Tag Archives: railway

the malaysian jungle railway

From where the Thai border meets the South China Sea down south to Singapore, a single track line cuts through the middle of the Malaysian peninsula, linking the deeply Muslim north with the mixed and more developed south of the country via isolated communities through the thick jungle. Local schoolchildren and market-goers use the train as their only available means of transport, and stack the aisles and vestibules high with organic matter.

You can join them, as Tim and May did, and experience the sights and smells (there are so many smells!) of jungle transportation, so long as you’re at the station for the off by 4am!

The Malaysian Jungle Railway from Tim Way on Vimeo.

delhi belly

It’s a cliche, but nothing prepares you for India.

It’s huge, to get anywhere requires an overnight train journey; yet it’s still 50% more densely populated than the UK. And when you get there, the contrast is mindblowing. Octogenarian waifs will pull you and our two friends, in a hand-drawn rickshaw for ten pence to a bar where a beer costs three pounds.

Railway stations are home to thousands of people each night. Each station. Under staircases, all throughout the waiting rooms, arrival halls, platforms, and even between the tracks, people will lay their heads to catch some sleep. Simultaneously, the rich will pay thousands of dollars a month to rent marble apartment palaces in the south Delhi suburbs.

By the time you’ve realised what ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ really mean when compared, you will have been approached by thousands of rickshaw wallers, hundreds of stallholders, and tens of drug dealers. They prevail throughout all of the Indian cities I visited, although only in the touristy areas. Break out to areas where a white man is rare, and the warmth and excitement extended to you is genuine and has no strings attached.

It’s so rich in culture, they are knocking down thousand year old temples to build Commonwealth Games amenities, without complaint. It’s so rich in bacteria, that you’ll pretty much be shitting non-stop for your entire trip.

Here are a few images to accompany these and other words:

India '09