Episode 11 Behrang to Slim River via Sungai Bil Cool Springs

Episode 11 of our Route Hunters drive takes us via a picturesque detour that is worth the extra 20 minutes in travel time. Its a short stretch between the town of Behrang and Slim River, with exits to the highway close by at both ends of the route. This episode will showcase the Utility in the SUV title the Peugeot 3008 carries along with lots of beautiful driving and picture perfect scenery. 

Vital Info Length: 23.6kmRoute : A121 (Unnamed Road on Google Maps)
Nearest Towns: Behrang / Slim River

What to Expect? This route runs parallel with Route 1, the trunk road that links Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, along the Highway. The nearest access points for this road is either the Behrang Toll Plaza for those coming from the South, and the Slim River Toll Plaza if you’re coming from the North. Behrang Toll Plaza is about under an hour from the Jalan Duta Toll Plaza, while the Slim River Toll Plaza is will take just over an hour from the Ipoh toll plaza. https://youtu.be/dDNiSRvKXn8The Course The total length of the driving road is about 23.6 km. On Google Maps, its listed as an unnamed road, but in actuality its marked as Route A121 which will take you pass Kampung Sungai Bil towards Slim River. You will reach this road when you take the 193 from Behrang towards Proton City.  The actual driving road itself kicks off gently by passing by Kampung Sungai Sekian and then it starts to really become interesting. It starts of relatively mild but before you know it you’re giving bigger and bigger steering inputs as the road gets narrower and twistier.

Then towards the mid point onwards the elevation changes mildly adding another dynamic to those who crave a brisk pace when behind the wheel. Most of the scenery will be forests, with the tail end of the drive cutting across a palm oil plantation.  Be very aware of standing water and even sand on the sides of the road, especially during the rainy season. Both the corners, elevation changes and the hazards were well managed by the Peugeot 3008 thanks to its agile chassis for an SUV, and the sheer mechanical grip from its dampers and tyres. It never felt stressed when we were stringing a couple of corners together enthusiastically. Since the road cuts through a couple of villages, be sure to peg down your speed to 50kph or below when driving past them. Remember, you’re the tourists, its their front yard.

The Attraction  Since we had been travelling for half a day at this point, we decided to find a nice spot for lunch. As you enter Kampung Sungai Bil, the road runs alongside a river to a curious campsite called Sungai Bil Cool Springs. Since its properitor Mr Awie (yes, we had to ask him twice if he truly shared the name of our home grown Superstar) was only going to meet us in about an hour and half, we drove the Peugeot 3008 and the Peugeot 5008 camera car straight into a field to set up our makeshift dining area.

Thanks to Coleman Malaysia, the car pole shade, tables and chairs took a mere 15 minutes to set up with the help of our 5 person crew. The car pole shade extends from your car to provide you with a comfortable shade from the elements. And thanks to the height of the Peugeot 3008 and the many mounting points for the strings of the shade, the shade provided was plenty. Which was just in time since it started to drizzle just as we started to munch down.  The entire set of equipment was easily swallowed by both cars, especially the Peugeot 3008 since the camera car’s cargo bay had to be empty. After nearly spending half a day on the road, it was nice to just chill and relax among nature next to these two wonderful cars.

Sungai Bil Cool Springs The main attraction of the Sungai Bil village is the Cool Springs Chalet. Abang Awie set up this place as a means to connect to nature in relative comfort. The chalets are spartan at best, designed based on the traditional homes of the Orang Asli.  

The chalets faces the river, right next to the waters edge. You can clearly hear the sound of the running water from inside the chalet, which has a cool ambiance thanks to the materials used and the surroundings. Just don’t expect fiber optics WiFi out here!

En Awie told us that the Cool Springs chalet is a favorite among team building events, and has hosted loads of local and international teams, including students from a Chinese university. The river itself is very cold since it comes from a spring that’s located within the Titiwangsa mountain range. You can find out more about this lovely place by contacting Mr Awie at 012-385 3257 

or find out more at their Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pg/chaletsungaibil/services/   

Hazards  Standing water / sandAs mentioned before, its the standing water and sand that’s washed on to the road that would be the biggest potential hazard on this road. Be cautious during wet weather on this roads

Local ResidentsAlso since we are driving in front of someone else’s front door, be sure to mind your speed when you’re passing by the villages that the route cuts through.

Conclusion  In the previous two episodes, we saw how well the Peugeot 3008 handled the various road surfaces, its nimble chassis, and its punchy powertrain. This time though, we got to test its class leading 590 liter boot space, its ease of driving off tarmac, and the sheer versatility of its boot design. 

The Peugeot 3008 was the perfect partner for those who lead an active lifestyle. It carries a whole load of stuff, its perfectly at home on and off tarmac. And despite all the versatility, you do not feel like you are driving a lumbering workhorse. Nor does it look like one, both inside and out. Join us on our next Route Hunters Episodes adventure where we mix good food and one of the greatest natural icons of South East Asia!