Travelfish correspondent Vanessa Workman
Born in Florida Vanessa Workman spent her formative years on the beaches of the Florida Panhandle and Jacksonville, Florida. While studying in Florida she received a Bachelor's Degree In Fine Arts and a degree in Respiratory Therapy. She relocated to San Francisco in 1990 where is continued her medical career as a Respiratory Therapist and pursued her passion for art, graphics and web design.
After a contract job in a Singapore hospital, she based herself in Langkawi, Malaysia and settled into the island lifestyle. From Langkawi's centralised location she continues her exploration of Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and other destinations on her 'to-do' list.
Through engaging in the world of social media she started a website, The Island Drum, originally as an island based information source for Langkawi. However, The Island Drum's networking soon spread to through Malaysia and beyond.
The Island Drum has gone from a simple Facebook Group to a busy and informative website and continues to challenge Vanessa to seek out new people, places and cultural experiences.
Posts by Vanessa Workman:
For the casual traveller to Langkawi during Ramadan, daily life continues much as usual and the month-long ritual has minimal impact on non-Muslim visitors. Ramadan on Langkawi in 2014 begins at sunrise on June 28 or 29 and ends at sunset July 27, with the two-day celebration of Hari Raya running July 28 and 29. (Actual start … read the full post
For any traveller to a predominantly Muslim country such as Malaysia, the rules on alcohol availability and consumption are handy to know — not only for accessibility but for insight into cultural sensitivities as well. In Malaysia, people from the various non-Muslim cultures represented throughout the country also abide by certain rules so as not … read the full post
Panorama Chalets is a backpacker haven on Malaysia‘s Perhentian Kecil, with several room and chalet options. What Panorama lacks in amenities they make up for in conveniences and location. Practically a village within a village, their tree-laden grounds are front and centre of the sandy white shores of Long Beach, with nearly every possible desire a … read the full post
Ramadan can be a mystery for many travellers passing through predominantly Muslim terrain. Messages of ‘everything will be closed’ are often passed along the backpacking word-of-mouth trail, but rest assured, besides a few inconveniences of finding some businesses closed or perhaps a ferry schedule changed, it’s not too big a deal. The cultural experience alone is worth the … read the full post
Galleria Perdana may not be on any list of must-sees in Langkawi, but it plays host to a fascinating range of artefacts that anyone with an interest in politics and history won’t want to miss. The museum houses thousands of gifts that Malaysia’s famed Mahathir Mohamad received during his tenure as prime minister of Malaysia … read the full post
Langkawi has most of your health needs covered with, hospitals and clinics available. Here are some words of advice to keep in mind ahead of a trip there — just in case something goes wrong. Langkawi has very good facilities and services available for all but the most critical of medical conditions. Langkawi Hospital (website … read the full post
What’s the best time of year to travel to Langkawi, weather-wise? That all depends on what you like to do. The Langkawi archipelago of 104 islands is just off the northwest coast of the Malaysian peninsula and creates the entrance to the Melaka Straits. The Indonesian island of Sumatra forms the western barrier of the … read the full post