Tuesday, February 19, 2013

5 Places for Kids to Ride Bikes and Scooters in Penang

Letting my young kids ride their bikes on Penang's busy streets can be quite dodgy. They are literally dodging or being dodged. Sidewalks are often blocked and border perilously close to deep storm drains. Good thing that there are a few protected places around town where I can let them loose on either bikes or scooters without much worry.

Following the signs at the Traffic Garden

Traffic Garden (Taman Lalu Lintas)
No motorized vehicles are allowed in this tiny town. (Although, I will confess that my boy thought this place would be perfect for go-karts.) Kids get to maneuver through the paved, child-size streets and roundabouts, passing the pretend school, petrol station and telephone booths. A fence surrounds the Traffic Garden, so I didn't have to worry about the young ones escaping. Plenty of trees offer shade from the sun, and there are benches and tables for parents to relax at if they don't need to assist their kids. Other diversions include a playscape and outdoor exercise equipment.
Located at Lebuhraya Bodhi and Jalan Nirvana, off of Jalan Anson in George Town

Trying out scooters at the Youth Park

Penang Municipal Park (Youth Park)
The Youth Park offers a number of places where kids can ride their bikes and scooters. The oval course near the playscapes is technically for roller skaters, but bicycles and scooters have taken over it.  I liked that I could keep an eye on both my kid on wheels and the one hanging from the monkey bars at the same time. Behind the cafe, you'll find the skateboard park if your kids want a course that's better suited for tricks. This is my kids' favorite place to have a wheely fun time in Penang.
Located on the one-way Persiaran Kuari off of Jalan Utama near Jesselton Heights

Wide boardwalk for Family Fun Rides by-the-sea at Straits Quay
Straits Quay Boardwalk
You and the kids can enjoy the view of expensive boats docked at the marina and George Town in the distance when biking along the Straits Quay Boardwalk. My friends like to head here for a ride followed by a meal at one of the numerous restaurants at Penang's first seaside retail marina.  If you don't have your own bike, GT Bike Rental offers everything from adult mountain bikes down to tyke-sized bikes outfitted with training wheels at the kiosk in the covered Market Street. There's even a tandem bicyle to try out!
Located on Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang off of Jalan Tanjung Tokong

Rent for 4 hours or the whole day. Prices start at RM12 for kids and RM18 for mountain bikes.

Car-Free Day in George Town
Every Sunday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., a few blocks of George Town are car-free. All motorized vehicles including motorcycles are prohibited. My friends find it the perfect place for their kids to practice riding bikes and zipping along on scooters.
Beach (Pantai) Street between China Street and Union Street ; Bishop Street between Beach Street and Penang Street; Church (Gereja) Street between Beach Street and Penang Street; all of China Street Ghaut

Air Itam Dam
We haven't tried this place out ourselves, but it is recommended by my friends with youngsters. A paved path circles the dam providing a nice surface for families to bike on. However, be aware that some parts are shared with motorized vehicles.
Jalan Balik Pulau, uphill past Kek Lok Si Temple

Need a bike, scooter or skateboard?
Now that I've whetted your appetite for hitting the road on foot-powered wheels, did you suddenly remember that you don't actually have the equipment? CCI Bicycle Shop on Lebuh Carnarvon has a range of bikes from balance bikes to kids bikes to ones for adults. Balance bikes can also be found at Precious Ones on Lorong Selamat. Spiral Synergy sells quality skateboards scooters, and EZrollers. Contact them at spiralsynergyinfo@yahoo.com or via handphone 016 457 0221.

Penang Travel Tips has a good listing for bicycle shops in Penang.

How about Daily Rentals?
In George Town, rent adult-sized bikes from Metro Bike for a day at RM25. A map of suggested routes in this busy area of town is available.  Guided cycling tours of UNESCO heritage sites can also be booked in advance on their website. However, families with young children are limited to the trishaw version of the tour. They have bike rentals at two locations
  1. Tanjung City Marina beside the Jetty Bus Terminal and Hainan Town Restaurant
  2. Komtar Walk at Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong
There are also a few bicycle rental shops along Armenian Street near Lorong Soo Hong. The family-friendly Zhang Trading which has tandem bikes, kids bikes and toddler seats.

No longer a kid but still a cyclist?
Check out Aerochick's blog A Ginger in Asia about her experiences cycling around Penang.

Related Post:
Kids Top Picks for Indoor Fun in Penang
Hammering Pewter Bowls at Royal Selangor in Straits Quay
Thieving Monkeys and Tips on Handling Them


  1. An excellent post for families in Penang.Straits Quay Boardwalk looks fantastic and great for the whole family.

  2. What a helpful article for anyone with kids.

  3. Hi, I cant find any contact here so I write this way...
    We would love to feature you in our magazine, could you please contact as at bellamagazine@mail.com?
    Thank you!

  4. I am so thankful to find your blog and this article! We are a family of 6 moving to Penang on March 31st from Arizona. We are fortunate enough to be able to bring our bikes with us and I was hoping we would have a place to ride! The Traffic Garden sounds like a fun place! My kids are 7 and under so I love the fenced in part! We are going to be near Batu Ferringhi so I hope it isn't too far away! Thanks again for prepping us for our 3 year stay in Penang! Maybe we will be able to meet at some point. -The Ryan Family

    1. I hope you enjoy your time in Penang. Be sure to check out www.penangmomma.com for more advice on raising an expat family in this town.

  5. Hey! I never got notified about this post, looks like it was backdated to last February? Anyway, thanks for linking to my site!

  6. Very friendly and knowledgable group of folks work here. When I bought my bike they helped me find one that fit my needs and price range. electric bikes auckland

  7. Letting my young kids ride their bikes on Penang's busy streets can be quite dodgy. They are literally dodging or being dodged. Sidewalks are ... ibikesforkids.blogspot.com


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