The Straits Times
Published on Nov 24, 2012

Local writer cycled around Malaysia on a $4-a-day budget


While studying for his master's degree, Singaporean writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh spent a month cycling around Malaysia with his best friend, on a budget of RM10 (S$4) a day.

The idea was to "live simply" and off the kindness of ordinary Malaysians, explains Vadaketh, who has written up his 2004 encounters with former Communist guerillas, itinerant workers and farmers carving a livelihood from the forest in Floating On A Malayan Breeze.

His bicycle buddy and fellow analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, Sumana Rajarethnam, did much of the editing.

Given their tight budget, they avoided cold drinks - ice cubes added 20 sen to the cost of a drink - and often "bathed" at sinks in petrol stations. They carried a tent and pitched it wherever there was space - open ground or even the Mersing football stadium.