Penang National Park and the Meromictic Lake at Pantai Keracut

Events in this story happened on Tuesday the 30th of June 2020. We hiked in Penang National Park to the meromictic lake at Turtle Beach (Pantai Keracut). This is during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) during the easing of the restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak. You can read my pandemic in Penang diary here. Preparations and Getting the Grab We took three liters of water in my hydration bladder and another 1.5 liters in a bottle in Jonas’ bag. Our lessons from previous hikes in the hills of Penang and on its beaches taught us it’s a good ideaContinue reading

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Penang Hill to Ourselves: Funicular + Hiking without the People

Events in this story happened on Tuesday the 9th of June 2020. It was the last day of the Malaysian government’s Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). You can read more about our experiences of the coronavirus pandemic in Penang in the dedicated diary. We took the funicular up Penang Hill and then hiked it down to the botanic gardens. Click here to skip to the Penang Hill Tips + Map. Preparations I can’t even remember the last nature hike we went on. I think it might have been in Kota Bharu before we came to Penang. We’d been less thanContinue reading

6 Stories from Hosts + Guests in Lockdown: Hospitality in the Time of Corona

Our world has shrunk a great deal since the globe went on lockdown for the coronavirus. Blindsided by the sudden changes, travelers had to make some tough decisions mid-adventure. Amidst the chaos, I knew there would be some people out there who remained kind and trusting of virtual strangers. People who would keep their doors open when they were told to keep it shut. I’d been thinking about the people showing or experiencing hospitality under such extraordinary circumstances. So I asked around looking for stories from both hosts and guests to share their experiences. Many people responded with their stories,Continue reading

Getting a SIM Card in Malaysia

This article is a comprehensive guide to getting the best prepaid SIM card in Malaysia. “RM” is short for Malaysian Ringgit—their currency. Click “In Short” in the table of contents to skip over the text and get a step-by-step guide. Telecom in Malaysia Malaysia is a country that has two parts: a mainland Asian part called ‘Peninsular Malaysia’ and an island part on Borneo referred to as ‘East Malaysia’. Peninsular Malaysia is where its capital city Kuala Lumpur (KL) is located. Though East Malaysia is larger in size, more than 80% of the country’s population lives in Peninsular Malaysia. AsContinue reading

Hat Yai to Kota Bharu: Hitchhiking from Thailand to Malaysia via Tak Bai

Things in this story happened on Thursday the 27th of February, 2020. Jonas and I hitchhiked from Hat Yai (Songkhla) in southern Thailand to Kota Bharu (Kelantan) in Malaysia. We took the Tak Bai river border crossing. This is my first time in Malaysia and Jonas’ second visit. Taking a Grab to the Hitchhiking Spot Besides finding a new spot to hitchhike from, we didn’t need to prepare much for this hitchhiking day. Jonas and I found two viable gas stations to hitchhike from on Thailand Route 43 that starts on the south end of Hat Yai. We picked theContinue reading

Koh Lanta to Hat Yai via the Khao Kop Cave: A Seven-Star Hitch

Events described in this article happened on Sunday the 23rd of February, 2020. Jonas and I departed the islands of Koh Lanta Yai and Koh Lanta Noi to hitchhike across the Thai mainland to Hat Yai. Our drivers were on vacation themselves and took us to a cave system called ‘Tham Le Khao Kop’ in Trang Province.  Preparing to Leave Koh Lanta for Hat Yai After Ao Nang, we had taken a boat across the Andaman Sea for 53 kilometers. We landed at the Saladan Pier in Koh Lanta, where our arranged transport brought us to a southern resort nearContinue reading

Ranong to Ao Nang: My First Time Hitchhiking in Thailand

Events narrated in this article happened on Thursday the 5th of February, 2020. Jonas and I hitchhiked from Ranong to Ao Nang in Southern Thailand. Despite us having been in Chiang Mai for 60 days before, we had never gone hitchhiking in Thailand – yet! Read about our hitchhiking day and check out the cool map and the comparison between hitchhiking and taking public transport. Preparations After returning to Thailand from Myanmar via the Kawthaung – Ranong border crossing at the river mouth of the Kraburi River, we made plans to travel southward. We spent five nights in Ranong (ระนอง) building differentContinue reading

Myanmar Itinerary: Maxing Out Our 28-Day e-Visa

This article sums up our four-week journey through Myanmar in Southeast Asia. As we’d bought a Myanma e-visa before we left, we maxed out our 28 days. We traveled in the month of January (dry season) from the 3rd till the 31st. Though we mostly traveled by hitchhiking, we also took one cruise and one train to spice things up. We always planned and booked one week in advance. You may steal this Myanmar itinerary! Day 1: Arriving in Mandalay from Chiang Mai Friday the 3rd of January, 2020 We entered Myanmar after a short flight from Chiang Mai (Thailand)Continue reading

Kawthaung to Ranong: Crossing from Myanmar to Thailand by Longtail Boat

The events in this story happened on Friday the 31st of January 2020. We reentered Thailand near Ranong after one month in Myanmar in the southernmost city of Kawthaung. There it’s possible to travel to Ranong across the Kraburi/Pak Chan/Kyan river mouth in the Andaman Sea. Mind you that these were the early days of the coronavirus outbreak and Thailand already had its first 14 confirmed cases. Click here to skip to the summary of tips for what to bring and what to expect. Preparations The Kawthaung-Ranong border is one of the few border crossings between Myanmar and Thailand thatContinue reading