// MY NAME IS DANIELAnd after years of dreaming I've sold everything I own and set off on the open road. I've made this site as a sort of photo journal of my travels. The map shows where I've been (red), where I've stayed a month or more (yellow), and where I plan to go (white). And so, armed with little more than a backpack, a camera, and a dream, I now take the road less traveled by. So it goes.
KUALA LUMPUR MALAYA I arrived in Malaysia via the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Given it's colonial history, Malaysia is a very diverse nation. In Kuala Lumpur the breakdown is roughly 50% Malay, 25% Chinese, 8% Indian, and 11% Indigenous Tribes. The country is about 60% Muslim, 20% Buddhist, 10% Christian, 7% Hindu, and 2% Taoist/Chinese Folk Religion. So you'll see below photos of Hindu Temples, Mosques, Churches, and cool trains. You'll also see the pod hostel where I stayed, designed like living quarters on a starship. You get your own pod, with key card access, all sorts of cool buttons to push inside, and a small table that folds out of the wall.
KOTA KINABALU SABAH From Kuala Lumpur I went to Indonesia for a while, then flew to the island of Borneo, which is divided between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. I went to the Malaysian side, first to the city of Kota Kinabalu in the state of Sabah. Malaysia is a federation of 13 states, with two of them on the island of Borneo. Those two states have more autonomy than the other states, and even have their own immigration controls. Since 2010 there's even been growing calls for indepedence.
KINABATANGAN RIVER SABAH What I really came to see in Borneo, however, was the nature. So I flew from Kota Kinabalu to the more remote eastern side of the island and stayed at a river lodge on the Kinabatangan River. You can see the lodge I stayed below. Included in the stay was a boat ride every morning and every afternoon to spot wildlife, as well as a night walk through the jungle. Amazing food was also included. Borneo has some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the world, though much of it is under threat from mass deforestation to grow palm tree plantations for palm oil.
SANDAKAN SABAH Sandakan is the small seaside town one flies to in order to reach the more remote parts of the island.
MIRI SARAWAK Miri is a small sea-side city in Sarawak, not far from the tiny nation of Brunei. I stayed with a local Chinese family. Nearly every city in Malaysia has a Chinatown and many of the Chinese have lived here for many generations. Chinese colonization of Borneo began as far back as the 1400s, though many arrived in the 1800s.
KUCHING SARAWAK My final stop in Malaysia was Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. It was a surpringsly pleasant city, with beautiful river walks, interesting art and architecture, comfortable streets built at human scale... it was not at all like the car-dominated, highway-obsessed city of Kuala Lumpur. One thing to note is that Kuching is crazy about cats. There are monuments to cats, street art to cats, murals to cats. This is partly because the name Kuching sounds like the Malay word for 'cat'. There are many theories about this, my favorite being that when James Brooke arrived from England to take administrative control of the area, he asked the locals what the name of their town was by pointing to it (many believe the original name of the town was Sarawak). The locals saw him pointing, but thought he was pointing specifically to a cat that walked by, so they told him the name of that thing was 'kuching'...
BAKO NATIONAL PARK SARAWAK Not far from Kuching is the amazing Bako National Park, which can only be reached by boat from a nearby village. You can see a pitcher plant in the last photo, one of the world's few carnivorous plants which lure insects and small mammals into its belly with sweet smells, only to close and trap them, and digest them with digestive juices. And with that, sadly it was time to leave Malaysia. So it goes.