Tourist travels around Peninsular Malaysia on foot

When you’re planning a trip, the first thing you’d do after deciding on your destination and booking your flight tickets is to plan which key cities and towns to visit to maximise your holiday.

But that’s not the case for Meigo Märk, a tourist from Estonia who wasn’t just content with seeing the usual tourist stops of Penang and KL. Instead, he decided to embark on the road less travelled by walking around Peninsular Malaysia over 5 months.

Whole trip took 5 months to complete

Märk travelled on foot for 5 months covering 2,408km in distance back in 2017. He shared his recollection of his adventures on Reddit on 31st August 2020, reminiscing about how he enjoyed the warm personalities of Malaysians and all the beautiful places he managed to visit.

tourist walk peninsular malaysia - location map
Image credit: Meigo Märk

Apart from sea transport necessary to cross the waters, Märk has not depended on wheels at all when he was on land. In fact, he has already covered 20,000km trudging through 22 countries in 4 years and 3 months!

tourist walk peninsular malaysia - bus stopImage credit: Meigo Märk

Walking for 2,408km sounds like a daunting feat, but Märk took it in stride when he revealed that his journey in Malaysia is part of a much longer walk. He’s not planning to hop on a moving vehicle like a regular tourist would any time soon, as he has a goal to walk another 20,000km to clock in a total of 40,075km in total – equivalent to the circumference of the equator.

He plans to head to Indonesia to cover Sumatra, Jawa, Bali, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, Papua, and then on to Australia once the pandemic situation improves and it’s safe to travel again.

Survival tips for a safe travel

It’s crucial to pick up some survival skills when travelling in a foreign land, but the situation calls for more urgency when you spend a huge chunk of your travels on the roadside and in sweltering weather.

Like the rest of us know, Märk found that walking in a tropical country such as Malaysia is scorching hot during the day. To keep cool, he came up with a handy tip that involves wearing 2 hats – the first is a cloth bucket hat dipped in water to stay damp to provide cooling moisture, and the other is a straw hat worn on top of the bucket hat to provide some shade.

tourist walk peninsular malaysia - 2 hatsImage credit: Meigo Märk

Drinking plenty of water is a no-brainer to prevent dehydration, but he also recommends adding lemons or salt into the water to help maintain the pH balance of the body.

tourist walk peninsular malaysia - batu caves
Image credit: Meigo Märk

Some Redditors were curious about his toilet situation, to which Märk shared that he mostly had to answer nature’s call in the bushes when he was walking through villages. Being in the city was easier as he could just pop into a cafe or restaurant for his toilet breaks.

He also added that insect repellent is mandatory to protect oneself from bug bites, while herbal oils can be used to soothe itchiness, especially when he had to set up a tent in the forests to rest for the night.

tourist walk peninsular malaysia - tent Image credit: Meigo Märk

Walking 2,408km around Peninsular Malaysia

It’s common to assume that travelling the world would require a huge sum of money. While that may not be completely untrue, there are certainly a number of ways that allow you to travel far and long, and keep to a budget.

Of course, walking across a country isn’t something most would be comfortable with, but the key is to have an open mind, be bold and venture out of your comfort zone, and prioritise rich experiences over superficial splurges. That’s how the most memorable travel stories are made.

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Cover image adapted from: Meigo Märk

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