Cimg3839

After a restful week on Koh Tao, we journeyed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The first leg of the trip was a high-speed catamaran ride from Koh Tao to Koh Samui, where we caught a car ferry to Surat Thani, on the mainland. From Surat Thani, we rode a 2:30am train that was scheduled for 1:30, and set ourselves up in the semi-private sleeper car. Though the beds were fairly comfortable, the train’s movement was kind of unnerving and we didn’t get much sleep. By the time we woke up, it was time to prep our papers for the border. We hadn’t seen as much as we wanted of the border crossing, given the awkward schedule of the journey, but it was interesting to watch people going about their daily lives. At a stop near the border crossing, Jason noticed that the Thai girl in short-shorts sitting across from us exited the train, and was immediately replaced by a giggling gaggle of Malay Muslim girls in hijabs. It was an apt metaphor for the sudden cultural shift visible outside and inside the train. Malaysia is the first Muslim country on our itinerary. We crossed the Malaysian border, and deposited the paperwork in Butterworth, Malaysia. At the end of the line, we transferred to a Kuala Lumpur-bound bus and watched the jungle go by. Malaysia has massive rain forests, and the scenery for four hours was basically the that — steep, lush, bright green hillsides, inscribed here and there with steep, hundred yard cement staircases going up into the forest to who knows where.