Caltex Exploration Episode Drive

Did you know that our countries landscape is exotic when compared to the rest of the world? Only 6% of the planets surface area is covered by rainforest. And out of that 6%, only Malaysia has the most extensive road network running through them, and cramped into a Peninsular about 300km wide with the longest mountain range in South East Asia running down the centre of it all.
What this means is Malaysia has some of the most exotic views you can witness during a road trip. Which is why we took it upon ourselves to document the best driving roads we have in Malaysia. Over the years we have documented up to 90 roads in Peninsular Malaysia alone. And often times, we found ourselves always opting to stop at the Caltex service stations that are located out here. So for the first time we were able to bring celebrities, influencers and our friends in the motoring media space for a drive along with us across the Malaysian countryside. And along the way cover the Caltex service stations en route with the help of Caltex Malaysia. Here’s what happened!
The Episode Drive

Each drive route we catalogue is called an ‘Episode’. And a drive through them is called the Episode drive. This Episode drive however was going to be quite special. For the first time we have Caltex Malaysia gracing the drive. At our meet point in Caltex Damansara service station, along the LDP, we conducted the registration and the mandatory safety brief. We were also provided with the Techron Concentrate Plus which restore lost power and performance caused by deposit build-up in passenger cars and light duty trucks. That’s useful when you’re about to travel 300 plus km over some of the best driving roads in the country! Once everyone fuelled up with Caltex’s Techron fuel, we were flagged off and thus begin our epic drive across the heart of our nation. 

Time to 'Enjoy the Journey'

The Episode drive we were going to do would take us deep into the heart of the biggest state in Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang. But before we could trek deep into the state, we first had to trek across the Karak Highway towards our first regroup point, Mempaga. We did not use any ‘convoy format’ during the highway as that would be a nuisance for the rest of the highway users. We especially made sure no one slowed down to take ‘rolling shots’ on the highway causing traffic to slow down for miles behind us. 
Here on out though everyone were lined up in a single file format before we ventured onto the roads that run across the Felda heartlands. These roads have to follow the contour of the earth which makes it seem like more of a roller coaster than an actual road. With different types of trees and plantations lining up on the side, the scenery was both captivating and varied. After 30 minutes we reached our first stop point, the Klau Dam Boat Point. This freshwater causeway is a scenic location to drive by and hang out. But the real beauty is revealed when you fly a drone above it. It’s a captivating sight to behold. While some of the content creators took their shots, the rest of us took the time to dig into our breakfast courtesy of Caltex. 

En route to the breakfast stop

From Klau we proceeded to trek deeper into the Pahang wilderness. The road brought us past the foothills of Mount Benum and into the quaint town of Sungai Ruan. From there we would proceed via Dong towards Jeram Besu, Benta. Our breakfast stop is a resort that’s situated past the river rapids that are the major attraction to this place, called Countryview Recreational Park. The eco tourism hideout has a concrete access road that goes right pass the mighty Lipis river, giving a killer view of the river rapids. The whole resort complex is perched on a hill, giving you a beautiful vantage point to soak in the sounds of the rapids which runs around it.

The breakfast itself was a proper ‘Kampung’ style nasi lemak, with a sambal so delicious it had the participants talking about it even after two weeks! Everyone went for seconds. Sometimes the same meal we consume a million times in the urban environment tastes a whole lot better when you have them amidst nature 


The big one

After breakfast, we were about to get into the meat of the drive. We would be driving right across Pahang from Benta to Jerantut on via Route 64. Just before we embarked on the route, we took the time to fill up our tanks at the Caltex Benta service station. This quaint station so far inland had full cashless payment options, Ron 97 and clean toilets. Not to mention the AMAZING customer service we received at the  station.
The road we took to get to Jerantut looks like an uncoiling snake if you were to look at it on Google Maps. Thanks to the hilly terrain, the road had to snake through the countryside with mild elevations, with up to 150 meters in difference. Those endless twist make up for an entertaining drive for even the car with the least amount of horsepower. It’s a continuous series of left and right turns that kept each participant entertained throughout the 60 plus KM we had to cross.
The fun had to be punctuated shortly, as we had to take a detour into a plantation via unpaved roads, because there were road works taking place in the middle of the route. Since these roads traverse a wide variety of landscape for long distances, it takes a toll when the weather gets violent. When you are travelling on these roads, always be sure to watch out for floods, roadworks, fallen trees and even landslides. The detour itself turned out to be an exciting experience for the participants, who welcomed the change of scenery and the sudden surprise of the route. Eventually we finished this leg of the journey by regrouping at the second stop of the drive, at the Caltex Kim Joo service station in Temin, just outside of Jerantut town. 

The end goal

After Jerantut, those two helpings of nasi lemak has already disappeared and we were en route to our final stop, where we would have our high tea. The lunch spot was the picturesque Zul Highway Cafe right next to the LPT highway in Karak.

Surrounded by trees and a durian orchard, this oasis is a beautiful hideout to blow off some steam if you are travelling Eastbound and want to get away from traffic. The cafe’s dining area is made entirely out of reclaimed wood, during the lockdown period.


And what a spread we had to enjoy there. We let the pictures do the talking here! Once our bellies were full again we had the energy to recap our journey.

The conclusion

From the roads that snaked through the valleys, hills and villages, to the unbelievable views of Pahang’s hidden side, and the best of local cuisine, this trip was a proper getaway for the participants. It was not a planned commute, it was not a routine drive, the whole point was to drive and explore. To soak in the new sights and sound. These are not your average city slickers who spend bulk of their time behind the desk. These are people who are out there on the road on most of the days. Yet for these seasoned travellers, this journey gave them an all new perspective of how many hidden treasures the Malaysian countryside holds.
And despite all that heavy duty driving, all the cars that participated had plenty of fuel left in their tanks. This could be down to what Caltex claims about its fuels unbeatable mileage. The Techron fuel with its Clean and Glide Technology continuously cleans and protects the engine. Which would allow the engine perform better and improve fuel consumption. The perfect combo for such an exploration drive. You can find out more about it on their website. 
The Caltex Exploration Episode Drive was just a sample of what kind of sights and sounds our beautiful nation has to offer, if you turn off the beaten track, and are willing to explore.