Week 5: Panang and Langkawi AND THAILAND

Where We Went

Day 1:

After staying at the Sojourn hostel in Taiping, we set off for a warm showers host about 40 miles to the northwest. We had heard some amazing stories about him, and he didn’t disappoint when we arrived. After some heart troubles at the age of 54, David decided to start riding his bike as a way to get in better shape. Before long that lead to bike touring all over Malaysia, then India, then Europe, and even across the US twice. He's turned his passion for cycling into a love for hosting other cyclists as well - and has now hosted over 1000 over the last 15 years. On his shelves were binders full of photos from his tours. His wife made a delicious egg curry dinner for us while he went out to fetch Toddy - an Indian coconut wine. After several servings of both we stayed up late into the night while he regaled us with tales and photos of his tours around the world.

Dinner time

Dinner time

David’s collection of photo binders from his tours around the world.

David’s collection of photo binders from his tours around the world.

We stayed up late drinking Toddy while David showed us his photo collection.

We stayed up late drinking Toddy while David showed us his photo collection.

Day 2:

David had already left for work by the time we woke up (I blame the toddy!), but his wife made us a roti canai breakfast before we set off. 

The ride to Penang was hot, traffic clogged, and windy. We hopped on to a short ferry for the ride from mainland Malaysia to Penang, and instantly loved what we saw. Colorful buildings, delicious looking food and coffee shops on every corner.

A few weeks back, while taking the train into Kuala Lumpur, two women sat across from us and started to ask about our bike trip. It turned out that not only were they on a bike tour as well, but that we had been following them on instagram! Unfortunately our stop was next up, and we were only able to chat with them for about 90 seconds, but we made promises to keep in touch. After trailing them up the coast from Kuala Lumpur, we finally caught up with them in Penang over drinks.

Finally meeting @brakesandcakes!

Finally meeting @brakesandcakes!

Day 3-4:

We spent the next couple of days soaking in all of Penang - temples, food, coffee, more food, more coffee, more food, street art, and more food. 

Mugshot Marcy

Mugshot Marcy

Smelling the temple mandarins.

Smelling the temple mandarins.

One of the beautiful, ornate temple roofs in Penang.

One of the beautiful, ornate temple roofs in Penang.

Penang street art

Penang street art

Penang street art

Penang street art

An Indian temple near our hostel.

An Indian temple near our hostel.

The mosque across the street from our hostel.

The mosque across the street from our hostel.

Penang street art

Penang street art

Penang street art

Penang street art

Colorful cloths in Little India.

Colorful cloths in Little India.

Shopping in Little India

Shopping in Little India

Marcy Day Temple Pose

Marcy Day Temple Pose

Penang street art

Penang street art

Getting a long overdue haircut - $2.

Getting a long overdue haircut - $2.

Day 5:

We left Penang around midday and took the 3 hour ferry north to Langkawi, Malaysia’s northernmost island. After landing we rode about an hour north and arrived just at sunset to find the best place we’ve stayed in all of Malaysia. Directly on the ocean, in a peaceful, quiet part of the island, our motel was the perfect place to end our time in Malaysia. Shortly after arriving, we found @brakesandcakes again! We knew that they were heading north to Langkawi, but hadn’t asked where they were staying so it was a nice surprise to see them. We spent that evening exploring the night market with them, stuffing ourselves with BBQ'd chicken, Mutabarak, and the tiniest pancakes ever. 

 

An idyllic arrival

An idyllic arrival

Marcy in cat heaven

Marcy in cat heaven

Sunset in front of our motel

Sunset in front of our motel

Day 6:

Our last full day in Malaysia was spent lazing around at the motel and on the nearby beaches, taking photos and shooting some video with the drone. 

 

Our bungalow.

Our bungalow.

The office

The office

Day 7:

We woke up early and biked another hour back down to the ferry to depart for Thailand. After arriving in Thailand, we quickly cleared immigration and biked another hour to the town of Satun, where we spend our first night in Thailand getting our bearings (if you've never seen Thai writing, it's almost impossible to decipher. The characters all look like squiggly backwards R's.) and eating copious amounts of street food. 

Langkawi farm life.

Langkawi farm life.

Exploring the back roads of Langkawi. 

Exploring the back roads of Langkawi. 

One is the loneliest number. On the ferry from Langkawi to Thailand. 

One is the loneliest number. On the ferry from Langkawi to Thailand. 

What We Ate

Perfect Indian lunch with lots of veggie curries in Penang.

Perfect Indian lunch with lots of veggie curries in Penang.

Street soup in Penang.

Street soup in Penang.

Delicious Thai beef and noodle soup.

Delicious Thai beef and noodle soup.

Pineapples at the market.

Pineapples at the market.