Week 2 : January 23-29

Where We Went

Day 1:

Our first day on Tioman Island was a rainy one. We took advantage of a short break in the rain to explore the tiny town of Genting, and ate a decent but pricy lunch at a Chinese restaurant, one of the two open places to eat in town. That night, we ate dinner at our homestay, and got the unfortunate news from our host that a major storm was headed for the island. The ferry back to the mainland was cancelled for several days while the storm let up. Luckily, he was willing to host us for free until we were able to head back to the mainland. He even gave us a free (and rather large) glass of Sake to go with our meal.  From the moment we arrived on the island - when he met us at the dock with umbrellas - our host Uncle Pang was nothing short of amazing, and we were happy to spend an otherwise uneventful stay on the island with him.

Rainy days in paradise

Rainy days in paradise

Day 2-4:

We only intended on staying on Tioman for a couple of days, but the monsoon season had other plans. After the rain caused the ferry to be cancelled for two days in a row, we were finally able to board one and leave the island on Thursday. We spent the rest of the time hard at work on the next MarcyMoji pack and a couple of other projects we have in the works. We would have loved to explore more of the island, but that'll have to wait for another time when we come back during the dry season. Arriving back on the mainland in Mersing, we stayed at a house belonging to a Malaysian guy named Omar. I had contacted him through a hospitality network for cyclists called 'Warm Showers', and even though he was out of town he arranged with another traveler to let us into his place for the night. 

Day 5:

Back on the bikes! We left Mersing at sunrise and headed towards the west coast. We had mostly empty roads and beautiful scenery for the ride, and we were lucky enough to have cloud cover for a large portion of the ride. The last couple of hours was brutally hot however, and we were really happy when we arrived at our guesthouse in Kluang. We were also excited to discover that the guest house had a washing machine, meaning we could finally properly wash our clothes that had never fully dried (and thus smelled pretty bad) when we tried to clean them on Tioman Island. We got out first taste of what Chinese New Years means here in Malaysia when the fireworks started going off at 10pm.. and kept going until 3am. 

Day 6:

Our second taste of what Chinese New Years means came when we tried to book a night in the next town on our route and discovered that only two (expensive) rooms were left. Luckily, we found a cheaper room in a closer town, and resigned ourselves to making less progress up the coast in return for a cheaper place to stay. Since we didn't have far to go, we stayed at our guesthouse until late in the day and got some work done before riding the 20 miles to the next town.

So many mandarins! People have been coming up to us non-stop for the last few days and offering us mandarins and wishing us a happy (Chinese) new year. We might have to start giving some out ourselves if this trend continues. Either way, we won’t be getting scurvy on this trip.

So many mandarins! People have been coming up to us non-stop for the last few days and offering us mandarins and wishing us a happy (Chinese) new year. We might have to start giving some out ourselves if this trend continues. Either way, we won’t be getting scurvy on this trip.

Day 7:

We got a late start leaving our hotel, and headed further up the west coast towards Malacca. We didn’t have a place booked as the only ones we could find online were expensive and dingy looking, so we decided to wing it and see what we could find. Normally that’s not a problem, but over Chinese New Year we had been warned that everything would be booked. As we started to near the end of the day, we saw a sign for a guest house in a tiny town near the coast. Something about the sign seemed right, and we decided to head the mile or so down a tiny road and investigate. When we arrived, we found paradise. A sprawling complex with beautifully painted houses, a pool, and lots of cool outdoor spaces to hang out. When we asked sheepishly if they had any rooms available, they replied that they didn’t. But, they added, ‘we do have a treehouse’. The treehouse was nothing short of amazing. 3 stories tall, and directly next to the pool, it had everything we needed (two tiny foam mattresses and a fan) and nothing we didn’t, and was cheap too. After unpacking, we headed down the street and found a delicious fish curry called Adam Pedas (pictured in the food section below), which we devoured. After we returned from dinner, we discovered that one of the families staying at the resort was having a BBQ, and they invited us to join. They had everything - chicken, sausages, lamb, burgers, all smothered in a delicious herb butter sauce. Despite having just ate, we feasted on a plate full of delicious BBQ. We slept very, very well that night.

Nothing beats being invited to a massive BBQ just below your treehouse.

Nothing beats being invited to a massive BBQ just below your treehouse.

The treehouse!

The treehouse!

As we stopped for a quick iced coffee break, the young boy above came up to us and gave us mandarins, then posed while his mother took a photo. As they drove away, he rolled down the window and shouted ‘I love you!’

As we stopped for a quick iced coffee break, the young boy above came up to us and gave us mandarins, then posed while his mother took a photo. As they drove away, he rolled down the window and shouted ‘I love you!’

Another selfie during an afternoon stop for a snack

Another selfie during an afternoon stop for a snack

The Media

Marcy 

Listening to:  Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin , Sarah and Vinnie , Young House Love Has a Podcast, Homecoming

Reading: 

Finished: Daily Rituals 👍🏻👍🏻, The Psychopath Test 👎🏻

Started: The Tipping Point

Andrew:

Reading:  Born to Walk

Together

What We Ate

Typical lunches - buffets where we load up on rice, veggies, and meat curries. $1-2.

Typical lunches - buffets where we load up on rice, veggies, and meat curries. $1-2.

This is the family that made the fish curry pictured below. They hardly spoke any english, but after we were done eating the daughter (on the left) said “selfie?”

This is the family that made the fish curry pictured below. They hardly spoke any english, but after we were done eating the daughter (on the left) said “selfie?”

Asam Pedas - a spicy, delicious fish curry. I was so happy. Everyone we talked to about what we had for dinner was shocked that two ‘metsalehs’ (white foreigners) could handle such a spicy meal. 

Asam Pedas - a spicy, delicious fish curry. I was so happy. Everyone we talked to about what we had for dinner was shocked that two ‘metsalehs’ (white foreigners) could handle such a spicy meal. 

All the drinks. Our host on Tioman island didn’t drink, but often received drinks as gifts from visitors. We graciously offered to help him with this problem.

All the drinks. Our host on Tioman island didn’t drink, but often received drinks as gifts from visitors. We graciously offered to help him with this problem.

Indian banana leaf meal - lots of veggies in the small tins and some spicy chicken that we shared in the middle.

Indian banana leaf meal - lots of veggies in the small tins and some spicy chicken that we shared in the middle.

Cheesecake and Coffee - AKA Marcy in heaven. 

Cheesecake and Coffee - AKA Marcy in heaven. 

Marcy gets a coffee to go.

Marcy gets a coffee to go.

Fresh coconuts from our treehouse hosts!

Fresh coconuts from our treehouse hosts!

What’s Next

We’re continuing our ride up the west coast of Malaysia. First stop is Malacca, where we’d like to spend a few days exploring, then we’re off to Kuala Lumpur to meet up with friends.