The Mad Dogs check into the hotel in the evening which is on the Malaysian side, near the Johor Bahru border with Singapore, facilitating a comfortable early start to the ﬁrst day of the challenge. It's amazing to think that the sands of Krabi (pictured above) are only 7 days of adventure away... There will be an evening briefing in the lobby of the hotel.
The cyclists grab breakfast before heading deep into Malaysia as they start their challenge. The roads are good and the palm trees are bountiful. The cyclists soon learn that plenty of colonial architecture has survived in Malaysian towns and the locals take delight in welcoming the visitors. Service station staﬀ may even ask to pose for pictures! Muar is a lovely old fashioned Malaysian town which is very much true to its roots. You'll explore the old streets, marvel at the wonderfully preserved architecture and dive into the local hawker food.
Muar TownTanjong Sepat
You'll pass through the wonderful old historic centre of Malacca (posing like celebrities for some pictures in front of the iconic red Christ Church!) and also breeze through the resort town of Port Dickson with a tantalising brush with the beautiful beaches and resorts. The cyclists head on into the gently rolling hills and the miles of palm plantations. The day ﬁnishes in a small coastal town that outsiders rarely visit.
Tanjong SepatHutan Melintang
The route bypasses Klang with its church which would not look out of place in France, and heads into some lovely counrtyside. It’s amazing how calm things can seem given that this day the route is bypassing KL.
Hutan MelintangSungai Jawi
This is a long day when the Mad Dogs need to grit their teeth and show their mettle. The riders cross a number of bridges over enchanting jungle-style rivers. The day ends in a small town in Penang State.
Sungai JawiTasoh Lake
The last full day in Malaysia passes through stunning open countryside, punctuated by an enormous out-of-place rock (below). The route skims the northern city of Kangar before heading into the scenic Tasoh Lake area where the cyclists are within striking distance of Thailand.
Tasoh LakeMu Ban Phon Thawi Village
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 too big) 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.
Mu Ban Phon Thawi VillageKrabi
The cyclists spend the day enjoying the high-quality Thai roads and the very pleasant countryside. As the town of Krabi is skirted, the karst topography becomes more intense, making the ﬁnal push toward the ﬁnish a real high point. The challenge gloriously ﬁnishes with cool celebratory beers and one of the most beautiful and exotic seaside backdrops on the planet.
Perhaps the Mad Dogs have requested to spend an extra night in this stunning place. Maybe they are going to head to nearby Railay (reachable by a short, nearby ferry ride), home to one of the most dramatic and beautiful beaches we have ever seen.
When is the next edition?
Early 2016 - next edition's dates will be announced soon.
What is the single supplement? (Note, you will only need to pay this if you do not want to be paired with (an)other rider(s) of the same sex.)
Price on enquiry, but approx US$250
What is the terrain like?
A mixture of flat roads and hills on days 1, 2, 3 and 5. 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 would be very convenient although this is adventure cycling and if you're not good at watching the road for rougher spots, a fast tourer or hybrid may be better.
Where does the Challenge start?
At the Grand Bluewave Hotel in Johor Bahru, Malaysia which is walking distance from the Woodlands Singapore border. Traffic can be extraordinarily busy at the Woodlands Border on Friday evenings so we suggest coming over earlier, investigating travelling through the Tuas border, or simply crossing on foot. If you are appropriately travelling with a rucksack, this will not be a problem. If you are flying in from overseas you may like to consider flying direct to Johor Bahru rather than Singapore, in order to avoid the immigration line. From Singapore, you can order a cross-border "maxi" cab which will allow for max 2 bicycles, to drop you off at the hotel for approx SG$110. Larger vehicles can also be arranged. You may like to look here. If you are coming from Singapore and you would like to share a ride with other participants, please contact us and we will try to put you together with others who are coming at the same time.
Where does the challenge finish?
The Ao Nang area of Krabi - famous for stunning beaches and amazing Karst scenery jutting up from the sea.
Which flights should I book to get home?
Krabi is served by Air Asia and Tiger Air direct to Singapore. There are also flights from Krabi to Bangkok and KL through which you can connect to Hong Kong and other destinations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krabi_Airport. For direct flights to Hong Kong, nearby Phuket airport has flights with Dragonair, Air Asia and Hong Kong Express. A taxi transfer from Krabi to Phuket airport costs approximately THB2,600. Jetstar and Air Asia also fly from Phuket Airport to Singapore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phuket_Airport.
Do I need a Visa for Singapore, 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 took part on the inaugural Singapore to Krabi Challenge in June 2014. I am an experienced sportsman (rowing & marathon / trail running) and yet I can confirm that this was a challenge in every sense! The combination of jet-lag and getting acclimatised to both the heat and the time in the saddle made the first couple of days quite a shock to the system! That said, by the middle of the week, you get into a rhythm and it becomes somewhat easier… The whole experience was made very simple in that the team take on all of the organisational aspects such that you can just focus on the cycling and body maintenance. The excellent and varied meals of an evening were a highlight and something we very much looked forward to each day. I’m confident to say that you could not get this sort of experience independently and for that reason Mad Dogs represents great value for money. In fact, I’m already looking forward to the next chance when my wife will let me go – Japan perhaps…” David Doran, management consultant, British