Entry Point: Rail System coming from Singapore to Malaysia.
Exit Point: Rail system from Butterworth to Surat Thani, Thailand.
When: I'll be arriving on the 15th of April and will be spending a total of ten nights in Malaysia.
Looking Forward to: I'm planning for Kuala Lumpur to be my first experience with couchsurfing in Southeast Asia. It will be a big advantage for me as I'll only be spending a small amount of time in Malaysia, and staying with a local will allow me to engage with Malay culture.
I'll be spending my birthday in Taman Negara. Taman Negara literally translates to “National Park” and is the world's oldest tropical rainforest. I love the outdoors so Taman Negara will be right up my alley. My birthday present to myself will be to go fishing in the park, hopefully I don't get skunked. The park is also host to the world's longest suspension walking bridge, which is suspended up to 40m above the forest floor.
Malaysia is a predominately Muslim country with two sets of laws, one for Muslims and one for non-Muslims. It'll be my first experience with a Muslim country, and I want to try and focus on this when I visit. Currently, there is tension between religious groups, and churches have been fire-bombed this week. Hopefully this will settle down before I arrive. Islamic culture will be my focus when I'm in Malaysia.
Not Looking forward to: I know I will feel rushed in Malaysia as I only have a small amount of time in which to experience this country, and as a result, I will miss almost everything. Its a necessary evil if I want to make my deadline for the Full Moon Party in Thailand. I'll have to focus on the important things to get enough out of my time in Malaysia.
Even though its a big tourist attraction, I can't wait to see and photograph the Petronas Towers at night. Every shot I've seen of the buildings looks absolutely fabulous.
Notes: If it wasn't for me starting in Singapore to visit a travel buddy, I would never have considered Malaysia. It simply wasn't on my radar. That said, I'm extremely pleased that I will be visiting and I can't wait to experience my first Islamic country.
Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand are linked by an excellent and modern rail system. I won't be fulfilling my dream of riding on the top of a train here, but it will allow me to see more of Malaysia then if I had to rely on buses. Without it, I would experience even less.