Is Traveling Easy?

Monsoon season in Kuala Lumpur

If you can carry a 30-40 pound backpack to and from transit stations and you’re not shy to ask questions or for directions, then yes, the travel portion should be easy. You already quit your job, left your home, sold and stored your things, and said goodbye to your friends. Everyone’s well wishes, travel stories, itinerary questions, and jealous teasings have already given you the energy to start the journey in what you feel is your right state of mind. You met interesting travelers, befriended many locals, saw amazing things, read books you thought you would never have time to, and have funny stories about that time you got ripped off by a taxi driver, again.  Continue reading

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The Penang Layover

Thai temple in Georgetown

The Perhentian islands were beautiful…absolutely incredible.  But we needed a two month Thai visa so we headed over to Penang, Malaysia to visit the Thai embassy and sample some of Malaysia’s finest food….according to tips on Penang.

After an 8 hour minibus ride, we arrived in Penang with 2 more friends than we had started with and looked for a budget hotel.  A fellow San Franciscan (who of course knows people we know), Joe, was with us just for one night before flying up to Bangkok and then home, Charlotte was on the last 3 days of her 8 month travels before heading home to Stuttgard (Germany) and Vicki is still traveling with us. But wait, there’s more!

Secluded Paradise, Perhentian Kecil

The beach where we spent every day (near romantic beach)

The moment we touched down on the smaller Perhentian island (Kecil), Laura, Erika, and Christina went walking along the beach looking for a place to stay. I sat on a sandy slope watching the neon blue water and minding the backpacks. Behind me, an Australian gal started yelling at her group of friends walking up the beach. “I sold your passports!” she yelled, “So it looks like we have beer money.” They laughed and she said, “Not like you care though, by the looks of it you could stay here forever.” I was excited, because that was exactly how I felt. But wait, there’s more!

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia’s Worst Kept Secret

Overlooking the tea plantation

We apologize for the delay in posting, but sometimes we don’t know that we don’t have wifi until we get somewhere, which forces us to delay sharing our trip with all of you.  And at other times, there is just too much sun to soak up and too many fishes to see under the water.  But we are back now and we bring you our first stop on Christina’s vacation after a quick two days in KL…

The Cameron Highlands are only about 3 hours north of Kuala Lumpur.  However, as usual, 3 hours turned into 5, the AC never turned off so we froze, and our bus driver hit the toll booth so we had to make a detour to fix the bus.  Thank goodness the rain had stopped by the time we arrived.  We stepped off the bus and less than two seconds later, people are handing us hostel and hotel information. We decide on a place, get there, put our bags in the room, and the manager comes in and says,”oh, you can only have the room tonight, and it’s RM90.”She had only two minutes before said three nights at RM80. But wait, there’s more!

Foodie Friday: From Bad to Great

Gallery

This gallery contains 25 photos.

We checked into a $32 a night ‘hotel’ in Bandung a week ago, and the negotiating point where we booked was a free breakfast. The next day we woke to four pieces of untoasted bread spread with butter and chocolate … Continue reading

Visitors and Postcards

Well my sister has arrived in Malaysia and after showing her around Kuala Lumpur, we are off to the Cameron Highlands tomorrow.  With that in mind we wanted to remind all of you that if you would like to come visit us or know of anyone making a trip over here, please let us know and we’ll see if we can cross paths.

Also, if you would like a postcard, please email your address to emurdock@gmail.com and we’ll be sure to send you one!

Lastly, we are headed up into the highlands of Malaysia and then a national park.  If you don’t hear from us for a couple of days its because we don’t have wifi and we’re exploring and having fun!

Collision: Malay on Motorcycle vs. Mexican on Bycicle

Three Buddahs

Melaka, Malaysia is cultural, colorful and slightly over-manicured, but maybe that’s just from us weary travelers far too used to the grime of Java. It’s a World Heritage City, and like all things once before, moves at a slower pace; but that’s mostly due to the outrageously hot weather.  So when we saw that our hostel, Sayang Sayang Guest House, rented bikes, it seemed like a no brainer. Bikes offer people powered breeze and equal one pedal to every ten steps. We rode for most of the day until we met with people from our hostel to bike to the outdoor food market. We rode in single file in daylight across town, ate at various food stalls, chatted, laughed and had a nice evening.

But wait there’s more!

To Save Money, We Stayed at the Ritz

Decisions Decisions

We’ve been spending about $15 – $32 a day on our “hotel” rooms in Indonesia. These have varied from small, yet clean with a decent bed (maybe even a TV), to dark, dingy, and smelly with piece of foam on plywood for a bed. There have been rooms that smelled like septic tanks, and places we thought were well situated until the three Mosques on the same block had their 4:15 AM call to prayer. They all had  their fair share of mosquitoes, never before seen bugs, and lots of little lizards. But wait, there’s more!