Driving to Cameron Highlands


I drove up to Cameron Highlands over the long weekend with my girlfriend at 6 am in the morning. I consulted Google Maps and wrote down the directions from my place to Tapah. It wasn’t very difficult once we got on the PLUS highway but we still managed to get lost coz we didn’t realize the NKVE highway is part of the PLUS expressway.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (of the accelerator)

I managed to clock a decent speed once I got on PLUS, managed to hit nearly 180 km/h driving on the fast lane before switching from D to 2 and maintained about 190 km/h. My girlfriend wouldn’t take any photos of the speedometer after that, preferring to hold on to the passenger side handle with one hand braced against the glove box.

Tourist destination peace of mind for travelers – FAIL

The toll costs a cool RM 19.20 so it’s about RM 40 for a return trip – make sure your Touch ‘n Go card is loaded with the appropriate amount coz we had to reverse (much to the annoyance of the cars behind us) and switch to the cash lane due to a lack of credit in the card.

lata iskandar

We managed to reach the Lata Iskandar waterfall after about an hour of driving. The Lata Iskandar waterfall is a popular rest stop for people driving up to Cameron Highlands.

lata iskandar waterfall

The Lata Iskandar waterfall is a magnificent sight with (very cold) water from the highlands rushing down a steep cliff. People can be seen frolicking in the water and generally chilling out before heading towards Tanah Rata (the main strip of Cameron Highlands).

lata iskandar us

It’s a great spot for vacation photography too – the “I was here” type shots. πŸ˜‰

fake strawberry

I didn’t get to eat a real strawberry then but the next post will be on the Big Red Strawberry Farm where we picked our own strawberries. πŸ™‚

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46 thoughts on “Driving to Cameron Highlands”

  1. Wow, i seriously didn’t know a VIOS can go up to 180-200km/hr mark. PHB, have u ever heard of Berhati berhati di jalan raya! I got my vios up to 150km/hr on LANANG ROAD Sibu late one night, and it was scary, but the thrill was amazing!!!!

  2. Myst3: I don’t think it can go up to 200 km/h without mods. This is factory tuned. Max I could go was 190 km/h. KL highways are much better than Sibu roads. I’ve never gone past 140 km/h in Sibu unless it’s to the airport.
    purefaith: I drive an auto shift. I can’t speak 1337 carspeak but D can go up to 180 km/h max and the 2 gear can go slightly higher up to 190 km/h max. I could never get it to inch higher than that despite the misleading 200 km/h speedometer indicator. Long stretch, hard flooring the accelerator, it still doesn’t go up.
    Yeah, I know I’m redlining, you should hear my engine, the car is fairly new (bought in ’06 and was in rehab with no one driving it) but it sounds very, very wrong. My gf claims she could hear me come and pick her up back in Sibu. No kidding.
    anon: Alas, and I’m a copywriter. πŸ˜‰

  3. phew! you’re one ‘brave soul’ to push your car to that limit….
    and stay away from mine…. heheheeee…..
    btw, mine maxs out at 250….

  4. Tan Yee Hou: Can dude, I buckled my seat belt on the way to Cameron Highlands, scouts honor. Serious.
    I was afraid I won’t survive a crash at those speeds. πŸ˜‰
    The perfect angle is always the prodigal son angle, so my dear pimp, you can always do the bad boy turned good angle. Haha!
    purefaith: Haha! Okay. Nice ride, what do you drive? Factory tuned or modded?
    250 is pretty damn fast. I hope you have you headlights on in the fast lane so I can let you pass.
    jeremy: Video is better la, will upload to YouTube. Next trip on the PLUS highway, it’s the only one I can think of where I can go at those speeds.
    Okay, my car knowledge a bit off so enlighten me – some people say the 2 is a lower gear (for going uphill) while some people say it’s to go faster. I drive an auto BTW, and I’m inclined to believe the latter due to experience.
    Overdrive is another thing I’ll love to be enlightened on. Cheers!

  5. i have tried revving the first gear in the eight gen civic until the redline zone (pass the v tec limit) and the car went into some serious “vibrating-mode”
    hence i have no idea how can the car sustain 190km/h at the second gear.

  6. blackberrybloke: Hmm…this is interesting. So first gear a.k.a. D is “slower” than 2 a.k.a. second gear?
    I didn’t say the car didn’t vibrate, of course it did. It’s quite unstable, and my gf said it’s like we’re not even driving, we’re “hovering” since every time we hit a minute defect on the highway, we kinda “float”.
    However, I have a philosophy that says time spent on the road is time wasted. πŸ˜‰

  7. In an automatic car, D stands for total automatic drive, take cares of everything, you just step on the gas & drive, forward that is…
    In L or 1 is the 1st gear, used to pull the car from a standstill position – maxs out around 40 to 55kmh, depending on car type…
    In 2 or the 2nd gear, this gear takes over from the efforts of 1st gear and can continue pulling up to 110kmh for a standard Vios….
    After which, the 3rd gear would take over, then followed by the 4th gear.
    When the car is in the max. gear (should be the 4th gear in yours) & running at 180knh, the rpm should be at it’s max. & very noisy. In order to reduce fuel consumption, the overdrive gear(OD) should be engaged. This immediately results in the RPM reduction & noise level & car is now at the optimum cruising speed…
    L is usually used on descent, to control & slow down the car without braking when approaching steep corners ie like coming down from Cameron Highlands…
    2 is usually used when ascending, to keep gear at 2nd to ensuring sufficient pulling power to go up the hills…
    A normal soul would just engage D, drive to the required speed & push into OD….
    A ‘red-indian brave’ would engage L, pull it till the RPM is touching the redline zone, shifts into 2, does the same again, then into D… (never into OD – no speed, no shiok)
    A ‘dare-to-die’ extremist in a ‘toyol-infected’ car would D to 180kmh, then pulls it down to 2, and smile at gf saying ‘hang on darling, we’re going places’ IMHO,disdidnthappen:)
    more about Vios here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Vios
    while I agree that time spent on the road is time wasted, my motto is road space must be utilized efficiently…. and of course drive smart, not just safely….
    ps… mine is factory standard only

  8. Personally tried 175km/h before. Man oh man, road wasn’t really flat, hit an uneven surface and the car almost flew. After that, no more.

  9. pf: Thanks for the EXCELLENT explanation. It’s much appreciated, seriously. I managed to get it up to 190 km/h on 2 for some reason and it was redlining (and the front left tire is a bit messed up) but I surged on anyway, coz I was a little bit…less than sober. I didn’t realize it was redlining until my gf told me so. She’s good with cars, better than me actually.
    Cheers again for the great explanation. I think I messed up my car something awful during this trip coz it sounds grumpy coming back – suspension and spring problems, creaky sounding, but then again I’ve always abused the car. *shrugs*
    I shall be careful in the future, but I tend to DWI during vacations. It’s something I will repent in the future, and I’m hoping I won’t do it again. I know I’m going to get a lot of hate mail for this, but yeah, it makes the trip a bit less mundane.
    Serious, will repent.

  10. Marlboro Guy: Yeah, the car does indeed fly if it hits an uneven surface. I recommend the speeds only at highways, definitely not at Tanah Rata. I did 40 km/h to 60 km/h max driving up from the Tapah exit.

  11. Uh-oh….
    since you got the car in ’06, warranty period should be over by now…
    you should take the car in for a quick inspection, don’t mention about your ‘super adventure’, they will check out your baby & give you a quick repair bill estimate & you’ll take a quick look into your wallet, then make a quick exit….. LOL!!!
    but seriously, you should get the car checked out…. not by a bomoh, though……
    yeah, you shouldn’t have taken the 12% before the trip….. 3.5% would suffice….

  12. Nice place for mini vacation getaway. We also have it in California and where people get to pick own fruits at farms. Does Malaysia have hot springs? I heard Taiwan does and could cooked food it it called Hot Spring Park.

  13. purefaith: I was also imbibing 50% during the drive. I know, it’s bad. πŸ˜‰
    Cheers for the tip though, shall get everything checked out.
    Michale (Mike): Yeah we do. πŸ™‚
    There’s on in Kuching as well. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the hot springs somewhere near here too.
    hyperX: Seriously, I have no time. My schedule quite packed this weekend for a lot of reasons, so I want to get there fast and do the things we want to do and then come back.

  14. Oopss! Speeding season? Read at another friend’s blog he was doing 120mph (190kmph), 2 hours flat JB-KL, door to door that day. To quote him:
    “Safe driving = car parked and listen to Leona Lewis or David Cook. However, I do believe in Skilled driving. You’ll get accustomed once you build up speed.”
    I am sure you agree. Ahaks!

  15. Oh, I remember that the ECU for Toyota’s gearboxes work this way.
    The ‘L’, ‘2’, or ‘3’ simply works as a limiter(apples to all boxes), so when you’re in L, you’re limited to first gear; and if you’re in ‘3’, you’re limited to 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
    Driving at any speeds which would be past the red line (for the preceeding gears) would not see any downshifts. When you shifted to ‘2’, the gearbox probably didn’t go lower than the 3rd gear.
    You can try it by counting your gears.

  16. bongkersz: I agree with his philosphy. πŸ˜‰
    2 hours is pretty fast from KL to JB!
    Tan Yee Hou: Thanks buddy, will try it out and see if I can hear the gears shift. I’m always listening to loud music so I can’t really hear. I also think my engine a bit messed up already. Noisy.

  17. at those high speed, a slight mistake would make it impossible to control the car…thus endangering OTHERS and yourself….please note I say OTHERS first. seat belt and multiple airbags wont save you from a crash at that speed.

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