PETALING JAYA: Most people prefer to take a bus journey in the shortest time possible but not Lam Ching Fu.
In fact, slow works just fine for Lam, 38, who lives like the typical restless wanderer for the past few years since resigning from an engineering job.
The bachelor from Tanjung Malim, Perak, took stage coaches all over the northern region, covering Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis on and off over an entire year.
“When I told my friends about it, they thought I was out of my mind and did not think I would be able to reach many places.
“But when they saw my pictures, they were shocked, ” he said when met at an exhibition showcasing more than 50 of his best travel pictures that came from his book, My Journey By Bus.
Lam obtained a scholarship to study civil engineering at Hiroshima University in Japan, and worked for a while, before taking up a master’s degree in urban planning in Germany.
His passion lies in buses.
For his master’s thesis, he studied bus rapid transit systems in South America, such as in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
“In those years as a student, I managed to travel around the world. However, while studying in Japan, my coursemates often asked me about the attractions in Malaysia, and sadly, I had to look up all these information from the Internet simply because I didn’t really know much, particularly about smaller towns.
“I felt bad for not being able to answer questions about my own country. Right after resigning from my job, I decided to explore my country, and as I don’t have a car, I was left with only the bus.
“I immediately started my journey using buses from December 2015 to February 2016, exploring towns and villages, ” said Lam, who describes his travel style as unplanned.
“My trips were extremely free and easy, with no booking or research. Some of the town or villages were not even covered online, ” said Lam, who published his first book in Chinese in 2017.
For his next project, Lam will publish a book on his bus travels to Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, while similar projects have been planned for Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Johor.
In fact, Lam has also used buses in Sabah and Sarawak, so it is a matter of time for him to sit down and write it down.
For the time being, the public can enjoy a free exhibition of his photos at RexKL in Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur (10am to 10pm daily), until Sept 15.