After visiting the first five countries along the route of the Bamboo Road, riders may have naively thought they had seen (and tasted) it all. However, just when the group was becoming comfortable with the spicy chili, the sunny beaches and the ever-present signs of Buddhism, the route entered Malaysia. Instantly we could sense countless differences from all of the previous places we had been, just with the crossing of a border.
One of the first contrasts the group noticed upon entering Malaysia was the diversity of the country. Although Malaysia is a mostly Muslim country, there are strong communities with followers of Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism among many other religions. Most small towns and villages are made up mostly of Malay people, however enter even the smallest of cities and you’ll quickly see people of Indian and Chinese ancestry mingling together. And with this diversity follows a plethora of languages being spoken: Malay, English, Mandarin, and Tamil to name a few. All of the various sights and sounds combine into a scene unlike any of our previous destinations on route.
Just like its inhabitants, Malaysia surprised us with the diversity of its landscape. From the jungles in the interior to pristine beaches along the coast, there are many options for great riding. Much of the country still has the genial small town feel to it with roadside food stalls and weekend markets. However, it doesn’t take long to contrast this with the colonial cities of Georgetown & Malacca or the towering skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has it all!
So as the end draws near for the Bamboo Road, we can easily say that each country has offered a unique and incredible experience worth returning to, especially magnificent Malaysia. Now, only days away from the finish, the group prepares to enter the final country: Singapore!