The Road So Far
Can you believe we’ve been traveling for over three months already? I sure can’t. I guess some moments feel like they happened light years ago but most things feel like they happened yesterday. Especially the things that actually happened yesterday. We’ve decided that we want to spend about four months in Europe at the end of the trip, and although that sounds like a lot of time for one continent, there’s just so much to see there! We haven’t really worked on an itinerary for Europe yet, save for a few mentions of places that are must see, but I can already tell it’s going to be a challenge to cut out places we won’t have time to visit. We can only stay 90 days in the Schengen region of Europe, which encompasses 26 countries, so the challenge is real. Right now though we have to figure out how to fill the time leading up to that point. I mean that in the same sense that there’s just too much to see in this world. The plan is to be in southeast Asia for a other three weeks, and then take a flight to India. Our goal is to stay somewhat warm and dry, so we’re looking to visit Arabia in late February before it gets too hot here. Our sticky wicket right now is figuring out where to go there and how much time to spend. The United Arab Emirates is a must, Oman looks really nice, but do we visit Qatar? Cyprus in the Mediterranean has popped up on our radar as well, can we fit that in? Even with so much time left, it’s no fun feeling like you’re in a time crunch. We need to decide on flights soon before prices rise, and then during the hot afternoons we’ll start working on an itinerary. Traveling for this long does have a small down side, I guess! Other than the above, we’re still really enjoying our time. Like a said earlier it feels like we just left, which is a good sign. We spent four days simply relaxing on the beach in Southern Thailand, eating massive breakfasts, swimming in the warm ocean, and taking naps on beach chairs. A real battery recharger.
Just a few days ago on Sunday we traveled by van from Southern Thailand to the Malaysian border, and then took a train to Butterworth in Penang. From there we took a ferry to our current location, George Town. The trip took most of the day, but it beat having to take multiple flights which wouldn’t save us much time. We have four days in George Town to relax, check out the city, and eat.
Malaysia, and George Town in particular, are known for their food. In fact, guide books usually put food on the cover instead of some famous landmark or natural wonder. That’s how amazing the food is here. When we asked for a map, we were given one that explains the top twenty or so best dishes in George Town and where to find them. We’re using it as a check list and I think we’ve covered maybe six so far. So much to eat, so little time.
Hokkien Mee - Noodles and seafood
George Town is a neat little city in that it seems to be a melting pot of different cultures and religions. You can stand on one corner and see a mosque to your left and a hindu temple to the right, with a Christian church a street away and a Jewish cemetery close by. Don’t forget the Buddhist temples attached to many old mansions and down alleyways, either. Although the country is mostly Muslim, you really wouldn’t know that here.
Kapitan Keling Mosque
Sri Mariamman Temple
St. George Cathedral
There is still a British colonial influence throughout the city, and many Chinese traders made homes here. There are signs in English, Chinese, Malay, and it’s not hard to find Arabic or Indian as well. Food is cheap and street food is where you can find the best of it. It’s just hard to choose what to eat with so many good options. If there is a downside, it’s the temperature – it never seems to drop below 80 degrees at night, and days top out around 95. This is only our second day here, and we’re about to do a walking tour to learn more about the history, so I will be sure to enlighten you on this later. Until then!