Port Dickson is a truly idyllic seaside sanctuary from the hectic madness not far to the north. The Avillion Admiral Cove is a meticulously reclaimed semicircular lagoon prodding west along the Straits of Malacca.
With turquoise waters and a gradually receding beach front, it’s a perfect spot for classy resorts…and sport.
For 17 years, this Avillion Admiral Cove has been host to the annual Port Dickson International Triathlon, one of the few this part of the world.
With clean sweeping beaches and protected lagoony marinas, it’s not hard to see why this is such a popular spot for tourists and hardcore triathletes.
And where there is tourism, there is food. Just down the road are a number of popular seafood restaurants. One iconic eatery is based in a multi-tiered Chinese shrine. The rest have your usual assortment of resting flora and fauna.
With the sportspeople come a rainbow variety of vividly coloured equipment and accessories!
As you may have noticed, bicycling is our passion! Currently we are hosting a cycling experience around Penang Island, with bike rental if you require.
One of our usual routes is along the northern coast of Penang, riding through Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang.
You can tackle some of Penang’s scenic hills firsthand!
This here is Pearl Hill (Bukit Mutiara) which is nestled in the suburban slopes of Tanjung Bungah. Entirely optional, as it is a bit of a workout with the constant gradual climb, but nothing a seasoned cyclist can’t handle!
We will take a ride along the windy and winding roads of the northern cliffs, and make our way past the towering resorts and beaches that Penang is famous for.
We can also take a bike hike up to the Teluk Bahang Dam (and further beyond into the hills if you’re a seasoned climber).
We’ll pass all the fun places in Penang, such as the Escape Theme Parks as well as the Entopia Butterfly Farm.
And of course there will be fruit and food and drinks!
There are many intriguing and picturesque sights to see.
We host casual fun rides around Penang all the time, so feel free to contact us and join one of our cycling experiences!
Ipoh has always been a unique concoction of culture and art and limestone and soul, a magnificent microcosm of modern Malaysia.
While the adornments may not be entirely original – even largely derivative as a lot of modern art and popular culture tends to be, Ipoh puts its own sublime spin on what it means to be a Malaysian metropolitan landmark city.
With extravagantly large visuals (you’ll notice Ipoh is noticeably larger in print on road signage) and splashes of colours between heritage colonial buildings, Ipoh is evolving out of the umbra of its larger brothers that flank it to the north and south.
Easily compared to Penang and Melaka, Ipoh has always been that hub town on the road down to KL or Cameron Highlands. But I’m afraid that is no longer the case.
While retaining its former identity as a British colony and tin mining town, Ipoh is rapidly blossoming into a tourist city rife with vivid colour and character.
Ipoh has a strange phenomenon where existing narrow terres townhouses have been extended upward. You can still see the remnant of the original roof poking out between crushed concrete.
And like any tropical town, Ipoh is alive with green and vegetation, tying it back to its simple Malaysian roots.
And of course it wouldn’t be a modern city without some swanky street art!
Remnants of the colonial era stand strong against the tropical elements.
A while back I posted a brief blurb on cycling in China. Here are more snapshots of my forays into Guangzhou, the broadest state in China (not literally).
Guangzhou is a widely spread city that is not too vertically striking, with many sectors and a whole lot more people. And where there’s people, there’s food to eat!
Guangzhou is a very wet place, with regular light showers and high humidity. However, don’t let that get you down.
Durians are popular in China now, although you probably won’t find them for this price anymore.
The food is excellent, and the serving sizes are generous.
The cats also enjoy the local hospitality, and wherever they fit they sit.
Guangzhou has an old colonial sector on its own little island, where the rustic buildings are stark reminders of when the West had a foothold in the East.
Did I mention Guangzhou was wet?
Overall, Guangzhou has a decently relaxed feel to it, with a large gentrified area of classic buildings with an ageing population. If you venture into some of the newer districts and night markets, the energy is still very much alive, but this place clearly has a lot of history and it’s not going anywhere fast.
Nestled in the southern edge of Western Australia, south of Perth, are some tranquil and verdant attractions that are worth the visit if you can spare the miles (I know we use kilometres, but you have to admit it’s not as poetic).
You get some amazingly picturesque views, as well as all sorts of quirky art and craft dotting the landscape. In some cases, it kind of takes over…
Welcome to Gnomesville – a cute little project started by some local residents that took off and turned into a not-so-little attraction.
Anyone and everyone is welcome to bring their contributions and leave them in this somewhat eldritch forest deep in the alcoves of the shire of Dardanup.
There is a place in Malaysia that is said to look like the head of a dog. I can certainly see the resemblance, although I feel a nicer name for it would be the land below the wind. Also known as the state of Sabah.
Now upon this little dog’s head lies two pointy ears, which is home to the Tip of Borneo. The locals call the place Simpang Mengayau, and historically it is the place of battle, where the indigenous tribes of Sabah used to fend off invaders from the sea.
See that little purple point named Kudat? That’s the nearest town to the Tip of Borneo.
It is upon this particular ear that sits a large round ornament to mark the north-most edge of East Malaysia and the land below the wind.
If you don’t have time to scroll through pictures, here’s a TL;DR in video form!
The land below the wind awaits you!
The sunset is also quite impressive, since from this edge of the world one can see from east to west. You know which way to look for sunset, right?
And just a short distance from this gnarly peak is the town of Kudat. It is a few hours drive away (around three if all goes well) from the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu.
Kudat is a tranquil little seaside town, with a population of not-very-many. It is in Kudat that exists a monument that marks the birth and beginning of East Malaysia – when Sabah and Sarawak were formed.
To be honest, I’m still not sure how Malaysia managed to secure a whole stack of land that it wasn’t even connected to. Indonesia didn’t want it, I suppose.
To get to Kudat, you’ll first need to hit up the main hub and fly in to Kota Kinabalu. So let’s backtrack to the lively coastal city of KK!
It’s got all the views!
And boats. Lot of boats.
KK has some impressive markets – from local produce to handicrafts to cheap electronics.
I think you can see a theme here.
A place just south-west of the city centre that I would definitely recommend for a quick visit is Tanjung Aru. It’s a little suburb sandwiched between Kota Kinabalu city centre and the airport, approximately five klicks from that budget hotel you’re staying at.
In Tanjung Aru is the popular Aru Beach.
Did I mention it was popular?
There’s tourists from all over the world crawling all over it.
And if you’re lucky you’ll spot some other things along the way.
And just a brisk walk from the Aru Beach is Perdana Park, which has a daily light show in their water fountain from 7pm onwards at every half hour interval.
Now I’m not sure how culturally relevant water light shows are, but it’s a pretty well coordinated one with some classic tunes. Definitely worth a visit.
There’s also plenty of eateries in the area.
Once you’re back in the KK city centre, you can wander around to grab some seafood.
Or you could hire a bike!
There are rental bikes at the town hall.
There’s also a pretty neat pedestrian and bicycle path that runs along the coast of KK.
It’s a good five kilometres or so, and it’s actually relatively uninterrupted (unlike some other paths).
Apart from that, here are some snapshots from the pretty places around Sabah: