Straying off course whether on purpose or unintentionally isn’t always a terrible thing. We might feel helpless from losing our bearings but if we keep ourselves open to whatever comes our way, we’re bound to discover that twists and turns make unexpected experiences equally satisfying.

My hopes of exploring the world took a detour when I fell prey to the challenges of being a Philippine passport holder. My visa application (to the first ever country that needed me to apply for one) got denied because I lacked to provide sufficient evidence that I had “strong reasons to come back to the Philippines.” Having a healthy travel record, confirmed round trip flights, and funds in my bank account was not enough. I realized that I don’t have the same freedom as people living in the developed world when it comes to traveling to most countries they desire. I know it’s not totally impossible for me, I just have to learn from this experience and make proper adjustments.

Left with a plane ticket to Kuala Lumpur, which was supposed to be just a transit point, three weeks’ time before my return flight, and no concrete travel plans, I found myself enjoying the thrill of making new plans each waking day.

The beauty of traveling during the middle of the rainy/monsoon season. Shot while kayaking in Krabi, Thailand.

Peninsular Malaysia and Southern Thailand

I started staying a couple of nights in Kuala Lumpur to figure out what I was going to do for the next three weeks. I definitely wanted to explore more of Peninsular Malaysia and I also had enough time to visit another place nearby. Traveling south to Sumatra, Indonesia was tempting but I couldn’t resist going the opposite direction, to the Andaman coast in Southern Thailand. I wanted to go on the ultimate backpacking cliche by visiting the Phi Phi Islands :)

Along the way, I intended to make a quick visit to Langkawi in Northern Malaysia. The sunny weather was so perfect, my stopover lasted for a whole week. When I reached Koh Phi Phi, the weather finally caught up with the rainy season. It seemed more exciting to go camping in a rainforest. After long bus and train rides, I found myself in Pahang Taman Negara, Malaysia. Finally, spent the last days of my trip kicking it back along the familiar riverside promenades of Melaka.

1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • Bukit Bintang
  • KL Lake Gardens
  • KL Skyline at Titiwangsa Park
  • Walking Tour of Kuala Lumpur

2. Langkawi

  • Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi
  • Langkawi Island Hopping
  • Bike Tour of Langkawi Island
  • Around Langkawi Island

3. Ko Phi Phi & Krabi, Thailand

  • Langkawi to Ko Phi Phi via Krabi
  • Ko Phi Phi Don
  • Maya Beach in Ko Phi Phi Leh
  • Around Krabi
  • Kayaing in Krabi

4. Pahang, Malaysia

  • Thailand to Malaysia via Hadyai/Sungai Kolok
  • Pahang Taman Negara
  • Kuala Lipis

5. Melaka

  • Food trip and walking tour of Melaka