Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why and How I start Cycling

Why and How I start Cycling
So far I have done a few cycling journeys. It started about 5 years ago when I met some cyclists in Parit Buntar, Perak, Malaysia its 45km from Penang. They had great stories about what they experienced. I became enthusiastic and bought a bicycle myself. That was at the end of 2003.
Round Malaysia in 14 days. The first thing I did was to cycle around Malaysia. I soon found out there were only a few Malaysians cycling. For many reasons cycling was never popular except for children. Of course the heat was an important factor. But I do not suffer much from the heat. I cycled around Malaysia in 14 days. I made many new friends. I learned quickly that in the west people are more used to cyclists. But here in Malaysia it's all different. People were friendly, probably curious would be a better word. Those 14 days were a great experience. In Parit Buntar many people started to know my new found love for cycling. Whenever a cyclist was on the way to Parit Buntar, they called me and I would pick them up to show them around my hometown and listen to their stories and tell them a few stories myself.
South Thailand
From the first journey to the next was a small step. South Thailand became the next destination. I went to many different places in South Thailand including Phuket, Krabi, Ko Samui but also to lesser known places such as Songkhla. Making friends in Thailand I went all over and had a great time. But being back home I felt there was more to explore. I started to plan a longer journey which eventually ended up with a plan to ride in Thailand and visit the countries that border Thailand.
Asean Countries
The "40 Days Great Bike Ride" The plan was simple, ride around the border of Thailand on the "other" side of the border. It was the idea to cycle to Siem Riep (Angkor in Cambodia) from Bangkok, then back to Thailand, into Laos. Next would be Vietnam and through China to Myanmar and then back into Thailand. It went actually a bit different. Very soon after I started doing some research it was clear I couldn't do that much. China, according to some cyclists I met, was definitely too much for the time I had available. Another problem was an overland border to Myanmar. There's none you can cross. Not even Malaysians are allowed. (We do not need visa for these countries). Due to a lack of time I couldn't do as much cycling as I wanted. So I went by train to Bangkok and started cycling to Cambodia. Through quite rough road I went back to Thailand, cycled further to Mukhdahan and crossed into Laos to Savanaketh. Now I cycled to the Vietnamese border but due to some things I had to take the bus to Hanoi. From here I cycled to the Vietnamese-Lao border crossing close to Dien Bien Phu but I couldn't cross. I went back to Hanoi, took a bus back to Laos and went straight to North Thailand to get a little bit of a Burmese experience. After visiting the Golden Triangle, I had to go back South. Hardly any time left but I went to Southern Thailand to the island of Ko Tao for a rest.
Cycling in South India
On the 4th of December 2006 I will finally visit the country of my ancestors. Preparations are in full swing now. The flight ticket is arranged, and so is the visa. The plans is to stay 45 days in South India, cycling from Madras to Nagarcoil south and make to a loop to Kerala before visiting some of my relatives living near Madras. I will keep you informed.
On the 16th December 2007 I finally cycle to Java, Indonesia, I start in Jakarta to Bali for 28 days. Please cek my blog -
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Cyclist Home Stay Malaysia Video
This video create by Tim & Cindie.
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On the 10th June 2008 at 8.00am, I start packing my gears and cycle to Kuala Ketil to meet my brother and some friends. I will stay a night in his house and leave the next day to Sungai Petani, Gurun. Gurun is where I start working in my young days as a School Lab.Attendant. I have many friends here, hope to meet some of them. I may put up a night in Gunong Jerai near to Guar Cempedak. My next stop will be in Alor Star, I too have many friends here. Most of them are badminton players. I was onces a Kedah State Singles Champion 1974-1976. I was working in Kojel Sultan Hamid and Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Alor Star before I am transfer to Bagan Serai, Perak. Alor Star, Kangar and Padang Besar. A night in Sadao Thailand and I am taking a train to Bangkok. Why I am taking a train is because my earlier trip in South Thailand I have done Sadao to Bangkok. My journey will start again from Bangkok, Lop Buri, Sing Buri, Nakonsawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Uttaradit, Phrae, Phayao, Chiang Rai, Mae Chan, Chiang Saen. Expecting about 1000km from Bangkok to the Laos Border.
Now in north Laos I have to work on map when I get there.

Thanks to Hash House Harriers of Bagan Serai, Parit Buntar and the neighbouring charters for supporting my cycling to China and the rest of my travel.
And not forgeting my Malay, Chinese and India friends in Parit Buntar, Kuala Kurau and Tanjong Pinang.