With the euphoria of making it to our end-station Hanoi, and selling our motorbikes, we said goodbye to Vietnam for now. A month in this beautiful country filled with amazing food, places, and above all the people, was certainly not enough!
However, it was time for us to move on, as the IGEM Conference, a Green Tech and Eco Products Exhibition where we could showcase Flo-Bro to a broad audience, was coming up in Malaysia. To read more about the IGEM Conference and about our experience, check out this blog.
On the 30th of September, we packed our backpacks and flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The first night we slept in the heart of Chinatown, in the midst of all counterfeit shoes, clothes, and electronics. The next day we moved to a luxurious AirBnB apartment, with a swimming pool and a gym, where we stayed for the whole week during the IGEM conference.
This week was not only networking and presenting Flo-Bro, but also celebrating my 24th birthday. On the 6th of October (my b-day) we started the day sporty with a trek through the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, FRIM. In the afternoon we went up the spectacular Petronas Twin Towers, to a stunning height of 370 meters above the street level!
Back at the conference we had the opportunity to visit some other booths, and get inspired by all the great innovations in the Green Tech sector. In the evening we headed out to the Heli Lounge, a helicopter platform that transforms into a bar every evening. Here you can indulge in a cocktail or a beer whilst enjoying the 360-degree view of the city. Certainly not a bad start of the 24th year of my life.
We ended the intense, but very productive week at IGEM, in Cameron Highlands. Established by Sir William Cameron in 1885, the temperate highlands lie around 1500 meters above sea level. Here we visited the famous tea plantations, a.k.a. the green carpet of Malaysia, and the butterfly farm (a slightly misleading name, as the farm also hosted a wide variety of snakes, spiders, and other jungle creatures which you hope never to encounter in real-life).
Besides the tea plantations, Cameron Highlands are also well known for the 64 km of hiking trails. We hitchhiked our way from the hostel to Trail no.1, which gave me the “Into The Wild” kind of feeling. This trail went straight through the jungle and the mossy forest. This forest, as the name suggest, is covered in moss and looks like the perfect setting for a fantasy movie.
After three days in the hills we took a 5-hour bus ride and a 20-min ferry to Penang Island. We spent about a week in its laid-back historical city of Georgetown, following up on e-mails from IGEM, riding around on a scooter/bicycle over the island, and discovering the street art scattered around.