Touring - Biking in Malaysia
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05-31-07, 02:04 AM
Hey guys, we are heading to Malaysia in july / august this year for a sef guided cycle trip. Anyone travelled there before?? would like to hear your stories / tips etc. Regards.
Brad & Lisa
05-31-07, 04:34 AM
I biked the entire east coast of peninsular Malaysia, and around the island of Penang. Overall, it was pretty good. There were a few places where there was more traffic than I would have liked. Penang was a fantastic place to visit, both the city ("Georgetown") as well as the ride around the entire island. Along the east coast, chinese-run hotels were usually superior to malay-run places. The food was great and cheap. You've got a choice between Malay & Chinese on the east coast, and near the west coast, you've also got superb Indian food available.
05-31-07, 07:30 AM
How is the quality of the roads, by the way? Do you need suspension / knobby tires?
05-31-07, 09:00 PM
Roads were good, though I sometimes wished they were a bit wider in Malaysia. My friend & I rode touring bikes which worked out well. A mountain bike is not at all necessary in Malaysia.
05-31-07, 09:10 PM
Hello Brad and Lisa,
Amanda and I are in Bangkok right now and are taking the overnight train to the Malaysian border on Sunday. Amanda keeps detailed road notes which we post to our website.
You can get the Rough Guide Map of Malaysia in Bangkok (if that is where you are landing) cheap. Also, if you plan to take the train between Thailand and Malaysia to avoid the security problems in the south be aware that they do not have cargo cars the full length between Butterworth and Bangkok. The cargo car is pulled at the border.
06-02-07, 02:27 PM
I'm from Malaysia, lived there all my life and came to college here.
Good places to ride to include Cameron Highlands, Fraser's Hill, the remote side of Penang Island, the coastal roads between Penang and Lumut. Road bike parts might be a problem. Try and stick to mountain parts... the local bike stores are not as well stocked as bike stores here. There might be a good bike store in some major towns but you'll have to do some research there. I'm from there and I don;t know, but then again, i picked up cycling in the US.
Get a cellphone. The prepaid services are very cheap and you can just use them and dump them. Take a GSM phone there and just buy the card. The phones are expensive in Malaysia. Maxis has the best coverage and you can SMS back to the US.
I know there is a guy named David who helps folks out a lot. http://www.bicycletouringmalaysia.com/
On the West coast, you can find many English speaking folks so communication is not a problem. East coast, it might be an issue in the rural areas. Be sure to check out thing that might offend Islam as Malaysia is largely Muslim.
What else? let me know if you need a contact in Malaysia, I have friends and family that would love to help while you are there.
06-02-07, 02:29 PM
Oh and I forget to mention no drugs... the death penalty applies to what is considered college mischief in the US.
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