Pandemic in Penang: A Play-by-Play from Two Digital Nomads in Malaysia

Before you judge our decision to stay in Malaysia and not ‘repatriate’ ourselves, scroll to the bottom to read our motivations for riding out the pandemic in Penang/George Town. If coronavirus statistics trigger your anxiety, this journal might not be for you. Also, I wrote this, so not everything here reflects Jonas’ views. My sources for Malaysia come from the trilingual news website Malaysia Kini, which has an excellent COVID-19 tracker which adds new functionality almost twice a week, and our elevator. My world stats come from the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, which unfortunately keeps butchering country names. TheContinue reading

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Kayaking to Pulau Tikus: a Sacred Island near George Town, Penang

We kayaked to Pulau Tikus on the 10th of July, 2020. If you want to know where and how to rent a kayak in Penang, click here. To get tips on what to bring, click here or visit my extensive kayak gear guide if you’re very, very serious. The Idea One boring afternoon in lockdown I was scrolling on the map on my phone. Looking nearby my location in George Town, I spotted a small island not far from Penang Island. On my OSM map, it was a nameless rock, but it had a building. Perhaps a lighthouse? Google Maps showedContinue reading

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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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Hitchhiking in Myanmar – Everything You Need to Know!

Jonas and I went hitchhiking in Myanmar between the 3rd and the 31st of January 2020. These tips are based on our experiences and the laws of Myanmar during that timeframe. Feel welcome to add your own hitchhiking in Myanmar experiences + adventures in the comments! Basic Tips Have the map of Myanmar downloaded onto your smartphone. I prefer Open Street Maps! Have the Google Translate app. Unlike Thai, Google doesn’t have an offline package for Myanmar language yet. Get a SIM card in Myanmar upon arrival. Always make a hitchhiking sign. Buy some black markers, preferably black markers withContinue reading

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Myeik→ Bokpyin→ Kawthaung: Hitchhiking Two Consecutive Days in Myanmar

Events described in this post reflect those that happened on Tuesday the 28th and Wednesday the 29th of January, 2020. Jonas and I hitchhiked for two consecutive days from Myeik to Kawthaung with a one-night stopover in Bokpyin, Myanmar. This road is fairly new and quite adventurous. Before they built it, the only way to get from Myeik to Kawthaung was by ferry. Preparing to Hitchhike the Last Stretch of the AH-112 We had spent a lovely few days at the upscale Regent Hotel in Myanmar. One of the reasons to pick a fancier hotel was that we knew theContinue reading

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