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Inglorious Travels Posts

Leaving Lanta

Celebrating your birthday while you travel generates all sorts of temptations to spoil yourself. I gave in to one of these temptations and decided to spend my birthday in style on Koh Lanta, a developed island which doesn’t rank so high on the touristy scale. I rented a decent bungalow in a small resort run by a very young Muslim couple—it was cheap by local standards, but still the most expensive accommodation of my entire…

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Wide frame Tarutao

On the way to Kuala Lumpur, I saw from the plane an island whose shape intrigued me: a big chunk of jungle with three-four long but narrow patches of white beach. I decided right then and there that I would visit it. The island turned out to be Koh Tarutao (“island” Tarutao) and it was located in Thailand quite close to the border with Malaysia. Since I had 0 plans for my itinerary in Thailand,…

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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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January 23, 2016

10:00pm local time at departure airport. 3:00am local time at destination. When you fly at 11,000 meters, time is only defined by the routine of the flight attendants. I don’t yet speak the language of long-haul flights, so I glance furtively at the freckled young girl sitting next to me to figure out what to do with all the airline branded objects surrounding me. She slides gracefully into her role as passenger and I try…

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