The PLUS Highway that was completed in 1994 was a replacement for the old Federal Route 1. The Highway that starts from the Kedah Thailand border town Bukit Kayu Hitam until Johor Bahru has a length of 772 km hence making it the longest tolled highway in Peninsular Malaysia. Once this highway had been completed this had become one of the most used highways by us for traveling to a tourist place, business, balik kampung during festival season and much more. The highway offers a faster route and had more accommodation if compared to the old Federal Route 1 where it takes longer time and had the least accommodation. Staying in Selangor that central to the north and south bound on this highway, I still prefer the travel to the north side compared to the south side.
The south side of this highway where the travelers can travel to the South Malaysia like Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor Bahru where the northbound the traveler can travel to North Malaysia like Perak, Kedah, Penang, and Perlis. The travel to the south is far shorter than the trip to the north where the travel to south roughly will take more than 3 hours while the trip to the north it can take up to 5 hours. This estimation will only apply if the travelers travel to Johor Bahru on the southbound and Perlis or Bukit Kayu Hitam on the northbound. On traveling to foreign countries using this highway, the southbound travelers can travel to Singapore but for the northbound, the travelers can go to the Thailand province that is bordered with Malaysia like Satun, Songkhla, and Yala. They are total 4 checkpoints 2 in Perlis one is Wang Kelian and Padang Besar, another is Pengkalan Hulu in Perak, and the last is Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah. Unlike traveling to Singapore where the travelers need a passport even for the Johor Bahru residents for the Thailand travelers they are special border pass for those who stay in this border town.
They are more tourist place to visit on the northbound then on the southbound. Most of the Malaysian most popular tourist place is in the northbound of the highway. Tourist place like Pangkor Island where the travellers can use either the Bidor exit or Lumut exit, Cameron Highland using the Tapah exit or the Simpang Pulai exit, Langkawi Island taking the ferry via the Kuala Perlis Jetty, Penang Island and Kelly Castle via the Batu Gajah exit is all located on the northern side of Malaysia. This is another reason on why during the holiday season or festival season the northbound is more congested with the traffic if compared to the southbound. On the south bound they are least place to visit like Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, Malacca, Desaru Island in Senai, Johor Bahru and Mersing Island.
The travelers to the north side also take longer time due to the travelers needs to cross the second largest state in Peninsular Malaysia Perak. Crossing the Perak border starting from the Tanjung Malim to Parit Buntar roughly will take 2 hours and 30 minutes if the drivers did not stop for rest. Where on the southbound the travelers only will take 1 hours and 30 minutes to cross the 3rd largest state in Peninsular Malaysia Johor Bahru. By the way, crossing both of this state is most time consuming of the travel to the north and south bound of the highway. The travelers on the southbound do not need to cross Johor Bahru if they are traveling to Negeri Sembilan or Malacca but on the northbound, if the travelers want to visit Penang Island, Perlis, or Kedah they need to cross Perak first.
One of the most beautiful things of the traveling to the northbound is the travelers will be entertained with one of the most scenic views in Peninsular Malaysia. When travelling to Bukit Kayu Hitam, the travellers will be flanked with the paddy field in left and right side of the road, both of the Penang Bridge where the travellers will be able to view the Penang Straits , and last the travel to Perak where the travellers can view the mother nature of Perak such as the waterfall of Lata Kijang that can be viewed on highway northbound, the Gua Tempurung on the hills going to Menora Tunnel, the Ipoh City signboard on the hills and the Sungai Perak bridge. Traveling to the north side is a pleasure for those who love the scenic views.
The travel on the northbound too had its fair share of haunted stories in our Peninsular Malaysia apart from the Karak Highway. The Menora Tunnel, the first Penang Bridge, and the Gurun Expressway had its own haunted stories that had been told where this story is least on the southbound on the highway. The travelers on the northbound also can travel to Kota Bharu via taking the Kuala Kangsar exit that will connect to the East Coast Highway. This option will be best for the travelers from the Penang Island, Kedah, or Perlis but not the best for the south travelers like from Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor or Malacca as it takes longer time if compared to the Kuala Lumpur – Gua Musang expressway that can be accessed via the Karak Expressway.
Simply, the PLUS highway that connects the north and south of Malaysia had a more scenic view, more tourist place to visit and more haunted stories if compared to southbound of the highway. However, the northbound travel is far longer than the southbound. The PLUS highway had been the most used highway by Malaysia since it had been completed in 1994 and the travel for the north and south although had some difference, it is still the best highway to use for the travel in the north and south Malaysia. Although the trip to the north is far longer it provides more scenic view and more access to the popular place to visit in Peninsular Malaysia. The travel to the South does not have many scenic views but it far shorter than the trip to the north side of Malaysia using this highway.