You'll check into your comfortable hotel and hopefully have time to explore lovely Georgetown before an evening briefing - if not after. No doubt you will want to sample the famous Penang street food! This is a very special place indeed, an appropriate start for an adventure on a majestic scale. You'll dream of the glorious promise of what tomorrow brings.
You'll cycle a short way to the ferry from Penang Island to the mainland. You're off! An exceptional day of exploring rural Malaysia's very best awaits you - you'll see the country's sleepy backroads and vibrant greens like you've never seen before - from the rice fields to the palm trees, the banana groves and the grassy verges. As you enter Malaysia's smallest and northernmost state of Perlis you really will realise quite how far off the beaten track you have reached. You'll spend the night on the banks of beautiful and remote Tasoh Lake.
Elevation:+ 487 / - 461 m
Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-47m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."
The morning mist adds to the allure of the mysterious karst scenery as the riders head towards the hilltop border. There is a big (but not massive) climb and a rewarding coast down the other side, to stunning views. Outsiders rarely cross this remote border and Thailand welcomes the riders with a large bustling market as well as another glorious downhill into the countryside. Satun Province is safe but sees very few visitors, offering the Mad Dogs a privileged view into hidden parts of Thailand.
Reaching the hilltop border with Thailand!
Elevation:+ 891 / - 922 m
The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 4-267m. The spike to the left is at the border with Thailand, stunning! To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."
The cyclists spend the day enjoying the high-quality Thai roads and the very pleasant countryside. Possibly, being tempted by sweet smelling street stalls. As the town of Krabi is skirted, the karst topography becomes more intense, giving the ﬁnal push toward Ao Nang a real buzz. The day gloriously ﬁnishes on one of the most beautiful and exotic seaside backdrops on the planet.
Elevation:+ 832 / - 833
Don't be alarmed! The scale of the elevation profile above only ranges from 5-64m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."
After bidding farewell to Ao Nang by touring the bay, the first 90km is through the most beautiful, extraordinary karst scenery. You'll dart into and out of villages as the local children wave. You'll then head into the lush hinterland, then take in some lovely coastal routes before victoriously crossing the stunning Sarasin Bridge onto Phuket. From here it's a short cycle to the finish on Mai Khao Beach for celebratory beers and a swim in the lovely sea. What an adventure and what an achievement!
Elevation:+ 1236 / - 1231
The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 4-202m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."
You'll wake up near the stunning beach with a great deal of satisfaction at the adventure that you enjoyed over the past week. Perhaps you're lingering for a few days, but equally you may be heading to the nearby Phuket Airport for the air lift home. Surely you'll first reward yourself with a dip in the turquoise sea!
Please see the elevation profiles above. It's not desperately hilly but there is a good climb up to the border on day 2, and there are some gentle hills on the final day. It is mostly very good quality asphalt which means that hills can be gloriously “whooshed” down.
What type of bike should I bring?
A road bike, fast tourer or hybrid would be most preferable.
Triathlon bikes are not appropriate.
Where does the Challenge start?
At a very comfortable hotel in the heart of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.
Where does the challenge finish?
The Mai Khao Beach area of Phuket - famous for its stunning beach which is directly accessible from the hotel. This is also very conveniently located nearby to the airport.
Which flights should I book to get home?
Penang, Phuket and Krabi airports are well served for flights. Check out skyscanner for the best deals.
Do I need a Visa for Malaysia and Thailand?
Many natonalites are admitted at the borders of these countries without the need for obtaining a visa. Please find out whether you require a visa before travel; if you are in doubt please contact the Mad Dogs team.
“I’m already looking forward to the next chance…” David Doran, management consultant, British