Martijn and Mariëlle

Martijn and Mariëlle Follow

🚲 Crossing the Eurasian continent on bikes.
🌏 Groningen (NL) - Tianjin (China)
📍Currently in Malaysia

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And then accidentally... we were competing in a road race on Penang 😅! Now off to Thailand!
In every big city in Malaysia or Singapore you find Chinatown and Little India. Malay, Chinese and Indians share the two countries together. They have their own gods, their own food and their own clothing. There are no (visisble) problems and they live happily together. In Holland - where the concept of a ‘multicultural society’ dominates the political debate for decades - and in other Western countries, people can and should learn from this.
Riding around Ipoh.
The greatest hospitality we mostly meet in countries that call themselves Muslim. In order to understand the religion and culture better we read books about Islam and visit Mosques along the way. Here Martijn is performing the washing ritual in preperation for prayer.
M&M & Cameron Highlands.
Riding through the tea plantations in Cameron Highlands. The wet and cooler climate - due to the height of at least 1200m - combines the perfect conditions for creating this green wonderland.
Girlpower 💪
We were tired and soaked. It was already dark and we couldn’t find I place to sleep. We passed a man on a scooter. He asked us where we were going. Grumpy and not feeling for a chitchat, Martijn just quickly mentioned the next town on the map and we cycled through. After a while still looking for a camping spot, the man on the scooter passed again and this time he asked us if we needed help. We explained him that we were looking for a place to sleep. Without hesitation he replied that we could stay at his place. That evening he took us to the night market en bought us satay and special drinks. One of the drinks was made with lychees, grass jelly, basil seeds and peanuts. The next morning we ate nasi lemak together with the whole family. Before we left we got bags of food for along the way. Needless to say we were overwhelmed by this hospitality and kindness. Many thanks @azrirahman1
Here we tried our first durian. While the fruit is the pride of the Malaysian people, we were warned by many foreigners for its notorious bad taste and smell. So what was our verdict? We certainly didn’t think it was that bad as we were told. But on the other hand it was not that tasteful as Malay seem to like it. The smell is penetrant (its forbidden to bring into the subway in Singapore for that reason) but not bad and the texture is very slimy. It was just something which we never had before and so we’re not used to it. We will try some more and see if we going to like them or not.
Back to the bike! After spending time off the bike in Almaty, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore we’re back on track. Starting our way up, crossing South East Asia in the direction of China. Like before we were exited to jump on the bikes again, cycling towards adventure. But on the other hand it took time getting used to the nomadic lifestyle and the tropical climate. From Kuala Lumpur we headed into the mountains, taking a detour to Fraser’s Hill, a former English settlement on the top of a hill (1200m), in the middle of the jungle. We were amazed by all the green that was surrounding us; by all the bright colours that are hidden in that green; and by all the sounds of tropical birds and monkeys.
Hotel Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore is a cultural meltingpot. The best thing about that is that they’re celebrating everything: from deepavali (Indian festival of lights), Chinese new year, Mawlid an-Mabi (birth of Muhammed) to (tropical) Christmas. Although living in a society with strict rules, the Singaporeans are partyanimals 🎉.