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Cycling to Pangkor from the north,
an alternative road to Pangkor

So how can you go cycling to Pangkor from the north?  I mean, a route that only few people take. An alternative route avoiding the main well traveled paths? Almost all long distance cyclists do not want to take the main road, do not want to go where everybody else go. Ain't it the truth? Sometimes it's so easy to find an alternative road to your destination.

On the way to Pangkor, Thailand

On the way to Pangkor, to Betong, a great view over the artificial lake

There are several ways to enter Malaysia overland from Thailand. For the most Hat Yai is the main city in the area.

You can take a train or bus from here to Penang. However, on this page I will show you how you can cycle to Malaysia and ultimately to Pangkor.

  • Hat Yai - Padang Besar - Alor Setar - Penang - Taiping - Lumut (Pangkor)
  • Hat Yai - Yala - Betong - Kuala Kangsar - Lumut (Pangkor)
  • Hat Yai - Satun - ferry to Langkawi

Hat Yai-Padang Besar-Penang-Taiping-Lumut (Pangkor)

This is the most common route people travel. It's a nice ride through Perlis and Kedah to Alor Setar and Penang. This road is regular traveled by all travelers (train, bus and private transport alike).

Perlis, near the Tahi border, an ostrich farm

You will cycle for the most on ongoing roads except when you choose to cycle along the coast on the K1 from Alor Setar to Sungai Petani (this is NOT the trunk road) and pass Gunung Jerai on the west side.

After Sungai Petani, you will have to take the main road to Butterworth and futher to Taiping and Lumut.

Although this is for the most a very nice road, especially the Perlis part and the road along the coast from Alor Setar to Sungai Petani, I prefer the road from Hat Yai to Betong.

More details about this route here on my bicycle website.

Cycling to Betong, wide open and quiet roads in Malaysia

Not far from the Thai border at Betong

Hat Yai-Yala-Betong-Kuala Kangsar-Lumut (Pangkor)

This is my prefered route. It leads through the quiet countryside to Yala and from there south to Betong. Betong is a little border town in the far south of Thailand. From here you have the choice either to cycle in a day to Penang or top Kuala Kangsar (could be in 1 or 2 days).

On the way from Betong to Kuala Kangsar, near lengong

Near Lengong

Kuala Kangsar is a day cycling from Lumut. The road leads via Manong to Bruas and further to Ayer Tawar and Lumut. It's a very scenic route except the last 15 km's where you cycle on the busy road that connects Ayer Tawar with Lumut.

More about this route here:

The beautiful Mosque of Kuala Kangsar

The beautiful Mosque of Kuala Kangsar

Satun - Langkawi - Penang - Lumut (Pangkor)

Some others go to Satun and take the ferry to Langkawi. Langkawi is a duty free paradise although it's not so cheap as some want you to believe. From Langkawi you can take another ferry to Penang or you can take a ferry to the mainland and cycle from there (Alor Setar) to Butterworth.

Check my cycling in Kedah page here.


Betong to Penang

After the Betong border, you will follow the road to Pengkalan Hulu. It's a small town though you will find banks, hotels, a great little curry mee stall near the Petronas filling station and roads south to either Gerik and Kuala Kangsar or a little north and west to Baling and Butterworth.

Malaysian border at Betong

The road to Butterworth is quite straightforward. Follow the roads to Baling, with some nice view just after Pengkalan Hulu. Baling it self has some nice attractions for a day. When you cycle further west, you will come to Binjul, about 18 km from Baling. You can choose now the fast and easy way, which is straight on. Alternatively you can take the junction to Sungai Petani.

This road is scenic and quiet until you reach Sungai Petani. You can however make it more interesting to follow some back roads to Padang Serai and Sungai Dua. Road signs are all straight forwarded so you won't get lost. And the roads are in great condition with no more then a little local traffic.

Finished reading about cycling to Pangkor from the north? You may want to go back to our "Travel to Pangkor" page

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