We can’t comment on a Malaysia experience except say that Penang represented a significant milestone: our gateway to mainland Asia. We urgently had to get visas rolling in Bangkok so collected our bikes and bee lined for the Thailand border… we weren’t even in country for a day.
Although brief, our passing through Penang was plenty of time for flashbacks from 12 years ago. I had a pretty serious accident there that landed me in intensive care… it was unknown as to exactly where I’d had my misadventure or even how I got to the hospital… but I’m pretty confident I was up to no good. I don’t think there is a better setting for frank and honest assessment of how you’re going in life than being all sorts of messed up in an intensive care unit… not knowing if your injuries are permanently disabling. Needless to say I got my sh^t together after that. Although detrimental to me for the short-term (I was pretty much fixed within 18 months), this bingle ended up being the best thing that could have happened to me for the long-term… apparently I am not invincible and rules apply to me also. It really is the blows that make you stronger. In the taxi from Penang Airport I imagined fronting that 21-year-old d^ckhead… there wasn’t much talking… I just throttled him.
Anyway, back to RTW motorbiking. Worth plugging is Mr Lim’s little shipping operation from Belawan, Sumatra to Penang, Malaysia. Since travelling through mainland Asia people are consistently amazed when they realise the bikes haven’t just been shipped direct from Australia… but instead leap frogged island to island… something not possible for the frugal overlander without Mr Lim. Years ago there used to be ferries linking Malaysia and Sumatra… but flight alternatives became so cheap that the ferries stopped operating.
Mr Adnan is Mr Lim’s man in Belawan… a place you want to hang out even less than Medan. The shipping process is to rock up on the Monday to square away documentation… drop your bike off at the boat on the Tuesday morning… then pick your bike up from Butterworth Wharves the next day. That’s right, I’ll say it again… pick your bike up the next day. This blew our little minds considering we waited four weeks in Dili for the multinational ANL to ship our bikes the 550 nautical miles from Darwin. Also worth mentioning is Mr Lim’s customer service… we felt like a pair of ankle biters being escorted through new places by Mum… port customs will never be so easy. Finally, the price… 340 AUD each. To put that in perspective ANL stung us 690 AUD each. Mr Lim’s details below.
2nd Floor, 187 Lebuh Pantai