While we were at dinner each night our sitting room was transformed into rolling sleeping quarters. I slept like a baby each night, swaddled in crisp white linens in my cozy twin bed lulled to sleep by the constant rocking motion of the Eastern and Oriental Express rushing through the jungles of Malaysia and Thailand. Each morning we were awoken to a abundent breakfast tray set up in our secondary room where we ate and sipped and watched the sun rise over over the lush landscapes, villages and farms along the way.
To join us for breakfast and that incredible view rolling by clicking on video below, you won’t regret it:
We could have sat there all day long, watching the world go by, but it was time to kick off our slippers, get our gear on and get ready for the day’s activities.
We stopped at the Kuala Kangsar train station and boarded vans to to the village of Labu Kubong where we were greeted by these lively muscians who taught us some of their very impressive dance moves.
They got us all warmed up for our upcoming bike ride.
After donning bandana do-rags, helmets and yellow vests we were off to explore the rice paddy fields with views of the lush surrounding mountains in rural Malaysia on our brand new road bikes.
It was great being out in the land, seeing, smelling and touching the agriculture as we peddled on. Along the way we passed farms, markets and roadside restaurants, where they were cooking food that smelled so amazing, it was hard to keep peddling by.
We stopped at a local beekeepers and tasted the rich, thick honey created by these stingless bees. He keeps about 20 hives of bees in a forested area, each hive lives in a box set on stands or tree stumps.
There were at least 2 different breeds of the bees and each of their honey’s were slightly different in flavor. Because they are living in a tropical area these bees work year long, if there is an exceptionally cold period they may go dormant for only a short period of time.
Have you ever wondered how to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Malay?
Here you go:
After riding along the main road for awhile it was nice to pull into a small farmhouse where we were greeted with cold towels and frosty glasses of coconut water. Here these beautiful, convivial women cooked fried plantains and spicy potato and pea samosas for us.
They also shared with us tastes of the fruits of their land including slices of juicy Starfruit or Carambola,
Mini bananas and Rambutan fruit, which are loaded with vitamin C and other nutrients, and have many other health benefits. They are locally know as “chôm~chôm” which means messy hair in Malay. After tearing away the soft, spiny outer shell you find a pale white fruit inside that is similar to a Lychee fruit. The fruits have a very distinctive, complex fruit flavor, similar to a red grape, but a little more complex in both taste profile and texture. There is a hard seed in the center which the Malay use for many health and wellness purposes, click on Rambutan fruit, to learn all of the powerful purposes of this funny looking little fruit.
While it was so enriching to have a chance to get out and touch the land and learn about it from the locals, we needed to get back to our deep green and cream colored train, which had moved about 15 kilometers down the rail to the Padang Rengas station.
Our sitting rooms were all made up and there was a box of postcards to fill out and have mailed all over the world, there were also promises of a lovely lunch, foot massages, astrology readings and bridge lessons as we kept rolling along.
Naps were also a possibility.
Caroline Rousseau Raftery says
You are inspiring our outlook in a big way right now, Emily. Thank you for sharing your travels and tips ~ and for sharing you! We miss all of the above. Stay safe and have fun. Xo, Caroline
Thank you Caroline. Missing you 2 also… I see you 2 on that train!