty of budget accommodation, a bus stop, cafes, and a service station. The restaurants are open till late so you can get something to eat on the way or drive down to KL. Local Nasi Kandar restaurants serve curries, rice dishes, parathas, and Teh Tarek (Malaysian Styled Tea). I have always stopped at Gotong Jaya to take a break and have some hot tea Tarek before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. A Starbucks and a service station are located in Gohtong Jaya.
An alternative way is from Batang Kali if you have come from the freeway from Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur. This is a relatively long way. The road from Batang Kali emerges near the roundabout at Ghatong Jaya. Strawberry and Lavender Farms is a great place to visit with the entire family.
Take time out to explore Strawberry & Lavender Farms near the main commercial area of Ghotong Jaya.
AWANA SKYWAY – GOHTONG JAYA TO AWANA CASINO
Buses from KL stop at the base of the cable car stations. In 2018 the chairlifts are replaced by cable cars that take you to the top of the hills to Awana Resort.
The return ticket from the cable car is around 10RM. This is a great way to explore if you do not want to bother about finding parking in the casinos.
First World Casino, parking is a multi-story car park with free parking. However, make sure you take a picture of the location where you have parked your car as later on your way back you will not be able to find your car easily because of the sheer size of the car park.
If you plan to drive up, most of the time it gets very foggy on the hills and you will be required to park at a distance from the casinos. It is suggested to park your cars at the base of the hill and use lifts to get to the casino.
VISITING BUKIT TINGGI IN BERJAYA HILLS
Bukit Tinggi is another interesting place to visit with a resort (Tropicale Colmar) designed as a replica of 18th century French Village. The resort has an amazing ambiance, with a moat built around the main structure with goldfish swimming in the water.
There is a watchtower in the village commanding an amazing view of Berjaya Hills. This is an amazing retreat with spa and golf facilities. Bukit Tinggi is popular with people seeking escape from busy city life and recovering and rejuvenating in the calm environment of the Berjaya Hills.
JAPANESE GARDEN IN BERJAYA HILLS GENTING HIGHLANDS
Another benefit of driving to Berjaya Hills is that you will get to see plenty of other interesting places like the Japanese Garden near Bukit Tinggi. The Japanese Garden is a place to meditate and relax while enjoying the beautiful tea ceremony at the Tea House in the Gardens. This location is 10 minutes’ driving distance from Bukit Tinggi and has a relaxing Spa. Make sure to book in advance when planning to travel to this part of Berjaya Hills. Read more about Japanese Garden, Bukit Tinggi
Japanese Garden in Bukit Tinggi
FIRST WORLD HOTEL, AWANA RESORT, MAXIMS, AND GENTING HIGHLANDS RESORT
At reaching the top of the road in Genting you can turn left near the entrance of the Casinos to loop around to the entrance area of First World. Alternatively, you can drive up to the multi-story car park behind the hotel. This is the easiest way to get into the lobby area of the First World Hotel.
First World claims to have over 6531 Rooms which makes it the biggest hotel in the world in terms of capacity. The ground floor area has a large number of restaurants serving Malay, Chinese, Indian and Fast Food. KFC and Macdonalds are located in the First World Hotel Lobby Area.
“All you can Eat” Lunch Buffet at Awana Resort
On the weekend, all you can eat buffet ( costing RM 80) is quite popular with families. The Petaling Street Food Court is turned into a buffet zone with over 20+ stalls offering food from all parts of Malaysia. If you want to try local delights including curries, stir-fried food, noodles dishes, deep-fried chicken with rice, hor fun and lots more.
If continental food is your choice, there are plenty of outlooks on the top floor as well as ground-level food courts in the Awana Resort Shopping area. The choice of shopping and food is endless, so be prepared for plenty of walking along with the busy floors of the massive shopping Malls.
A walkway connect Awana Resorts with Maxims Casino, Genting Highlands Resort, and the First World Hotel.
If you plan to travel to First World, look for mid-week sales on Agoda. You can get a deluxe room for under 20 USD, which normally goes for over USD 100 on the weekends and busy season