On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Total Distance:188.52
Total Time:10h53m11s
Average Speed:17.3km/h
Maximum Speed:50.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:796.19km

Before I begin, I keep meaning to tell you, I haven't been including any distance not travelled by bike nor the distance spent travelling around places on bike in a leisurely fashion. I feel this would "fudge" the numbers, so to speak.
Let me start by saying today was a far less successful day than those past. I still love Thailand and, just to clarify, do not hold anything that happened upon Thailand or the people who reside here. The first 75km of today's ride was non-stop rain. We're not talking a little mist either. It was a full on down pore. That alone wasn't actually that bad. It was sort of a nice break from the blistering heat. It was rather rainy though, which is my least favorite of conditions to ride in. It makes it like you are constantly going uphill. I was, once again chased by many dogs today. I think I'm going to invest in a water pistol and fill it with bleach or something to spray in their eyes. I know it sounds cruel, but some of them are honestly going in for the kill. The worst thing that happened today, and I do feel really bad about it despite my recently acquired distaste for the Canine kind, I ran over a dog. If all dogs go to heaven, I'm surely going to hell. He was just a little guy too. I didn't kill him, at least I don't think I did. He did get up and stagger off yelping after. I was trying to read a road sign, which can be difficult as the majority of them are in Thai, and I didn't even see him there. The last bad thing that happened was that I got lost. Perhaps it was my punishment for running down Benji. The ride from Trang to Krabi should really have only been about 139km. I didn't actually want to stay in the town, but in one of the places down by the beach. I searched high and low and could find no such places. I know they exist. I have a friend staying in one as we speak. I guess I'm just dense. It added at least an extra 2 hours to today's ride. Eventually I gave up and stayed in town, which turned out to be pretty cool. At least now I know I can do a 190km day.
Last night I stayed in Trang, where my problems with the language barrier continued. It was a pretty boring place. Sometimes the worst part of a bike tour can be where you end up stopping. Everyone there goes to bed at 8pm. Not very fun when you don't arrive until mid-afternoon. Krabi is much better. There's more tourists who come here, so it's a little easier finding people who speak English. I'm going to try to learn some Thai while I here. At least the basics, like how to order food and ask where a hotel is.
I think I will be here a couple of days. I can't linger too long though, as you only receive a 30 day visa upon entering Thailand. I'm going to do Thailand in two shots. One now (the South) and one after leaving Laos (the North). Still it's a long way to the Cambodian border, so I can't dilly-dally.


Total Distance:141.12km
Total Time:7h54m44s
Average Speed:17.8km/h
Maximum Speed:44.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:607.67km

So, I finally made it to Thailand. I arrived in Satun via ferry. Unfortunately, I allowed my laziness to get the best of me and didn't quite make the morning boat. I got to Satun at about 2:00pm, which was too late to start cycling. So, I had no option but to spend the night there. Finding a place to stay in Satun was no easy feat. I did find a place, but unfortunately had to share it with various creepy-crawlies. I spen tthe night enjoying the company of an entire nest of wasps just above the door inside my room. I suppose it could have been worse... I don't know how exactly. I woke early the next morning and was off like a dress on a prom date.
Riding through Southern Thailand was AMAZING! I was impressed by Malaysia. I think mainly because it was something I had never seen before. Malaysia is nothing compared to this. (Sorry Malaysia, I still love you) Imagine riding through a land with towering mountains, fillrd with hidden caves, waterfalls, and beaches. Bamboo huts line the roads. Everything looks beautiful and pristine. This is where I am now. The roads in Thailand, so far, are just as good as Malaysia. The terrain is a little more challenging. That is to say, there are actually hiss that exist here. It's not too challenging though, just enough to keep it interesting. The people are so nice. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, shouts hello to me on the road. I think you get the point. I really like Thailand so far.
I do however have a couple of complaints. The first, and most important particularly to any of you other cyclists put there, is the obscene amount of dogs here. Some are wild, some domestic, I'm positive a few have been rabid. One thing is for sure, they all love to chase down cyclists. They're fast little buggers too. I experienced a couple of problems with dogs in Malaysia, but nothing like this. It's actually pretty terrifying. The second complaint I have, to no fault of the Thai people of course, is the language barrier. I can't even order a meal in a restaurant. I've taken to just sitting there looking idiotic until they bring me something. It's actually worked out. I've had some of the best food since being here. Still, it's hard not being able to communicate in the least. I guess I have to work on my Thai.
So that was my first impression of Thailand, and it was a great one!

The Islands

After all that biking I decided it was time for a rest. A well deserved rest, I might add. I started off by spending a couple of days in Georgetown, on Penang. A very cool city, filled with travellers from around the glob. Most of whom had been travelling for quite some time, with little or no intention of returning to their place of origin any time soon. I met all sorts of folks hanging around that island. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I have to say, my favorite part of Penang was definitely the architecture. European inspired buildings line the streets of this Malaysian Island. It was a great place to wonder around, just checking things out.
After a few days in Penang Fred and I headed to Lankawi via ferry. Lankawi was completely different from Penang. Filled with tourists and geared totally toward them, I must say that sort of thing is not really my cup of tea. Still it was a great place to lay around the beach. I should also mention, as a duty free zone, beer is insanely cheap in Lankawi. We're talking 30 cents Canadian a beer. However everything else is over-priced. I did how ever meet a couple of interesting people. Among them, Les, who is training for the Iron Man Competition. Les, if you're reading this, good luck to you!
I did manage to squeeze a little biking into my time on Lankawi. A great place to bike. My cycling computer broke, and I happened to find a pretty cool little bike shop where I could replace it. I've had good luck with these things so far.
So that was my holiday from my holiday. After a couple of days soaking up the sun in Lankawi, I was off to Satun to resume a cyclists life.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Total distance:92.42km
Total time:4h40m19s
Average Speed:19.78km/h
Maximum Speed:48.48km/h
Total Distance So Far:456.55km

My stay in Taiping was rather uneventful. Excluding, of course, my experience with the AJ Special. I awoke early in order to get a head start. I left Taiping just before 8:00am. I searched for somewhere to have something, anything, for breakfast that wasn't rice, but to no avail. Finally I decided just to eat some of the fruit I had received as a gift the day before along with some peanuts I had in my bag. With a full tank, I was ready to hit the road.
The ride to Penang, again, was rather flawless. There was a fair amount of construction on the roads, which slowed things down a bit. The day was hot. The hottest so far. I tried to keep well hydrated and stopped for plenty of breaks, but there was really no escaping the blistering Malaysian sun. By the time I got to the Ferry Teriminal to Penang I was going a little mad from the heat.
I got off the ferry and found a hostel almost instantly. Accomodations here are very cheap, and the rooms are clean. It's a nice change from a few of the places I've stayed on the road. There are a lot of other travellers here. Most of whom are somewhat long term. It was nice to finally be in a place where there were people ready, willing , and able to engage in conversation. It's always interesting to here other people's experiences. Other than my second day of cycling, I have yet to meet other cyclists. I am told, however, that there are plenty in Thailand and Vietnam. I look forward to running into them.
Penang is a beautiful sight. I think I will stay for at least a couple of days and absorb some of the laid back beach life attitude. After that I will haed to Thailand. I have no definitive route yet, but let you know when I figure it out.


Total Distance:90.94km
Total Time:4h43m03s
Average speed:19.23km/h
Maximum Speed:42.68km/h
Total Distance So Far:364.13km

Sorry I haven't posted for a few days. Access to computers has been few and far between. After a couple of well deserved days rest in Pankor, I hit the road again and headed up to Taiping. Pankor was lovely. Beautiful white sandy beaches, tons of good food. It was quite touristy, which I didn't mind as it had been a while since I'd had anyone to speak to. The unfortunate part was most of the tourists pretty much stuck to themselves. That's okay, like I said it gave me a oppertunity for a much needed rest. I took Fred out on a ride around the island. It was very hilly, which was a nice change of pace. The ride from Pankor to Taiping was relatively flawless. The weather was rather hot. It wasn't unbearable though. The terrain still remained flat. There was a couple of hills near Taiping. I don't know that I would even qualify them as hills. More like slight bumps in the road.
It was a relatively boring ride. I'm afraid I don't have much to report. I stopped for a juice at a little village. There was an older man who took quite a shine to me. He asked me questions about my trip and how I liked Malaysia so far. I told him I liked it very much. before a left he loaded me up with free fruit. For whatever reason the locals have taken to feeding me. I don't mind. Free food is the best kind.
Taiping was far from exciting. I went to an Indian place for dinner. On the menu they had something called the "AJ Special". When I asked what it was I was told it was special naan. "You should have chicken with it", the waiter said. I agreed. When the food came out I was unpleasantly surprised. The "AJ Special" consisted of a peice of naan topped with icing, bananas, strawberry syrup, and multi-colored sprinkles. It realy was not very good, and not at all what I expected. It didn't exactly compliment the chicken either. I ate it anyway. I was very hungry.
So I guess the advice I can give you from this part of my trip is, if your ever in Taiping at an Indian restaurant, DON'T ORDER THE AJ SPECIAL!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tulok Intan-Pankor

Total Distance:80.86km
Total Time:4h40m05s
Average Speed:17.32km/h
Max Speed:29.53km/h
Totoal Distance So Far:273.19km
Today could either be described as good or bad, depending on how you look at it. I thought it ended up pretty good, but I'll let you judge for yourself. I left Tulok Intan around 8am this morning. It was a little later than usual, but I figured I didn't have as far to go. Everything was running smooth. It was a nice day outside, I was going a little faster than I normally go, and I was in a really good mood. I transfered from HWY5 to HWY58, where the traffic wasn't as bad and the landscape was slightly different. I saw my first rice feild, which was pretty cool. About 30km into todays ride it started to rain. Then it started to pour. About 40km into the ride the rain started to let up. Just as it was ending I heard a thud. Then I felt a thud, and another. It seems somewhere along the line one of the pin wheels fell off my rear dereullier. I sat there contimplating what to do. My bike was still drivable, but only in one gear(low gear) and only between 17-20km/h (depending if I was on an incline or decline) I decided to stop at a near by fruit stand for a cold drink and some fruit. As I was sitting the sipping my coconut juice, the people at the stand started bringing me different things to try. All of which was delicious. They sat and chatted with me, asking me questions about Canada and my trip. When I went to pay them they shook there heads. "No Pay. For you, free".
After that I hopped back on my clunky bike and slwly moved down the road. Two men were working on a car outside of their house. I pulled in on my bike and asked if they could help. They tried to fix Fred with some parts from an old bicycle they had. Again I asked how much. Again there was no charge. The quick fix was actually worse than the missing part. Now I coulg only move at 14km/h. I continued like this for maybe another 10km before I decided to just remove the part. By this time it was blistering hot outside.
I finally got to Pankor at about 4:30. Upon arriving at the Island a man walked up to me just to let me know there was a bike shop in town, just in case I needed anything. What luck! I took fred down and got him patched up. The bike mechanic was a very nice man. He actually had some good stuff too.
So, that was my day. Like I said, I thought it turned out to be pretty good.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kuala Selangor-Tulok Intan

Total Distance:101.94km
Total Time:5h07m22s
Average Speed:19.90km/h
Maximum Speed:39.46km/h
Total Distance So Far:192.33km

Hello All. Today we rode from Kuala Selangor to Tulok Intan. Kuala Selangor is anything but a hip happening town. It is remarkably beautiful though. I woke up early this morning, wanting to get a head start just in case it rained. As I was loading up my bike who should I see coming down the stairs but two fellow cyclists. We had spent the night in the same flea-bag hotel. I wish I would have known the night before. That way we could have shared info about our journey's. That is to say they could have given me info, as my journey up to that point had consisted of one day. They were going in the other direction, which was a shame as todays trip was a little boring and I could have used the company. None the less, it was nice to know there are other people just as crazy as me.
Todays trip was slightly boring. I think the novelty Malaysia had worn off a little. Don't get me wrong, it was still a sight. However after a couple hundred kilometers of the same thing, it tends to loose its affect. When people tell you west coat Penninsular Malaysia is flat they really mean it. Today I encountered one hill, which was only about ten meters long and not the least bit steep. It didn't make for the most challenging ride. On the other hand, it's a nice way to ease myself into the trip. There wasn't a drop of rain today. Nor was it too hot. It was actually pretty perfect. There was some cloud cover and a nice breeze. It made for good riding.
Towards the end of todays trip I ran into yet another cyclist. Also headed in the opposite direction. He was one hard core dude. He cycled all the way from Germany (with the exception of China, as he couldn't get a Visa) We sat and shared in some Lychee Fruit. Later an Icecream Man showed up and gave us a couple of free Cones. It was nice to see that there are people even crazier than me.
I ended today in Tulok Intan, where I'm paying an arm and a leg for accomodations. I asked the people at the Hotel if they were the only one in town and they said yes. Naturally, as soon as I walked outside I saw two more. I guess it serves me right for not shopping around, but I could use a sleep in a nice place anyway.
That's all for now folks. Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

KL to KS

TOTAL TIME:5h12m05s

I left Kuala Lumpur this morning at 6:30am and headed towards the west coast. Leaving KL proved to be less of a challenge than I had thought it would be. I did, however, get lost...twice. The first time is KL, the second directly after leaving KL. Unfortunately the second time landed me back at my hostel, which is where I started. For those of you who know me, this shouldn't come as much of a shock. I did get lost one other time, transfering onto HWY 54, headed toward the coast. However it was only a minor set back. The first half of todays trip was great. Not to hot, not to cold. Riding through the Malaysian jungle was like nothing I have ever experienced, nor ever will again. It was truely inspiring. The Malaysian people are great. Curtios to a slow moving cyclist. Frequently I would recieve a honk followed by a thumbs up or a friendly wave. It made the ride just that much more enjoyable. After a couple of hours it started to lightly rain, which was actually quite refreshing. Into the third hour it started to pour. At first I didn't mind. It was sort of fun zooming through the big puddles of warm water. Into the fourth hour, it started to get to me. I decided to stop in Kuala Salengor. It was disappointing. I would have liked to go further, and was feeling up to it. I did do almost 100km today though, which is nothing to scoff at.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Finally In Asia

After problems getting out of America, a 20 hour lay-over in Korea and many sleepless nights we are finally in SE Asia. We arrived in Singapore on Tuesday. The city is great. Lots to see and do. The people are nice and the food is great. What more could one ask for? We leave Thursday for Kuala Lumpar, where the actual bike trip will begin. Then up the West coast and into Thailand. Hopefully there will be no more problems, but I'm sure that's wishful thinking.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Minor Delay

Upon checking in for our flight to Korea at the Seattle airport Fred and I were refused entry onto the plane. Apparently in order to enter certain Asian countries you require proof that you are leaving, meaning you need a ticket out. Let this be a lesson to any of you planning to travel Asia with a one way ticket. IT'S NOT POSSIBLE! It's been worked out, and we will be leaving Seattle this Saturday. Cross your fingures and hope for the best.