Bicycle Touring Experiences from Malaysia

Malaysia

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Malaysia (you can share your experiences here).



Cycling South East Asia

I am building a touring resource for cyclist in South East Asia at www.silkwheels.com. The site is primarily my own routes but will be developed to hold other cyclists tales and experiences. There is also a forum for Q & A.

Simon Stewart, October 06, 2007

bicycle land travel in malaysia

it's any information degarding bicycle link in malaysia

lim wei ing, July 28, 2007

Airline Bike Policy

We travelled from Adelaide - Australia with Malaysian Airlines to Kuala Lumpur, KLM to Amsterdam, and Aerlingus to Dublin in August 2005.

We were told By KLM (who issued the tickets) bikes would cost 80 Euros and MUST be boxed.

When my partner left 2 weeks before me she was charged A$140.00 as the Quantas staff acting on behalf of Malaysian Airlines who ran the flight on behalf of KLM ... insisted the bikes was excess bagage..!! 2 weeks later when I left there was no charge....!!

On the way home the 80 Euros charge was confirmed by KLM. But when booking in with Aerlingus who ran the first leg to Amsterdam on behalf of KLM the fee we paid was 25 Euros per bike.

Bikes were boxed and suffered considerable damage to the boxes each time - only minor damage was done to the bikes - scratches , broken tail & headlights. lunch papers and other rubbish had been pushed in through some of the many holes in the boxes on the way over.

Robert , September 23, 2005

Train Malaysia (Pinang->KL)

Taking the train with the bicycle is done the same way as Thaiiland. Hand over your bicycle to the bagage depot and its moved into the cargo wagon (on the same train). Note that for traveling to Kuala Lumpur you have to pick-up your bicycle at Kuala Lumpur station, not on the station you arrive (KL central). With the same ticket you can go by commuter to this station (one station away from KL central), which is the old station of Kuala Lumpur. Piece of cake.

Raymond Thuring, August 21, 2004

Tandem Cycle Touring - Malaysia, Thailand, China, Mongolia, New Zealand

Freewheelers is a non-commerical website on tandem cycling in UK, New ZEALAND, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Mongolia (still in progress). Contains route description and country info, equipment ratings, travelogue.

Alistair Morris, February 28, 2004

Taipei / Taiwan - Kuala Lumpur - Rome with Malaysia Air

We left Taipei International Airport with Malaysia Air via Kuala Lumpur to Rome, Italy. We carried two packed touring bikes and many bags with a total weight of 80 kg (incl. the bikes).

The travel agent told us that the max. baggage weight with Malaysia Air will be 20 kg each in economy class. Later we called the counter at the airport that granted an extra bonus of 5 kg each without any arguments, allowing a total of 50 kg for the two of us.

Any extra kilo would be charged at check in with 882 NTD, that’s about 25 USD, they said.

The big shock was when they wanted to weight not only the bags, but the bikes as well. But amazingly the balance measured a total of 49 kg only.

Afterwards on arrival in Rome we measured our two pieces of hand luggage (nobody cared about their heaviness before) and they made an impressing 30 kg together!!!

Patrik, July 01, 2003

Information on getting around in Malaysia on a tandem

Hi there. Those of you want to know whether it is feasible to travel by tandem or bicycle from Kuala Lumpur International Airport(KLIA) to city and getting away from there, please refer to my site for info. Site is updated every time whenever I have more info.
http://www.geocities.com/hurricane_lindasee

tandemania, June 09, 2003

Excess baggage charge for bicycle

I just finished a bike trip in Eastern Europe in August. I had an excellent trip except my baggage story. I flew with Malaysia Airlines with a bicycle from Taipei, Taiwan to Amsterdam.

When I flew back from Amsterdam, they charged me overweight fees for 10 kg and 1 kg is 48.3 Euro. That is 483 Euro. I found this to be an extraordinary amount of money, especially since I was under the assumption my bicycle could travel for free, as it had done on the first flight.

I reluctantly paid the 483 Euro, which is they insisted on "excess baggage charge" policy.

I wrote a letter to Malaysia Airlines head office in Malaysia to ask for a partial or full reimbursement back. I asked nicely to see bicycles in the sport equipment category and should be charged by piece, not charged by weight.

Of course, I didn't get any money back. They described their baggage policy again and ignored my point. I paid 700 Euro on my air ticket, and I had to pay 483 Euro on the overweight fees of my bicycle. That's what I get with cheap flight.

I would not recommend flight with Malaysia Airlines who will travel with sport equipments. The service on the plane is good but the attitude and the way they dealt with my issue is bad.

Make sure the airline's regulations before you go. I paid for the lesson!

Lin Jing Chiu, September 30, 2002

Touring in Borneo, Malaysia

WILDBORNEO.net -- a truly local site dedicated to Malaysian Nature and Travel!

I’d appreciate if you place a link on your website to WILDBORNEO.net.

To learn more about WILDBORNEO.net or Malaysian Nature and Travel visit our website at http://wildborneo.net

Best regards,

Reza

Reza Azmi, June 07, 2002

Singapore Airlines

Flew from Manchester UK to Penang Malaysia

Used VK bike box which contained bike with pedals turned inwards, bars turned in and wheels removed.

Used pipe lagging on bike tubes. Packed case with other luggage/clothes. No problem checking in - was sent through on transfer.

Absolutely perfect -
Singapore airlines are A1!

spooky, April 20, 2002

London (Heathrow)

Found on: touring@phred.org

London Heathrow has four terminals, 1, 2 and 3 in the central area connected by shuttles and walkways. Teminal 4 is some distance away. BA transatlantic flight all use Terminal 4, BA domestic use T1 and most European airlines use T2. When transfering terminals, passengers do not collect luggage or pass through customs, all transfers are done by bus and you remain airside.

When using BA, they have not required any boxing of cycles or even a plastic bag. The check in staff said it's easier to handle a bike when it can be wheeled around rather than carried. In over 30 trips on various airlines around the world only once has an airline asked for the cycle to be boxed or covered by a plastic bag and that was when flying on United to Canada from London. On all these trips only once has any damage occurred, that was on Malaysian Airlines.


John Mooney , March 27, 2002

S&S Machine Couplings

This is my 2nd trip flying from San Francisco, California to Ipoh, Malaysia. On my earlier trip I flew with a full size metal bike box. On this trip, I managed to get a steel road bike that came with S&S couplers. I used standard lugguage (cost me $40 at a flea market) to pack the S&S road bike. Took about an hour 1st time pack it, not too bad. zero problem with the bike. no questions asked, no delay. Bike came out intact, no damage.

I took a few pictures on the bike and how I packed it: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=657797&a=11708528&f=0

I spent 3 weeks in Ipoh, train/ride/race with my Ipoh buddies, went thru muds, tons of water, monsoon downpour. Bike gets lots of attention, probably the 1st S&S bike in Malaysia. The local cyclist/non-cyclists all try to figure out what kind of secret weapon I have installed on my bike??!!

Since the bike is stainless steel, so it's ok. Only when I loosen the coupler, about half a gallon of water came out from the top/down tube!!

This is one of the best, most pain free bike trip!

PS: If you could plan around early Feb to travel to Malaysia, you might got to see the Tour De Langkawi.

Kwan

Kwan Low, August 02, 2001

Transporting Bike from Singapore to Thailand

December 1998 : I wanted to go from Singapore to Southern Thailand to meet up with some friends for a cycling trip. They had put their bikes on the RTM goods train in Singapore the day before they themselves went on the train to Tumpat (near Kota Bharu) and then got the Thai Railways train to Hat Yai.

I could not leave until the following day so I cycled from Singapore via Johore Bharu, took a Malaysian Airlines plane from Senai via KL to Kota Bharu, and then cycled over the thai border at Sungei Golok.

I wasn't charged anything for carrying the bike so it cost me less than the train would have done. This is because internal MAS flights are much cheaper than international flights, even though the distance is almost the same. Other than letting some air out of the tyres I didn't have to do anything about the bike and it was transported unscathed. Ground staff at these provincial airports tend to be rather relaxed.

The 2-hour ride from Singapore to Senai (Johore Bharu airport) wasn't too bad other than the causeway, and the 2-hour ride from KB to Thailand was lovely. I had some suspicious looks from the customs at Sungei Golok who (looking at my passport stamps) thought that I had ridden from Singapore to Thailand in one day!

Lewis Meurig, January 06, 2001

Bike transport on train in Thailand

I have used trains in Thailand.

Travelled about a thousand miles in total, and every journey I slept with my bike in the guards van. I wouldn't like to leave my bike unattended on a Thai train. The guards actually asked me to stay with the bike. The bonus to this was that when the guards ate their meals I got some of their food -excellent!!

One journey cost $8.00 and travelled a distance of 700 miles in 18 hours (it stopped about 100 times). I used a map to show the railway ticket office which stations I wanted to get off at. Oh, I needed help lifting my fully laden bike the three or four feet up to the guards van door, but you will find everyone is willing to help out.

I had a friend (Carl Helliwell) who rode a train out of Calcutta with his bike and 'lost' a pannier , and another friend (Dave Collinge) caught the train from Malaysia into Thailand and had his camera whipped by organised thieves at the border crosssing (where passengers must get off the train).

Ian Yates
Blackburn CTC

Ian Yates, October 03, 2000

Malaysian Air System,Auckland-KL, KL-Yangon (Rangoon)

Malaysian Air System. I flew Auckland-KL, KL-Yangon (Rangoon) return and KL-London. (1998/99) MAS allow you 15kg of sporting equipment for free in addition to your 20kg baggage. Again minimal preparation and very rapid check-in at all the airports. The new Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) does have a cycle access route (approach from Rawang side not Sepang), which is fortunate as all the local roads are motorways. Whether you can find the way is another matter, as none of these roads are on any maps yet. I was able to put my bicycle on the express bus service to the town centre without charge. However this service involves trans-shipping you onto a minibus at a bus depot about 10km from the city centre. The minibus took my bike into the city centre without any problem, though I had a long discussion to get them to accept it in the reverse direction. You could probably cycle to the bus depot - although on a motorway it is only a short distance from a junction. Currently you cannot put a bike on Malaysian trains, so the proposed rail-link to the airport may not help. Yangon Airport is 20km from city centre. You can get good city maps from the tourist board at the airport. The airport is just around the corner from the Highway Bus Station (long distance bus station) - so you might like to go straight there to book your bus ticket up country before going into town.
Ivan Viehoff, August 01, 2000

China Airlines

I used a custom aluminum medal hard case (silver color) to pack my bike.


Check in on San Francisco (SFO) airport with China Airlines, flying to destination Ipoh, Malaysia. Airline just asked me what in it, I reply sports equipment, they let me check in as checkin luggage. When I arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the airline found out my bike case was delayed at Taipei. I continued my flight from KL to Ipoh, Malaysia. They rushed me the case next day to Ipoh and I just picked it up from the airport, custom was easy, they ask what's in it, told them it's a bike I used for training/exercise and will bring in back to US after I done with the trip.


My dad (from Ipoh) drives a Jeep SUV, so transport the bike to my house in Ipoh was no problem.


On the return trip from Ipoh back to SF also problem free, check the case in at Ipoh airport all the way to SF. Case arrived unharmed in SFO airport.


So, transporting the bike was relatively problem free except the 1 day delay when it arrived to Ipoh.


Ipoh is a relatively small town (300,000 population), 2 flights a day Ipoh - KL (capital of Malaysia).


Kwan Low

Kwan Seng Low , April 10, 2000

Jan Boonstra's touring site

Jan Boonstra's touring site specializes in Korea and the far east

Jan Boonstra, March 20, 1999

Thailand

There are two ways of getting into Thailand from Malaysia: through either Padang Besar or Kota Baru. These 2 places may be accessed by train, where you need to get off and pedal across the border. At Padang Besar, the border is just across from the train station; while at Kota Baru, it is about 15 km to the border. Border formalities are pretty straightforward.

Mark Grosse, July 11, 1997

Liability

Recently in light of all the talk regarding the hidden cost differences between airlines. I made an inquiry to the Kansai Airport (Osaka , Japan) branch of Malaysian Airlines about their policy on bicycles as check-in luggage. I was sent a whole scree of photocopied regulations and a letter. The letter mentioned (as I interpreted it to mean) that the bicycle would be treated as a fragile item - no explanation was given of the consequences. However one of the photocopies was of a 'limited release' (based on the assumption that a bicycle is a fragile or inadequately packed object) that I would be asked to sign. I plan to pack the bike wrapped in my sleeping bag in a cardboard box, unfortunately there is no option that I will take a hard case.

Is such a limited release a fair one in this situation? Can I expect to be able to take the bike on the plane if I refuse to sign it? Any advice from anyone would be apreciated.

Roderick Oliver

Mailing Address         Urban Nakasuga B202,          Nishitomii 1259-3,         Kurashiki-shi,         Okayama-ken 710, Japan.  Phone +81-86-422-1658
Roderick Oliver, July 03, 1997

Singapore

I flew into Singapore on United (bike flew for free in a United box I paid $10 for). On my return flight, United had no boxes, but they accepted it unboxed at no charge. After going through customs in San Francisco, they insisted it be boxed on the domestic portion of my flight, but they gave me a free box.

We rode from the Singapore airport into the city in the middle of the night. There was a bike path which began near the airport that went about halfway into town along the waterfront. We also rode back to the airport (at dawn) for our return flight. Both trips were OK.

I flew from Penang to Singapore on Singapore Airlines. Bike flew for free, unboxed. Service was superb. Our check-in agent came running to find us at the gate, just to inform us that he had let some air! out of the tires in case of airplane depressuration. He didn't want us to be alarmed when we retrieved our bikes in Singapore! I also put my bike on a bus from Kota Bahru to Penang. It was a modern bus, air conditioned, video, etc., but I had to take the bike apart to fit it in the baggage compartment.

The biking was great along the entire East Coast of Malaysia plus the island of Penang. Only exception was first day from Singapore to Kota Tinggi, which was hellish due to unbelievable traffic. The next day to Mersing was exactly the opposite: little traffic, and sublime riding through rainforest. Saw lots of monkeys that day!

Neal Teplitz, May 22, 1996

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