Porn is Blessed (and other Thai names)

Thai people have a first name and a last name (which is new as of the early 20th century), but they usually go by an unrelated nickname.  The nickname is given to them at birth by their parents and is most often a monosyllabic Thai noun or English noun, but it can be pretty much anything that the parents choose. Common girls’ names that are … Continue reading Porn is Blessed (and other Thai names)

Penang Hill

In our quest to go to the highest tourist attraction at every stop, we headed to Penang Hill.  We did enough research to get us to the base, but neither of knew what to expect at the top.  Having been there, and now reviewing their website, I still don’t really know. There’s view of the city and the sea, an expensive restaurant, some moderately priced food … Continue reading Penang Hill

A Jaunt Through George Town

George Town, Penang was one of the highlights of our trip.  First, we stayed in an amazing place called Vintage House.  Then we ate amazing food.  And finally we were won over by the charming old town (I’m going to need some synonyms for charming) and the abundance of street art. Vintage House was our haven.  Goodbye fan-only rooms, bunk-beds and shared facilities.  Hello, air con, … Continue reading A Jaunt Through George Town

Meandering through Malaysia

I just spent almost three weeks in Malaysia with a Singapore chaser, and it was a most grand adventure.  Our trip took us criss-crossing the nation – we visited beaches, highlands, port towns, and cities.  We ate mee goreng, nonya laksa, hummus, paneer masala and vegan sushi. We stayed some fantastic and cheap hostels and some expensive and aweful hotels.  We searched for a “decent” cup … Continue reading Meandering through Malaysia

Travel isn’t always sandy beaches and perfect sunsets

So many travel blogs, Instagram posts and Facebook statuses bragging about their epic and unique adventures.  They aren’t always so quick to share the exhausting journeys, dirty rooms, bad food, and missed connections. Here’s a picture from breakfast at our hotel on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  But I can’t say the trip was worth it. We took the overnight bus leaving … Continue reading Travel isn’t always sandy beaches and perfect sunsets

Malaysia, Headscarves, and My Cultural Education

I’ve just spent about three weeks in Malaysia, visiting beaches, seaside towns, highlands, and the cities.  But what intrigued me most was the people.  Malaysia is a diverse mix of mostly Malay, Chinese and Indian, and the majority of the population is Muslim.  Malay is the official language, but English is widely used. Malaysia is the first country I have visited that’s predominately Muslim, and … Continue reading Malaysia, Headscarves, and My Cultural Education