Episode 12: Tapah to Jeram via Chenderiang
Episode 12 is a proper Malaysian road trip. A long drive across the Malaysian countryside which has a world class attraction, amazing scenery, awesome food and one of the best driving roads in Peninsular Malaysia. The driving road specifically is a place we have driven with the likes of Porsche’s, BMW M Car’s and still never fails to entertain us. Once again, the Peugeot 3008 along with its many tricks up its sleeves aided us in our quest in documenting Route Hunter’s 12th Episode
Length : 32.9km
Route: A19, A119
Nearst towns: Tapah / Chenderiang / Jeram
What to Expect?
The easiest way to access this road is by driving up to the town of Tapah, hometown of Malaysian Rally Legend, Karamjit Singh. The Tapah exit is about 1 hour 30 minutes from the Jalan Duta Toll Plaza and just a mere 10 minutes from the famous Tapah R&R. And from the Tapah Toll Plaza, make your way to Taman Anson and the driving route begins.
Episode 12’s drive route may start off via a residential area, but right after that the road cuts right through a cemetery ground. A grim but timely reminder on what fate awaits for those who are careless or carefree on roads like these.
Once past that though, the road is a driver’s paradise. The narrow pass has lots of pronounced camber angles, with distinct elevation. Thanks to its tight twists, and the width of the course, you can have fun at very low speeds. We have trekked on this route with the Peugeot 208 GTi Owner’s Club, a couple of drive groups and more than once travelled through here with the Route Hunter boys. Be it a Picanto or a V8 BMW M3, everyone emerged with grinning faces.
The road lines right alongside the foothills of the Titiwangsa Mountain range and crisscrosses the North South Highway. You can actually catch a glimpse of the road when you’re driving past the Tapah junction heading northbound. Thanks to the location of the road, the view varies from lush jungles to villages and plantations. In the horizon though, it’s lined with hills and mountains, with the end of the route taking you right past a limestone quarry.
However if you’re driving here after a heavy shower be aware of the sand that could be washed out to the road. Huge sand deposits get washed out to the roads, and it could make you lose traction and either cause you to understeer off the road or oversteer into a ditch. Thanks to the GRIP Control system and the various driving safety aids, the Peugeot 3008 was not flustered by these hazards. Also a small section of the road is very narrow and riddled with portholes so best to kill your speed and sound your horn to alert oncoming vehicles.
Just outside the town of Chenderiang, a quaint town nestled amongst the surrounding mountains is a natural attraction of international standards. Take a right just outside of Chenderiang via a slip road, and you will be greeted to the majestic Lata Kinjang falls.
Standing at nearly 850 meters above sea level, the falls are supposedly one of the tallest in South East Asia. There’s a tourist complex at the bottom part of the falls, complete with tourist information centers, well-appointed toilets, and plenty of parking lots.
There’s a big pool at the bottom for those who want to avoid a climb. But for those who are a little adventurous, you can hike up via the stairs to the top where you will reach the suspension bridge. To us, the view from the bridge is one of the best views of the falls.
You can hike all the way up to an abandoned pump station at the top of the falls, from which you can see the North-South Expressway very clearly. However be sure to trek up there with a guide. We decided to chill just below the suspension bridge by breaking out our Coleman gear and chill with icy cold drinks from the cooler box while dipping our feet into the waters while perched on the foldable chairs.
All that climbing and carrying made us really hungry. So when we got back to the cars and packed up, we headed to the end of the route where it spat us out at the town of Jeram. From there, it was just a 40 minutes’ drive to Ipoh, our destination for lunch
Ipoh has many signature dishes to offer the hungry Malaysian. Since we burned quite a lot of calories at Lata Kinjang and the Chenderiang drive, we decided to reward ourselves with a plate of Nasi Vangeh. Basically Ipoh’s take on Nasi Kandar, the mainstream choice would be the Nasi Vanggeh located in Kedai Kopi Yong Suan.
We at Route Hunters would vouch for the one severed by Restarant M Salim, located at the opposite end from Kedai Kopi Yong Suan. The curry is lighter and more delicate, giving a better taste spectrum. It’s no less potent though. We would like to caution those who wish to try this dish, you are going to feel a little drowsy after a plate of this. Be sure to take plenty of rest before driving off.
As mentioned earlier, sand washed over the road during heavy downpours can be a real hazard, especially when coming out of blind corners. So approach the corners with caution or you could face the way you came in an instant, or much worse.
There’s one point of this route where the road really narrows down and it’s riddled with portholes. It’s about 800 meters in total stretch, its best to kill your speed to make sure you do not end up with suspension part bills.
This road does come close to proper rainforests. So everything from monkeys, to wild boards and even snakes can be seen crossing the road. On some day’s it’s pretty much a safari out here.
The Peugeot 3008’s safety system and supple ride comfort handled the best and worst this route had to offer with ease. The last time we brought the Peugeot 3008 was during the media drive event where we opted to detour via this route. Revisiting it again brought back fond memories.
It was joyous to drive here and it also kept us comfortable when the going got tough. And thanks to its generous, class leading boot space, we got to carry quite a few Coleman gear with us along with a big ice box too. This while bringing our luggage as well.
And all this was done while looking as majestic as the Lata Kinjang falls itself. So if you’re out to have an exotic getaway, you don’t have to book a flight ticket or stand at a foreign immigration counter. All you need to do is get a car like the Peugeot 3008, load it up with your Coleman camping gear and just drive out to our beautiful country roads. Also, we dare you to find a better food destination than Malaysia.