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Cycling Malaysia and taking a break.

Cycling Malaysia and taking a break.

The tips and advice for cycling Malaysia are based on two longer cycling trips across the Malaysian peninsula. Updated in January 2020.

Cycling on the roads of Malaysia.

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Cycling on the roads of Malaysia on the Malaysian peninsula is generally good. Most roads between cities have good shoulders, so that you are not too close to the motorised vehicles.

The urban areas do not always have a shoulder. so they can be tricky to cycle at times. But once you are out on the roads between the main cities in Malaysia, then you are generally on good road surface with good shoulders.

Think about the weather, when cycling in Malaysia.

Malaysia is situated just north of the equator. So the weather will be mostly hot and humid. In Malaysia, it’s mostly dry during the morning and during mid day. When it get’s to mid/late afternoon, then there will often be a tropical shower. These showers can be very heavy with thunder and lightning. So better make sure that you have some cover, when you see them approaching. I have never had any problems locating a place to cover for the rain. The locals are so used to this, that they will always let you shelter at your place. They will sometimes bring you food and drink for free as well, while you are waiting for the rain to stop. But be a little prepared for it and you will be happier when cycling Malaysia.

 

Cycling is a popular sport in Malaysia.

Cycling is popular in Malaysia.

Cycling is popular in Malaysia.

Bicycle cafe in Malaysia

Bicycle cafe in Malaysia

Cycling is a popular sport in Malaysia. It’s a growing sport. And I was often stopped both by Malaysian cyclists. As well as bicycle enthusiasts stopping their car to have a chat with me. This is one aspect that makes Malaysia a pleasant country to cycle in. Always nice when you are surrounded by people who like what you are doing.

Malaysian cyclist

Young Malaysian cyclist.

 

Finding accommodation when cycling Malaysia.

Nice bicycle friendly guest house in Penang.

Nice bicycle friendly guest house in Penang.

I generally found that Malaysia has a really good range of accommodation all over the country. The good thing about Malaysia in this aspect is that Malaysia is a middle class country. Most people can afford to go on holiday. So you have many local tourists around the country. It’s not just in places that are popular with foreigners that you find hotels.

The east coast of Malaysia generally has less accommodation. Mainly because there is less tourism due to the many oil fields you have along the coastline. The oil industry creates some hotel industry for oil industry people. But be ware that these places can be quite pricey. But all in all you should be fine and I always managed to find a hotel for the night during my bicycle journey around the Malaysian peninsula.

 

Cycling in Malaysia during ramadan.

I have been cycling in Malaysia during ramadan. And I was wondering whether this would pose a problem in terms of getting food and drink. It was ramadan while I was cycling up the Malaysian east coast, where more than 90% of the population is muslim. I am not an early riser. So I am quite depending on having some food served between 9am and 11am before I hit the road. I did not have any problems though. And there was always a place to eat and drink and there were actually a few Malaysian staffed places too, where they served food during daytime hours. The staff at these places did probably not eat themselves. But they were still selling the food to those who were not fasting. But most places serving food were Chinese owned. And even if the Chinese population on the Malaysian east coast is not that big. It’s still big enough to serve those who do not fast during ramadan.

 

Cycling in Cameron Highlands.

Cameron Highlands is located in the center of the Malaysian peninsula. It’s a mountain area and temperature is quite cold up there at time, for Malaysian standards. But there is still quite a lot of jungle in Cameron Highlands, even if it’s located in more than 1000 meters of altitude. Lot’s of agricultural land there as well. Cycling in Cameron Highlands is quite good, as long as you can deal with some elevation. Traffic is fairly good. And roads up there are of a good quality. Just be ware that if you plan to ride up to Cameron Highlands on the highway 181 from Ipoh, then there is very little accommodation during the steep climb up through the clouds. So try to plan the day a little in advance, when leaving Ipoh. You would not want to be stuck in a rain cloud in the dark, when cycling up to the highlands.

Cycling Cameron Highlands.

Cycling in Cameron Highlands.

 

Cycling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang.

In december 2019, I took a cycling trip from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. I have a more detailed description of that ride on this link

Malaysian west coast cycling.

Cycling near the Malaysian west coast.

A great book to read before cycling Malaysia.

Pedalling the peninsula, by Sandra Loh.

Pedalling the peninsula, by Sandra Loh.

Right as I was starting my cycling trip around Malaysia I found a book in a Kuala Lumpur bookstore. It was called “pedalling the peninsula”. It’s written by Malaysian long distance cyclist Sandra Loh who has created a really good book about her bike trip around the peninsula that is both an entertaining read. It’s also a book with a lot of very useful advice. So I would strongly recommend that you get a copy of that book before you take off. I found it to be very helpful as well as a good read along the way.

 

Bicycle shops and bicycle repair shops around Malaysia.

My local bike shop in George Town, Penang.

My local bike shop in George Town, Penang.

I have on two occasions bought a bicycle in Malaysia that I used for touring. Both times I bought the bicycle in Penang. There you have a street right next to the Komtar tower, where you have several bicycle shops. So it’s usually possible to get a good deal on bicycles in George Town, Penang. I am not the kinda person who buys a fancy bike when I go touring. The bikes I have bought in Penang has cost me around 300 US dollars both times and both bikes have taken me several thousand kilometers without having any major technical problems.

In the town Ipoh, I also found a good repair shop. It’s called Chin Soon and is located on the street called Jalan Sultan Iskandar. I had repairs done there in a very professional manner. And for a very fair price.

 

Cycling Langkawi

Cycling Langkawi.

 

And good luck cycling Malaysia.

It’s a fantastic country to visit 🙂

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3 Comments

  1. nicholas brooks

    Hi Claus,

    Firstly, nice blog … thank you. I am looking at heading over and cycling between Malaysia and Thailand next year around August.
    Very much looking forward to it. We have just returned form 6 days in Vietnam (South). Did about 500km with 8000m verticle on MTB.
    The group will be about 10-12 and with resonable to top fitness.
    Just plotting courses currently. Are there any other sites you recommend?

  2. Pingback: Tips and advice for cycling in Cambodia. - Travelling Claus

  3. Tips and advice for exciting Malaysia cycling, I’ve rarely cycling sekanag and while reading this I so want cycling again hahaha thank you’ve shared the holiday inspiration for me this good en.balijetaime.com

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