Hello, Dubai?! Leaving Malaysia for the UAE After 339 Days (Semi-Live Blog)

You know I’ve been ruminating on it. But after 339 days, it’s finally time to leave Malaysia. We’re traveling to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is a semi-live blog that I’ll update throughout the journey. I’ll edit in photos once I’m back on my laptop. The Weeks Before Departure to Dubai On the evening of the start of ‘MCO 2.0’, Jonas and I were smoking shisha at Chimney Hookah Café in Johor Bahru (JB). We’d just made the most of our last day without stay-inside-order and we finished it off with a banger. One thing had beenContinue reading

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Johor Bahru: The Best Vegetarian + Vegan Restaurants

Johor Bahru (JB) is a great place to hang out for vegetarians and – to a lesser extent – vegans. During this pandemic, we tried out many veggie places in person and by delivery. These are our recommendations. Click here to scroll down to the map of Johor Bahru with all the vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Click the + below to learn more about the meaning of the emojis, dietary restrictions and intolerances, and a disclaimer. Note that we stayed in Johor Bahru during the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants aren’t ranked in a specific order. Life Ricette 🥬🛵🚶‍♀️ Click here to order LifeContinue reading

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Melaka Desert – Sauntering About the Shifting Sand Dunes at Sunset

I was casually scrolling the map around Melaka when something caught my eye: Melaka Desert and Klebang Deserr. A typo, cute! It wasn’t far from our home in Atlantis Residences. I googled where exactly to go. It turned out it was in a different place on some artificial peninsula. Whichever rich coastal city you travel to in Malaysia, you’ll always find a land reclamation project. This one had been canceled, which let the winds shift the sands and shape up into dunes. The pictures looked very nice. But we didn’t know what it was; satellite data from Google Maps brokeContinue reading

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The Tastiest Vegetarian+Vegan Delivery Restaurants in Penang

During the lockdown in Penang, Jonas and I have become somewhat vegetarian delivery food connoisseurs in our area of George Town. Our kitchen is slightly underequipped and we tried to limit our supermarket visits during the height of the pandemic in Penang. That’s why we ordered most of our meals (twice a day) online. Over the course of 121 days in Penang, we’ve ordered from 31 different restaurants. We only included our favorites on this list. Most of our food came through Foodpanda and Grab, although we also used Folo. We were happy to support local restaurants and delivery drivers,Continue reading

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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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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 After five days of enjoying a few of the sights in Hat Yai, it was time for us to move on. Besides finding a new spot to hitchhike from, we didn’t need to prepare much for this hitchhiking day. Jonas and I found two viableContinue reading

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