Our last week in Malaysia

We ended up spending 5 nights in Penang without even realising it. We spent the first 3 with Claude and his daughter Lena in Batu Feringghi, about 14km out of Georgetown. It was wonderful to have a base to recover from our colds, finally do some laundry and rest our legs after the ride over from the East coast. Batu Feringghi is home to lots of European immigrants so we found everything we needed there, like more sunscreen. Each night Claude took us out to dinner somewhere new. On the first night he introduced us to his neighbours, Swiss cycle tourists who have been riding for the last 7 years, recently with their daughter. It was interesting to trade stories and get some idea about what we have ahead of us.

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Crossing the east-west highway

We enjoyed our two nights at the Humaira hotel in Tanah Mera. We found a very enthusiastic Chinese restaurant owner who fed us a couple ohf times. It was interesting talking with him about living in a predominantly Muslim state. He was a bit grumpy because the day before a local politician had said that non-muslims should dress modestly during Ramadan, and recently new rules for policing dress had come into effect for Muslims in the state, which he was worried would effect his family. We also bought murtabak from the happiest guy in Malaysia twice. This is a kind of onion/egg/meat mix folded into roti to make a parcel and fried. Makes a really good lunch. Continue reading

Relaxing on Perhentian Besar

Nearly every person who we had a proper conversation with on our ride up the west coast asked if we were visiting the Perhentian islands, and they came highly recommended by Violet, our Malaysian warm showers guest. They are a pretty big tourist attraction, so we made sure to arrive on a Sunday after all the weekend guests had left. We booked our ticket and accomodation at Mamma’s resort on Perhentian Besar before we left – apparently pre-booking is reccomended in the high season, although we could have gotten away without it. The receptionist was lovely and organised for our bikes to be stored at a friends shop. Continue reading

Getting into Malaysia

Well we did finally manage to leave Tatyana’s early(ish) on Sunday morning. It was easy to get onto Robinson road which took us straight into the city. There was some kind of car free event going on because the road was closed to traffic and there were people on all sorts of bikes riding together along the street. Over the past few days in Singapore we saw more fancy cars than we’ve ever seen, and this was kind of the biking version – people were cruising by on Pinarello, Wilier, Cervello and Felt bikes, to name a few. We ended up doing a lap with these riders because it seemed easier than trying to cross the stream of cyclists. Continue reading