Category Archives: Malaysia

Please excuse the interruption

Interrupting our regularly scheduled posts, The Experimental Expats were unexpectedly nominated for a Liebster Award by two people at the same time yesterday. Bestowed upon new bloggers by fellow bloggers to recognize excellence and help publicize, it’s a first for us and it might take a few days to craft a response worthy of the award. Proving when it rains it pours, I’ve also been asked to write a guest post on an Retirement and Good Living, a very informative site for anyone contemplating retirement.  Additionally, I was asked to take part in a South Korean radio podcast about expats run by an American. Transitioning for our move to Malaysia has sure gotten interesting quickly.

messages 2After blogging for only 25 days, I’m obviously honored, appreciative and even a bit overwhelmed. Many thanks go out to Tim and Joanne, authors of A Note from Abroad and the creator of Adventure Pengembara for the nominations. As a newbie to HTML, CSS and barely able to use spreadsheets at my crappy ex-job, I’ve already gained immense knowledge about the blogosphere, a word I didn’t even know existed until recently. Realizing I need to learn the rules, read some more blogs and scribble some notes, I embarked on the first project today and hope to complete the award post by week’s end. Therefore, please excuse any delays in between posts but please don’t forget us. I’m all set to post a video on the slightly gross but very popular Thai fish massages for your feet. Here’s a preview.

Thanks again for everyone’s support and for making my first month successful !!


Orangutans and Luxury at Borneo’s Hidden Gem; Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort

Read the story behind the video here

Proximity to orangutans is one of the primary reasons Diane and I chose Malaysia as our destination for early retirement. Among the most fascinating animals on earth, their quickly diminishing natural habitat lies in small swaths of the Sabah province in Malaysian Borneo, about a two-hour plane ride from Penang.  Volunteer opportunities involving orangutan conservation always piqued our interest so we dedicated our annual Expat Destination Research Vacation to orangutan encounters in the wild, Excursions to The Borneo Rainforest Lodge and The Kinabatangan River Valley did not disappoint, providing several amazing sightings and educating us immensely about habitat destruction.

 The Shagri-La Rasa Ria Resort

The Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah province, Malaysian Borneo

Needing some R&R after trekking through the jungle, we needed a little pampering and a couple of good night’s sleep before continuing to Singapore. Normally we’re prudent travelers but early retirement still seemed distant since I had no vision of being laid off, so we investigated a more luxurious option and discovered even the world’s best hotel chains have an undiscovered hidden gem. Along with the beauty of The Rasa Ria Resort Resort, one last adventure with orangutans on the resort’s private reserve solidified the entire experience.

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Death of a Malaysian Information Superhighway

Regrettably, I must tell everyone that The MM2H Forum is now officially dead. Possibly the greatest source of information for anything and everything related to The Malaysian Social Visit Pass, otherwise known as MM2H, a simple message stating its demise is all that remains. With only 183 days left until Diane and I file for the big move to Penang, I was both disappointed and a but angry upon learning the news.

 Us in Borneo, the closest we've ever been to Penang, our chosen destination

Rodi in Borneo, the closest we’ve ever been to Penang, our chosen destination

From accounting to zoölogy, the MM2H Forum was perhaps the most complete source of knowledge and information for expats anywhere in the world. Boasting a readership of over 20,000 and created eight years ago by a British expat known to me only as Scott, the forum was a primary reason Diane and I feel comfortable enough to risk everything and move somewhere we’ve never been to. Featuring information about the visa, banking, lifestyle, food, daily life and everything else, the loss will be felt throughout the expat community.

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Monkeying around in Malayisan Borneo’s Kinabatangan River Valley

We made our first friend in Malaysia. No, not the monkey.

The expat destination research vacation of 2011 continued after our amazing adventure at Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Still a current Facebook friend, our guide at The Bilit Adventure Lodge in the Kinebatangen River Valley enhanced our adventure with a personalized style not found in a tour guide manual. Unlike the college educated and company trained professional staff we’d met at the luxurious lodge, Loy is a local resident from the village that just happens to work for the lodge. Sharing local knowledge, a few rounds of guitar and some cold beer it was more like hanging out at a friend’s house. Continue reading


12 Reasons to Live in Malaysia

I misled you. Shame on me.

We’ve never been to Penang even though we’ll be moving there in 2015. I’d be remiss if I described 12 reasons that I’ve not yet experienced. However, we have eaten some of the food on our exploratory trip to Borneo and Singapore. Penang is world-renowned as the premier gastronomic food destination in Southeast Asia. Anthony Bourdain raves about it so who am I to argue? Continue reading