Sarawak and the Annah Rais Longhouse Village

Sarawak, Malaysia
The landscape that lays before you as you drive inland through Sarawak.

The island of Borneo is made up of three different countries, Indonesia, Brunei, and Eastern Malaysia. It’s the third largest island in the world and home to thick jungle forests, tribal community groups, and some of the rarest plant and animal species in the world.

Many people often overlook Eastern Malaysia, instead focusing on the peninsular side of the country where skyscrapers, modern transportation and density reign supreme. But a trip over to Borneo will give you a different perspective of the country, one that is a little more rugged, chalk-full of nature and adventure, and steeped in rich cultural history.

Eastern Malaysia is split between two states, Sabah in the north and Sarawak in the south, and is the same size as Peninsular Malaysia. Locals joke that there are 4 seasons here; wet, very wet, hot, and very hot. After my recent trip to Kuching in Sarawak, I’d have to agree. Read more “Sarawak and the Annah Rais Longhouse Village”

Video: Spirit of Malaysia

Malaysia

It was only a month ago that I was back in one of my favourite countries, Malaysia. Before I left, I wrote about how I was excited to be returning but a bit anxious about how my return visit would be – if my previous notions would change in some way.

After a long 30-hour travel day, I arrived in Kuala Lumpur. Maybe it was the jetlag, but I was overcome with this surreal feeling as our bus made its way to our hotel. As we drove through the city, my memory was jogged by familiar buildings and street names. And once we arrived at our hotel, all of my senses were on overdrive. The noise of the traffic, the humidity that made everything stick together, and that familiar smell in the air; an earthy, smoky, burning aroma that still to this day I’m not sure what it is. Incense?

Those first few moments in the city were like an out-of-body experience. I was so far away from home yet there was a feeling of comfortableness and familiarity with my surroundings. Read more “Video: Spirit of Malaysia”

Travel Costs: Indonesia

How much does it cost to traveling through Indonesia?
Women work on the rice terraces in Ubud, Bali.

Stretching across 17,000+ islands, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. This archipelago spans from Sumatra in the west to Papua in the east and is home to a large variety of different ethnic and cultural groups. Each island varies from one another, from its landscape, religion, architecture, and character, providing travelers with differing experiences from one island to the next.

With so many islands and varying things to experience, we picked three islands to spend our time in: Sumatra, Java, and Bali. Read more “Travel Costs: Indonesia”