A Malaysia is a country that surprised us in every single way, a multicultural country, full of colors and flavors, good roads to cycle on, beautiful beaches and amazing people. We cycled for a month there and we highly recommend this destination for your next cycle tour.
Malaysia visa for us Brazilian is granted upon on arrival, either via airport or maritime terminal, with a maximum of 90 days.
The roads in Malaysia are great, good asphalt and a reasonable shoulder, which makes the cyclist’s life much better, besides that the drivers respect us. As usual we chose to cycle in the secondary roads most of the time, so we do not have to worry about the cars and the traffic, but eventually, we cycled in the main roads, which was fine. Cycling in Malaysia was very quiet in relation to everything, but having good roads and drivers who respect us, makes all the difference. You can follow our route in the link below.
We arrived in Malaysia by boat, from Dumai in Indonesia to Malacca, you can check the prices at the post about Indonesia. Being a small country we did not use another means of transportation. When we arrive at the capital, Kuala Lumpur, we choose to use the subway, as every big main city, Kuala Lumpur is not made for pedestrians and bicycles. Luckily it was a Sunday and we could put the bicycles into the subway, Sunday is the day that is allowed to put bicycles into the subway, we had to remove the panniers from the bicycles to enter, but it was our best option, as crossing the whole city by bicycle would be unpleasant.
There are several islands in Malaysia and we visit two islands, Penang and Langkawi islands, the only way to get there is by boat. Penang island we took a ferry, the price was 0.50USD one way, there is a bridge that goes to Penang, but only car is allowed to cross, the ferry takes 10 minutes. To get to Langkawi island, we took a boat from the city of Kuala Perlis, the journey lasts an hour and a half and the price of the boat was 4.30USD per person and 4.06USD per bike, one way.
There are not many options for camping in Malaysia, but this will not be a problem, we camped only once in the city of Port Dickson, the camping was free in a beachfront space, they charged to use the bathroom which was 0.24USD. Malaysia was a country where we did not stay in Hotels, the Warmshowers community works really well and we could count with the firefighter department, they were extremely solicitous and always allowed us to spend the night there, sometimes they gave a space to put the tent and sometimes, they gave us a room, in 90% of the times we slept in the firefighter department, which helped us a lot to save some money.
Southeast Asia is one of the cheapest places to travel, whether backpacking or cycling and the food is not different, there are many options of street food and because it is a multicultural country, it is difficult to choose the best food, in Malaysia, you will find Indian, Chinese and Malaysian food. But just like in Indonesia, we chose to cook our own food, to save money, the street markets are also famous, and buying vegetables and fruits there is much cheaper than in the big supermarkets. The most famous big supermarket is the Giant, but you will find in the cities that are relatively large, it is not common to find a convenience store, but in smaller cities, there are several options of small supermarkets.
In Malaysia, there is a very interesting mineral water refill system, which is very good to consume less plastic and also save some money. They are refill machines spread all over the country, it was easy to find and had at every city we passed through, the average price to refill 3 liters of water is 0.50USD. It is worth to mention that the tap water is not recommended to drink.
Being a multicultural country, there is not a predominant religion there, in some places you will find Islamic influences, in another one Chinese Buddhism and in others the Indian Hinduism. This cultural diversity was what we found the most beautiful there, and we were able to live and learn about different beliefs and ways of living. We believe that it is important to mention the religions of each country, for the respect and to know how to behave before goes to new places makes the difference. Always keep your mind open to the new, try to absorb the messages of love, do not judge and always be grateful for your life.