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Butterworth to Taiping


For many travelers there is but one road from Butterworth to Taiping: by bus or car on the highway. With a bicycle you have more options. On this page I am already explaining about several options. This page handles specifically about one route which is scenic and doable in one day.

Sunrise at the ferry from Penang to Butterworth

Sunrise at the ferry from Penang to Butterworth

Bukit Mertajam has little to offer to keep you longer than passing by. The city can be a little confusing and it's busy. Just follow directions to Kulim.

The hills of Bukit Mertajam (BM) and Kulim
The hills of Bukit Mertajam (BM) and Kulim, this road starts at the university
complex in Perai and can lead to BM directly avoiding the main roads

St. Anne's Church

Just outside Bukit Mertajam on the way to Kulim you will find St. Anne's church complex. The Roman Catholic church has a long history dating back to the early 19th century.

St. Anne's Church Bukit Mertajam Oldest relic in Malaysia
Left: St. Anne
Right: Batu Bersurat Cerok Tok Kun

The first priest coming to BM were French, and as St. Anne was a popular saint, they named their first chapel after her. Although the origins of the Catholics in this area go a little further back, present day St. Anne's church was build in 1888.

St. Anne's Church Bukit Mertajam

It's quite a large complex with the new St. Anne's church to your left and St. Anne's Shrine as the main buildings.

St. Anne's Church Bukit Mertajam

The church attracts every year at the feast of St Anne over 100,000 pilgrims from Malaysia as well as neighboring countries like Singapore, the Philippines and Australia. The celebrations lasts for 10 days, and includes the actual feast day on 26 July.

St. Anne's Church Bukit Mertajam

For pilgrims there are dorms and a restaurant. It's worth to spend a little time in exploring the complex.

The road to Kulim (Serdang) and Selema

Just after the temple there's a junction to your left, the P129. This road leads north. Should you have time, follow this road a few kilometers until you see a Chinese graveyard on your left. The main thing of interest is the ruined chapel with trees growing out of its tower. A little further on this road you can take the junction to Kulim but you will miss the Kuan Yin temple on the main road, so you might want to cycle back to the main road.

Chinese gravyeard near Kulim

The road to Kulim is two lanes and most of the time quite busy. You will pass a nice Chinese temple complex but there's little else further.

Kulim has a clean looking city center but again there is little to keep you busy here. Follow the directions to Serdang. (road 136).

Chinese temple on the way to Kulim
Chinese temple on the way to Kulim

This is a pleasant road to cycle. Continue from here to Selama either by using the next junction Selema - Mahang or via Serdang (about 8 km longer and less scenic).

Chinese temple on the way to Kulim

Selama to Taiping

There are two options. You can just straight follow the road markers from Selama to Taiping but there is a good alternative. This road from Butterworth to Taiping will lead you to Bukit Merah via Semangol to Taiping. Compared to the main road from Selama to Taiping it's only 10 km longer.

Serdang to Selama
Butterworth to Taiping: here the road from Serdang to Selama

Once out of Selama, continue to Taiping until you reach the junction to Bagan Serai (traffic lights 7 km from Selama, to your right). Follow this quiet road for several km's until you see the junction to Bukit Merah.

This road passes little kampongs until you reach a huge new bridge crossing the new railway line. On the other side of the bridge lies Bukit Merah.

Crossing the new bridge to Bukit Merah
Crossing the new bridge to Bukit Merah

The road continues to Semangol where you turn left (road signs are clear) for the last 22km to Taiping.

Accommodation on the way

Should you want to stay somewhere in between Butterworth and Taiping, options are Bukit Mertajam and Kulim. There are two homestays in Selama (Damai Homestay and Permai Homestay).

Bukit Merah Laketown Resort is an option if you have a little bit more to spend

Camping is possible at Mahang, see this page

Serdang to Selema

Butterworth to Taiping

Why choose this road? The trunk road via Parit Buntar and Bagan Seria is faster and shorter, 100 km in total. This described road is 120km long but far more scenic and far less traveled. It is in fact the road I usually take when I cycle Butterworth to Taiping.

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Special Hiking Tours in Penang

Join us on our special hiking tours in Penang. We will bring you around in the jungle of the Botanical Gardens. Our tours include:

  • Botanical Gardens: Lily Pond - Waterfall
  • Moongate - Hikers Resting Spot #5 - Youth Park
  • Trails to Crag Hotel and Penang Hill

Read more and book your hiking tour.

Hiking in Penang around Botanical Gardens

or check the hiking and biking pages


Map of Perak

map of Perak
Map of Perak


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Two roads are possible to cycle from Taiping to Ipoh, one is the #1 going to Kuala Kangsar and north out to Ipoh, the other leads through Bruas.

A third one goes from Kuala Kangsar south to join the Bruas - Parit road.

Here's the full story