1. Via Karak highway and exiting at either Bentong (2 exits) or Mempaga or Jerantut, then onwards to Raub (either via main road or Sg. Koyan), Kuala Lipis (can also access through Felda Kechau), Gua Musang & Krai....and the best time to take this route to Krai is 7 am at Gombak toll. This is the shortest, cheapest and fastest (5 hours) way, the only problem is between Kuala Lipis and Gua Musang....where you'll have to be extra careful with the road conditions, corners, hills and slopes. Buses and lorries dominate this route at night.
2. Via North South Highway northbound and exiting at Tapah / Simpang Pulai, onwards to Kg. Raja, Cameron Highland, straight on to Pos Brooke then Gua Musang. Gua Musang is about 2 hours from Cameron Highlands...there's one hot spring, jungles, cool weather and lots of vegetable growers along the way...just buy some. Once you reach Gua Musang, you can either take the route to Krai (East side of Sg Lebir) or to Dabong (West side of Sg Lebir). You can cross to either route at Jelawang (where you'll find Gunung Stong and Gua Ikan) or Jeli. I vote this is one of the scenic routes to Kuala Krai. The only thing to remember is to fill up your petrol at Simpang Pulai (we were low in petrol in Cameron Highland during one of the trips, too many cars...in case you are in the same problem, there's some emergency petrol stock at a Chinese temple near Tringkap).
Along Dabong route
Jelawang Waterfall, Gunung Stong
3. Via East West Expressway, all the way to Kuantan, Dungun and Kuala Brang. From here you can either go East towards Kuala Trengganu (which you can then follow the seaside road up to Batu Rakit and Permaisuri) and move on northward towards Sg Tong, Jerteh and Pasir Puteh....one of the longest routes but you can enjoy the sea....or go West towards Kenyir Dam and then to Aring (you'll pass by Kuala Koh - another entrance to the National Park) and will connect you to Kuala Krai - Gua Musang highway. This is a new route and anyone would have to be careful.
Lepak at Pantai Batu Buruk
Gua at Bukit Keluang
4. Via North South Highway northbound and exiting and Butterworth or Kulim or Kuala Kangsar, then head towards Grik and Jeli. Going through Kulim will bring you across Baling and Pengkalan Hulu (near border of Thailand)...can be interesting if you have the time. This is one of the longest routes. We normally follow this route when visiting relatives in Baling and Kulim.
One of our favourite routes is through Kuala Kangsar (good food at river side), Lenggong, Grik, Jeli, Tanah Merah, Krai...slow and steady will take the whole daylight to travel...but you need to enjoy the surrounding while you travel.
Lenggong is an exciting area....the Tasik Raban, the hills and caves...full of mysteries, nice water falls (we tried Lata Kekabu...very near to entrance, clear and fresh water..), the museum and the history....very nice indeed. And along the highway, it can get very cool and foggy at Titiwangsa rest area...if you're lucky, you'll come across elephants....just wait and be patience. Before you leave Perak, of course you'll come across Tasik Temenggor, Pulau Banding and Belum Forest..another awesome sight.
So there are many ways to Kuala Krai...you can also reach Kuala Krai via train....there's a train station in Kuala Krai....or by bus from KL or other state capitals or KB....or by boat upstrea, the Kelantan river from KB (used to have this service during British) or a few other upstream kampungs...or helicopter (there are a few open fields)....or by small aircraft (there is a small air strip in Mengkebang, hardly used but has been used in the past even for emergency landing)...or by any other means you think suitable.
Sometimes I feel that there's so many nice places in Malaysia that we have not covered of which we need to discover, learn, understand & appreciate....we intend to continue to explore the nice little things that we call our own....we'll share more next time.
Happy travelling and go explore Malaysia