On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kuala Besut-Kuala Terengganu

Total Distance:113.87km
Total Time:6h11m32s
Average Speed:18.4km/h
Maximum Speed:35.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:10,545.76km

My time spent on the Perehntian Islands was great. I did absolutely nothing. It was perfect. A much need period of relaxation. It really is a beautiful place. It was, however a lot more expensive than I had anticipated. In fact, all of Eastern Malaysia has been more expensive than I had anticipated. I've had to resort to staying in dorms, which are my least favorite of budget accommodations. I guess it beats sleeping on the street... depending on the dorm, that is.
Although it has been a little hard on the old wallet, Malaysia is not without it's benefits. The people here are incredibly nice. Before leaving for the island I left Fred with the people at the travel agency where I purchased my ticket for the boat ride over. They stored it for free, which is unheard of in any of the other countries I've visited on this journey. When I got back Fred was there safe and sound. The people who were taking care of him even gave me some free snacks for the road. On my way out of Kuala Besut, three separate people stopped me to ask where I was going and make sure I knew that there was a shorter way to get there than taking the main highway.
Even though I was given directions on how to get to Kuala Terengganu, I still managed to mess it up. I started off on the short cut route, just as had been explained to me, but some how I ended up back on the main highway. In my defense, road signs in Malaysia aren't the best. It was a total drag! Not only was is a detour getting back onto he main highway, which I hadn't intended to do, but it's a longer route. What should have been 95km turned into almost 115km. There was a large portion of the highway that was under construction. This meant no shoulder to ride on. Luckily it wasn't very bust at the time and the speed limit was only 30km/h. I didn't maintain 30km/h, but close enough that people weren't too agitated when they had to drive behind me waiting for a suitable stretch of road to pass me.
Getting into the city was a little confusing too. I had a hard time finding the city center. Once again, Malaysian people did not disappoint. A nice man on a motor cycle saw me looking at a map and offered to let me follow him to where the bulk of hotels and guesthouses are. It was a nice thing that probably saved me hours in aimless wandering.
Kuala Terengganu is a pretty little city. There are a few sights. You know the usual... mosque, temple, palace. Mostly I like it for it's architecture. It's very pleasing to the eye. A beautiful city to just look at. While I'd love to just sit here doing nothing, it is unfortunately time to move on.

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