Kota Bharu MosqueI am wrtiting this note from Kota Bharu, Malaysia. I figure this city is about 100 kilometers from the Thailand border on the west coast. I am a little excited by having found a relaxed internet cafe in the mall next to the Renaissance Hotel for only 3RM per hour (less than a dollar). I am also excited as this is our first overseas ITKT blog contribution — a proud moment. It will not be the last.

Anyway, Malaysia is much more interesting culturally than I first thought, however, some perceptions don’t change. The thorny-skinned fruit, called durian, is still as horrifying as ever. For those who have never had the misery, the smell is difficult to describe. However, consider the worst gas you have ever had, multiply it by 50, and it might be close to the real odor of the “king fruit,” which remains the delight of Southeast Asian natives. I did give it another try at an open air market in Terranganu and found that it still punishes my taste buds.

Fortunately, Malaysia makes up for this one small matter of taste by offering its visitors wonderful food, sites, history, and tolerant cultural diversity. Over the next few weeks ITKT will be proud to feature a number of new articles and travel tips about Malaysia in all of its grandeur. We will also launch new dedicated Malaysia pages. If you thought Southeast Asia was all the same, think again.

Written by Devin Galaudet