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home > Malaysia  > Transport to and in Malaysia 




Travelling to Malaysia by Road

myMalaysiabooks shares with you how to travel in and around Malaysia by land


Travel to Malaysia easily whether by road from Singapore, Thailand or Indonesia. Road transport is the most economical mode of transport here because petrol prices is the cheapest in South-East Asia. Traveller have the option to travel by private car, rental car, taxi or bus.

KL to Shah Alam highway

Immigration checkpoint in Malaysia



Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah *


Padang Besar, Perlis *


Wang Kelian, Perlis


Pengkalan Hulu, Perak




Johor Bahru, Johor*


Tanjung Kupang, Johor *




Lubuk Antu & Tebedu

(near Kuching, Sarawak)


note: * major crossing


By Road in Malaysia

Peninsular Malaysia has one of the best road system in Asia. A network of trunk roads links you to towns, villages and to many recreation areas. Malaysian roads are link to the Thai and Singapore road systems.

     Driving is economical as petrol prices is the cheapest in South-East Asia and there are many car rental companies offering competitive packages. When you travel between towns on expressways, be prepared to pay toll charges. The best transport option is the taxi or bus. Malaysians have a fondness for cars and a family may own two vehicles. Be ware of Malaysian drivers! – there are some rather aggressive ones on the road. Drive slowly with caution along trunk roads in Malaysian countryside, as villages or village kids and animals may move suddenly onto roads.

The toll expressway/ North-south or PLUS expressway with two lanes runs through West Malaysia from Johor Bahru (Malaysia-Singapore border) in the south to Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) at the Malaysian-Thai border in the north. There is a good system of trunk roads, that branches out to the coastal areas, forest parks and highlands, covering areas from Padang Besar (Thai-Malaysia border) to Johor Bahru (Malaysia-Singapore border)


Plus expressways (Toll motorway) or North-south expresway          The Plus expressway runs from Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) to Johor Bahru (Johor), cuting states on the west coast of the Malaysian peninsular.

Payment mode at toll expressways: ‘Touch-N-Go’ cards or cash cards for the toll are available at the offices beside major toll kiosks. You have to go to their office to purchase a new card but can update at certain toll plaza. Payment through Smart Tags is another option.  Touch 'N Go: 03-7628 5115

Highway - penang bridge


Emergencies: PLUS’s Traffic Monitoring Centre (TMC) operates 24 hours a day to assist with inquiries - PLUSLINE 1800-88-0000. Emergency telephones are found every 2 km along the expressway. Other vehicle emergency: Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) 1800-88-0808

Facilities (rest areas) are provided every 25km or so. Some rest areas have food and drink outlets, restaurants, petrol stations and a small surau (prayer room for Muslims). Toilet facilities are usually clean.


East-West Highway of Peninsular Malaysia     This highway runs from Kedah (from Baling) through Perak into Kelantan and takes you to Kota Bahru. It traverse the highland areas near the Thai-Malaysia border.

Highways in East Malaysia and Borneo     East Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak) has fewer roads but the main highway, the Trans-Borneo Highway runs from Kuching to all major cities in Sarawak and into the state of Sabah through Brunei Darussalam. See  Sarawak.

Trunk roads - Federal or State roads    Trunk road refers to the main road linking towns in West Malaysia. This is the old main highway before the toll expressway was built. All these roads are well paved (of flexible pavements). Roads within towns and linking towns are sometimes referred as Federal or State roads. Be careful driving along these roads as they cut through towns and villages. These roads link you to ferry terminals to Penang Island, Langkawi, Pangkor, Tioman, etc. It also links forest parks, fishing villages and mountain resorts to major towns.


Driving around      You are required to have a Malaysian driver’s licence or an international driver’s licence. Driving licences issued by Singapore and Thailand are recognised here. Be sure to remember that the safety belt is mandatory and the use of cellular or mobile phones while driving is not permitted. (See Malaysia Road map)

Speed limit on Malaysian Roads   The speed limit on the North-south Plus expressway is 110 or 90 km/hr, look out for the signboards near the toll gate. Heavy vehicles usually have to keep to 90km/hr or below along expressway. Along trunk roads (Federal/State roads) linking town, the limit is usually 60 to 90km/hr.

Drive slowly and with caution, when travelling along trunk roads between towns, there are many cyclists, people and even animals on these roads! Motorist will have to bear all responsibility for any accidents. At town centres speed limit is usually 60km/hr and below.

Traffic rules     Foreigners who wish to drive in Malaysia must first understand the local traffic rules and road signs as many notices and signs are in Malay. Speed limits are enforced along the main highways and toll expressways. Speed limits on the Plus Expressway are generally 110 km per hour and 90 km per hour on certain stretches. Speed limits on trunk roads are usually between 60 to 90kmph. The law also requires all front seat passengers to wear a safety belt. Ensure that your driver's licence is accepted in Malaysia. It is advisable for foreigners unfamiliar with Malaysian traffic not to drive.

Private Vehicles    Many Malaysian own at least a car or motorbike and you will definitely see many cars on the road during the start and end of a working day.

Car rental     Many international and local car rental companies offer a wide choice of vehicles as well as attractive packages that include hotel accommodation. Car rental counters are located at all international airports in Malaysia or are contactable by phone.

Parking     The charges for open air public parking in towns or city centres are about 30-60 sen per half-hour of parking, but the mode of collection varies. In Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru and other major towns, parking fees are often more expensive. If you park at the road side, you either to pay to a parking attendant of drop your coins into a parking meter. Lookout for a signboard that indicates the time of operation.



The bus is the most inexpensive mode of travel in Malaysia between states and it is terrific for the budget conscious. Many Malaysian travel between major towns by bus. There are usually two bus terminals in major towns, one for express buses (travel between states or inter state coaches) and one for local buses.

Express buses     Many express buses operate daily between major towns from Johor Bahru/Singapore to Kangar/Bukit Kayu Hitam (and even up to Hadyai, Thailand). There are various classes of express buses (all air-conditioned) ranging from the economy 40-seater to the luxury/executive class 24-seat bus (three seats per row). It is advisable to select an express bus that stops at rest areas along the expressways as there are better and cleaner toilet facilities and amenities at these rest kiosks. Most express buses stop at Alor Setar, Sungai Petani, Butterworth, George Town, Ipoh, Taiping, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Melaka, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bahru in peninsular Malaysia .

     There is usually at least three to more express buses per day (morning, afternoon and night) travelling from one major town to another on the west coast of the peninsular.

Buses to Singapore and Thailand     There are express buses, coaches and tour buses coming into Malaysia from Thailand and Singapore daily. Daily buses to Singapore is available from all major town on the west coast. From Melaka, there is a bus every hour going right into Singapore. More buses are also available from Kuala Lumpur.

    However, from Thailand, daily buses may just end in Kedah or Penang. Check tour agents in the region. (check How to travel from Thailand to Malaysia here)

Local buses takes you within a major town or city and also to towns usually within the state. This is the most economical mode of travel but waiting time for some destinations may be long. Bus fares per km are fixed by the government.

Buses from KLIA to the city

Airport coaches KLIA/KL/KLIA - coaches from and to KLIA and KL


City Liner - to KLIA from Seramban and Nilai

Skybus -


TAXIS and Ride Hailing Services

Taxis are readily available at airports and bus or railway terminals. Taxis that operate between towns (referred to as ‘outstation’ taxis) usually slap a fixed fare on each passenger and will take four passengers per trip. Taxis operating within the town or city limits (‘local’ taxis) are usually available at designated taxi stands/stations in small towns but in major cities, such as Kuala Lumpur and George Town, they can be hailed along any road. Although all local taxis are fixed with meters, not all taxis will use them (except in KL or PJ). Ask for the fare before you start your journey.

Ride Hailing Services -

Most Malaysians now prefer to travel place to place within the towns and cities (or to nearby places) by e-hailing car services. The most common, and availabel in most places in Malaysia is GRAB. Just download the apps to these services and register to use. payment can be by cash, card or e-wallet.
Here are other ride-hailing alternatives to Grab:
MyCar, EzCab, MULA, DACEEE, Riding Pink, etc.




Roads in Malaysia



Express Bus Companies

Some of the bus companies in Malaysia and Singapore:

PLUS liner and Nice plusliner & nice or Plusliner Nice

Transnasional (nationwide)

KTB  - (transnasional & plus)

Sri Maju



First Coach (KL-Singapore) 

Grassland Express Sg  - Singapore to Alor Setar, SP

Airebus - Singapore to KL

First Coach - KL-Singapore

Gunung Raya



Search and compare hotel rates from Multiple sites




Highways in Malaysia


 ..........continued to next page: Travelling By Rail and by Water



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