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ABOUT THIS BLOG

In the summer of 2009, Nicolas Rapp decided to take a break from his Art Director job at The Associated Press to attempt a one-year overland travel around the world in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. He was back in New York in February 2011 after traveling 15 months and 37,000 miles.

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  • Port of call: Klang, Malaysia

    Posted on October 27th, 2010 Nicolas No comments

    SE_ASIA_MAPI have just been informed that my container arrived in Malaysia, earlier than scheduled. I am – as some of you guys had guess – in Guam, a small island in the western Pacific Ocean. Guam is a U.S. territory and 200,000 Americans populate the island south of Japan. I always have been curious about this place, and I am glad I visited it. What strikes me the most compared to the places I have been recently is the silence within the island. I could not believe it the first day when, after arriving at 5 a.m. at the airport, I walked to the beach. Since I landed in India, there was noise everywhere, and now I could not hear a thing. Another surprise was awaiting me. People here actually stop to let you cross the streets. No need to run and risk your life!
    Of course there are some drawbacks. The cost of life here is similar to the mainland United States, so it is hard to see all these dollars flying away. On one recent night I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, a delicacy I didn’t enjoy in months, but how painful it was when I received the check. US$9, an amount I could live on for several days in the developing world.
    The cheapest hotel I found here is the Pacific Bay Hotel, where I stay for a little bit less than US$50 a night.

    Around Tamuning, a lot of luxury shops for tourists.

    Around Tamuning, a lot of luxury shops for tourists.

    I shall fly back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 29. From there I will drive north and complete an Asian loop which will include Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. I am pretty excited about my upcoming adventures which should feature beach and jungle background as well as great food. I don’t expect any visa difficulty but will have to stop in Bangkok to get a new passport, mine being full (again…).

    Most tourists are Japanese. The island is too far from the U.S. mainland to attract Americans.

    Most tourists are Japanese. The island is too far from the U.S. mainland to attract Americans.

    It is unclear what will be the route after I complete this segment. I may drive back to Kuala Lumpur, or I may ship back the truck to the United States. If I choose to do that, I would continue my trip east by foot through China, South Korea and Japan. I would go by train through China and way of sea to South Korea and Japan.
    But I am going ahead of myself, and should get ready for a lot of surprises in Southeast Asia.

    Be Sociable, Share!

45 Responses to “Port of call: Klang, Malaysia”

  1. Hi Nick,

    I have been following you from the beginning when msnbc.com featured an article of you. It just occurred to me that in a few months it will have been a year. I look forward to your new posts and check this website frequently and enjoyed your question and answer post. Thanks for keeping up with your website so readers like me can read about your experiences. Good luck with the future travels.

    ~Steve

  2. Posts two days in a row! I LOVE IT! (I think I need to get a life! haha) I look at your site every day hoping to find a new post and to read ‘fans’ comments. So grateful to be able to vicariously experience even a little of your travel adventures from my office chair. Will be lost when you finish your trip. Maybe you’ll keep post up when at home so we won’t miss you so. Be safe and well. Most of all, have fun!

  3. I have been following your travels since you first started. It was so nice to get two posts in two days. I check your blog every day and sometimes it seems so long between posts. As I sit in my dreary desk job, I have enjoyed so much following your travels and really look forward to more.

  4. Hi Nick,
    I’ve been wondering how often you talk to your parents. I have three grown children and no matter how old they are, I still worry about them. I like to touch base with them at least once a week. How is your mom handling all of this?
    Of all of the countries you’ve been in, which has given you the fondest memories? Have any of them been totally different than you expected?

    P.S. I’m so sorry about the comment in India that caused a bit of hostility. I’m normally a compassionate person. I hope you and everyone else will accept my apology.

  5. Nick!
    I check your site everyday hoping for a new post, just as Linda (above) does! I have traveled many places throughout Europe and only wish to do something like this!! I have one question for you thus far…you saiid if you choose to ship the truck back to the US, you would continue your adventure Eastward on foot through China. Why on foot? You don’t plan on taking the truck through China? I don’t remember reading anything restricting you from doing so. Please let me know! I would love to hear back from you, knowing that my comment and question actually made it through to you!! thank you!

  6. Nick, if you cannot make it to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali, my suggestion is that you continue your Southeast Asian loop to Singapore and then ship the truck back from there. While in Singapore you may want to take the 45-minute ferry ride (around $15 fare) to Indonesia’s Batam island just to take a glimpse of another great Asian country… 🙂

  7. Wow ! Nice Posts ! I agree with Linda, 2 posts in succession is thrilling to read.
    Your blog is like an addiction , and the post about Guam was something new for me.
    You mention that you might be going through China as well. Thats interesting, as earlier I had read that you might miss China in your expedition.
    Have nice travels! Enjoy !

  8. you’re really enjoying yourself; we can all tell. we’re having a good time with you. to tell you the truth, i carve out several minutes each day for peace and quiet. it equalizes the soul and quiets the brain. after such bombastic noise and chaos, your appreciation for nothingness must be so acute.

    we’re all so glad you’re safe, so stay safe.
    (oops, that mother thing’s happening….)

    suzanne

  9. Love the posts and pictures and the map with your upcoming route!! I wish I was there!
    I love the movie, “Beyond Rangoon” and others that feature the beautiful scenery of Asia. I’m so excited for you! 🙂

    I wanted to ask, have you ever been to Asia before or is this your first experience there?

    Be blessed. Be safe. And enjoy the journey! 🙂

    Beth

  10. Hello Nick:

    Thanks so much for the update and new photos. You know, I also look forward to reading comments from other “motherly” types like myself on your blog. Now I am wondering to what extent are you surprised that so many of us (the grandmothers, mothers, fathers, wives and husbands) are following your journey, and are pretty much obsessed with knowing that you are safe and well. I particularly liked one blog comment of the woman whose children asked her if she is still stalking that guy on the internet. LOL. Enjoy Guam.
    -joyMaria

  11. How many miles have you put on the truck? (not including the nautical ones!)
    Thanks again for sharing your trip. I love the posts and pictures. Always a good way to start my day when I see a new post.

  12. Hallo, Nick! I’m another one of your ‘internet stalkers’, and loving every minute of it!

    It’s so great to read about the places you’ve been, especially since I know I won’t get to see even half of what you’re seeing. Amazing! Thank you so, so much for allowing us to live vicariously – even for just a few minutes each post.

    Happy traveling!

  13. Nick,

    Long-time follower here. It seems like you are winding down your trip and having a great time doing so. As usual, your photos are beautiful and really capture the essence of many of these cities/countries. I hope your dad is able to join you for your journey across the U.S. Safe travels!

    AMN

  14. Go figure – the one time your truck arrives early (or on time) is the one time when you’re not on the other side waiting for it to get there! Asia should be incredible. Thinking about the food alone makes makes my mouth water…

  15. Great pictures. With all the travel left, now I get the feeling that by the end of this trip, you will probably have travelled many places in the world than any traveller has done before.

    Stay safe!!

    Vijay

  16. Yay! I can’t wait until you go to my motherland: THAILAND! Looking forward to see which provinces in the kingdom you visit. I enjoy the tranquility of the north. Are you planning to go to Sukhothai? If you plan to visit one of the beach destinations, I would suggest Krabi. 🙂

    Cheers!

  17. Hope you have time to try chicken kelaguen while you’re on Guam. Some gas stations sell it as a tortilla wrap, as well as spam sushi and shiopao (giant version of Chinese pork buns). It’s a good way to try local foods while on a budget.

    Happy travels!
    -Liz (grew up on Guam, now living in California and craving kelaguen!)

  18. …by the way, don’t forget to also try the Matabab & the Rojak – both Indian/Malaysia dishes. They’re great especially if you are vegetarian. Also if you need to hook up with some of my old high school friends there in K.L. please let me know. They will be glad to bring you around or even show where the neat food places are.

    Dan

  19. Mrs. Smoot's class

    We are following your story in our Basic Academics class via a current events lesson we received from News2you. My students would like to know if your journey through Malaysia was affected at all by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia?

  20. Dear Nick,
    My mom and I have been reading your blog for about a year now. I am homeschooled, and reading your blog has helped my geographical knowledge. I hope your travels are safe still 🙂

    Love, Angela

  21. Hi Nick,

    So glad to hear about all of the cultures you’ve experienced and places you’ve been to. Following your journey has given my daughter (Angela) and me a wonderful opportunity to learn about geography in a novel way. We’ve never even met you, but we feel like you’re a friend of ours. If you follow your journey up with a trip to Chicago, where we live, it would be a “real” adventure…and we’d have to meet you.

    Travel safely, my friend.

    Virginia

  22. Nick, you are very close to Singapore now! Let me know when you are here, perhaps I can take a photo with you 🙂 when are you visiting Indonesia? It’s my home country.

  23. Hi Nick,

    I too have been following your trip over a year as well. I look forward everyday at work to check for your posts. You sound rested and rejuvenated to start he next leg.

    Successful Travels!!

  24. Hi Nick,
    Reading about your travels over the past months has been great and like so many other people I always get a buzz when you post a new one.

    I’ve just returned from another visit to Thailand and have driven from the top to the bottom so I’m sure that you will enjoy your stay there and I think you’ll be surprised at how good the roads are…

    Its getting near the end now and I wonder if you have thought about just keep on going ??

    Its a pity you missed Australia as its a great place to travel around. Next time !!

    Regards,

    Tony

  25. Thanks for the posts! I can remember the shock walking through the KL airport after 2 years of traveling from europe to bangladesh! Its a new world! The rest of the trip will be easy in comparison to where you have been till now! Still hope you will call in on your way through Phuket!
    Cheers,
    David
    086-2670157
    Bannuaton@yahoo.com

  26. Man, I really envy you for this trip – those pictures of the beach in Guam made me wish to be there (more than any other in Asia); sure looks like you can spend some time getting rejuvenated over there. Wishing all of the best on the remainder of your trip.
    Wim.
    PS Would like to buy you one of Wendy’s Bacon Burgers here in Columbus. Be sure to let me know when you’re in town.

  27. Can you drive through China?

  28. Nick, it’s too bad I finally just got internet access. I am in Guam right now and have been since Friday. I guess we will never meet at this rate!

    Ocean View hotel sucks btw (nothing works!).

  29. 99 cent Jumbo jack please! no more $9 checks lol!

  30. Hello all,
    I am now in Port Klang and may get my truck tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m taking the opportunity to answer some questions:

    Mindy:
    I’ve been wondering how often you talk to your parents. I have three grown children and no matter how old they are, I still worry about them. I like to touch base with them at least once a week. How is your mom handling all of this?

    Of all of the countries you’ve been in, which has given you the fondest memories? Have any of them been totally different than you expected?
    Hello Mindy. I emailed my parents at least once a week while I was travelling. When the connection is good enough I use Skype to call them.
    I will always remember kindly Peru, Bolivia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Yemen and Iran. Most of the countries turn out to be a surprise when you arrive. Always very different than what you imagine.

    Daniel:
    You would continue your adventure Eastward on foot through China. Why on foot? You don’t plan on taking the truck through China?

    Daniel, it is very costly to go through China with your own vehicle. It would probably cost something like $3,000. So I think I will take the train along the coast, and then take the boat to South Korea.

    Mary:
    How many miles have you put on the truck? (Not including the nautical ones)

    I put approximately 30,000 miles since I left New York.

    Nera:
    Are you planning to go to Sukhothai? If you plan to visit one of the beach destinations, I would suggest Krabi.

    Not sure where I will go in Thailand yet. A new annoying rule is that you only get a 15 days visa when you cross the border by land, which will probably force me to do multiple entries.

    Mrs. Smoot’s class:
    Malaysia was affected at all by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia?

    Malaysia was not affected. Everything here is very modern and the roads beautiful.

    Yohny:
    Nick, you are very close to Singapore now! Let me know when you are here, perhaps I can take a photo with you 🙂 when are you visiting Indonesia? It’s my home country.

    I am not sure if I will visit Singapore yet. Will let you know!

    Tony:
    It’s getting near the end now and I wonder if you have thought about just keep on going??

    Tony, I need to get back to work at one point. But I would definitely go back on the road at one point. Maybe ten years from now?

    David:
    I can remember the shock walking through the KL airport after 2 years of traveling from Europe to Bangladesh! It’s a new world! The rest of the trip will be easy in comparison to where you have been till now! Still hope you will call in on your way through Phuket!

    Indeed it was striking to be back in the modern world. Hope to see you in Phuket.

  31. hey nick; i check your site everyday, and get so excited when i see a post; you have been gone over a year now, long time; i will be sad when your adventure is over, and I can’t visit the world through your eyes

  32. I have been following your journey since the beginning. Love it! I see your tentative route through the U.S. has you traveling through Durango, CO. Very good choice! I live here with my boyfriend and we would love to host you as you come through! Especially if it is in the winter, it will be too cold to camp :). If you are coming through in Spring or summer you will probably want to take advantage of some beautiful camping and we know all the best spots. Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions. Best of luck!

  33. Harvey (Naples, FL)USA

    The one word that I’ve noticed posted on this blog over and over again during this past year is “Vicariously”.

    It means that you’re not experiencing it yourself, but using someone else’s experience as your own. It’s kind of like if you’ve never skied but you watch a movie about it you’ve experienced skiing vicariously through the movie…. Something one has experienced or realized through imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experience of another.

    The question begs… Is vicarious contagious? Will Nick excite others to climb similar mountains based on his daring adventure? Time will tell…

    Just a thought!

  34. Hi Nick!
    I am writing in English since everybody else is. I just discovered your trip and it didn’t surprise me that you went off to live this adventure all by yourself! See, I could have never do that alone… I guess you’re already to far to catch up with you, since we just arrived in India and we’ll be here for a while… We had not though of shipping from Bangladesh rather than Chennai. Good advice, thanks. Well, we did meet someone who might be able to help us get an authorization to cross Myanmar which would be fantastic but as chances are low we’re also preparing for other options. I have a thousand question for you but I’ll do that later through email. I still have a lot to read on your blog… Bonne route. Bisous

  35. Hey Nick,

    We are living vicariously through you. Love your posts and your adventures. Nice to see you took the AP tradition of morning and afternoon planning sessions with you, even if you do them alone. Be safe and blessed and enjoy the awesome food of Asia for all of us back home.

    Amanda

  36. Ms. Marti~Nashville, TN

    Nick, just read your article and it was really fun to read it as we have all been there with you throughout the journey. For those that haven’t kept up with you will probably start now. Your spirits and mood seem so great these days. I guess my would be too being on the beach and some peace and solitude! We have all seen your ups and downs throughout your journey. Do have any plans of meeting up with any of your followers on this next to the last leg of the trip? I was really glad to hear that you will be extending “The Year of Living Dangerously”! Your addicted to the travel now and seem to be enjoying the past few weeks more. Had it been me, I’d probably have bailed after waiting and waiting for your truck to arrive. Take care my friend and hope to see you soon!

    Ms. Marti

  37. Nick,

    After reading your article I think you should really consider writing a book. The added details about your experiences in Africa gave us a greater insight into what you are enduring as you journey around the world. As has been mentioned you already have a large audience for a book. Enjoy the next phase of the trip and travel safe!

  38. WHat are you going to do with the Land Cruiser once you return to New York? Have you had any offers from people to purchase the car? Make sure you have some TIGER beer!!

  39. Dear Nick:

    Great article? I agree with Mo in Flo’s comment about your audience and may I also add, a growing global audience. How exciting it must be to know that readers of your book come from around the world, which is a rarity within itself. You are going to be so busy book signing. I think your writing abilities alone will land you the perfect job at the end of the road, so if I were you I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about a j.o.b. Take care and thanks for sharing your article.
    -joyMaria

  40. this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this: you are the luckiest person in the world. you’re having a life altering experience; you’re surrounded by cyber-friends who write daily notes of encouragement and advice; you’re making your personal goal and mission come true; and, i think you’re really loved by everyone you’ve touched during this trip! even though i’ve many questions, i’d like to ask one more: have you or has anyone contacted Toyota and let them know that a guy named Nick Rapp from USA/France is driving SUCCESSFULLY around the world in their ’96 Land Cruiser? we need to start a writing campaign championing this.

    have a great time,
    suzanne

  41. Hi Nicolas

    I just know about you and your World trip on Sunday as I read some news in Yahoo. Now it will take me few days to up date myself with your trip since I will read everything since the very beginning. I have travelled abroad some time so I have been in through several experiences just as you yourself are being now. Henceforth I will follow your trip up to the end.
    I have read already some of your experiences that you have already visited, then if I remember well that when your were passing by some place in South America your were rejecting that there was no service of translation. For this inconvenient there is the world translator in google that translates to more than fifty languages to and fro including the oriental languages like Chinese, corean, thai and so on and so forth with all its native characters. So if you want to keep them you have to use write of windows. If your computer is no yet ready to show foreign characters you have to make the changes in your computer. W hile you are in internet explorer in the main menu slect view, then encoding, then more, finally select the foreign language and then you are asked to provide the disc of windows or windows professional.
    The same as an alternative for audio books, there is a program either free of for charge that reads Spanish, English, French, German among others.
    http://www.readplease.com/english/downloads/#rp2003
    Also there is a site where you can find and download a lot of books in several languages.
    http://manybooks.net/
    The reader is very helpful specially while you are doing some other task in the computer, or use the time while you are waiting for something, or just at the point of relax and you want to listen to something nice. My personal questions for you are First if you were born in France or only descendant. Also if you speak French. I am actually learning French in my free time.
    Don`t forget to greet thais for me I have encounter many of them in US and I still keep in touch with Nantaya Uchupalanan a girl friend of mine for many years.
    With regards Francisco Javier.

  42. Harvey (Naples, FL)

    TO: Suzanne regarding your post of Nov. 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm
    This is a letter that I sent and many other posters sent…. apparently to NO AVAIL!
    Toyota has bigger fish to fry along with a myriad of recall issues on millions of their units. To them… Nick is but one grain of sand on the ocean floor! Welcome to corporate world!

    TO WIT:

    April 7th, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Mr. Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota
    Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
    19001 South Western Ave.
    Torrance, CA 90501

    Email: toyota_cares@toyota.com

    Dear Mr. Akio Toyoda,

    I sent your company a letter a week or so ago and have not had a response to date.

    I’d like to bring your attention to a brave and courageous young man, Nicolas Rapp of New York City, USA, who is driving one of your 1996 Toyota Land Cruisers around the world. He’s doing this of his own free volition and primarily with his own money and with the assistance of a hand full of contributors starting as little as $5! He specifically chose your vehicle because of its dependability and reliability. He’s just completed the first leg, 4+ months, of the trip and is headed to Africa to continue his adventure. Without further explanation please refer to his web site for the complete story. (http://transworldexpedition.com).

    The purpose of this letter is that I know he needs YOU and I believe YOU NEED HIM. During the trip he has encountered numerous mechanical problems… most of which he has repaired. With all the difficulties that the Toyota brand name has endured lately… the success of one daring soul who chose your brand, over all others, to carry him around the globe is the best publicity you could ever have. He doesn’t want to fail and you don’t want him to either!

    A few weeks ago millions and millions of people worldwide saw you and the company’s chief operating officer for North America, Yoshimi Inaba, sitting at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. taking all the heat for the alleged problems your company has endured of late. You stated in the past three years, Toyota has recalled 23 million cars. All I’m asking you to do is to pick up the phone and call someone in Africa at one of the company’s dealerships and help this young made out. What he’s doing requires guts and courage… The same guts and courage it took for you to appear before that congressional hearing and defend your grandfathers good name and reputation. Nicolas Rapp is also one of your family members. He’s a member of the “Toyota Family”! He’s one human being testing himself against nature and machinery and needs all the help he can get. Please join his team. Pick up that phone and be counted. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you in this noble endeavor. Please do anything you can to help in his quest. Thousands of us who are following him along his way on the Internet, newspapers and television… will be praying for his success and yours also!

    Warm regards,
    Harvey

  43. Wow! So i definitly joined this party a little late! I just want you to know that its so amazing what you are doing. And im now going to spend the dy reading about your entire trip especially through south america where one day i hope to go.
    Good luck.
    Bre

  44. Hi My “Friend Nick” !
    Whats going to happen when you hit your goal, Brooklyn USA? Is Toyota or the news going to give you a price? Because they should… I will like to be there!
    What do you expect?
    You are the best!!!
    Dinsley Delgado

    PS: The only one following you from Dominican Republic, i guess!
    We should make a group on FaceBook or somewhere else, call…(Nicks/Transworld expedition followers). Just an idea!

  45. I hope you are safe and taking in the cultures. I also hope you take a little bit from each country in a positive way to better understand life and what it has to offer. Appreciate all but take care of yourself and remember those who are waiting for you wherever you live.