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I always enjoyed cycling to the town of Dungun when I stayed at Tanjong Jara Resort in Terengganu, Malaysia. How come? Aside from biking being already a great exercise, I also have a marvelous view of the eastern coast of Malaysia!

Tanjong Jara Resort: Cycling to the town of Dungun in Terengganu, Malaysia

dungun bike
Tanjong Jara Resort bike tour

I was living in the resort for two months and I always looked forward to this physical activity. A perfect time since it was also Malaysia’s summer season.

I would start by borrowing a bike (thanks Peter!) and head my way out. On the left side, they have a smaller road where you will be greeted by pine trees as you begin the journey.

biking dungun
heading to a small road safe for cyclists

bike road malaysia
bike road

If I wasn’t on this backpacking adventure, I knew I’d invest on a bike after I quit my job. Maintaining an active lifestyle, biking seemed an ideal way to incorporate exercise in my daily routine and work up a sweat!

Coastal Area

About a 4 kilometer stretch of sand and sea and pine trees while biking is a breathtaking experience for me. I’d stop for a minute and take my time admiring the amazing view of the coastal area.

I would stare at the beach and enjoy the fresh air while hearing the sound of the waves.

dungun east coast
the beach!

terengganu biking
I love this lone tree and the broken stairs

Biking in Dungun felt like biking in Siem Reap. It’s very relaxed and the town is very peaceful. Only this time, I had a beautiful view of the east coast!

I also noticed locals spending time under pine trees. I say how lucky these children are to grow up having picnics by the beach.

picnic terengganu
how lucky these kids are to have the beach as their playground

cycling activity tanjong jara resort
Malaysia East Coast

I look at the sea and I am at peace. Dungun is a very quiet place and staring at the sea made me glad to have had the opportunity to stand still.

One time I stopped by a stall selling fried food and snacks. A great way to grab something to eat while staring at the amazing view! I bought fruits in tamarind sauce.

food stand dungun
pineapple, guava and papaya in tamarind sauce
about 1.50 RM

picnic dungun east coast
car parking freely after a long road trip

Passing through Kampung Life

I would also pass by the kampung (Malaysian term for ‘village’) and witness how locals live their life. Sometimes during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Muslim’s biggest holiday) month, I’d wonder how it would be like to get invited to a feast with the locals. If only I had more time, I’d probably invite myself in! haha. Really, I like the fact that I’d smile at these locals and they would smile back.

town dungun
Hari Raya celebration

monitor lizard malaysia
monitor lizard crossing the street

The Bridge and the Fishing Village

After passing through the town, I’d end up at the bridge where I could see plenty of fishing boats. Normally, this is the end of the cycling tour where resort guests will stop by to have local coffee. Since I was headed to town, I’d have to cross the bridge.

I would then stop at this point as my legs were already in pain from non-stop pedalling. No worries as it’s always great to take a breather while observing my surroundings.

bridge dungun
short stop

dungun fishing village
Dungun fishing village

Town Proper

So what’s in the town proper? Nothing much. There’s no mall, but they have KFC and McDonald’s. There are a few supermarkets, but this area doesn’t scream commercialism which adds to the charm of the location.

I’d drop by the grocery area to buy ice cream and snacks. I’d also pass by a 7/11 shop to buy top-up load for my mobile phone.

town of dungun
Dungun town proper
Many vehicles but it’s not as busy as it looks.

Biking at Night in a Thunderstorm

One night, I took Jana out on a tour to the town. I was really glad that she could experience the biking adventure. On our way home though, there was a sudden downpour accompanied by thunderstorms. We sought shelter in a supermarket until the rain subsided. When it did, we headed back to the resort.

Everything seemed alright until the power went out. We were already on the bridge when we couldn’t see anything except for lights from vehicles passing by.

dungun terengganu
pitch black except for headlights of vehicles passing by,

dungun thunderstorm
and lightning too.

I thought it was already dangerous to be biking in a thunderstorm. Upon writing this post, I realized that we didn’t have any warning signals for cars to see that we were around! Good thing we were on the sidewalk and not on the road.

Here’s a video I took while we were cycling during a thunderstorm. I kept lowering my head because of the lightning.


biking during a thunderstorm, not recommended!

There were two roads leading to Dungun town proper. In the beginning, I took the longer route of 10 kilometers. Aside from taking more time, I had to be extra cautious of other vehicles plying the same route. This was a highway so speeding trucks and cars made it more dangerous. It was only during the later part when I was informed that I used the 4 kilometer route. A much better way indeed.

I even recommended it to a few resort guests when we were trekking to the Chemerung waterfalls. When I showed them photos, they said they wanted to try it out; if only they weren’t checking out the next day.

dungun terengganu
Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia

Guided Bicycle Tour
Experience the daily lives of those who live on the shores of the East Coast of Malaysia with a guided tour through a local fishing village. Guests are able to have a taste of authentic Malay life by riding along the paths that weave through Dungun’s fishing village, meeting the locals, drinking Kopi Kampong, sampling local snacks and genuinely discovering the area that surrounds Tanjong Jara, accompanied by a very knowledgeable and truly fascinating guide. – Tanjong Jara Resort Activities

dungun bridge
and the lights came back

Cycling is one of the activities being offered by Tanjong Jara Resort. I recommend you try it out. It’s a great workout activity. Plus you’d feel really good after, with all the perspiration!

Tanjong Jara Resort: Unmistakably Malay

Tanjong Jara Resort is a YTL Luxury Resort located on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia which is built on a 17-hectare site facing the South China Sea.

For reservations, visit tanjongjararesort.com.
Like the YTL Page on Facebook: facebook.com/YTLHotels

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For two months in my backpacking adventure, I worked in a restaurant in a five-star resort in Malaysia. Check out my other adventures in Tanjung Jara Resort here:


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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


18 comments… add one

  • i smiled when i read you used the term "top up" for your load –tumira ka nga sa malaysia! :D
    how did you shoot that video while biking under thunderstorm? you can seriously give the makers of blaire witch project a run for their money! pinanood ko buong 2mins! ang husay!!! pa-autograph nga! :D
    i honestly didn't google the name of the 5-star-resort where you lived and worked for 2 months(?) but after reading what you wrote here, YTL pala! the same owners of ritz carlton in KL, marriott (where we paid for a night last christmas! buti ka pa libre!) some hotels in melaka, japan and of course, starhill gallery na nag invite sa kin for food tasting last november. big time ka! :D

    • @docgelo: haha. top-up and teh tarik! hehe. yep, it’s a YTL hotel and I’ve worked with HRM students who’ve also undergone training in Ritz-Carlton. hehe. natiming lang because of the opportunity. kaya tuwang-tuwa ako because of this experience. a far cry from living on a carpet for one month in Bangkok. :)

      as for the video, i used my right hand. good thing kabisado ko na ang daan which was why i was a bit confident na kumuha ng video. haha, thanks for enduring the shaky hand!

  • Hey Ed, don't shoot while biking. Hehe!
    The town looks laid-back and rustic, but in a forlorn kind of way. :-)

    • @Ryan Mach: Thanks Ryan! haha. ahh rustic, yun yung term na dapat kong gamitin. yes, very laid-back ng Dungun! you have to get used to the environment to appreciate it :)

  • Mukhang chillax nga rin dyan na parang sa Siem Reap – mas accessible nga lang sa beach :D

    I learned the term top-up lang din when I went to UK hehe :D Ok rin pala i-explore ang Eastern part. May friend tayo na mage-explore ng Malaysia by March hehe :D

    • @Micamyx: yep, mas comfortable lang talaga yung living situation ko. lol. si rob ba yan? hehehe. very laidback ang eastern part. not sure lang about backpacker’s areas dun kung maraming places. and walang alak dun kasi bawal :)

  • Nakakapangilabot yung kidlat, Ed. Btw, I like the video. Parang indie film.
    Very nice trips. You're really an inspiration sa ganitong tema ng paglalakbay.
    Happy 2013! Please be extra careful next time.
    Ingat lagi. :)

    • @Rizalenio: Yeah, was really scared of the lightning. I had this feeling na matamaan kami. Good thing may mga posts na mas mahaba at hindi open gaanong open space ang lugar. Thanks! Hope to write more unique stories!

  • cycling is an activity that calms the soul (wahahahaha) pero seriously, therapeutical sya lalo na kapag nag iisip ka ng malalim (works for me) sana ganyan kaayos ang daan dito sa buong pinas para mas masaya mag bike. hehehe

    • @Supertikoy: haha, calming talaga, calms the soul and loses your breath. hehe. sakin, very nice way to relax kasi ang view talaga. I forgot to mention that the road was really great for cycling. di masakit sa pwet. hehe

  • Cycling is very relaxing but not when doing it on a stormy night without bike lights and videotaping the way – what were you drinking? LOL.

    • @bertN: haha, believe me, i was really scared on that stormy night! didn’t expect the sudden rain. this is what happens when dates turn almost into disasters. just glad that we got home safely. :)

  • Sky

    Good thing you and Jana arrive safely, Cycling in a rain with slippery road is already dangerous and much more it's drizzling accompanied with thunderstorms! Whoa! Scary! 

    • @Sky: Thanks! scary situation indeed. didn’t know the intensity unitl afterwards.

  • Living in a resort for two months! Wow! I wouldn't mind biking every day if the beach is my trail. :) Biking during a thunderstorm is scary, though. Coming out unscathed is definitely an "I survived" moment.
    Cheers to more adventures – biking or otherwise. :)

    • @Claire: Thanks Claire! This is one of those great adventures during my backpacking adventure. :)

  • Such a nice place eh?! I'm pretty sure the trail is more awesome when you do biking early in the morning or late afternoon. Lucky!

    • @Missy: I usually do late afternoons as I spend the mornings sleeping. hahaha! Thanks for dropping by! :)

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