A popular cycling route in the northern Malaysian region is the trip to the beach of independence – Pantai Merdeka. This independent stretch of beach is a prominent spot along the Kedah coastline, right at the delta of the Muda River where it meets the sea.
Typically we begin from the R&R just past the toll gates of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR, as the local cyclists call it). It’s a straight ride up from the Butterworth Ferry Terminal.
As expected of a sleepy coastal town, fishing is the go-to activity and thus the seafood is abundant. Mee Udang is a readily available dish, although I’m told the place we went to (a hill away from Pantai Merdeka) is the best.
And the best Mee Udang is actually at Pasir Salak, not Pantai Merdeka, although there is a stall at the food court there.
Pasir Salak is over a kilometre away from Pantai Merdeka, and is a little industrial zone with a little island (bemusingly named Leftover Island – Pulau Baki in Malay) just off the beach.
Not letting sleeping cats lie.
The road to Pantai Merdeka is fairly well marked out. However, there are a few alternate routes to reach the final stretch of beach, so definitely have a check beforehand.
Along the way to Pantai Merdeka, there is a prominent monument to the victims of the tsunami that hit the northern region back in 2004.
You can kind of make out the big stack of dinghies on the right.
And there’s that sign pointing the right way.
And now for lots of rider photos!