Shameful Cyclists

By Jane Mountain | May 20, 2014

14,302 km so far.

Even though the view outside our room was gorgeous, and the inside of our room was a little grungy, we spent almost the entire morning working in bed.

The beach we failed to appreciate, Langkawi.

The beach we failed to appreciate, Langkawi.

Shame on us.

However, what with planning yoga workshops, writing a daily blog, and trying to plan the very complicated remainder of our trip, we are falling (and feeling) enormously behind.

(Don’t miss: Our guide to everything you need to know before bike touring Malaysia)

Also, neither of us is 100% in the health department, so it was hard to get motivated to move.

Backtracking and Boats

Eventually we did move, just in time to meet our 12pm check-out time. The ride back to Kuah seemed a little easier than the ride out had been, so I guess most of the rolling hills were rolling down for us today.

The views were just as good on the way back on Langkawi.

The views were just as good on the way back on Langkawi.

Lazy cyclists that we are, we’ve decided to get the ferry all the way to George Town, instead of riding the 100 or so kilometres down the coast.

I know, shame shame, double shame.

Our plan was to grab some lunch in Kuah, but there is not really much to Kuah, so we headed to the shopping plaza by the ferry terminal, thinking they’d have some decent tummy friendly edibles.

Our ferry tickets bought, we rolled our bikes into the mall (nobody seemed to mind) and searched the very limited supply of food stands. We could go to Kenny Rogers Roasters, KFC, and a small assortment of Chinese and Indian food stalls. None really appealed to my upset tummy, so we had “lunch” at Starbucks.

Yes, I am deeply ashamed.

Stephen’s note: As am I.

Instead of just heaving our bikes onto the boat across the gap today, the helpful ferrymen lifted our bikes high onto the roof of the boat. They even took Stephen’s up with his small front panniers on. Wow. I guess I can sort of understand why the Kuala Perlis run has banned bikes, if this is the system.

Another few hours cramped inside the ferry, and we were in George Town.

Getting our bikes off the boat was even harder than getting them on, as the dock in George Town was much lower.

bike coming off a ferry in george town malaysia

These guys were very careful and friendly. Thanks!

Um, Like, Wow

The historic centre of George Town is a stunning place!

It has twisty narrow alleyways lined with Chinese shophouses decorated in the style of days gone by, street art everywhere, a laid-back colonial air about the place, and hundreds of cute cafés serving every kind of food and drink imaginable.

mosque in george town malaysia

Mosque in George Town.

George Town easily lands on the list of one my favourite cities so far. Less polished than Luang Prabang, less touristy than Siem Reap, it hits that sweet spot between liveable and touristy right in the bullseye.

We’ll be spending a few days here, so more pictures will be forthcoming.  

Want to see the route map? View it on Ride With GPS.


  1. Comment by Andrée Fournier

    Andrée Fournier May 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    You should not fell shameful! What you are doing is so remarkable! Call yourself ”travellers” instead of ”cyclists” so you won’t fell bad about taking a boat. I know you might have missed some nice riding but you can’t see everything and as you are self-propelled, you have to take really good care of your health :-) Big thank you to make us travel with you!

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane May 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Thanks Andreé! All that we really feel guilty about is Starbucks. The other two we feel OK about.

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