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Taiping to Huang City on Geoff’s E Asia bike trip

Hotel Huang City
Hotel Huang City

Another very long & hot day. I was beginning to get worried at 70 miles that I would be able to find a hotel at all! However at 87 miles the Hotel Huang City in Hutan Melintang loomed into view, so I quickly paid my £12 and checked  in with the very giggly girl receptionists.

Lovely junk food
Lovely junk food

The main preoccupation of the day was trying to find air conditioned places & cold drinks, preferably together 🙂 7/11 stores are good but they have no seating inside so you have to eat/drink the goodies on the hot pavement. I did find one gorgeous garage that had a small table & chairs inside, in fact I could have stayed in there for hours…

The roads were infernally busy especially with old Chinese Tatra tankers & trucks  belching out black smoke.  Plus the motorcyclists weaving around. The scenery wasn’t to great, once again miles upon miles of palm oil plantations (I guess that is what was in the decrepit old tanker trucks) although at one point I skirted some mountains that looked jungly.

I’m beginning to wonder that maybe I should have stayed on the Eastern side of the country as that doesn’t seem to have any major highways, equally it probably doesn’t have A/C or Western style cold drinks, although that’s pure speculation.

The new saddle has done the trick and I no longer am getting a sore behind, so having a shiny saddle is good for your shorts to slip on, rather than the shorts sticking on the saddle & trying to slip on your bottom thus making  it sore. Probably the secret to the Brookes saddles 🙂

Strava now  reckons I’ve done 2,127 miles of pedalling & 47,643 vertical feet, which according to my reckoning only  leaves another 400 or so miles to do 🙂 in the next 11 days.

Here is todays Strava:

Taiping_to_Huang_City___Strava_RideThe pics of the day are here


Butterworth to Taiping on Geoff’s SE Asia bike tour

1-IMG_8655I left the hotel at 7.20 with the temperature at 27.5 deg C and humidity at 65%. I popped over to the 7/11 store and bought a 1.5litre of orange pulp liquid and some mystery cake for breakfast. The roads were all very busy and very wide, which is  OK in a straight line but a nightmare at junctions especially with the guys on motorbikes whizzing around. Interesting that here  it is all small motor bikes, no scooters or mopeds like in Vietnam,  also they seem in a much bigger hurry & in general obey the lights.

1-IMG_1457Near Simpang Lima  I saw an alternative route marked, the road didn’t appear on OSM but I thought I would try it. Oh dear, it added about 5 miles onto the day and took me through huge palm oil plantations, not the most interesting places. Although it also took me through Bagan Serai a fishing port with a big new bridge over the Sungai Kurau

Really struggling to find any decent cafes as they are all seem to consist of fly infested tables outside in the heat, and nothing I can recognize as veggie food 🙁  In fact it reminds me of Cambodia. Lets hope I have more luck tonight! last nights Indian was very good and my stomach is once again in good order.

With over 63 miles on the clock and the temperatures getting up to 34 degrees again I called it a day when I saw The Potato hotel, rubbish internet again! but at least the AC is good and my bikes in the room with me so I can adjust the saddle, which seems good btw

Here is the Strava:

Butterworth_to_Traiping___Strava_Rideand a few pics here including these ones that reminded me of Moores engine rebore, regrind place in Cambridge that was where Aldi is now!


SE Asia tour continues – Georgetown to Butterworth on the mainland

I finally made it back to the Malay peninsula at Butterworth today. That means I missed about 300 miles of biking in mainland Thailand by using the ferries and visiting the Andaman Sea islands.

I woke up with a touch of the runs, first time since leaving home almost certainly some food from a dodgy street stall in Georgetown, fortunately I was staying local, with the only goal today of getting back on the mainland via the short ferry to Butterworth,

1-IMG_1423Georgetown is obviously backpackers paradise stuffed full of budget hostels etc not really my scene though, although The Camera Museum was well done, I liked the loo roll holders made to look like like old 35mm film canisters & the zoom lens coffee mugs. It’s interesting that the grandkids will have no idea about old film photography they are already perplexed why TV’s don’t have touch screens.

1-IMG_8646I managed to get a new saddle for the bike as the cover was ripped off in all the lugging about on boats plus I delivered a theory that the rubbing on my behind was caused because my shorts couldn’t slip against the saddle. Whereas on my Brookes one at home it can (Hot tip – Always take your saddle with you on your travels 🙂 ) Tomorrow will be the test for the saddle and me as the days are now really hot & humid.

Once i had negotiated my way around the dual carriageways I checked in at the Lodge 18 Hotel in Butterworth, then explored all the amazing electronic component shops etc in the neighbourhood, buying a temperature & humidity meter plus a 14mm spanner in case I have to adjust the saddle.


Lipe to Penang on the ferries

Bike on a long boatFinally managed to extricate myself from the gorgeous island of Lipe although it has to be said the ferry company to Langkawi make very hard work of the border transition to Malaya. As in lets traipse everyone down the  Lipe beach & back to get their passports stamped and then dump said 54 passports in one big bag  & try and find their owners on the boat 🙁 Total & utter nightmare.

If all passport controls were like this..
If all passport controls were like this..

Didn’t really like Langkawi very much apart from getting a new SIM – £12 for 4.5GB of data & the Starbucks 🙁 so I rapidly booked the high speed ferry to Penang, excellent, although it has to be said I get very confused by young guys dressed in western clothes dragging along their women in full burqas,  such blatant hypocrisy & denial of rights really upsets me.

1-IMG_1412Penang seems very pleasant and I found The Muntri House homestay very welcoming with the bike taking pride of place in the foyer although not sure about going on a hike in the night to find the loo 🙁 However, it’s only for one night as they are full tomorrow..

Apparently no bikes are allowed on the bridge to the mainland so will have to take a short ferry across to Butterworth on the main peninsula so I can get biking again.

A few pics can be found here although a possible warning if you are of a jealous disposition