Yes we aware we will be met with fire and rage from the motoring community. Ulu Yam is the motoring equivalent of the neighborhood makcik’s morning nasi lemak.
Its accessible, its a beautiful route, and pretty much everyone in the driving community knows about it. Dont get us wrong the route itself is very scenic and has a lovely layout, which is why we featured it as our Episode 2 route. The fact that it finishes at Gohtong Jaya, and therefore Genting Highlands just addes to the appeal. Who would’nt want a drive that will get you from the city to 2000m above sea level within an hour plus.
However after countless incidents and since we advocate road safety above everything else, this has to be said. Hence why, although we still have it in the list of best driving roads in Malaysia, we are officially denouncing as a drive destination for enthusiasts. Someone has to break the bad news.
1. Its a main access route
A significant number of Klang Valley residences, including yours truly and his spouse, opt to use this road each time we want to head out to Genting Highlands, Malaysia’s Las Vegas. You’ve got a beautiful valley view, flowing roads, amazing double apex turns, and of course the temperature gradually reduces over the miles. And its only 1 hour from the heart of KL. However so does a sizeable amount of people who are commuting to Genting Highlands and back. This road is always significantly busier then the rest of the roads we have published.
2. Full of Tourist Traffic
Not only its always busy compared to the other driving roads we have marked out, its full of tourist traffic. Which means people who are driving at their own leisure, soaking the sights, spending time with their families. Plus these vehicles are usually full of family and friends. Sometimes even with kids. These vehicles would be travelling at a very leisurely pace, and in some cases with a worryingly distracted driver. Not ideal when you want to open up the taps of your performance car.
3. Criss crossing to Recreational Parks
There are a couple of waterfalls, couple of recreational parks and an adventure park on this route. That bumbling weekend traffic of holiday makers will usually slow down to turn into these venues. If you’re trying to cut that apex and a fully loaded Myvi or Alphard pulls out, its not going to go well. To make matters worse, there’s a section where people will stop to collect springwater on the side of the road too on this route.
4. Plus residential crowd
Did you know this route passes through the entrance of several residential areas? You can see countless bikes with kids on it criss crossing the entrance. Again, we have waited there and we have seen countless cars speed pass the entrance. Not to mention a certain custom built German sports car slamming into the signpost just before the village.
5. And yet its a go to option for many
There are 100’s of motoring groups over various social media channels like Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram and so on. Each group will have anywhere between 200 to 20,000 members. Pretty much every one mentions about this route at the very least. Most would’ve spent countless hours driving here. Imagine all that traffic cramped up over just the weekends? Even we trek on one part of it to head to the start point of some of our drives too.
6. For unregulated / poorly supervised events
All the above mentioned factors create a volatile mixture already. But why we really do not agree with conducting your weekend drives on the Ulu Yam stretch is the fact that there are lots of poorly organized drive events that take place here. There are people who conduct well planned out events made of responsible drivers. Then there are the weekend warriors who observe a pretty much ‘Every man for himself’ approach to this stretch.
7. Made up of drivers who are unaware of consequences
We have encountered young drivers who have yet to remove their ‘P’ stickers on their cars dangerously overtaking over double lines, blind corners or bailing out of overtaking maneuvers due to oncoming traffic on this stretch. While they try to pull out do-or-die moves with their vehicles, high powered cars that are driven by pseudo racers are barging in on both directions intimidating these kids simultaneously. It is first and foremost a public road, but because most treat it like a private race track, tragedy ensures, more than once too.
8. Round the clock
Unfortunately this scenario is prevalent round the clock. It doesnt matter if its 8am or 2am, you will have cars criss crossing, cutting into the opposite lane trying to ‘hit the apex’. There have been poorly coordinated night drives featuring over 50 cars on this stretch which resulted in a head on collision with an oncoming car. Both drivers were lucky they walked away with minor injuries.
9. But there are tonnes of other options
The reason we wholeheartedly agreed on denouncing this lovely road as a drive destination is because there are tonnes of other options. Within the Klang Valley area itself there are 5 other roads which you could opt for. Not only are they far more empty in terms of traffic, they encounter less distractions like residential areas or tourist attractions inbetween. And some of these roads, in our opinion, are far more rewarding than the Ulu Yam stretch. Plus you still get great food at the end too. In some cases cheaper.
10. All over the country
And if you’re adventurous, your mates and you can embark on much more ambitious driving adventures on the driving roads we have earmarked. The best part is we still have a very healthy list of roads that are due to be published. Once the MCO has been totally lifted, hopefully we could bring more insight on all the lovely roads we have in Peninsular Malaysia. And that is before we fly over to both Sabah and Sarawak…..
A lethal cocktail of a popular destination, wannabe racers with more ego than skills, and a reasonably tricky road makes to countless crashes. Hence why we have to officially denounce Ulu Yam as a driving destination. This is merely our suggestion, and we will not participate in any event that exclusively includes this stretch, nor recommend it to our readers and members. But if you still insist on driving here then by all means, go for it. Just be very very cautious doing so.
Most of the ones who cause such incidents are unaware that its a public road first, and therefore do not drive defensively. Not everyone is YS Khong or Karamjit Singh. And even these guys take it very easy on these roads. Probably why they became champions in Motorsports. For the rest of us, if you want to enjoy a relaxed weekend drive, there are plenty of other options which has everything Ulu Yam has to offer, with far lesser risk. Provided you always remember than its still a public road. Stay safe guys during the MCO period and when you’re on the road too.