Kuah Pier to Cenang 25Ks, Langkawi Island (Sea view route)
Bukit Malut Road 8Ks along coast. 2Ks easy climb then moderate rolling hills and sea views. 2-lanes, no shoulder, moderate traffic, flattens out. After 20Ks, left on Jalan Pantai Tengah into Cenang at 25Ks.
Cenang to Kuah Pier (interior route)
Toward the airport 3Ks then right (follow signs to Kuah). At 5Ks, left then right at 8Ks. Junction with Padang Mat Sirat road at 12Ks. Less hilly, less scenic. 4-lanes. Thru Kuah to Pier 26Ks.
Kuah Pier, Langkawi Island to Kuala Perlis, mainland Malaysia by ferry.
Kuala Perlis to Alor Setar 50Ks
South on 4-lanes then right on narrow road on the shore to the south. Quiet, into Sq.Baharu. Right over canal at 9Ks. R152 posted sign. At 12Ks right at junction (along the shore). Follow R152 to Sanglang at 19Ks. Thru town over canals and again to right. Now a one lane road along a canal then finally out to Hwy 7 at 26Ks. Right, 2-lanes with shoulder, busy, all flat. Strong east winds (cross). The shore is nothing scenically special. We followed canals & small single lane roads and eventually ended up on Hwy 79. This added 10Ks to trip and lots of confusion (busy into town).
Alor Setar to Penang 100Ks
Hwy 1, 4-lanes then 2-lanes with a 1-meter shoulder, busy road. Always a frontage road or paved path which we used. Some speed bumps etc. but nice and quiet. You can look around. There are other alternative routes as well farther to the west. At 33Ks, no frontage road. To the Highway thru Gurun. Often a designated cycle lane but highway riding. A little rolling. Thru cities at 72Ks, no shoulder. At 73Ks, over river. At 77Ks, left on road P203, busy, small shoulder. Right on 207, shoulder, light traffic. Road 207 swings south, no shoulder. Right on 198. Busy, wide. Swing left (south) then over to Hwy 1. Signs to ferry to Georgetown, Penang island.
Georgetown, Penang – around island 76Ks
To Batu Ferringhi first. Urban ride, lots of traffic. Then 2-lanes, no shoulder, my good scenery but too much traffic to Ferringhi at 17Ks. Now quieter. Along coast. Cut gradually up a valley to top at 29Ks. Now little traffic. Good scenery. Down gradual to Balik Pulau at 41Ks. Continue on Hwy 6, busy again. At 45Ks, mostly gradual climb. Area of construction in 02/07. Down a narrow road. Lots of aggressive traffic. Not good. At 58Ks, 6-lanes, no shoulder all the way. Into urban Georgetown is very busy with no safe lane. Very bad. Not recommended.
Penang to Butterworth by ferry
Butterworth to Taiping 115Ks**
We made mistakes. Got to Kulim on P12 and K12. Both had lanes for motorcycles. At 35Ks, junction Hwy 136, right. 2-wide lanes. Moderate traffic. Nice green scenery. Easy rolling terrain. Northeast winds (tail). At 50Ks, junction Hwy 907, right toward Selama. 2-lanes. Moderately light traffic. Rolling. At 62Ks, junction K7. Right. The road becomes A7 and at 66Ks, Selama. New road with shoulder to 75Ks then older road but still good road. Quieter, easy rolling. Palm oil plantations. At 83Ks, new road again. Jungle. At 100Ks, junction Hwy A5. Right on Hwy A7. Shoulder till 108Ks, busier. Then variable road and urban into Taiping 115Ks.
**Probably 10Ks shorter if we choose better routes.
Taiping to Ipoh 87Ks
Side roads south to Hwy A109 to junction Hwy 1 at 9Ks. Left. 2-lanes with a good shoulder. Moderate traffic with trucks. At 15Ks, moderate climb to 21Ks. Nice scenery. East (head) winds. Down 2Ks then drift lower to Kuata Kangsan at 37Ks. Out 4-lanes with shoulder. At 43Ks, over bridge then 2-lanes with shoulder, busier, logging trucks. Back to 4-lanes. Its now a highway thru hills. Then urban, busy, not good. At 87Ks Ipoh.
Ipoh to Tanah Rata (Cameron Highlands) 95Ks
13Ks of urban riding to junction for Cameron Highlands. Left. No shops for 50Ks. 2 wide lanes with shoulder. Light traffic after 4Ks of quarry trucks. Rolling up then at 22Ks, start moderate climb. Very good, lush scenery. At 29Ks, natural spring coming from a mountain pipe. After 33Ks, more gradual, some nice views. Top out at 62Ks then down and up long rolling hills thru vegetable forms. Drinks and snacks available. At 72Ks, right on Hwy 59 down, sometimes steep, then at 78Ks, climb. 2-lanes, shoulder, light traffic. Moderate then gradual then moderate up to 87Ks. Then down and up hills but mostly down to Tanah Rata 95Ks.
Tana Rata to Tapah 60Ks **
Down steep and serpentine thru tea plantations and jungle for 9Ks. Great scenery. 2-lanes with shoulder. Light traffic. Rolling into Ringlet. At 13Ks, a gradual climb for 1K then down. Steep, narrow and curvy. Beautiful jungle mountain scenery. At midday, more traffic and produce trucks. At 32Ks, more gradual downhill. Nice scenery all the way. More traffic toward town and more gradual.
**We liked his ride so much that we did it twice.
Tapah to Teluk Intan 41Ks
Hwy. A10 out of town. Narrow, no shoulder for 4Ks then with shoulder. Thru Tapah Road at 9Ks. Light but fast traffic. Flat, variable winds, light. At 17Ks, junction Hwy 70, left. 2-lanes, narrow shoulder, busier. At 18Ks, right on A16. At 20Ks, left on A122. Shoulder. Moderate traffic. Some trucks. At 32Ks, junction Hwy 109, left. Shoulder, more traffic. At 39Ks, junction Hwy 58, right into town at 41Ks.
Teluk Intan to Fire Fly resort 115Ks** (Kuala Selangor)
Hwy 58. Shoulder or a full motorcycle lane. Flat and boring and fast. Join
Hwy 5 at 20Ks, straight & dull. Shoulder only on south bound side. At 25Ks, road widening project (3/07) hairy. No shoulder to 35Ks then right into Sobak Bernam. At 36Ks, on B53 straight at all times. 2-lanes narrow. Some traffic but usually slow. Good alternative to Hwy 5. At 65Ks, junction left for 300 meters to crossroad then right. Junction at 69Ks, left cross Hwy 5 (now 4-lanes). 100 meters past, go right. At 80K, T-junction. Right. Just before Hwy 5, left on gravel road that becomes a narrow paved way next to Hwy 5. At 84Ks, follow paved path to the left then right. Then its dirt to 86Ks. Go left on paved path. Many turns and ask directions to Tanjung Karang to cross river at 90Ks. Then we screwed around and finally ended up 4Ks east of Hwy 5 and stayed at the Fire Fly Resort 115Ks.
**Excellent way until 84Ks then our luck ran out and the route became convoluted. It is not the best route from here and we ended up 4 Ks east of Kuala Selangor.
Kuala Selangor to Klang 63Ks**
Hwy 5 over bridge to Hwy 54 at 9Ks, left. 2-wide lanes. No shoulder, busy, bad way. At 19Ks, right on B109. We missed the turn for Hwy B1. Eventually we found B104 going east to Hwy B1 at 28Ks. Once on B1, the ride was good. 2-lanes. Light traffic. Garbage trucks. Yuk. At 42Ks, Hwy 105 to right. Go straight. At 45Ks, merge with Hwy 106 straight. At 49Ks, Hwy B1 (which we lost earlier) right. More traffic now. Into Meru then B1 turns quickly into an expressway for 3Ks. Then bad urban riding into Klang at 63Ks.
**Not a direct route. Its best to get to B1 ASAP but there appears to be no good way from the north into Klang.
Expressways into KL have usually got a motorcycle lane. This might be a better option but you can’t count on continuous lanes.
Klang to Port Dickson 117Ks
Over river (better to take the Hwy 5 bridge) mostly urban riding. Traffic. 4-lanes with minor shoulder. Plenty of trucks. Past the airport turn into Banting at 36Ks. Ugly highway riding but fast and flat. After Banting, 2-lanes with a shoulder and quieter. At 41Ks, junction. Straight on Hwy 122. At last peace. Speed bumps but easy to bike. Back to Hwy at 45Ks, left. Now Hwy 5 is quieter but no shoulder, wide 2-lanes. Glimpses of the sea. At 90Ks, past road to KLIA (13Ks to airport from here) straight. At 95Ks, N4 to right is not an alternative, the road does not go through. Now, Hwy 5 has more big trucks. A few hills with minor vistas. At 108Ks, right on 4-lane road. Busy. Port Dickson town at 117Ks.
Port Dickson to Melaka 88Ks
Out on Hwy 5 along coast and resorts. Wider road to 16Ks then 2-lanes, no shoulder, some big trucks. At 28Ks, Hwy N143, right. At 36Ks, junction with M138, left. (N143 does not go through). Since this is a short cut, some traffic. At 47Ks, junction, Hwy 138 goes left and M143 goes straight. Take M143, 2-lanes, some traffic, rolling. Dull. At 56Ks, junction, left off M143. At 62Ks, junction Hwy 5, right. Rolling. Moderately heavy traffic. 2-wide lanes, no shoulder. At 77Ks, wide 2-lanes and a shoulder. Occasionally narrow into town but surprisingly quiet entry until right in town 88Ks.
Melaka to Muar 49Ks
City streets. No problems to Hwy 5 at 6Ks. 6-lanes with a shoulder, highway riding but secure. Then new 4-lanes with 3-meter shoulder. Open 4/07**. Rolling, Palm oil plantations, so-so scenery. At 44Ks, turn into Maur. Motorcycle lane into town. Bridge has motorcycle lane. Town at 49Ks.
**In 3/07, the new road was not finished and ended at 34KS and so we went right to old Hwy 5 and into town. When it is open in 4/07, old Hwy 5 will probably be quiet and a better option.
Muar to Pontian Kecil 130Ks
To Hwy 50. Motorcycle lane for 16Ks. Flat. Little scenery. Then 2-wide lanes and no shoulder. Moderate traffic. Few trucks, fast moving. What a drag. After 44Ks, usually a shoulder, sometimes broken. Through Baru Pahat at 55Ks. Urban. At 60Ks, motorcycle lane. Rolling hills. Cycle lane ends at 67Ks. Now no shoulder. A few choppy hills, then flattens out. At 90Ks shoulder. At 101Ks, no shoulder. At 108Ks shoulder. From 112Ks, on and off. Then at 115Ks, a motorcycle lane to town at 130Ks. Nothing special, just getting there.
Pontian Kecil to Jahor Baru 40Ks
Hwy 5, wide 2-lanes. Motorcycle lane for 10Ks then a 1-meter shoulder. Moderate traffic, some trucks. Northest winds in A.M. (head). At 21Ks, 2-wide lanes, no shoulder. Now busier. OK scenery. Minor hills then more bigger hills. More traffic, more big trucks. Not fun. At 33Ks, 4-lanes, no shoulder. Urban and expressways. 40 awful Ks. We tried to find alternatives but kept coming back to Hwy 1.
Jahor Baru to Kluang by train
Passenger trains don’t carry bikes (no baggage car) so we shipped our bikes the day before on the night baggage train to Kluang. We wanted to go to Kulia but it was difficult to get the bikes there.
Hwy J25 south, narrow, 4-lanes or wide 2-lanes with shoulder. Moderate traffic, some trucks. Poor scenery. Industrial or endless Palm oil plantations. Rolling. (at 12Ks, connector road east 4Ks to Hwy 50. Good new 2-lanes no shoulder on Hwy J16, light traffic). J25 often has 2- wide lanes and 1 wide shoulder (usually south bound) (J26 to Hwy 1 at 21Ks, 2-lanes, 1-side shoulder, moderate traffic) In Renggan at 22Ks. J26 to Layang Layang at 34Ks (72Ks from Johar Baru) 2-lanes no shoulder but being widened in 3/07.
From Kluang, Hwy 50 east. 2-lanes with shoulder for 8Ks. Then 4Ks to junction J16. 2-lanes no shoulder. Light traffic. Some trucks (big) not great.
Kluang to Melaka 156Ks
Out west on Hwy 50, 4 wide lanes, no shoulder. Moderate to heavy traffic. Many big trucks . Drift mostly lower. East wind (tail). Just a highway ride but fast. At 24Ks, Hwy 1, right (north). 2-wide lanes. 3-meter shoulder makes this relatively nice riding. At 43Ks, in Yong Peng, Hwy 24, left. 2-lanes, no paved shoulder, moderate to heavy traffic, trucks. Rolling hills. OK scenery but poor riding. At 104Ks, junction Hwy 5, right. 4-lanes with shoulder. Some overpasses. At 122Ks, new Hwy 5 under construction but could bike on it (soon to open) 4-lanes with wide shoulder. Into town at 156Ks.
Melaka to Seremban 84Ks
Urban riding to Hwy 19. Divided 4-lanes Hwy with a 3-meter shoulder. Rolling hills. Traffic but OK because of shoulder. At 35Ks, under expressway E2. Now 2-lanes, sometimes no shoulder but less traffic. Nice scenery. At 41Ks, t-junction Hwy 1, left, 2-lanes, no shoulder. (on Sunday , no trucks at least). Rolling. Traffic in PM becomes hellish. Really bad riding. Off the road often in narrow busy places. Not recommended. Town 84Ks.
Seremban to K.L.I.A. Airport 52Ks
Out on N38. Divided 4-lanes with a cycle lane. At 4Ks, stay right up ramp. Easy climbing. At 6Ks, 2-lanes, no shoulder but quiet. Now on Hwy 195. Gentle rolling. At 14Ks, stoplight. Right, on Hwy 1265. Some choppy hills, 2-lanes, no shoulder. Moderate traffic. Nice scenery. At 16Ks, left (follow signs to KLIA) on 1266. Moderate hills, some traffic and some big trucks. 2-lanes no shoulder. At 29Ks, T-junction B48. Right. At 31Ks, a shoulder. At 33Ks, left (follow signs). Continue to follow signs on 4-lane highways all the way with a 3-meter shoulder. The last 2Ks, there’s no shoulder but 4-lanes. Not bad. KLIA at 52Ks.
emails from February 2007
The biking in Malaysia has been 50/50, Good/Bad. This country is booming with housing developments, Mega Malls and everyone has a car. They are building roads with separate motor cycle lanes but not fast enough. We rode up to the Cameron Highlands and cooled off. The 60K downhill winding from Tea plantations into the jungle was so much fun we caught a bus back up and did it again the next day. Our favorite city is Malacca. It is more Chinese than China because they preserve and maintain the old Chinese architecture. The Malay food is a delicious mix of Indian Curry and Chinese. We spent one day in Singapore and it is pristine colonial government buildings, large parks, and unique modern skyscrapers. Clean, Clean, Clean.
The Chinese, not the Chinese in China but the émigrés to S.E. Asia but the Chinese who struck out for greener pastures.
Thailand – As a Chinese shopkeeper in a small town said,” There is a Chinese in every Thai town.” We learned they are always in business and usually the richest man in town. They also speak English. The Thais seldom speak English in spite of an economy based on Tourism.
Malaysia – A Chinese Laundry owner was all too happy to share his opinions with us. 1) The Chinese make up 26% of the Malaysian population. 2) The Malays procreate so fast that the Chinese influence is deteriorating. 3) The Malays marry young, have multiple wives and many children, It’s the Muslim way. 4) Give 100,000 to a Malay and 90% go to his living and 10% to business. The reverse for the Chinese. 5) All politically appointed positions and contracts go to Malays. The Chinese are in business where they can be. 5) As usual, the Chinese have the most money and there is resentment. 6) For Chinese New Year – Fire Crackers were outlawed because the Malay kids don’t know how to handle them. Let it be said the Malaysian economy is booming.
Indonesia – The economy is struggling. Nothing works. They have great natural resources but you get the sense that they are sliding backwards. Some 20 years ago, populism reared it’s head, the Chinese were the rich scapegoats and they were kicked out of the country. It seems that Indonesia lost it’s economic engine.
Singapore – The Chinese are in control and are almost 80%. Order is imposed but the entrepreneurial spirit is burning strong and so is the economy. No city in the world has anything on Singapore. The only blight (which they were cleaning up) was the mountain of debris left over from Chinese New Year in the park.
P.S. Mardi Gras, St Pat’s Day and our New Year are sprints compared to the Chinese New Year which is a marathon lasting for 2 weeks or one phase of the moon.
For What It’s Worth
The tourist office in Johor Baru was excellent. Also descent maps are available.
This enthusiastic man will help any bikers to come to Malaysia
– UCI International Cycling Commissioner
– President, Sha Alan Cycling Club
– SJ Cycles (M) Sdn. Bhd
– Chairman, Section 8, Resident association
No. 49, Jalan Cerun 8/1C
Section 8, 400000 Shah Alam
P:/Fax (603) 5512 4457