My second sojourn into Malaysia was riding in from Sadao Border (Thailand). The change in scenario was evident as soon as I crossed over, the first thing being the ease in communication. The fact that many people spoke English made things a lot more convenient. Even though Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country, I wouldn’t hesitate to call it one of the largest multi cultural cities in Southeast Asia, with the natives being very friendly and accommodating. The landscape varies from dense green rainforests and jungles to some of the top islands in the world covered with white sandy beaches. The weather is typically tropical in nature and it can get very humid, added to the fact that it is quite unpredictable. Expect a sudden downpour any point of the day and so it’s always a good thing to stay prepared for the same.
The motorcycle culture is evolved here, and so is the brotherhood. This was evident as soon as I entered Malaysia. Besides using two wheelers as the daily mode of transport in the city, the boys and pleasantly surprising is even the girls come out with their big bikes on weekends.
The Super bikes scene is quite honed and matured with all the big brands available in Malaysia, the Japanese brands being the mainstay. The North South Highway starting from the Thailand border all the way to Johor Bahru (bordering town to Singapore) is where we can literally hear them fly past.
The riders are spread across all age groups. I was riding to Kuala Lumpur from Penang on a weekend and was overtaken by this group of Ducati riders, who when I caught up with at the next fuel station, was surprised to see were all way past their 50s! I met a lot of riders who are into Over-landing too. It is quite evolved as well, with a good number of crossover bikes, majority being the BMW 1200 GS.
I had an amazing time with the riders in Penang and Kuala Lumpur. I was welcomed by the Royal Enfield riders club in Kuala Lumpur and we took to the roads when the city fell asleep. The ride to the Cameron Highlands amidst the tea estates and the trip to Kuala Selangor along the coast proved to be the icing on the cake. I strongly recommend riding these stretches when in Malaysia.
During my stay in KL, I was invited for the Asean Rides Festival (September 12, 2015). It was a congregation of the like minded, who truly believed in the brotherhood. Riders from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and even Indonesia took part in this jamboree. The riders belonged to all age groups, and there was a healthy participation of women riders with their mean machines as well. It was a great sight to see thousands of riders riding into the city as a convoy along with the Police and Marshals ensuring the city traffic was not disrupted. It was an exceptionally well organised event.
If you are a foodie, Malaysia is the place to indulge with its multicultural cuisine. The local dishes I would recommend to savour are Chicken Satay, Roti Canai, Nasi Lemak (a rice dish with coconut) and Beef Rendang (a curry dish with coconut and lemongrass). If you’re in Penang, widely accepted to be Malaysia’s food capital, try the Laksa Penang (a spicy and sour noodle soup) or the Nasi Kandar (Malaysian curry dish with rice).
So I leave you with the must see places in Malaysia:
My actual plan of riding into Vietnam from Laos did not pan out as unfortunately they did not allow me to cross with the bike as there is a restriction
Warrier's Trail is a crazy dream of a simple guy that was inspired by a desire to travel, meeting people, see places and live life full of uncertainty.
The dream is to travel 40 countries, in over 500 odd days in 5 regions (S.E.Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe & Africa)
A journey of exploration!