Tired of biking at the same place where you stay? Wanna try something new and exciting? Then, how about Langkawi Island (or known as Pulau Langkawi to the locals)? You can get good food, nice beach resorts and international jamboree tracks.
Where is Pulau Langkawi? It is located ~120km north of Penang. There are many ways to get there.
- Flight (Langkawi International Airport)
- Boat services thru Penang, Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah
The flight time from Penang to Langkawi is 30mins or by boat is ~3hrs. The boat ride is quite comfortable with air-con and TV to kill time. Priced we paid was $115 returned and $10 extra (1 way) for the bike.
Our boat to Langkawi
I did a 3 days tour with 1st day immediately off to off road trails and 2nd day was Gunung Raya ride. On the last day, I took some time off for sightseeing and finding good food. We engaged a local bike shop – JMB Cycle for the off road trails. You may look them up at Facebook for contacts and arrange for the off road tour, bike repair services or homestay.
Day 1. On the same day we arrived, we took off to off road trails. We were told parts of the trails were used by the Langkawi International MTB Challenge. The trails covers about 20-30km with ~80% off road and ~20% tarred. I would say this trail is easy to moderate hard with no steep climb, jump or drop. Just a few swallow stream that you can pedal thru or carry your bikes over. There were 2-3 areas you need carry your bike over fallen trees or fences. The only thing you may not enjoy this trail are leeches… Lots of it! But, don’t let that stop you. Once you reach the top of the hill, you have a nice greenery view.
The bike carrying 🙂
Finally the view
Day 2. Gunung Raya ride is 100% on a tarred road and it is about 55km (returned) from where we stayed (Taman Seri Berlian). It is recommended to start your ride early in the morning to avoid a scorching afternoon sun and traffics. To get there we have to go thru a few small hills before reaching the foothill of Gunung Raya. From the foothill to the top is about 13km with an elevation of 881m. It is not a difficult climb with most part of the trail is <4 degree gradient. Things you will need to prepare before going up are water and probably some Snickers bars. The road is so deserted that you can hear birds singing and crickets chirping. So, there is no store for you to buy food or water. The temperature is started to drop as you go up and it can be cold if your shirt is wet. At the top of the hill, there is a restaurant (D’coconut Hill Resort) you can refuel stomach and water before continue with your journey.
So deserted that no cars coming
The View Starting to be cold ride Finally at top view
Day 3. This was our last day in Langkawi and I took a rest from another off road ride which my friends did. Instead I went for the Langkawi Cable Car ride which I have not been to. Then follow by a nice meal at The Loaf at Telaga Harbor Park Langkawi. I would recommend their pastries and bowl of soup which are delicious.
Cable car ride The suspension bridge (suspended for >1yr) The Loaf
If you are not a MTB person, you can bring your road bike to do Gunung Raya and go around the island. The estimate distance is about 77km for round island but you can extend it to 115km by going into Tanjung Rhu Beach and The Datai Bay. Or you can do half island which is 34km if you do the east part and 62km on the west side of the island. During the low season (not Nov-Dec and major public holidays), there were not many traffics.
There are few beaches you can go to while you are not pedaling such as Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah and Tanjung Rhu Beach. Langkawi is a duty free port, so you can get the imported chocolate, beer and cigarette at <1/2 of what you paid in Peninsula Malaysia.
Other interesting things for your family to do while you are out pedaling. The kids can enjoy the Bird Paradise, Underwater World Langkawi, take a boat ride out to feed eagles, visit rice padi field (Laman Padi) and Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach).
Well, enjoy your ride and vacation…