Source: Sinar Harian
Journey to the Middle East: Man Rides Motorcycle from Malaysia to Mecca to Perform Umrah
BY: Michelle Liew
Although flying is often the choice of Muslims to go to Mecca to complete their pilgrimage, 55-year-old Zulkepli Mo'minin is determined to ride a motorcycle solo to the Holy Land to perform his Umrah.
The expedition by land is expected to take 95 days with a distance of more than 18,000 kilometers across 11 countries including Thailand, Laos, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Zulkepli has started his solo journey since last July 8 from Gombak, Selangor and now he has reached the Golden Triangle, northern Thailand.
According to the father of five children, he chose to go to Mecca by riding a motorcycle solo because he wanted to explore the beauty of foreign countries as well as giving him the opportunity to soak in the greatness of God's creation.
"Travelling solo has been my interest since my schooling days. For this time, instead of me wandering around aimlessly with my bike, I challenged myself to go to Mecca, the Holy City for Muslims.
"Through this road trip, I also had the opportunity to feel the hard work our predecessors who made the effort in spreading the religion of Islam.”
For his trip, Zulkepli used his 10-year-old Yamaha FZ150 motorcycle with several modifications done including a new engine upgrade suitable for long-distance travel.
In addition, he carried an estimated load of 70 kilograms including motorcycle spare parts, tents, sweaters, food and emergency kits.
Zulkepli stated that he used as much as RM70,000 from his savings to make his dreams into reality and also received donations from the public.
"The most expensive cost is to cross China for 16 days, which is tens of thousands because every traveller who brings a vehicle to the country has to pay the cost of a tour guide who will accompany him throughout the journey," he said.
Zulkepli said that he had been preparing for the past two and a half years, including making many references to previous motorcycle travellers and watching on YouTube similar expeditions that had been done before.
People interested in following Zulkepli's unique adventure can visit his official Facebook, 'Gombak ke Makkah 2023' or on TikTok 'jiwakembara125' which is updated from time to time.