My husband and I joined the countryside day tour from Georgetown. It was a wonderful experience and by far the highlight of our 2 week trip to Malaysia. Being collected from our hotel was great. Our guide Princilia was fantastic, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and relaxed all at once. The local food we enjoyed during the day was abundant and delicious. I am already excited for our next trip with Matahari and wish it was sooner rather than later.
Above and beyond great!
After being a little underwhelmed by another company's bike tour, we were craving an experience that included plenty of riding - along with enough stops / interaction for the experience to feel educational. Princilia/Matahari Cycles gave us exactly what we wanted from beginning to end. Myself and my two teenage sons joined a group of 4 others. She is an astute guide - one that makes a brilliant (and seemingly effortless) connection with each of the participates as individuals and also orchestrates a group atmosphere that feels supportive and friendly. She ensured that everyone was safe, yet challenged, and having a good time. Our support guy Dean was always there at each stop with water and a smile - a great addition.
Everything was incredibly professional - and well worth the money. But beyond that - the passion that the business is built on is worth the time. It was a joy from beginning to end. We were inspired by the experience and cannot recommend them enough.
Superb way to see more of Penang
Penang is known for its street food and street art, but there's so much more! I love biking as a way to see more of a place, and Matahari delivered such an unforgettably beautiful experience :) Riding through amazing landscapes of mangroves, rice fields, kampungs (hamlets), and having a yummy lunch at the rice field - it was incredible. And not forgetting the super friendly crew who pampered and totally overfed us :) Thanks for sharing your love for your 'hood. We felt it deeply on this day of sunshine and warm vibes. Highly recommend!
Amazing journey with Matahari Tours!
I had a great time during my Countryside Tour, it all started when I went to their office in Penang and personally spoke to SJ about my intention to participate on the tour.
Since the beginning, he was extremely nice, caring, and explained extremely well about the tour.
If you like riding a bike (you don't need to be a pro at all!) and specially want to know a different Malasya, I totally recommend this tour!
Greetings from the first Brazilian on this tour!
A day out in the countryside and a day to remember, everything taken care of, Balik Pulau Country Side Tour and Twist
Everything is well organized and perfectly taken care of with Matahari Cycle Tours.
From the first email contact, to the actual day of the tour, from the hotel pick up, the transfer to the starting place where the guide is waiting for the group to arrive, the well serviced and perfect condition Mountainbikes, the well planned tour, away from main roads, going through rural areas, rice fields, oil palm plantations, fishing village, goat farm, explaining, showing and smelling local plants along the way, plenty of drink and food on the way, lunch nicely prepared in a hut in the middle of a rice field, a guide who knows how to take care of the different characters in the group and quickly manages to form a group with a "we are together" feeling although people have never met before, different origins and background, as well as different levels of experience with bikes, taking pictures during the ride and sending them to participants, and and and.
We experienced an insight into what is life like in the countryside.
In the afternoon, the group split. While the majority of the group was picked up and transferred back to their hotels, those that booked the "Twist" carried on with a very scenic, but also a bit challenging track into the hills of the south-western part of the island. After descending the hill and enjoying the view, there was more food and drinks waiting, as well as the support truck to pick up the bikes and participants.
Enjoyed the day from the pick up in the morning to the return in the evening. You just need to take care of yourself, everything else is well taken care of by the guys of Matahari (transfers, bike, helmet, drinks, loads of food, plenty of background information).
Best cycle tour I have done!
SJ and the team made this cycle tour the best that I have ever been on. They were so kind and accommodating. Bikes were a good quality, food was ample, varied and very tasty.
It was a real treat to go off the tourist tracks in Penang and see some local fishing villages, rice fields and lots of other treats on the ride. It was never boring, and generally flat so not too much of a strenuous ride. Only three of us on this tour so it was a really nice intimate experience.
I would definitely recommend it; it is worth the money!
Ride of your life!
So fun! I did the countryside tour with the twist. We were picked up from our hotels on time, given loads of water throughout the day, shown how to use the gears on our bikes and how to best maximise power/energy. Our guide SJ was so nice and patient and our whole group with mixed abilities was catered for. The tour included stops at a goat farm, fishing village, rice paddy hut- all of which included delicious food for us to enjoy. I originally booked for the twist not knowing it would be terrain, just thinking it would be a hill climb but when SJ explained the twist would involve both terrain and climbing, with some of the roughest terrain being downhill, I sadly decided I wouldn't do it, not having experience on a mountain bike (as opposed to road biking.) SJ then offered to change the cycling hill climb to hiking! It was SO amazing and I loved every second. The perfect way to end an already spectacular trip- the views from the hill and the destination on the other side were just so incredible and I'm so grateful SJ made it possible for me (and another traveller) to keep going, even if it wasn't on the bikes.
If you want a physical adventure with cultural components, to see the side of Penang most tourists won't, and to meet likeminded guides and travellers, definitely book with Matahari! Plus the goats were super cute
Princilia, SJ and team were fantastic. I had signed up for the Penang Highlands Premier Ride on 22 July , the team accommodated my lack of mountain cycling skills and customised the cycling accordingly to make it more a country side bike tour with a hike through plantations and hills. I appreciated their flexibility and thoroughly enjoyed the outing - riding through the country side and hamlets,walking through the plantations and seeing a side of Penang I haven't visited. Felt welcome in the places we visited thanks to Princilia's connections with the locals. She went out of her way to accommodate and make it such a memorable experience for me - from eating local food (durians too!), learning about the places to showing me the finer skills of mountain biking - I ended the day with a much better appreciation of this sport! Highly recommend Matahari if you are looking for a unique and thorough fun adventure in Penang.
Best ride to sightseeing the rural part of Georgetown, Penang
The tour starts with a early morning pick up and when we arrived we were greeted by our guides, they were very informative and friendly. We explored the rural areas in Georgetown, visiting goat milk farm, fishing villages and the rice paddy fields. We really had a great time and Matahari team is very accomodating to your experience and speed in cycling. Would do again! 이 투어를 생각하시는 한국분들, 아주 재미있고 좋은 경험이었어요, 추천합니다!
fantastic chance to see the Penang countryside
We thoroughly enjoyed our cycle with the Matahari team. Decent mountain bikes, and we went on country roads, paths alongside rivers/canals, through small villages, mangrove swamps, fishing villages, paddy fields, palm plantations.... you name it, we saw and did it. Fantastic food/drink stops at the Goat farm (Goat's milk ice cream and yoghurt - delicious), late morning snack/coffee in a fishing village, superb lakhsa lunch sitting in a shelter in the middle of paddy fields, and then banana fritters as a finishing reward ! Super guide with back-up vehicle. saw lots of 'wildlife', from Monkeys to Monitor Lizards (big ones...). Quiet an easy cycle - almost all 'flat' apart from the last 1-2 kms so easily accessible to most who have been on a bike before. Highly recommended.
Big thanks to Prinscilia & her team at matahari for such an awesome day touring the countryside of Penang. Everything was well organised from start to finish. The bikes were in great condition. We loved all the different places we visited as it well off the tourist trail. The crew knew so much local history & made everything so interesting. Due to a slight lack in fitness ;) I didn't end up doing the last part of the ride but regardless it will be a day we won't forget anytime soon. Prinscilia took plenty of photos that she sent to us free of charge which was an added bonus. Do yourself a favour when you visit penang & book a tour. You won't regret it!!
My friend and I did the countryside tour with these guys and it was the highlight of our holiday! We were picked up from our hotel and driven to the start point on the other side of the island. Tour guides were knowledgable and friendly and professional and judged the type of ride and pace perfectly for our ability. Bikes were in great condition. Tour covered some really beautiful countryside and villages with frequent stops and local food and plenty of photo opportunities! The guide took heaps of photos of us and sent them to us at the conclusion of the tour. Small groups (it was just the two of us on this day!) meant the tour was really personal and we didn't feel rushed or obliged to stay anywhere longer than we wanted. This was a really fun day. I would recommend this tour to everyone visiting Penang: get out of the tourist area, see the hamlets and history, get some exercise, meet some lovely local guides.
It's my first time to join a tour! As a solo traveller, it's very taxing to find a tour I can join. Most of the tours offered in asia are a minimum of 2 people but the company was very flexible and made it happen! I like the fact that both Princillia and Smurfian? are cycling enthusiasts as well. It just bring fun throughout the ride.
The tour I joined in was country cycling. It was my first time riding MTB. I usually do road cycling. We cycled on the side of the rice paddy field. Lol, I fell off and totally immersed myself in Penang's culture. It was the highlight of the tour i think. Lol.
They have personalized touch in offering the tour like refilling our water bottles on every stop, knowing each of our names( And we were 7people that time), and the jokes and the banters that made everything so chilled out throughout!
I'm definitely coming back again. Coming back to Penang for them! You guys should try it!
My husband and I were in Penang several weeks ago & we booked the full day cycling tour with Matahari. We had an AMAZING time! From cycling through the beautiful back roads through the countryside, meeting local farming families & fishing villages and eating delicious local foods, we couldn't have asked for a better time. Matahari went above and beyond to make sure we were taken care of. If you want to experience real Penang & avoid the tourist traps, book your tour today!
Took the Penang Highlands Premier Ride with a friend and it was simply awesome.
From the email booking right through to the very last step everything was handled efficiently and professionally. Couldn't think of one thing to complain about.
The bikes were top mountain bike models, in perfect condition and set up just right. The guide Dink was lovely and so helpful, and this particular ride, though very tough, was amazing. Fifty kilometers up and down three huge hills - the last one a killer going up, but so great going down - through small villages, rice paddies, tropical jungle and parts of Penang most visitors would never see.
A full day of riding and absolutely exhausting in the heat, but very rewarding. Some of the hill climbs look impossible and they almost are, but once completed and we were flying down the other side, all that pain was forgotten.
One of the most impressive aspects of the whole day though was the care and service from Dink, and above all, Princilia the main guide/organizer. She was absolutely amazing in the way she provided us with constant encouragement, advice, local knowledge and the much needed refreshments throughout the day. At every stop she was there with the truck, more cold water and the essential iced towels. Even a couple of cold beers by the beach at the end of the ride! Princilia was one of the highlights of the day.
Between her and Dink they took dozens of photos and great care of their two riders. We had an amazing ride and I'd thoroughly recommend this company and this particular tour. It's a really hard ride, but if you're a serious mountain biker, fit, and have a day in Penang, book it. You won't regret it.
Thanks so much Matahari Cycle Tours and thanks again Dink and Princilia!
You will not regret booking with Matahari! We were picked up and delivered to Princilla and Din and the top-notch bikes and helmets! Without spoiling the fun for you, we rode through amazing landscapes, off the beaten-track breathtaking views, close-up wildlife encounters, and authentic village living. The mostly flat terrain was a breeze on the bikes (with a few fun challenges). Learning about the mixed cultural "community", food and working/farming life, as well as a close up view of a fruit salad of trees and bushes was both educational and fascinating. Princilla and Din made the day, with plenty of laughs, terrific attitudes and positivity. Highly recommend this trip. Have been on many all over the world, and this one rates highly!!
I was a little reluctant to take on this bicycle tour as I'm not the the most athletic. But the tour seemed to portray something that was far from the usual tourist experience. A sort of authentic perspective of Penang I guess.. which was what I was looking for and exactly what I got in return for the challenge.
With full transfers, we began riding through various villages where families farm fish and produce for generations, stopping to visit a goat farm and plantations. Got to try authentic dishes including Penangs famous Assam Laksa. Hands down the BEST on the island. Full of fresh ingredients with a well balanced soup with tonnes of fish chunks. Its sad that I cant eat this elsewhere...
However, what made the tour was the genuine passion Princillia and her team have for their work. The town is a beautiful place but without beautiful people wanting to share this with others, we simply wouldn't have the opportunity to witness.
If you're considering doing this tour because you would like to see more than just a tourist destination, but the living and working conditions of Penangs people. Go for it! Princillia will tailor it accordingly to you. You'll be delighted with what you find. Thank you for your extensive knowledge and for sharing a piece with me!
We were a group of six friends visiting Penang Island looking to do something a little different. After reading reviews on TripAdvisor about Matahari Cycle Tours we decided this was it. We booked via emails which were replied to promptly by SJ. We were collected from our respective hotels to meet up with our guide Princilia and assistant Din who were two of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. We had the most amazing food and refreshments with bottled water on hand constantly. The tour included several stops, the highlight for me being our stop at the goat farm where we were able to spend time with all the animals and sample delicious goats milk icecream, yoghurt and some local fruits. Highly recommend this tour for anyone wanting a great day out with a truly professional team that is Matahari Cycle Tours.
My sister and I were looking to do something a little different on our first visit to Penang. We wanted to experience something a little off the beaten path, but nothing that required too much of us physically. Having read all of the positive reviews, we decided to give Matahari a go, and are so glad that we did.
The communication from the get-go with SJ was great. The entire day was organised well. We were picked up (and dropped off) from our hotel and driven to the starting point. Princilia and Din are lovely humans who were warm and friendly, and most importantly, patient with us and our (lack of) bike skills! I'm not a bike expert, but the helmets and bikes were in great condition and seemed new.
The countryside tour was authentic and genuine – we loved riding through the various kampungs (villages) and seeing the locals do their thing. I especially enjoyed hearing about the local fruit and herbs. The food on the tour was awesome, and we had plenty of water and rest stops when needed. We had such a great time, and it was obvious that Princilia was catering the journey to our abilities.
We love taking pics too, so it was especially great that Princilia took snaps of us on our ride so that we didn't have to fuss with our own cameras. The pics were promptly sent through to us afterwards, which means that we have a record of the day.
I would definitely do this tour again... maybe even something more challenging if I can get my bike skills up! Thanks to the team at Matahari for a memorable day.
Mathari brands itself “Soulful Cycling tours,” and this could not be more true. What the company offers is a chance to connect with beautiful landscapes, the friendliest people, and ingenious routes that you’d never be exposed to otherwise. Smelling shrimp paste in a Chinese fishery, eating a coconut right from the tree, climbing uphill only to descend upon an amazing beach… These are all moments I will cherish forever.
This isn’t just a tour. It is a bike ride with people who care about you. They aren’t just tour guides. They are your friends who are showing you the inner depths of the land and the people. The people at Matahari have relationships with almost everyone we’d pass by, and we’d often stop to learn more about them and say hello. You are not intruding through people’s streets but rather becoming part of them. That is what is so unique about Matahari: it is not only about beautiful sights and awesome biking, but also about people and connections.
From booking the trip to buying a jersey afterwards (they dropped it off at my hotel!), I was taken care of at every step of the way. Matahari is run by two people who both deeply care about their work and the people they meet. It is so clear they put time and thought into each route, crafting an experience that is unforgettable for each unique client. My bike ride with Princilia and Din was one of the best days of my life. It allowed me to experience Penang from within, and I truly thank you for that. Until next time!!! <3