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Category: Malaysia

Penang, far and close

Penang was on my itinerary simply for getting a Thai visa. Unplanned and unknown, it grew on me the moment I set foot there and ventured down a narrow alley. British colonial mansions and Chinese shop houses colorfully flank the streets of the historic town center—reminders of a cosmopolitan past, probably brimming with tales in their cracks and weathered wallpapers. As if the architectural enticement weren’t enough, hawkers of various culinary convictions invade these streets at…

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Farms, cables, and automobiles: the Cameron Highlands

Before arriving to the Cameron Highlands, images of undulating green fields lured me on the Internet. In reality, the region is a never-ending construction site. The rush to build and the hilly nature of the area have resulted in a deformed landscape, where neatly rectangular structures, like greenhouses and plants, seem to topple over or poke at each other with their straight lines. I arrive here one evening with the great plan to hike on…

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Kuala Lumpur, a patchwork of contradictions

For my first full days as inglorious traveler, I explore the different facets of Kuala Lumpur. I join an unofficial city tour led by a friend of the hostel, M. from Iran, a student in Kuala Lumpur, trying to save enough money to bike across India and Pakistan. He takes us to Indian and Chinese temples, museums and mosques, cheap eateries, and the religious bazaar that is Batu Caves—all in all a good introduction to…

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Heat

The moment the airplane door opens, I already know I will be exposed to a temperature 52 C degrees higher than where I left from. I summon my memory of heat in order to get ready, but nothing really prepares me for that first gush of hot, humid air. The sensation is so strong and the impact so sudden, that even before getting to my hostel the borderline ridiculous thought of taking the next flight…

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