Malaya Tour On Two Wheels

exploring malaya - rider chris
Mount Ledang National Park

2020, what a year it has been for all of us! Since the Borneo Ride 2.0 didn’t happen as Sarawak still requires 14 days quarantine, I’ve changed to tour Malaya, utilise my approved leaves and also fix my desire for long ride

I’ve been postponing my ride plans from time to time due to the Covid-19 pandemic but I’m glad that I was able to tour Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) the second time when the Movement Control Order (MCO) were relaxed In December 2020.

The first Malaya Tour was more kind of a loop using coastal roads and for this time around, I rode within the states to see more places.


Malaya Tour Challenges

Travelling during Covid-19 Pandemic

It was a difficult decision to make and I had my leave approved for 2 weeks which I need to clear them. Staying at home for 2 weeks without doing anything would drive me insane as I’ve been working from home for quite some time now.

During this trip, I’ve maintained Covid-19 SOPs all the time and sanitized my hands regularly before touching any parts of my body and remained vigilant. Since it was a solo trip, I’ve reduced the risk by avoiding gathering, meeting fellow riders and most of the time, all the places I went to has less/no tourist.

If you think I shouldn’t have travelled during the pandemic, think again about the economy, especially those places who have been relying heavily on tourists for the source of their income. Thousands of people have lost their job when their company downsized/ceased operations, some are struggling to provide for their families.

Yes, we are all in the same (Covid-19) storm but not on the same boat. Some have yachts, some have sampan but some are also drowning. I am just playing my small part by supporting local businesses and also do what I’m passionate about.

Without travellers spending locally, people may get depressed when they can no longer make their ends meet and the social issues could have be even deadlier than the pandemic.

Think about it, the risk is always there, maybe the house next to you is already exposed. Life has to go on as Covid-19 is already in our community. Honestly, if everyone can maintain Covid-19 SOPs at the highest standard, the risk of transmission can be minimised but can we all follow it 100%?

I also did a Covid-19 test 12 days after my trip and it was negative.

Chris's covid test
Chris’s Covid Test

Rain & Flood

For the first few days, I rode in the rain most of the time and I also had to go through the flood at some sections of Terengganu & Kelantan. The worse one was at Rantau Panjang as Sungai Golok (Golok River) has overflowed and sunk the town.

As I wanted to go via Jeli-Gerik route to Kedah, I got stuck in Rantau Panjang and since my exhaust is just next to the engine (at the bottom), I was struggling to cross the flood and I may have burned 20% of my clutch to ensure I do not close the throttle, else water could be sucked into my engine via the exhaust.

I managed to pass those flood sections with knee-high but there was a point where the water level was about 1 Meter high and decided to not try anything stupid to cross as my machine would not make it. Made a u-turn and re-route to Jeli via Tanah Merah and escaped the flood. (lucky!).

Rantau Panjang Flooded

The Panic

Ok, I am careless and it’s been happening a few times on my trips now. I’ve been trying hard not to but oh god, some old habits don’t die!

When I was at Kelam Cave in Perlis, I walked into the cave for about 300M and realised that my motorcycle keys are no longer in my pockets and rushed back to my motorcycle. The panic moment kicks in when I don’t see the keys at the motorcycle or anywhere surrounding it.

It was about 6:30 PM and I only have 1 hour left of daylight and the next morning, I need to ship my bike into Langkawi Island. My fear was that I’ve dropped the keys into the river in the cave and kicking my self for not bringing another set of keys which I thought about it before starting this tour!

Whilst I was thinking, I was looking at the photo album on my phone and checked on the first photo that I captured here. I then saw the photo below and zoomed it. Guess what, I saw where I placed the keys when I first took photo of this cave signage! LUCKY!!! it’s still there.

Found my keys!

Travel Log

This may not be the detailed routes that I’ve ridden as I often take a detour but it would give you an idea on the places I’ve explored.

If you want to read about my daily summary notes for this trip, go to my Facebook page and find the posts between 15th-30th December 2020. Also, to view full photo album of this tour, click here.

NOTE: Please click on the image(s) below to enlarge and click on the (i) icon for information about the photo/places.

Day 1

Route: Selayang – Port Dickson – Melaka

Places Of Interest:

  • Batu Putih Hill
  • Cape Rachado Lighthouse
  • Coastal road to Melaka via Pasir Panjang
  • Christ Church

Day 2

Route: Melaka – Tangkak – Muadzam Shah – Temerloh

Places Of Interest:

  • Taman Negara Gunung Ledang
  • Bukit Ibam’s Blue Lake
  • Scenic view along the route

Day 3

Route: Temerloh – Jeranut – Sungai Lembing

Places Of Interest:

  • Kota Gellangi Cave
  • Gypsy Garden cafe
  • Jerantut Town

Day 4

Route: Exploring around Sungai Lembing

Places Of Interest:

  • Lembing River Town
  • Charas Cave
  • Kolong Pahat village
  • Sungai Lembing Mines
  • Panorama Hill

Day 5

Route: Sungai Lembing – Chukai – Marang

Places Of Interest:

  • Rusila Village
  • Marang Beach

Day 6

Route: Marang – Kuala Terrenganu – Jertih – Kota Bharu

Places Of Interest:

  • Draw-Bridge Terengganu
  • Scenic view along coastal road
  • Masjid Russia
  • Mangkuk Village
  • Wooden Surau in Setiu
  • Kek Mas Beach’s sand dune

Day 7

Route: Kota Bharu – Ratau Panjang – Tanah Merah – Jeli – Sungai Petani

Places Of Interest:

  • Beijing Mosque in Rantau Panjang
  • “Kashmir” Jeli
  • Scenery along Jeli-Gerik-Baling Route

Day 8

Route: Sungai Petani – Kodiang – Wang Kelian – Kuala Perlis

Places Of Interest:

  • Mount Jerai
  • Wat Sukkhavutthalai
  • Kodiang Hill View Point
  • Timah Tasoh Lake
  • Wang Kelian View Point
  • Kelam Cave
  • Paddy fields along R121

Day 9, 10, 11, 12

Route: Kuala Perlis – Langkawi

Places Of Interest:

  • Sky Bridge
  • Sky Cab
  • 3D Art Museum
  • Gunung Raya
  • Eagle Feeding Island
  • Mahsuri’s Tomb
  • Eagle Square
  • Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls
  • Dayang Bunting Island

Day 13

Route: Exploring around Penang Island

Places Of Interest:

  • Residence of Ku Din Ku Meh
  • Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi
  • Penang Art Street
  • Chew Jetty
  • Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower
  • Fort Cornwallis
  • St George’s Church
  • Kapitan Keling Mosque
  • Pinang Peranakan Mansion
  • Chaiya Mangalaram Thai Buddhist Temple
  • Dharmikarama Burmese Temple
  • Kek Lok Si Temple
  • Penang Hill
  • Hard Rock Cafe
  • Teluk Bahang Dam

Day 14

Route: Penang – Batu Gajah – Tanjung Tualang – Kampar – Cameron Highlands

Places Of Interest:

  • Victoria Bridge
  • Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5
  • Kellie’s castle
  • Agacia Town in Kampar
  • Lata Iskandar Waterfall
  • Cameron Tea Valley
  • BOH Tea Centre (Sungai Palas)
  • Mossy Forest
  • Time Tunnel Museum

Day 15

Route: Cameron Highlands – Kuala Lumpur


Trip Completion

Sultan Abdul Samad's building

The malaya tour ended in Kuala Lumpur after 14 days. This photo was taken at the “0” KM Marker, which is the center of Kuala Lumpur and the building at the background is the Sultan Abdul Samad’s building.

63 years ago, the British Union Jack was lowered down for the last time here at midnight on 30th August 1957. When the clock started chiming, Malayan (Malaysia later) flag was hoisted for the first time on the 31st of August 1957 which marked the end of British rule in Malaya and officially declared as an independence day. A perfect place to end my Malaya Tour!

I’ve clocked 3105 KM tour for this trip and enjoyed every bit of it exploring places rural areas, caves, cities, coastal roads, country roads, beaches and many more.


Malaya Tour Trip Stats

  • Mileage: 3105 KMs (Inclusive of sightseeing, Off roads etc)
  • Fuel Cost: RM 258.75
  • Accommodation Cost: RM 980.00 (14 Days)
  • Food Cost: RM 350.00 (RM25/day X 14 Days)
  • Shipping (Langkawi): RM 170.00
  • Tourist Attractions Entrance Tickets: RM178.00
  • Grand Total Cost: RM 1936.75

FAQs

Any reservation in advance for accommodation?

No, I didn’t. I kept my plans flexible and I usually end the day ride when I am running out of daylight. The most important thing that I look for a place to stay is to have a secure parking for my motorcycle.

Usually, when I reach a location which I decided to end my day ride, I just open booking dot com app on my phone and look up for nearest hotel/resort which provides secure parking.

My budget is usually RM100.00 for a night and I don’t need anything fancy as hotel is just place for me to sleep and take shower.

How did you ship your motorcycle to Langkawi Island?

Detailed steps can be found here.

Any problems with your motorcycle?

None! It was perfect and completed the trip without any problem.

What is your luggage like and tools like?

Over the years, I find travelling light is the way to go. I have Givi top box installed where I keep all my motorcycle tools and a soft bag strapped at the rear seat where I keep my clothes, first aid kit etc.

I’ve compiled a Motorcycle Travel Checklist which you can keep as reference and modify accordingly for your future trips(s).

Why Ride Solo?

A question that I get often.

I love to ride solo for my long distance trips. Honestly, It can be annoying to ride with me as I tend to make a lot of stops, make a sudden u-turn, try smaller routes where it’s less travelled, hike here and there, spend hours at the beach doing nothing,

Oh yes, I got stuck a few times on rural routes while attempting to do stupid things with my motorcycle but I take it as an experience. Sometimes, 200KM trip can take me 12 hours because I don’t like to rush.

When I ride with someone or in a groups, I can’t do much to explore, I can’t be flexible and often, the riders I met just want to reach the destination fast which is something I don’t enjoy.


Video Highlights

A video of some Interesting Places that I’ve visited during my tour in Peninsular Malaysia.


Conclusion

Honestly, Malaysia has so much to offer the only downside is our tourism board is not doing good enough to promote it. I hope my trip will somehow promote Malaysia to you and most importantly, for you to travel and see our beautiful country.

I often disagree with people when they said there’s nothing much to see in Malaysia. You haven’t seen Malaysia if you haven’t travel via country and coastal roads. Oh yes, Malaysia means including Sabah & Sarawak, not just the Peninsular!

Try exploring at least once in your lifetime (especially to Malaysian) and see it your self. Some of my photos/videos didn’t do justice to the places I’ve been as it’s more beautiful, serene and spectacular!

As the Malay proverb says;

“Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, lebih baik di negeri sendiri”

Which means It may rain gold in someone else’s country, and be hailing stones back in your own country, and yet it is still best to be back in your own country. Yes! it is best to travel in your own country!


Final Say

If you’re planning to do Peninsular Malaysia road trip and if you have the time, compare this and my first Malaya Tour and do your homework on the places you really wanted to go/see.

There’s a famous quote by Paulo Coelho which I liked. It says;

“One day you will wake up & there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”

In other words, you may regret the little things that you always wanted to do such as exploring but you didn’t try enough to make it. It could have been the most priceless memories you’ll cherish in your older days.

As for me, sooner or later my body will start aching as I grow older and with health complications that may come with it, exploring would no longer possible. I just want to live with all the good/bad memories that I’ve created over the decades.

It was never about the CC or speed but it’s all about the journey when you’re on a trip. I’ve previously done a trip with my scooter to 6 Nation’s borders, So a big bike is not necessary.

Have you done tour around peninsular Malaysia? Do you think we should promote it more? Leave your comments below.


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Gordon Reid

Great trip and great report on it, Chris! You are right that it is good to go on roads less travelled – to see things that we and others often miss.

You are also a man after my own heart. I have done two solo trips of 2,000+kms from KL up to Southern Thailand and back – also on a scooter (SYM 250i). Like you, I like the freedom of travelling alone.

Kamal

Nice. Following all ur articles. Very useful tips for riders. Thank you.